Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shah Nawaz Khan (general) Indian freedom fighter

Major General Shahnawaz Khan of village Matore, Kahuta, Rawalpindi District, British India, (now Pakistan; 1914 – 1983) was a Indian freedom fighter during British colonial rule of India, politician and an army officer, hailing from theJanjua Rajput clan of Matore. He has an adopted daughter who happens to be Shah Rukh Khan's mother
Lt. Colonel Shahnawaz Khan, son of Capt Sardar Tikka Khan of Matore, studied at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College, Dehradun and was commissioned as an officer in the British Indian Army. He was captured during theSecond World War by the Japanese and interned in Singapore. Subhash Chandra Bose encouraged him to join theIndian National Army, to fight the British Empire.
At the conclusion of the war, the government of British India brought some of the captured INA soldiers to trial on treason charges. The prisoners would potentially face the death penalty, life imprisonment or a fine as punishment if found guilty. After the war, Lt. Col. Shahnawaz Khan, Colonel Habib ur Rahman ,Colonel Prem Sehgal and Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon were put to trial at the Red Fort in Delhi for "waging war against the King Emperor", i.e. the British sovereign. The three defendants were defended by Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhulabhai Desai and others based on the defence that they should be treated as prisoners of war as they were not paid mercenaries but bona fide soldiers of a legal government, the Provisional Government of Free India, or the Arzi Hukumate Azad Hind, "however misinformed or otherwise they had been in their notion of patriotic duty towards their country" and as such they recognized the free Indian state as their sovereign and not the British sovereign.
Shahnawaz Khan joined the Congress party after dissolution of the I.N.A. and was invited by Jawaharlal Nehru to join his cabinet as Minister of State for Railways. He was elected thrice to the Lok Sabha from Meerut

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