Noor Inayat Khan UPSC | Why In The News ?
World War II spy Noor Inayat Khan is now the first woman of Indian origin to be commemorated by the distinct blue London plaque.
About Noor Inayat Khan :
- Noor INAYAT KHAN, was born in Moscow to an Indian father and an American mother
- Her family moved to London and then to Paris during the First World War
- In November 1940, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, an arm of the UK’s Royal Air Force to train as a wireless operator.
- She then did a stint at the secret intelligence organisation set up by Winston Churchill called Special Operations Executive (SOE).
- She was the only Indian-origin woman to have worked as a Special Operations Executive (SOE) in World War II.
- She was just 29 then, and had signed up for a job in which people were not expected to be alive for longer than six weeks.
- She became the first radio operator to be sent to Paris to work for SOE’s Prosper resistance network under the codename Madeleine.
- Khan was arrested in 1943 .
- She was executed at the Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany near Munich.
- Noor was awarded the highest honour in the UK, the George Cross, in 1949
- The French Croix de Guerre with the Silver Star posthumously Was Awarded .
Awards & Honours : Dara Shikoh UPSC
- UK, the George Cross, in 1949
- The French Croix de Guerre with the Silver Star
- In 2014, Britain’s Royal Mail had issued a postage stamp in honour of Noor.
- In 2012, a memorial with a bust of Noor was unveiled in London by Princess Anne.
- She was honoured with a blue plaque
What was Noor’s connection to India?
- She was connected to India through her father Inayat Khan.
- He was founder of the Sufi Order of the West, which is now known as the Inayati Order.
- He had migrated to the West as n Hindustani classical musician, and then moved to teaching Sufism.
- Inayat Khan was born in Baroda.
- His maternal grandfather was the noted musician Ustad Maula Bakhsh Khan, who founded the music academy Gyanshala, which now serves as the Faculty of Performing Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University.
- Maula Bakhsh’s wife, Qasim Bibi, was a granddaughter of Tipu Sultan of Mysore.
- Inayat returned to India in 1926 and chose the site of his burial at the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in New Delhi.
- The Inayat Khan dargah still stands in a corner of the complex.