Abid Hasan Safrani: Netaji’s Comrade-in-Arms
Compiled by Ismat Mehdi and Shehbaz Safrani, Foreword by Sugata Bose
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

In the words of historian Sugata Bose: ‘Netaji’s comrade-in-arms Abid Hasan Safrani was a quiet revolutionary who kept himself out of the limelight even while being present at every vital scene and moment of the final phase of our freedom struggle across Europe and Asia.’ A member of Netaji’s Azad Hind Fauj, Safrani is famous as the man who coined the slogan ‘Jai Hind’, which became the national salutation for Indian soldiers, statesmen and civilians alike.

Safrani grew up in old aristocratic Hyderabad of the 1920s in a richly syncretic, secular culture and a vibrant social and intellectual environment that influenced him deeply, leading him later to plunge into politics under Subhas Bose’s leadership. He went on to become one of Netaji’s closest associates, and was the only one to accompany him on his historic submarine voyage from Kiel in Germany to Japanese territory in Sumatra, Malaysia, during World War II. A polyglot and connoisseur of art and history, Safrani also served independent India as a diplomat of distinction in China, West Asia, Africa and Europe.

Compiled by his niece Ismat Mehdi, who accompanied him on his foreign postings to Bern and Baghdad, and his nephew Shehbaz Safrani, who was with him in Baghdad and Damascus, Abid Hasan’s accounts of his time and journeys with Netaji—collected from his notebooks—bring alive key historical events and fill in crucial gaps in the narration of India’s freedom struggle. Anecdotal memories of Safrani recounted by family and friends also reveal a self-effacing, fiercely loyal, brave and generous man with an endearing persona. The story of an unsung national hero, this book preserves and disseminates some of the finest and forgotten lessons of our freedom struggle, to better understand the evolution of independent India.

Compiled By

Ismat Mehdi is a retired Professor of Arabic, English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Hyderabad, and proficient in several languages.
Shehbaz Safrani is a writer, painter and critic of art and architecture, based in New York.

Foreword By

Sugata Bose is the Gardiner Professor of History at Harvard University. His books include A Hundred Horizons: The Indian Ocean in the Age of Global Empire; and His Majesty’s Opponent: Subhas Chandra Bose and India’s Struggle against Empire; and The Indian Struggle 1920–1942.

List of Photographs
Foreword: A Quiet Revolutionary

Sugata Bose
Sumanta Banerjee

1. Abid Hasan Safrani: An Outstanding Indian Patriot of Hyderabad
2. Pluralistic Hyderabad Deccan
3. Roots of the Freedom Struggle in Hyderabad
4. The Pioneering Women of Hyderabad
5. Gandhi, Bose and Abid Hasan
6. With Subhasbabu in Germany
7. From Germany to Japan: An Underwater Saga
8. Meeting the Indian Diaspora of Singapore
9. The INA Takes Shape
10. Imphal: Success, Defeat and Retreat
11. Goodbye, Netaji!
12. India Wins Freedom
13. Serving India as a Diplomat
14. The Sunset Years
15. The Family Man
16. In the War Room with the Fuhrer
17. Lilian Frydan
18. Kimono
19. Has-San
20. ‘Netaji and the Indian Communal Question’
Abid Hasan Safrani
21. ‘The Task after Winning Freedom’
22. ‘The Men from Imphal’
Abid Hasan Safrani
23. ‘Modern Aspects of Indian Spiritual Conceptions’
Abid Hasan Safrani
24. ‘On a Slow Boat with Safrani’
Geeta Doctor
25. ‘Reporting the Revolt in Iraq’
Prem Bhatia
26. …All Thanks to Zainu Manna
Sajid Mahmood
27. Qaumi Geet: Shubh Sukh Chain
28. Epilogue

1. Released on 23 January 2023 in Netaji Bhawan, Kolkata, as part of the traditional Netaji birthday assembly, hosted by the Netaji Research Bureau
1. Book review | Published in the Deccan Chronicle, 1 August 2023.
2. Book review | Published in the Mainstream Weekly, 28 May 2023.
3. Notice | Published in the Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 20 May 2023.
4. Book Extract | Published in the Scroll.in, 8 February 2023.
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