In 1945, three second-tier commanders of the Indian National Army (INA) —Prem Kumar Sehgal, Shah Nawaz Khan and Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon — were being tried under section 121 of the IPC for treason.
One among them, Shah Nawaz Khan has a link with superstar, Shah Rukh Khan.
The story goes that in the late 1940s, Khan’s mother Fatima and her family were involved in an accident in Delhi.
Shah Nawaz, who was in the same area, took them to the hospital.
He remained in touch with the family, and according to some sources, even adopted her.
In the years that followed, Fatima married Meer Taj Mohammed Khan, a freedom fighter. The wedding took place in Shah Nawaz’s bungalow.
Having joined the British Army in 1935, Shah Nawaz was influenced by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, whom he met in the course of a war.
Bose encouraged him to join the INA to drive out the British.
Impressed by his actions and prompt thinking, Bose promoted Shah Nawaz in 1944 to lead the INA contingent in Mandalay.
However, after being accused of abetment to murder along with Sehgal and Singh, Khan left the INA and began his political career.
In 1952, he won the first Lok Sabha election from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh and served as a Deputy Minister for the next decade.
In 1956 he was appointed as the head of the Shah Nawaz Committee that looked into the mysterious death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
In 1983, Shah Nawaz passed away and was buried with full state honours near Lal Qila, the same place where he erased the ‘traitor’ tag and emerged as a freedom fighter.