Royal Mail has released a stamp on Noor Inayat Khan for her centenary
Princess Anne unveils Noor Memorial on 8th November at Gordon Square Gardens.
The Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, send us a message which was read out at a major fund-raising dinner at the House of Commons on 19 November 2011.
“It is impossible not to be moved deeply by Noor Inayat Khan’s bravery in the face of capture, interrogation, and harsh imprisonment, and by her cruel death met with indomitable courage. The award of the George Cross, our highest civilian decoration, gave recognition to her heroism. I am glad to express my support for the initiative of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust in its project to erect a memorial to her near the place in London where she spent part of her childhood. This will pay tribute to the inspiring self-sacrifice of a young Muslim woman who fought in British ranks in the world-wide struggle against racism and oppression.”
Photo by Kai Mörk
We ended 2011 with some very successful high profile events at the House of Commons. The first of these was a dinner on 19 November in the Members’ Dining Room with the Rt Hon John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, as our chief guest. The High Commissioners of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were present. It was hosted by Valerie Vaz, M.P. and attended by several M.Ps and peers including Julian Lewis and Lord Hameed. Actress Ayesha Dharker read from Noor’s letters and poems.
Photos by Jocelyn Bain Hogg
On 3 December, we were privileged to organise a benefit concert with talented sitarist Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the famous Ravi Shankar, who gave us her time in the middle of a hectic European tour. Anoushka enthralled the audience for an hour with her performance of classical Indian music. It was a fitting tribute from a young Indian woman to another young Indian woman who had sacrificed her life for freedom.
Photos by Seamus Murphy
On 25 August we organised a “Concert for Noor” in two parts. The first half was a piece of dance theatre called “Noor” performed by Felicia Norton. The second half was a Sufi concert with Madan Gopal Singh with guest artist Talvin Singh. The sold-out concert invited a rapturous response from the audience. Plans are afoot to release a recording of the concert to raise funds for the charity.
Photos by Pablo Bartholomew
Other fund-raising events included a talk on 27 May at Beaulieu Manor, the secret training school for SOE agents and the place where Noor trained, by Shrabani Basu. The well-attended talk was held in the presence of Lord Montagu, Ralph Montagu and Julian Lewis, M.P.
On 26 March, we had charity screening of award-winning film Peepli Live followed by an interaction with director Anusha Rizvi. International Women’s Day in March was celebrated with a talk on Noor by Shrabani Basu at Manchester University. On 30 January, we organised a charity screening of Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat. Kiran Rao sent a fabulous message and the Courthouse Doubletree Hotel served up a feast of Bombay street food to go with the occasion.
I am delighted that our film 'Dhobi Ghat' is part of the fundraising effort for the memorial of the remarkable Noor Inayat Khan. Her inspiring story deserves recognition, and my congratulations to Shrabani and all the others involved in this effort for having brought her story to light. I dedicate the screening to Noor and her extraordinary courage, and I hope you enjoy the film!
All in all a great year for the Trust and fund-raising. We featured on the BBC One Show, BBC television news, BBC Woman’s Hour and all the mainstream media including The Guardian, The Times and The Independent.
Memorial call for brave British spy, BBC news
Click here to watch the video
Listen to Shrabani Basu talk to Shiela McClennon on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour
Click here to listen
Noor on Untold London
Why Noor Inayat Khan deserves a statue, Daily Mirror
Why we need one more War Memorial, The Guardian
Indian war heroine to be recognised with a statue in London, The Daily Mail
Honoured at last, The Indian heroine of Churchill's spy squad, The Independent
The story of Indian Noor Inayat Khan, the wartime British spy, Camden New Journal
Asia Today online edition "Honour at Last for Britain's Muslim Spy Princess"
Finally, honour for spy princess, Times of India
Article in Sufi Times
British M.Ps back memorial for Tipu descendant, The Hindustan Times
Memorial for Noor Inayat Khan gets go-ahead, Asian Voice