A social media post which levels multiple allegations against INA General Shah Nawaz Khan is being widely circulated. These viral claims allege that General Shah Nawaz Khan betrayed Azad Hind Fauz/Subash Chandra Bose and fled to Pakistan. Further, the post establishes that Bollywood actor Shar Rukh Khan is the grandson of Shah Nawaz Khan. Through this article, let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Major General Shah Nawaz Khan betrayed Azad Hind Fauz/Subash Chandra Bose and fled to Pakistan.
Fact: Shah Nawaz Khan served the INA under Subash Chandra Bose and when the INA surrendered to the British Army, he was one among the three, who faced the trial, famously called Red Fort trial. He was charged for waging war against the King and causing murder & abetment of murder of five sepoys who were caught deserting the INA. There are no reports about him betraying Subash Chandra Bose. Moreover, at the time of partition, he came back from Pakistan to live in India. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
The viral posts levels multiple allegations about Major General Shah Nawaz Khan and his relationship with Shah Rukh Khan & ISI chief. Let’s look into each of these claims in detail below.
Did Shah Nawaz Khan betray Bose?
Shah Nawaz was born in undivided India in Rawalpindi district in 1914. He joined the British Army in 1935 and fought under the British army in Singapore, against Japan. Eventually, Japan won the battle, and 40,000 Indians were taken into prison. Shah Nawaz Khan was one among them. He later met Subash Chandra Bose in Singapore in 1943, and influenced by him, he joined the INA (here).
According to this report, Shah Nawaz led the INA troops into North-Eastern India, taking control of Kohima and Imphal, which were subsequently held by the INA under Japanese authority for a while. Later, the INA surrendered to the British army and in 1945, Shah Nawaz Khan faced a trail along with Prem Sahgal & Gurbaksh Dhillon, which is famously known as ‘Red fort trial’.
According to the archives of Hindustan Times, ‘the prosecution charged the three I.N.A. officers, Captains Shah Nawaz and Sahgal and Lt Dhillon, with waging war against the King and causing murder and abetment of murder of five sepoys who were caught deserting the I.N.A. The prosecution produced documents showing that the three officers were in the Indian army, that while prisoners of war they joined the Indian national army and as its officers waged war against the king by invading India and that they ordered execution of five sepoys.’
Thus, from the above news report, it is evident that Shah Nawaz was prosecuted for waging war against the British by taking part in INA. Further, there are no reports or documents stating Shah Nawaz betrayed Subash Chandra Bose as claimed in the viral post.
Shah Nawaz left for Pakistan after partition?
Contrary to the viral claim, at the time of partition, Shah Nawaz came back to live in India. Though his entire family remained in Pakistan, he chose to live in India, along with one of his sons (here & here). He eventually joined the Congress party and began his political career. In 1952, he won the first Lok Sabha election from Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. And over the years he held many portfolios, including the Parliamentary Secretary position.
Shah Nawaz’s connection with Shah Rukh Khan:
‘According to Shah Rukh Khan, his mother, Lateef Fatima, was the adopted daughter of Major General Shah Nawaz Khan who served in the Indian National Army’, reported the Yale University website.
This news report explained how Shahnawaz Khan met Shah Rukh Khan’s mother for the first time. As reported by the article ‘in 1940’s Shah Rukh’s Fatima met with a road accident in New Delhi while travelling with her parents and sister. Gen Khan happened to be around and took her and the family to hospital. That is how a bond formed between the families. She was a pretty and warm person. Gen Khan was known to go out of his way to help people. He considered Fatima his own daughter.’
Pakistan’s ISI Chief is the nephew of Shah Nawaz Khan:
In 2012, General Zaheerul Islam was appointed as the Pakistan’s ISI chief. According to the news reports, he was the nephew of INA General Shah Nawaz Khan and thus shares a tenuous link with Shah Rukh Khan (here & here).
Speaking to PTI, leading Pakistani defense analyst Ikram Sehgal stated that ‘Zaheerul Islam’s father served as a brigadier in the Pakistan Army and Shah Nawaz Khan, who was a major general in the Indian National Army led by Subhas Chandra Bose, was his uncle’.
To sum it up, INA General Shah Nawaz Khan did not betray Subash Chandra Bose.
Update (01 March 2023): In this video we could hear Shah Rukh Khan himself explaining about his family members legacy and how he is related to General Shah Nawaz Khan. From this, it is clearly evident that General Khan is not Shah Rukh’s paternal grandfather.