Alia Bhatt's hints for Raazitrailer already had us talking about her beautiful and badass character in the film. Meghna Gulzar's Raazi is based on the novel Calling Sehmat by ex-naval officer, Harinder Sikka.
Calling Sehmat is based on a true story of an Indian Kashmiri undercover agent. The story is set in the times of 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Sehmat's name in the novel has been changed to protect her identity. She had delivered some crucial information to Indian officials about Pakistan's agenda which saved lives. One of the biggest information shared by her was Pakistan’s plan to sink INS Viraat (which is now decommissioned), and her timely information helped save 'India's pride on sea'.
In an interview with a leading daily, author Harinder Sikka, who was covering the 1999 Kargil war revealed, "Kargil passed by but I often thought about the daring act of this woman undercover who returned to the country, pregnant with the child of her Pakistani husband, and bore the Indian Army a good officer."
When Sikka was angry at the Indian Army's alleged failure, he "questioned the patriotism of certain people in the Intelligence Department." And there, "during one such discussion, an Army officer told me that not everyone is the same. I was not too convinced about it upon which he gave the example of his mother, much to my surprise. She married a Pakistani Army officer to provide India with classified information during the 1971 war. She was a Kashmiri Muslim."
Sikka was so intrigued by the story that he tracked down the woman, who at the time resided in Malerkotla, in Punjab.
She shared her story with him and he realized that "all the information she passed on from there matched with the Indian intelligence report here."
Sehmat was the daughter of a Kashmiri businessman. She was trained as a spy, married to a Pakistani officer for the sole purpose of providing India with classified information during the war. She went above and beyond her duty for the country. After her operation ended, she returned to India with her son, who went on to become an officer in the Indian Army.
Now, her son is out of service and Sehmat is no more but her patriotism, determination and bravery lives on portraying her as a hero of the era.
Alia's intense performance was already making the wait for 11th May difficult for us but the thought of how bravely Sehmat filled her life only with three shades of her country and the willingness to applaud her sacrifices, makes it even harder!