31 October, 2020

India’s Man For All Seasons

A.C.N. Nambiar was Azad Hind envoy in Nazi Germany, an associate of Bose and Nehru and later a diplomat. His glittering life has been told at last.

India’s Man For All Seasons
outlookindia.com
2017-03-18T10:41:04+05:30

History, as Eliot says, has many “cunning passages and contrived corridors”, but there are some alternate pathways which requ­ire some effort to discover. One such—the life of A.C.N. Namb­iar—has been recovered by Vappala Bal­achandran. Nambiar lived in Eur­ope in the turbulent decades before World War II, was a journalist for various newspapers, was an associate of Pan­­dit Nehru and, later, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s representative in Nazi Germany. Then, he served as India’s amb­­assador to Sweden and West Germ­any. Balachandran retired as a senior officer in R&AW and was one of the two members of a committee tas­ked to look into the Mumbai police in relation to the 26/11 attack.

Balachandran’s book has given us an unu­­sual Indian perspective of the compli­cated 1920s and ’30s in Europe. Through Nambiar’s life and activities, Balachan­dran etches vividly the rise of Nazism, the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the chaos and confusion accompanying the...

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