Sarila, Narendra Singh 1927–
Sarila, Narendra Singh 1927–
Born January 2, 1927, in India; married Rani Rohini Devi, 1945 (divorced); married Countess Rita von Oberndorff, 1955 (divorced, 1958); married Kumari Shefali Kunwar, 1972; children: (second marriage) Rajkumari, (third marriage) Samar. Education: Educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, Allahabad University, and Magdalene College.
Diplomat and civil servant. Heir to the princely state of Sarila in central India; aide-de-camp to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, 1948; served in the Indian Foreign Service, 1948-85; deputy permanent representative of the Indian Delegation to the United Nations, New York, NY, 1963-65; officer on special duty, Kashmir Affairs, 1967-68; joint secretary dealing with Pakistan and then United Nation affairs in the External Affairs Ministry, 1968-72; special delegate to the Indian Delegation to the United Nations during the Bangladesh crisis and war, 1971; ambassador to Spain 1972-74; ambassador to Brazil, 1974-77; ambassador to Libya (with concurrent accreditation to Malta), 1977-81; ambassador to Switzerland (with concurrent accreditation to the Vatican), 1981-82, ambassador to France, 1982-85; Nestle India, New Dehli, chairman of the board, 1994-2000, chairman emeritus, 2000—.
The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition, HarperCollins Publishers India (New Delhi, India), 2005.
Contributor to periodicals, including International Herald Tribune and Times of India.
Narendra Singh Sarila, formerly a prince of the Indian state of Sarila and the aide-de-camp to Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of British India, is the author of The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition. The book is "a useful look at a tumultuous series of events," observed Jay Freeman in a review for Booklist. The 1947 partition of British India into the independent nations of Pakistan and India resulted in extreme violence and the displacement of millions of people. In his work, Sarila asserts that, contrary to conventional wisdom, "the British favoured partition and worked successfully to achieve it because they did not trust a Congress government to provide a bulwark against Russian incursions into the area," noted Philip Ziegler in the Spectator. Further, he stated: "Only a strong, independent Pakistan could be relied on to protect the Himalayan frontiers and the rich oil fields of the Middle East."
The Shadow of the Great Game received decidedly mixed reviews. "Sarila has undoubtedly added to, and sometimes significantly altered, our understanding of what went on during the lead-up to Partition, but his book rambles," remarked Telegraph contributor Peter Parker. Ziegler, calling The Shadow of the Great Game a "thoughtful, interesting, if essentially wrong-headed book," also wrote that "even if the reader does not accept Narendra Singh Sarila's thesis, it still deserves attention." The author "shines a light on the diplomatic world of hints, pressures and concealed motives on the route to partition that he has uncovered through painstaking research," noted Jad Adams in the Telegraph.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition, p. 20.
Organiser, November 27, 2005, M.V. Kamath, "Muslim Pak Suited British Interests," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.
Spectator, September 23, 2006, Philip Ziegler, "Not So Duplicitous as Painted," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.
Times of India, June 22, 2005, K. Subrahmanyam, "Pakistan a British Creation."
Indian Express,http://www.indianexpress.com/ (September 23, 2005), Saeed Naqvi, "Wide Angle: Book Release That Speak Volumes," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.
Telegraph Online,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (September 20, 2006), Peter Parker, "At Once Medieval and Modern," review of The Shadow of the Great Game; (September 28, 2006), Jad Adams, "The Ill-Fated Battle for Indian Independence," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.
Tribune Online (Chandigarh, India), http://www.tribuneindia.com/ (October 16, 2005), M. Rajivlochan, "What Led to Freedom," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.
Watandost,http://watandost.blogspot.com/ (May 27, 2007), Rabab Naqvi, "Documenting Partition," review of The Shadow of the Great Game.