A new book to be released soon talks about the life and times of an outstanding military officer, Lieutenant General Bilimoria, Father of Lord Karan Bilimoria, who is the owner of Cobra beer and member of the House of Lords. Written by Major General Ian Cardozo, AVSM, SM, the book is set in 20th century India, talks about the period of seismic changes to the British Empire. After the two world wars India had grown weary of being a colony and was seeking independence. Called the jewel in the crown of the empire the country’s richness attracted people from all parts looking to settle. While many came with not the best of intensions, one group of people came fleeing persecution from Persia due to their religious beliefs and came to India by sea. These were the Zoroastrians who came to be known as the ‘Parsis’.
The Bilimoria family like many other settled in Gujarat and as part of the community contributed towards the development of the state. With a family tree stretching back over two hundred years, members of the family served in every field possible. Officers of the armed forces, lawyers, doctors, engineers, judges, businessmen, philanthropists and industrialists among them reflects the prominence of the Parsi community in Indian society.
The story of General Faridoon Bilimoria, Colonel in Chief go the Gurkha Rifles, is the of a man, his family, community and the army. The book is a story of a solider who through his personal life turned challenges into opportunities, who practiced the army motto of ‘Country First’ and Self Last’. He lived life to the full, keeping the values of the Gorkha soldiers with whom he served.
The book contains some excellent visuals. The attachment to the values and traditions of the Parsis os beautifully illustrated.
The story of General Bilimoria and the family is linked with India’s past, present and future. The book will be launched on 25th July at the Nehru Centre, London.