The Siege of Warwan - A Novel by Maj G D Bakshi

Discussion in 'Military Multimedia' started by amit21mech, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. amit21mech

    amit21mech New Member

    Dec 6, 2010
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    Forthcoming Book - The Siege of Warwan - Maj Gen Gagan Deep Bakshi, JAK Rif
    Publisher - HarperCollins Publishers India
    ISBN - 9788172239800
    Size - 198 X 129 mm
    Pages - 290 pp
    Release date - 10th Jan, 2010
    MRP - Rs 299

    Book will be launched on 7th Jan in Delhi near Dhaula Kuan by Army Chief. Please write to amit (at the rate) oldermonk (dot) com for invites those who want to attend the book launch

    As a child I use to go to libraries to search post WW2 military fictions and always returned with Eric Helms, Macleans, Pattersons, Hawksleys and sometimes if no other choice Tom Clancy also. I am addicted to reading military fictions and an attack in progress inside the book gives me kick like nothing. After reading these for many years I started thinking why there is nothing about Indian military though we have seen them in enough action, 4 major wars, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Siachin, Afghanistan, Tibet, NE, Kashmir, Op Brasstacks, Sumdorong Chu Valley incident with China, and many more.

    Problem with other Indian military books were many and annoying. They always shown Indian faujis as Bhagwans with no flaws/faults, can kill 100s single handedly, can not be defeated and Indian Military as zero flaw establishment, I mean a very idealistic view which is just not digestible. And stories were always Bollywood types. There are some difficult questions and situation vis-à-vis observing human rights, following orders, standard operating procedures, cause and effect of battle fatigue and personal losses, fear of death for kins future and many more, which all men in action faces. Those authors always ignored to answer these and made the characters immune to all this. Simply Bullshit!!

    Then I found 2 books of Ravi Rikhye and 1 book of Gen Sunderji about my favorite topic. I still keep them with me and never give it to anyone. They are the best. Better then all firangi writers for not only because they wrote about my Army but they wrote it with perfect balance of patriotism and reality.

    But these 3 books were written some 20 years books. Though still a good read but much water has flown under the bridge since then. Much happened in these 20 years. World’s order of battle has taken an entirely new vision and India is playing very important and different role now as compare to 1980’ and 90’.

    I saw many more books and authors in these 20 years. Some were little better then others, some were again carrying some agenda, and most of them were as usual just laughable and sad. After Kargil and Op Parakaram I thought we would see some thing great in Indian military fiction but……

    And then this weekend I got “The Siege of Warwan”. What a wonderful book it is? Honestly, I never expected such a good book from a high ranking Officer. This book is a true picture of what and how exactly Army and its men deals with internal security situations. It is reflection of army’s evolution with changing scenarios.

    As far as the story is concerned it is a perfect plot to start with. Very nice and fast build up of situations and characters for climax which is just awesome. Though introduction of Ayesha and Javed takes little longer and author starts loosing grip on the story mid way. But very soon the story picks up the pace and makes reader hold its breath till end. Insight of Army working, structure and culture is just appropriate. Not heavy and not leaving it as a mystery for normal readers. Also the deterrence, hindrance and inhibitions faced by Army’s Junior and Senior command at both strategic and tactical level have been explained perfectly. Even being a superior force to terrorists in all aspects sometimes small things like weather can test all your abilities to perform and excel.

    Also 2 officers behaving differently in similar situation (Maj Suhag and Maj Dushyant) will make people understand that faujis are no Superman and react to same situations differently in spite of similar training, goals and purpose.

    A new concept of “kill” targets crept in to army after prolonged use of it in CI ops or internal security duties. Slowly budgets started depending largely upon it. And in absence of external wars Gallantry awards were coming thin and slow. So Army HQ started pushing Commands, Command started pressing Cores, Core to Div HQs, Divs to Brigades, Brigade to Battalions, Battalion to Companies and thus to all rank and files. Everybody was scoring “kills” to achieve targets. This book does not shy away from it and do not defend Army but practically explains how this “kills” can be achieved with patience, meticulous planning and after observing all human rights. Human intelligence is very important in any CI ops and can be achieved only by winning heart and minds of people. Again Army has all kind of people in it. Maj Suhag used brute force to get intelligence and thus increases the “kill” but eventually done in by being trapped by his own “informers”. Maj Dushyant used the way of winning people and got heavy dividends (read “kills”). In fact his informer braves a snow storm and got killed but not before telling Maj Dushyant about impending attack on his post. Do you still want to debate these 2 approaches?

    Army often complains that no body cares or vouches for their Human rights and so their troops are always under tremendous pressure. Therefore somehow Army approves use of heavy hand on civilians. In the book Maj Dushyant explains it to his soldiers how important it is for a fauji to observe its dharma of defending own people and respecting them. He tells them that observing this dharma gives them a bulletproof jacket from God which can thwart any harm in their way. It is a special favour to soldiers only from God but the moment they deviate from dharma God takes it away. I do not think it is filmy or just bookish at all. And the slogan of Brigadier Sibal told to Maj Dushyant upon his taking charge of Warwan outpost, ““Be nice to the people. Be nasty to the terrorists.”
    I am proud of my Army!!!!!!!!!

    Story of Ayesha and her son Javed is heart rendering and tells the reader how difficult it is for women and children to live through a civil insurgency. They are the only one who looses in all this. Taking leaf out of Kashmiri poets and poems is a forgotten perspective of Kashmir which this book has revived. Views of aam Kashmiris and their problems have also been dealt with rationality. Like how it takes 3 days to reach Warwan through land. It still actually happens in Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch, Kargil districts of J&K.

    Climax of the book is very well written and gives it a perfect ending. Fighting terrorists is like playing chess and you have to often take preemptive actions to thwart adversary’s next moves and also trapping him in. How beautifully Brigadier Sibal and Maj Dushyant execute the whole operation Shatruvinash in which they trap the terrorists with misleading signals and demolish their command and control structure.

    Use of attack helicopters is long standing demand of army in CI ops which Govt has always rejected for various reasons like attrition, alienation of world view, local politics etc. This books build a very good case against Govt’s all reasons and proves it can actually helps eradicating terrorism faster and with less attrition. And it will actually help boosting troop’s moral and easing the stress levels. And you can definitely see drop in human right violations and moving of army to back to its primary role of defending borders.

    I remember Op Sarpvinash in 2003 where for the first time helicopters were used as force multiplier in CI ops in India. There was also an Ashok Chakra awarded (Our Maj Dushyant also gets AC). It was given to Trooper Sanjog Chetri of 9 Para (SF) Special Force posthumously. Op Shatruvinash is similar to Op Sarp Vinash in terms of tactics and set in almost same area (Romeo Sector I mean Rajouri and Poonch). Also total militants killed in both Operations are 60. So we actually have a story which is quite similar to realty. Gen Bakshi himself was Romeo Sector commander and he has used the insights very well to tell us a fabulous story.

    With Maj Dushyant joining Special Forces (as Colonel) in the end and Ayesha’s son Javed about to join Indian Army I am expecting a sequel and in fact I am expecting Gen Bakshi to make it a series of stories which will be a true dedication to Indian Armed Forces. They have shed enough blood and sacrificed themselves for the call of duty. Somebody needs to tell the nation the real stories and I am confident no body is better than Gen Bakshi. I thank him for giving readers like me a good boost and fresh air. I wish we get to see many more soon from him.

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