How many of us actually know about the Indian Defence Forces? How many of us are willing to know about the national security? How many of us are ready to live the life of a soldier, even if it is for a day? Well, sadly the answer is, none of us. None of us actually know the statistics that our Armed Forces are facing, there is a shortage of officers. It has been reported that the total shortage of forces sums up to 59,622 excluding personnel in dental and medical streams of the Armed Forces. We are happy to sleep peacefully in our bed, whereas our soldiers stand by guarding our land, sea, and air throughout the year, every second of the day. Maybe we weren’t guided enough to make defence as the choice. It is a community in its own; well it has provided the country with Men of Class, Women with a different demeanour.
Here, are the top five recommendations to guide the young blazing minds of the country. I think everyone at least should read these 5 Non-Fiction Books for Young Guns of India:
1. Grit Guts and Gallantry- Colonel (Retd.) Mahip Chadha
This book is about the journey of Colonel Mahip Chadha to the prestigious institutes of the country, National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Military Academy (IMA). Colonel Chadha describes the start of his day during training and the lessons which shaped him into a soldier. The colours which you witness being a part of the defense forces. The young mind who wish to take up defence as a career have the perfect option laid in front of them in the form of this book. The book speaks about the physical training, rules, and regulations followed by pranks and adventure trips. I wish I had read this book before I started off my life as a corporate slave.
“Our population has no real interest in the Defence Forces; therefore their general knowledge about the Army, Navy or the Air Force was bound to be significantly low”
I believe it has been rightly said by Colonel Chadha. If only we could include such books in the curriculum of schools, we would shape better individuals, if not soldiers.
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2. Death Wasn’t Painful: Stories of Indian Fighter Pilots from the 1971 War – Dhirendra S. Jafa
The book describes the war experiences of fighter pilots from the 1971 Indo-Pak/Bangladesh Liberation War. The author, Dhirendra S. Jafa, Wing Commander (Retd.), Indian Air Force was one of the war prisoners in Pakistan. The true-life experience teaches great lessons. The interaction with soldiers, active combat, and the emotions experienced during the war and after it, are the events which form the base of this book. Soldiers and their experiences are highly motivating. These stories should be read by the countrymen and youth to know the sacrifices and bravery shown by our soldiers.
“The Hospital Interlude”
‘Brave soldier of your country, are you?’ Nurse
‘You think you can win against us? We are Pathans… remember? We have thrashed you Hindus again and again. Insha Allah… we shall thrash you yet again’
‘We are Mussalmans! We shall take over your Red Fort apart, brick by brick.’
Yet, years passed and these lines by a nurse treating the soldier in Pakistan brings out enrage. Yet, years passed and we still don’t brag out the forces and we show it when the time is apt. This book is a journey of our soldiers’ taken war prisoners and their way back home.
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3. India’s Military Diplomacy: An Inside View of Decision Making- General V.P. Malik
This book is on India’s defence and military diplomacy written by the Chief of the Indian Army General V.P. Malik. He has penned down his experiences about the field and strategic during his service in the Indian Army. He has focused on decision-making processes that were followed at the political and military strategic levels as well as at the operational level. In India’s Military Conflicts and Diplomacy, the author tries to address problems arising. He writes about defence and military diplomacy and provides a historical as well as futuristic perspective on India’s higher defence management.
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4. Shoot, Dive, Fly: Stories of Grit and Adventure from The Indian Army- Rachna Bisht Rawat
One of the new releases from last year (2017) is one of the best non-fiction books written on defence forces of India. Rachna Bisht Rawat, the author of the book has described the extraordinary life of real-life heroes…Our Soldiers. Every story described in the book is a lesson. Yes, the lesson of bravery, pride and confidence that the men guiding our borders portrayed. They lost limbs for us, they took bullets for us, they lost friends to the borders and still, they continued guarding us. There couldn’t have been a better description of the Indian Army.
What’s a day in the Indian Army likes?
You could fly a chopper to work, keep a gun handy, row across a freezing lake to attack a terrorist camp or climb down a gaping hole to rescue a child- and its all in a day’s work. You never get bored.
Indian Defence Forces are short of soldiers but there aren’t short of bravery and enthusiasm. I believe this book should be read by everyone opting or not opting for the forces. This read will boost your confidence and guide you through the pain. You feel being heart-broken is most painful on this earth, try fighting with bullets pierced in your body. You feel losing your expensive phone is the only sorrow, you never know what the pain of losing a limb is.
“I don’t think anyone is fearless- except the Gorkhas” – General Cardozo
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5. Letters from Kargil: The Kargil War Through Our Soldiers’ Eyes- Diksha Dwivedi
The author has done a commendable job by bringing the letters from soldiers’ posted in Kargil. The daughter of Major Chandra Bhushan Dwivedi pulled up a brave face and has penned down the war situation for the world to remember it forever. Reading about the violations and infiltration by Pakistan would make you hate the enemy more. The Pakistan Army invaded us in the winters, but the Infantry is always ready to fight all the odds. The life of a soldier is tough, and the letters would show how the families stand by these soldiers and pull up brave faces fighting emotions. It is because to these soldiers that Kargil district and Siachen Glacier is part of India. I shed a tear reading Lieutenant Amit Bhardwaj’s journal, where he wrote about his Diwali away from home. The journal of 22-year-old Lieutenant Saurabh Kalia broke me inside, learning about the mortar firing, sniper rifles and report of intrusion by the Pakistani army. “The Pakistani soldiers didn’t let the Indian soldiers approach the place where these two brave soldiers lay dead.” It will wrench your hearts when you read how the Pakistanis treated our soldiers, our martyred soldiers. The vital parts were missing from Lt. Kalia and his troops, eyeballs were dug out, genitals were chopped off, and they bore several cigarette burns. They put the world to shame, violating the Geneva Convention (1929). (Geneva Convention was set of rules describing how soldiers must be treated if detained by the enemy, and prisoner of war should be treated with honour and dignity.)
“527 killed, 1363 wounded”
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I believed the rage is still burning somewhere when we read about the ambush with terrorists; we weep a silent tear when media floods post of soldier’s kids and we still want to win against our enemies. Yes, these books not only talk about valour, however they speak our confidence which lies within an individual.