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The Saturday Book Review: Making of a General-A Himalayan Echo
The Saturday Book Review : Making of a General-A Himalayan Echo
Title: Making Of A General-A Himalayan Echo
Author: Lt Gen Konsam Himalay Singh
Publisher: Konark (2021)
In the Defence of our Borderlands, the brave hearts not only brave the hostile neighbours, but the hostile climate as well. Caught between the two equally hostile neighbours, Pakistan and China ,our men in shining armour continue to vigil keeping the enemy at bay, checkmating their evil designs and inflicting great damage, and casualty to their forces and morale.
Rated as one of the most experienced ,the fiercest and the finest armed forces in the world , they are led by an array of equally determined and aggressive ‘Never say Die’ Generals.
Lt Gen Konsam Himalay Singh(Retd) who distinguished himself as one of the First Lt General of the Indian Army from North East India, takes the reader on a journey of a village boy from a small hamlet of Manipur. The Land of the Jewels a former princely state where hills embrace, in timeless beauty and history.
In his own words’ I was physically weak, shy and scared of heights and the darkness. Many a mate in my school mocked my physique and ambition of wanting to join the army, leave alone rise to be a Brigadier. Thus it became a relentless pursuit of self improvement throughout my formative years in the school days. My yearning for physical fitness, academic and intellectual excellence persisted through most of my early life’
His book talks about his views on ‘ what does it take to be a General in the Indian Army? Does it require one to excel in every possible activity in the organisation? Is it possible for anyone to reach the exalted status with hard work and dedication alone?
Are the senior officers adequately equipped with the personal and strategic leadership qualities that are expected of them for the onerous responsibilities that lie ahead.?’
The book takes the reader through the Kargil War –The Siachen Glacier, the highest battlefield in the world, which bring out the deep sense of pride, honour and valour of the men he commanded.
On Gen Musharraf’s infiltration of troops and the sparse intelligence inputs ‘ But none of us in the unit or higher HQ’s could assess the real intention of the adversary……In retrospect, I am of the opinion that the entire intelligence machinery in the country had collapsed or their priority lay elsewhere.’
On one of the operations under his command ‘ It was a great success which will remain in the annals of military history of India. A daylight assault, a silent assault where not a single artillery shot was fired just before or during the attack…..The entire risk was mine and mine alone……
In the words of Maj Gen Ashok Kalyan Verma who authored the book Kargil: Blood on the Snow, the capture of Point 5770 by 27 Rajput under my Command was perhaps the most incredible action of the Kargil war.’
His views on the Chinese war theatre ‘ China’s brutal assault on Indian troops on 15th June 2020 ,at Galwan valley in Ladakh is a classic example of Sun Tzu’s principle of war-fighting,”Kill one, terrify ten thousand” It is clear that China is not willing to share the Asian strategic space with other Asian Countries ‘
He has traversed time and again on various issues of the Security challenges facing the country ‘ National security in the context of the North East cannot confine itself to only the myriad insurgencies that dot its variegated landscape.
It must take into account the strategic encirclement that the region is surrounded by China,Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal….88 percent of the North East boundaries are international, with only 12 percent connecting it to the mainland India'
After serving nearly 40 years in the Indian Army, he went back to his home state Manipur to serve the people
Ajit Doval, KC, National Security Adviser on his views on the book ‘ Replete with sage wisdom and tales of grit, I am confident the work would inspire coming generations of our army leaders…’
Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff on the book ‘ The book is a elegant narrative of the transformative years of a young boy from Manipur and his rise to the pinnacle; as a Three Star General, Leading his men along the Northern Borders as well as in Counterterrorism Operations, Konsam has been a Gentleman General, with the ferocity of a ‘Tiger’…..
(The author of this book review is a Lucknow-based businessman, Chairman, MSME Confederation of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise UP and Co-Chairman PHD Chambers of Commerce and the Founder Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians.)
This Book Is Available @ Universal Booksellers