The book has in places discussions that are so realistic that it well could be held in the decision-making meetings in the corridors of power
“Maj Bakshi: The Dragon’s Nemesis” by Sudip Talukdar is a fictional story interwoven with contemporary events, replete with brilliant conversations that reveal strategic thinking and incisive geopolitical perceptions of countries in the region. All the parallel occurrences that have been spun around the story are true historical facts.
The story is gripping. The storyline is absorbing and continuously runs throughout the book like a sine wave with ups and downs as in the life of an Army officer who has a passion to live life on the edge. What is very interesting is the international events that are taking place have a bearing on the story, taking the reader to different sectors of our borders and operations in the territories of our adversaries.
The informed public at large always wondered as to why India’s response towards China has always been placatory and obsequious. Right from the time Tibet was handed over on a platter, India has literally acquiesced before China in all its interactions. It has hurt the pride of every Indian, especially the officers of the Armed Forces. After 1962, the Indian Army has prevailed over the Chinese in all clashes be it at Nathula, Sumdorong Chu, or even recently, at Galwan, and is ready to respond with ferocity in any future outcomes.
However, all governments in the past including the present one to a lesser extent, have been enamoured and ready to yield ground rather than pose a direct confrontation with the Chinese. Though presently we have mirrored the Chinese deployment in Ladakh; the stalemate continues. The author reminisced a raison d'être for writing the book: Again, why not kill the enemy with a borrowed knife? Venting a Chinese saying against themselves?
Comprehending the intransigence of the government, the book unfolds a story where proxy war using Special Forces causes the nemesis of the Dragon. The Special Forces are invisible, operate in the territory of the adversary and cause lethal destruction and disruption from within; incognito. Actually, in the current world, most countries are already on a rampage against their adversaries using the most touted and effective war through proxies to create a climate of collapse and break their will, in pursuit of national interests. The book sketches a possible scenario that could be giving us a solution to the current imbroglio against China.
The geopolitical events have pirouetted around the story giving it realism. The future build-up of the events which have been visualized cannot be disposed of only as a product of imagination. I would not be surprised if the author’s development of the story may stand the test of time in the future, though it is fictional now. It may well turn out to be true in times to come, as geopolitics has become a fast-moving concatenation of circumstances based on unpredictable happenings.
Just today, the morning news splashed; 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed in Baluchistan by the newly formed Baluchistan National Army. Clashes with Baluchistan freedom fighters, with their sanctuaries in Iran against the high-handed Chinese workers working on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, have been visualized in the book.
A great book
The book has in places discussion that is taking place among the veterans and planners. It is so realistic that it well could be held in the decision-making meetings in the corridors of power. The author appears to be well informed in geo-strategy and has a clear idea of power-play indulged by countries. The shenanigans of different countries and the concept of proxy war have been abundantly and exquisitely brought out in the book. Also, watch out for China is an upper riparian state of rivers flowing from Tibet into India.
It could well use its geographical advantage as a force multiplier during the war by disrupting road communication. Again, there is a plethora of information as to how wars can be fought in the current environment, where conventional wars are avoided and conflicts happen in the spectrum of Grey Zone Warfare. A minor observation; the portrait of the hero of the story; Maj Bakshi is shown wearing the major’s rank when the caption says it was taken after his promotion to the rank of Lt Colonel.
A must-read for someone who is a student of geopolitics and international relations, and what’s more… you are absorbed in a story as well while learning your subject!
Title: Major Bakshi: The Dragon’s Nemesis; Author: Sudip Talukdar; Published by Garuda Prakashan; Pages: 315; Price: Rs 399
(The reviewer is an Indian Army veteran)