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Courage and Conviction An Autobiography - Mayank Singh - The Sunday Indian
An IIPM Initiative
Monday, July 16, 2018

Courage and Conviction An Autobiography


No holds barred
MAYANK SINGH | New Delhi, November 29, 2013 12:36
Tags : Kargil Review Committee | General VK Singh | Army Chief | Ministry of Defence |

Naresh Chandra Committee was set up to review the national security mechanism and to recommend its own proposals as to how improve the things. This was almost a decade after the Kargil Review Committee and Group of Minsters Report had evaluated the entire national security set-up threadbare and had given pertinent recommendations to not only fill the huge gaps but also spruce up the existing infrastructure, both at decision making and implementation levels. But, the irony is that reams have been written about the way much needed updates and changes, as recommended by both the committees, have never seen the light of the day. The breach of security through sea on 26 November 2008 jolted the nation yet again with politicians reacting swiftly to make changes in the quick response of the force, in this case the National Security Guards (NSG), and for the completely unguarded coasts which were breached by the perpetrators to enter Mumbai to have rained mayhem lots of measures like Coastal Security Police, Chain of Radars and National Committee on Strengthening Maritime and Coastal Security(NCSMCS) were just few of the plethora of steps taken. This was the third time in the recent past that country was again lulled to believe that appropriate steps have been taken to safeguard the country against any such future occurrence. But the reality is far from it is made to believe, for NSG hubs lag manpower with still gaps in the reaction mechanism and the coasts are now mired in a situation where even after having radars, coastal police, coast guards, and Indian Navy there are around 16 ministries involved thus leaving the security in a knotted state.


All this will start emanating in the readers mind once they begin reading this very well written book as the writer while traversing his life in words has mentioned the events of his life where when the country needed to react in a farsighted and visionary manner left so much to be desired and later the same problems reoccurred. It is not hidden from the people that in the recent time Ministry of Defence (MoD) has created records of amount of money it has surrendered as it was not able to utilise in doing what every subsequent chief has highlighted in the past. The money which is allotted to procure the much needed weapons and equipments is surrendered. This book by General VK Singh written along with Kunal Verma will give readers a lot to understand the way things are working and affecting our country defence set-up which needs attention for good. Defence Procurement Policy which resulted only after the problem of procurement has already crippled the operational capacity in a big way. Shortage of weapons and equipments and even the much needed manpower has bogged down the armed forces but in reality not much has been done except for the steps to scuttle the issue for the time being. The events of life of the author have been meshed with the examples in such a manner that one after the other they will keep the readers interest growing. For a reader not much aware about the Army it will serve as a good glimpse into what goes in the life of a person in Olive Green Uniform.


The way the author’s career progression has been shown is accompanied with the description of places like Commandoes Wing in Belgaum which will be of much interest. And, to the people who are interested in the affairs of the armed forces it has a lot about the way things have been affecting the efficiency of the service as a whole and the much talked about transformation study on army which was done to improve the operational efficiency with the complete overhaul of the organisation. It included the reorientation of the old force deployments and even the training. The clarity with the book is able to weave the life of an army man who rose to the level of Army Chief has much more for the readers. In fact, I was able to pick about the much tested traditions and compositions within the battalions. It is certain that the frantic media attention as was drawn by General VK Singh due to the issues like his age row, Tatra truck Bribery Case and the special Intelligence Unit named as the Technical Services Division will keep emanating in mind of reader who knows them. But, one thing is sure that interest will be intact for there is a lot to get a peep into not just the army but also into the affairs in the MoD. Notwithstanding the above, there are lots other good things which one will be happy to read on Army and MoD. A copy will only add to the reader’s book collection.

Author: General VK Singh/Kunal Verma Aleph

Edition: Hardbound

ISBN: 978-93-82277-57-6

Pages: 348

Price: Rs. 595

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017