On Thursday 15th March, The High Commission of India (UK) hosted a book discussion by Air Vice Marshal Arjun Subramaniam (Retd) on his book titled “India's Wars: A military History: 1947 – 1971”.
The book provides detailed accounts of the principal conflicts from India's independence to 1971. It looks at the first India-Pakistan war of 1947- 1948, as well as the full-blown conventional wars against China and Pakistan.
The book also features veterans' exhilarating experiences in combat operations, while also fuses the strategic, operational, tactical and human dimensions of war with great finesse.
Arjun Subramaniam, a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force, who was commanded a fighter squadron and a large flying base, He has a PhD in Defence and Strategic Studies, and is currently a visiting fellow at the CCW Centre, University of Oxford.
After an introduction and insight to the book by Subramaniam, the occasion was graced by his Excellency Shri Y.K. Sinha and Lord Karan Bilimoria and spoke about their memories of growing up in a military background. Y.K. Sinha's father, S.K. Sinha, was a Lieutenant General and a high-ranking military personnel. Lord Bilimoria's father, Lieutenant General F.N. Bilimoria was an Indian Army officer who was involved in the Indian-Pakistani war of 1971.
H.E. Y.K. Sinha spoke about his father and the books he wrote about the Indian military services and the memoirs of being at war. Speaking about his father, Y.K. Sinha said, “The [S.K. Sinha] first book he [S.K. Sinha] had ever written about the India-Pakistan 1947-48 operations is called Operation Rescue. He wrote that book in 1952- 53 when he was a student at the Wellington Staff College, but the Government of India didn't give him permission to publish. It was only in the '70s that he got permission to publish it and coincidently, I was in university at that time so I proofread that book. So if you ask me about 1947-48, I can quote chapters and verses from that book.”
Lord Bilimoria recalls the time when his father used to get leave from his duty once a year and that was when he would get to spend time with him. He also shared some memories of his father during his army years.
India's Wars has been deeply researched and written passionately by Arjun Subramaniam. The book unfolds with surprising ease and offers a fresh perspective on modern Indian history.