Book Title: Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye: My Life Story
Author: Lt. Gen. K.J.S. Dhillon (Retd)
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Number of Pages: 320
Date Published: Apr. 30, 2023
Price: INR 1,459
“Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye” is a captivating autobiography penned by the esteemed Lt. Gen. K.J.S. Dhillon (Retd), offering a remarkable insight into the life of one of the finest and most dedicated soldiers of the Indian Army. With nearly four decades of service to his credit, Lt. Gen. Dhillon’s journey has left an indelible mark on the hearts of people across the nation, especially on social media platforms, where he has gained immense popularity.
The book takes readers on an inspiring and candid ride through Lt. Gen. Dhillon’s life, starting from his early childhood at the age of three, his schooling days, his aspiration to join the National Defence Academy (NDA), and his subsequent training at the prestigious Indian Military Academy. It traces his remarkable career as an Infantry Officer in the Rajputana Rifles, his postings in the Northeast region, and his leadership as Commander of the Chinar Corps in Jammu and Kashmir.
Throughout the book, the reader understands the Indian Army as an institution that produces some of the finest professionals, ranging from exceptional fighting skills and tactical understanding to unwavering discipline, dedication, and commitment to the nation’s cause. These virtues are ingrained in the DNA of every soldier from a young age, fostered through the buddy system of training, camaraderie, and adherence to a value system encompassing honesty, loyalty, and responsibility.
The book’s narrative is crisp and captivating, flowing linearly, providing an engaging and immersive reading experience. In a country with limited exposure to military history, Lt. Gen. Dhillon’s account offers a much-needed glimpse into the life of a soldier, both in personal and professional aspects.
Mainly riveting chapters focus on Kashmir, where the author shares his perspective on significant events such as the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, Articles 370 and 35A, and the post-abrogation period under his command. Notably, the author’s account of the Balakot air strikes carries subtle implications, adding depth to the reader’s interpretation. His tenure as the head of the Team Security Forces during critical events like the Pulwama attack and the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A demonstrates his profound challenges as a professional soldier.
Furthermore, the book sheds light on the humane aspect of the Indian Army, which Lt. Gen. Dhillon aptly refers to as “My Encounters for Peace.” These lesser-known activities, such as Operation Maa (Mother), Khairat (Well-Being) Patrols, Humsaya Hain Hum (We are Neighbours), and initiatives to provide education through Army Goodwill Schools, Super 30, and Super 50 Children, reflect the Army’s efforts to connect with the people of Jammu and Kashmir at a deeper level.
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In a dedicated chapter, the author outlines his vision for the future of Jammu and Kashmir, proposing the strategic approach of Kautilya – “Saam (Persuade), Daam (Purchase), Dand (Punish), and Bhed (Exploit)” – to address the complexities of the region. Lt. Gen. Dhillon’s passion for history and his role in shaping it is evident throughout the book. He highlights the importance of creating history to document it, emphasizing the pivotal role he and his team played in making history during their time in Jammu and Kashmir.
In essence, “Kitne Ghazi Aaye, Kitne Ghazi Gaye” is not just a book but an immersive journey and an extraordinary experience. It unravels as a slice of history, offering invaluable insights for everyone, particularly those aspiring to join the Armed Forces, like the Agniveers. The book is compelling, offering a unique perspective into the life of a distinguished soldier and the Indian Army’s ethos.
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