Category Archives: Books

Book review

Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The towering statesman

Lalit Shastri

Remembering the great statesman, Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji, on his birth Anniversary. He had launched my book “The Political Mirage – 50 years after India became Republic” at his official residence when he was Prime Minister on 16 June 2000.

There’s a story behind the book launch ceremony. When my book was ready and I had received a rush copy from the printer, I sent it to the PMO with a covering note requesting the Prime Minister to release it. After a few days, I received a response from Kanchan Gupta, a journalist who was at that time the Press Advisor to the PM. He returned the book with the message that the PM is very busy and has no time to release my book. This did not deter me and immediately I picked up the phone and dialled the national BJP President late Kushabhau Thakreji’s office in Delhi. His PA told me that he had just left office and was about to get into his car. I asked him to rush and tell him that Lalit Shastri is on phone and wants to talk something urgent. After a short while Thakreji was at the other end saying: “Bolo Lalit (tell me Lalit). When I told him about my book, which was a collection of my articles published in The Hindu (during the decade of 90s) on transparency, corruption and poor governance during Digvijay rule in MP and the shabby response I had got from Kanchan Gupta, he said I had called at the right time as he was leaving for a meeting with the PM at his official residence. He told me that he would be taking up the matter with Shri Atalji. After a few days, I got a call from the head of Intelligence Bureau in Bhopal telling me that Vajpayeeji would be releasing my book at a special function to be organised at the Bhopal airport during his official visit to the State capital two days later. On the D-day, when the stage was set and people had started gethering at the airport to receive the Pime Minister, news came that Atalji had not taken off from Delhi as he was not well and his programmes for that day had been cancelled. Later when I contacted the IB, they told me that the PM’s programmes, once they get cancelled, automatically do not get rescheduled. For that a fresh request has to be made. I was left wondering, should I start all over again but to my pleasant surprise, only a few days later, I received a message, this time directly from the PMO, telling me that Vajpayeeji would be releasing my book at a special function at his residence on 16 June, 2000. I salute the great statesman.

Karan Singh launches “Rendezvous with Tigers” by Bobbie Jamwal

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Renowned scholar-politician and former Governor (Sadr-i-Riyasat) of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir Dr Karan Singh on Thursday 25 November released “Rendezvous with Tigers” by Bobbie Jamwal, a Coffee Table Book compiled by Kiran Jamwal in memory of her late husband Kr Kanweshwar Singh Jamwal to mark his 64th birth anniversary.

The book release function was held at Dr Karan Singh’s residence in the capital.

Rendezvous with Tigers is a collection of beautiful pictures and heartfelt writeups by Bobbie Jamwal on the tigers of Ranthambore. Kanweshwar Singh Jamwal, who was popular as Bobbie among friends, had shot these photos during his many visits to the world famous Tiger Reserve. Its a sincere tribute to showcase his passion to save the tigers in India. The pictures capture amazing moods of the big cat.

Bobbie’s collection has come forth after a life span of love for the wild – especially the tiger. Bobbie Jamwal as Managing Director Quest, India, was a front-ranking consultant in areas like InfoTech, Infrastructure, Eco-Technologies, Health Care, Aviation and Wildlife Conservation. He was an avid wildlife photographer and was deeply concerned about the fate of all species from tigers to birds and bees.

Attacks by hordes of invaders from Pakistan in 1947: Army veteran targets BBC and historians for distorting history

Newsroom247 Network

As the Indian Army and nation commemorates the historic victory of “Battle of Shalateng, Major General Goverdhan Singh Jamwal, who had remained on duty fully armed as a commissioned officer of J&K Army to defend the Srinagar airport and blunt the attacks by hordes of invaders from Pakistan in 1947, has blasted British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for distorting facts about the Shalateng Battle.

Major General Jamwal has authored “Valour & Betrayal: Last Man Last Round Battles of Brigadier Rajinder Singh, Saviour of Kashmir 1947” ,along with Col Akay K Raina.

The book throws ample light on the valour and role of Brig Rajinder Singh, MVC (P), who is considered by many as the Saviour of Kashmir during the 1947 invasion of Kashmir Valley by Pakistani army-led lashkars. The book describes the events along Jhelum Valley road – it rolls out facts that no one has highlighted before. Both the authors are from J&K, both Army veterans with Gen Jamwal being the first and the last General of the State Forces. Based on the first hand accounts, the work also has a major portion dedicated to the games played by the British and their role in creating such a situation in 1947. The book narrates what has never been told before!

Unravelling conspiracies, contradictions in J&K

Brigadier Rajinder Singh and J& K State forces, those who sarificed their life do not get the recognition in history. If Rajinder singh had not blocked the invaders from Pakistan for 5 days, we would have lost Kashmir, General Jamwal underscores. Dogra history in general and Maharaja Hari Singh and J&K state forces in particular have been maligned, he points out adding as a result the history of the Dogras has been totally distorted.

My aim is to remove these distortions and also make my Dogras read about themselves and their contribution to the history of the country. – Maj Gen Jamwal

There are many distortions in the narrative which has to be corrected and time has come now with the Union Territory of J&K under the Lieutenant Governor otherwise it will be history totally distorted.

General Jamwal has countered and hit out at two videos from BBC and proved they are false and totally biased.

Retired Dogra and even Gurkha officers of the J&K state have acclaimed the book “Valour & Betrayal” by Geneal Jamwal.

The book out lays bare the truth that has been distorted by the notorious Historians and as a result the people of Jammu have suffered immensely.

Book review by Col J P Singh
The Princely State of J&K has been the playground of the British ‘Great Game’ since its inception. That is the sad story of J&K, which has been projected to the world differently by different historians. While doing so, they have obviously catered to the interest of powers that were influencing the geo-politics of the sub-continent. Worst of all is the misrepresentation of the facts of circumstances and events of accession of J&K after the partition of India in 1947. Untold stories of the valour of Dogras of J&K and the conspiracies and betrayal of J&K by various national and international forces before and during the accession are now out in the open with the release of this book. CLICK here to read more

Nature’s Disciple: An illuminating book by a forest and wildlife expert

Newsroom24x7 Network

Anyone and everyone concerned even an iota about the protection and conservation of biodiversity, ecosystems, forest and wildlife should read “Nature’s Disciple”. It’s a pathbreaking and illuminating book by Suhas Kumar, who has retired as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests from the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department.

This book is set in central Indian forests, largely in Madhya Pradesh-the torch bearer of wildlife management in our country that also has relevant reference to the forests of Vidarbha region of the neighbouring Maharashtra. The book has arrived as a breath of fresh air and candour at a time when some of the wild animals, specifically the leopards and tigers, in the present context are being viewed by the ill-informed and uncaring section of the society as inimical to the lives of people. While incidents of strife are usually reported from rural India, some of the urban sprawls that fail to rein in their poorly planned expansion across the existing forested tracts on their doorstep, which has been the case of the MP state capital Bhopal, are no exception.

While painting the lives of wild creatures with delicate strokes of an artist’s brush, the pages, without breaking stride, deal with men who have wrested as large slices of the natural areas as possible from being lost to the relentless march of development, encroachments, and other human activities. There are lessons in the highest levels of conservation leadership without hiding the soft belly of the onerous tasks.
There is narrative of large predators in trouble-leopards and tigers; of the local extinction of the large-hearted gentleman, the tiger-so christened by the redoubtable Jim Corbett-in Panna Tiger Reserve a decade ago and the tiger’s remarkable resurrection in the very same area. Of daring experiments, investigations, innovations, and establishment of field-based skills, all carried to their logical conclusion-success. The reader is placed right in the middle of the action! What is more, there is no hiding of problems and some failures.

Out of his 35 years in the Indian Forest Service, Suhas Kumar spent 23 years managing, supervising, and guiding the management and training the officers and staff of national parks, sanctuaries, and tiger reserves of the state.

Suhas Kumar was the Director of Pench National Park (now a tiger reserve) for almost five and a half years (April 1985 to August 1990) during its formative period. He headed the Wildlife Extension Faculty at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, from December 1990 to April 1996 and contributed to the growth of the training capabilities of WIL In the field, he has been an initiator of several innovative measures that have contributed immensely to strengthen the management of wildlife in Madhya Pradesh. Some of his major contributions are the establishment of regional and divisional wildlife rescue squads, tiger strike force-a trained and equipped wildlife crime control set-up, and the school of wildlife forensic and health and the first non-invasive mass capture and relocation of hard ground barasingha. He had guided the scientific management of habitats, especially grasslands, and revamped and streamlined the MP tiger foundation society and Park development fund.

Suhas is a trained wildlife manager, a law graduate, and holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Ecology discipline in the field of ecotourism in protected areas. He has also acquired some knowledge and training in nature interpretation and ecotourism from the US, the UK, and Australia. Presently, he is a member of Chhattisgarh State Board for Wildlife, WWF-India’s State Advisory Board for Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the Governing Body and Governing Council of National Centre for Human Settlement and Environment, Bhopal. He is also a member of the Delhi Biodiversity Society. Earlier, he had served as the chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the M.P. State Biodiversity Development Board and member of Madhya Pradesh State Board for Wildlife for two terms. He was the chairman of one of the evaluation teams constituted by NTCA in 2017-18 for 13 tiger reserves of the country. His write-ups, research papers, and case studies have been published in books, magazines, newspapers, and web media. Wildlife Management, Ecotourism Planning, Participatory Forest Management, Wildlife Rescue, Wildlife Health, Wildlife Crime Investigation, and Interpretation & Conservation Education have been his areas of interest, and his contribution to each of these aspects has been uniquely useful.

You may give your feedback to the Author at sukum48@rediffmail.com