New Delhi: The tumultuous developments of 2019, including the dastardly Pulwama terrorist attack followed by Indian air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakote and the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, will be part of the memoir of former commander of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lt Gen (Retd.) K J S Dhillon to be published next year.
The book, titled ‘Kitne Ghazi Aaye Kitne Ghazi Gaye: My Life Story’, is scheduled for an early 2023 publication under Penguin’s Vintage imprint, the publishers announced on Thursday.
With a host of captivating anecdotes and escapades, the book is poised to capture the readers’ attention with fascinating tales and the toughest challenges the Army veteran has encountered in his career, including those from his multiple tenures in Jammu and Kashmir since 1988 to Chinar Corps Commander, Penguin Random House India said.
The publishers said the most challenging environment in the wake of the Pulwama blast that left over 40 CRPF personnel dead in February 2019, followed by the air strike in Balakote, and the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019 allows the Army veteran to provide key insights into the intense socio-politico and law and order situation prevailing in Kashmir during his period as the General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based XV Corps, also known as Chinar Corps.
“Penguin Random House India announces the acquisition of a memoir, titled Kitne Ghazi Aaye Kitne Ghazi Gaye: My Life Story, of Lt Gen Dhillon. He served extensively in Kashmir and the Northeast and has the distinction of commanding the elite XV Corps,” the publishers said.
The meaning of Ghazi is a victorious Muslim warrior and the remark ‘Kitne Ghazi Aye Kitne Ghazi Gaye’ was made by Lt Gen Dhillon as the head of the Chinar Corps in May 2020 to convey a strong resolve of the Army to wipe out Pakistan-sponsored terrorism from the valley.
Commissioned in December 1983 in Rajputana Rifles, Lt Gen (retd.) Dhillon has had an illustrious military career spanning 39 years. He has an incisive understanding of Jammu and Kashmir, as he served there for five tenures since 1988 with notable being sector commander of Rashtriya Rifles and Brigadier General Staff of the Chinar Corps before taking over as the commander of the Chinar Corps.
He is credited with successfully maintaining a balance, in Kashmir’s security scenario, between counter-infiltration and counter-terrorist operations on one hand and the use of military soft power on the other by reaching out to mothers of local terrorists under ‘Operation Maa’.
He appealed to the mothers of local terrorists to impress upon their sons to shun the path of violence and rejoin the mainstream for safe rehabilitation.
His last assignment before superannuation on January 31 this year was Director-General Defence Intelligence Agency and Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence) under the Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat who died in a helicopter crash on December 8 last year.
Apart from a rendition of the tough role of an Army man devoted to his nation and his occupation, the publishers said the book will take the readers behind the scenes to bring out the nuances of various intriguing developments at a critical juncture in the history of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir, and their impact on the scenario playing out at the national level.
With a promise to transport readers right into the middle of Army action, seen through the eyes of a gallant fighter and an inspiring leader, this book will beguile scores of readers through its twin focus on patriotism and commitment to one’s duty, it said.
Lt Gen (Retd.) Dhillon said the book is a first-hand narration of his life journey from a young boy to the Commander of Chinar Corps with Kashmir being an inseparable part of this story, including the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, terrorism, Pulwama blast, Balakote and abrogation of Article 370.
“I am extremely excited to be associated with Penguin, the most prestigious publishing house in India and globally. I sincerely hope that the book will inspire youngsters and demystify many myths and half-truths about Kashmir,” said the former Army officer, an alumnus of National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy.
Premanka Goswami, Associate Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage, said, Lt General Dhillon’s life stories — full of challenges — should interest a wide spectrum of readers. Anecdotal, candid, and evocative, this inspirational memoir will open a window to the true stories from this army veteran’s life.”
“From the barbarous attack on the convoy of Indian security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama district, killing 40 CRPF staff, to the abrogation of Article 370 and its impact on the socio-political and law and order, among others, will form an integral part of the narrative in the book. We are glad to have the veteran onboard,” Goswami said.
Publisher, Ebury Publishing and Vintage, Milee Ashwarya said, “Lt Gen Dhillon has had an extraordinary career and continues to motivate people. I am proud and delighted to be publishing his memoirs which I hope will not only give an insight into the trials and tribulations faced by him but will also inspire the youth of India.”