This book chronicles an extraordinary life. Satyavant Mallanah Shrinagesh rose to the very helm of the Indian Army at the astonishingly young age of 54. With the reputation of a “scholar soldier”, he was subsequently hand-picked to establish India's pioneering institution for training professional administrators. The first-ever military officer to be appointed governor of a state, his innings as governor of three different states, including the Naga-troubled Assam, was the capstone of a distinguished career of service to the nation.
Shrinagesh's schooling in England left a deep imprint in forming his personality and values. He forsook Cambridge in order to join Sandhurst, convinced that a free India would require trained Indian officers. He belongs to that earliest group of Indian military officers whose success shattered the myth then prevalent that Indians were incapable of providing military leadership.
As overall commander of the Jammu & Kashmir operations in 1947-48, Shrinagesh master-minded the audacious stratagem of over-coming well-entrenched Pakistani defences at Zoji La by the use of tanks. Never before had anyone conceived that tanks could be used at snow-bound Himalayan heights. His military leadership was evident in the no less a critical campaign to link-up with Poonch. Later, as Chief of the Army Staff, General Shrinagesh had perhaps a harder battle on his hands, namely to convince the government of a newly-independent India that the country needed strong armed forces for its security notwithstanding its espousal of a credo of peace and non-violence.
Buttressed by the autobiographical notes that Satyavant Shrinagesh left behind, the book also presents his prescient views on many an important matter military and civil, which are of enduring value.
Reminiscences of his family members reveal the endearing personality of a loving family man, a person of innate modesty coupled with a sense of honour and an unflagging zeal for professional excellence. The book fills an important void in recounting the crucial role of Indian Army and the extraordinary life and historic times of Satyavant Mallanah Shrinagesh."
Author: Brig Satish K. Issar
Features: Black/White Photos and Maps