Friday, May 12, 2017

The False Spy by Major Nirmal Ajwani

Memoirs or Biology are not my forte, but "The False Spy" by Major Nirmal Ajwani is a different story altogether. The False Spy is the true life story of Major Nirmal Ajwani and other military personnel who were framed under Samba Spy Scam.

Book Blurb
Between August 1978 and January 1979, in a brief span of six months, 50-odd army persons were arrested by the Military Intelligence authorities under the charge of spying for Pakistan in what eventually came to be known as the ‘Samba Spy Scandal’.
What followed was nothing less than a humiliating debacle of justice in one of the most sordid dramas of greed, intrigues, cowardice and fabrication, as the judicial bodies were plunged into a see-saw between the preposterous claims made by the MI authorities and the facts stated by the accounts of the many soldiers who were framed in this scenario.
When Major Ajwani joined the army in 1964, he had the same rosy picture of the organization being the epitome of bravery, loyalty, discipline and flawless conduct that is embedded in the minds of most Indians. The author leads us by the hand through his very first days in the army, the initial tokens of success, soon to be overshadowed by the rude awakening to the rampant corruption and deception prevalent in the organization. Almost four decades later he recounts, in an eye-opening first-hand account, the unimaginable isolation and sense of ignominy faced by those who were falsely implicated.
The story started with Major Nirmal's entry into the army and Nirmal caught a whiff of corruption in the selection process. Though Nirmal was selected fair and square but that first impression was difficult to digest for young Nirmal. He served as an artillery officer for six years; and then took a role of a judge advocate. During his tenure as the judge advocate, Nirmal's insistence towards merit-based ranking had attracted the attention of many higher-ups who wanted to settle scores with him. Luckily or unluckily major was able stay protected during those times. But his posting location and short assignment at Samba gave some people who disliked his outlook to side track Nirmal. Nirmal got trapped in a case, in which he found out there were multiple victims already caught in it.

Based on intelligence from the Intelligence Bureau of India, two army personnel were caught for spy for Pakistan. These two spies recounted their story to IB and local police authorities. They never mentioned that anyone from the army was associated with their activity. Surprisingly when these spies were brought to the Army for their court martial they started spewing out names of army personnel. In a short span of 4-5 years, they named more than 150 army personnel. Nirmal has dealt with few cases during '76 - '77 as a judge advocate. But later, he was also blamed for the same crime.

Major has collected enough proofs, court discussions, and various letters to throw light on situations face by many such victims and their families. The way they are still fighting for justice even after serving their punishment shows perseverance of the Major and other victims. They are fighting for their pride, which was robbed from them. I am at a loss of words at the amount of effort being put in so they can clear their name and this book is written in the  hope that they will be able to gather enough support from people.

Other Interesting articles on the same topic:

Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover: 4 / 5
  2. Storyline: 3.5 / 5
  3. Content: 4.5 / 5 
  4. Overall: 4.25 / 5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at Goodreads


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