Friday, January 19, 2018

BookReview - Bayoneting with Opinions by Bhopinder Singh

I was attracted to "Bayoneting with Opinions" by Bhopinder Singh while going through war-politico books on Amazon & social media. Lt. General Bhopinder Singh has consolidated current and eye-opening articles he has published over time in one book.

Book Blurb
The following collection of articles are a reflection of the unique and inspiring perspective of a soldier, who has both served in the Indian Army, and also acted as the Military Secretary to two of the foremost Presidents of Independent India – 
​ KR Narayanan and A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. These articles deal with matters of a political, military, economic and psychological nature; not simply through an intellectual lens, but through the prism of experience. Interspersed with anecdotes from the personal life of the author, drawing upon all that he has witnessed, and partaken, these words take the reader through a journey filled with dragons, fighter jets, newsroom warriors, and even, Sufi saints. 
They are a celebration of the human spirit, and an invocation for the betterment of society, and the world that we inhabit. Although, the topics that find mention, are often filled with suffering and bleakness, the element of hope is ever-present. Veering away from the pit-falls of gross over-simplifications, the author delves deep into the topics he has chosen to write about, offering a nuanced and conscientious approach to a wide range of subjects. As comprehensive and varied as the topics are; they are also extremely relevant given the current hyper-nationalistic word-view. The author seeks to remind his readers about the importance of critical engagement and multiple perspectives, and appeals that the spirit of “cooperative federalism” be considered as paramount in these trying times.​
Lt. Gen. Bhopinder Singh has had multiple combat experiences & held diplomatic positions too. He has served as the Military Secretary to the president of India, Shri K R Narayanan & Shri APJ Abdul Kalam. Based on his wide experience in the army, of war & the political domain he has written numerous articles in India’s top newspapers. His articles on foreign policy, international affair, defense, governance & serious social issues are consolidated in this book. 

Talking about the depth of articles. They are pure gems. His vast experience and high position enabled him to provide insights and harsh truths. To talk about the first two sections. Articles wonderfully describe how India is placed among countries who are more cheque-book-style led. Our second biggest neighbor (Pakistan) plays cards as per their convenience and goals. How our biggest neighbor China threatens half of the world with border  issues. The book also covers how various countries fulfill their economic & political motives through international treaties & donations. 

It took an extra effort for me to digest the information & the thought process of these articles. Normally a person can read and absorb 3-4 articles in a day, reading 80 such articles required dedication on my part.

Those who love politics, diplomacy, international relations and are looking to go into Civil Services will love it. I can vouch for it. It is so revealing and informative.
We hardly understand the motive behind international politics but this book can help you understand it.  Just grab it.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover – 4/5
  2. Content – 4.5/5
  3. Overall – 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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