The pioneering Coffee Table Book, ‘Untold Battlefield Tales’ published under the aegis of the Fauji Foundation of India (FFI), was launched at the United Services Institution of India, New Delhi on March 15. As the name suggests, the 254-page book possess untold tales of gallant Indian soldiering, never-before recounted or recorded in public domain, and narrated by the steely Indian warriors themselves. The sale proceeds from the book will be used for welfare activities impacting military dependents and disabled soldiers.
The Foundation’s mentor Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain; Advisor Maj Maroof Raza, also the Editor-at-Large of Fauji India magazine; Capt Prasoon Kumar Srivastava, CEO; Col JDS Jind, Col SK Bhatia and Lt Gen Satish Nambiar who were subjects in the book; along with Brig Kanwaljit Singh and Col NN Bhatia, authors of individual chapters, launched the book along with its editor Sagat Shaunik.
Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian cosmonaut (astronaut) in space and a Patron of the Foundation along with former Chief of Army Staff, General VP Malik graced the launch through pre-recorded video messages. Maroof Raza congratulated the establishment of Fauji Foundation of India and Sagat’s hard work, going onto point out how FFI’s intentions are were noble. “The Indian soldier is the most gallant and hardened. Post-Independence, the Armed Forces have given remarkable contribution but remained at large in public narratives. For all their contributions, their stories remained, confined in our cantonments. It is time the public learns about the Indian military that has steadfastly stood behind Indian values,” he added.
Gen Hasnain meanwhile drew comparisons between his partitioned family, whereby his uncle who joined the Pakistan Army and he shared coincidentally similar trajectories in their military careers. “Mine is the only family to have contributed two Corps Commanders in neighbouring countries. Lt Gen RS Hasnain headed Kashmir Corps of the Pakistan Army, while I headed the Srinagar Corps of the Indian Army. After he headed the Fauji Foundation Pakistan, I realized that an offer to be a part of the Fauji Foundation of India was just too coincidental and the last link in the chain to which I readily agreed,” he remarked.
Describing the book, he reflected on how the Armed Forces’ contributions are less known to the Indian public and that the Foundation shall become the perfect platform for effecting the aim. Through their video messages, Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma said that he was proud of the Armed Forces legacy that continues to secure the country from within and without; while General Malik appealed to military units and formations to place the book in all libraries and read every chapter.
Describing his efforts in getting Veterans to narrate their stories, Sagat Shaunik said, “Veterans began getting in touch with me as word spread about my efforts in writing their stories, inviting me to various battle honours days or raising day ceremonies. True achievement was when accounts narrated by various Veterans, at different points of interaction, matched each other, to substantiate their history. I have retained the style and tone of their narration to preserve their authenticity.”
Fauji India Foundation looks forward to carry a Veteran’s legacy as more publications and philanthropic activities shall follow our first book launch. All efforts remain, to fight for those, who fought for our today.
Video of the book launch