'Men of Steel' explores military leadership in India

'Men of Steel' explores military leadership in India

Men of Steel #Military Leadership for India Ed by Lt Gen AK Singh (retd) and Maj Gen Yash Mor (retd). KW Publishers. Pages 204. Rs 680

Book Title: Men of Steel #Military Leadership for India

Author: Lt Gen AK Singh (retd) and Maj Gen Yash Mor (retd)

Gp Capt Murli Menon (Retd)

ASPECTS of leadership, military leadership in particular, have gone largely unexplored in our country and for that reason alone, this book is a welcome addition. Professional Military Education (PME) in the Indian military has tended to model itself on western writings. Some heroes such as Abdul Hamid, Arun Khetarpal, Hoshiar Singh, Nirmaljit Sekhon and Captain Mulla have been feted in national folklore, but several others and their contribution to the military leadership ethos have gone unsung.

Leadership failures, as evident in 1962 and the Indo-Pak war of 1965, find mention in the third chapter by filmmaker Kunal Verma. Several more episodes, including on some stellar stuff by lower-rung leaders during the Kargil war, have not been written about adequately hitherto. Besides finding a place in the textbook curriculum in our schools, these need to be broadcast far and wide within the military and public.

The essays cover aspects varying from imperatives in strategic leadership by Lt Gen AK Singh to operational leadership by Maj Gen Dhanoa, the 1971 leadership revival by AVM Arjun Subramaniam and the Kargil war by Lt Gen Mohinder Puri. While Lt Gen VK Ahluwalia dwells on leadership in an uncertain operational environment, Lt Gen Ata Hasnain focuses on mentoring.

Maj Gen Anil Sengar has written on building blocks for leadership, Lt Gen Asit Mistry on leadership training, Maj Gen Yash Mor on small team leadership, Lt Gen Shivane on PME and Col SM Kumar on corporate leadership transitioning.

Lt Gen AK Singh and Maj Gen Anil Sengar have penned the final chapter, showing the way forward for India’s military leadership. The two experienced General Officers have addressed issues ranging from core values to the leadership climate, transformational leadership and civil-military aspects of leadership.

Warfare has undergone a sea change. The timing of this book could not have been more apt, especially in the backdrop of military leadership aspects being highlighted on a daily basis in the Russia-Ukraine war. The manner in which a military prepares its leaders for the changing nature of warfare would be key to outcomes in war. To this end, ‘Men of Steel’ is a must-read for any budding military leader and a recommended asset for libraries.