The commander depends on his troops for the actual execution of plans, but the burden of decision-making rests with him. He will bask in the glory of success, but he must also face the brunt of failure. In 1984, amid escalating tensions at the border between India and Pakistan, the Indian Army raised the 28 Infantry Division in Ladakh, which was responsible for safeguarding the entire northern stretch of the Indian border, including the Line of Control with Pakistan and the Tibetan/Chinese area of the Karakoram Pass. Siachen, 1987: Battle for the Frozen Frontier tells the story of Lt Gen. Ramesh Kulkarni's command of this infantry division, giving readers the rare opportunity to view the Siachen glacier and the army's involvement in the region through the lens of a commander. This memoir gives a blow-by-blow account of the important combat operations during Kulkarni's tenure - Operation Rajiv, in which the Quaid Post held by Pakistan was captured; and Operation Vajr Shakti, which was launched to secure the post from Pakistan's attempts to recapture it. In addition to the thrilling descriptions of military prowess, the book also touches upon the human cost of the Siachen conflict: being expected to thrive in treacherous terrain and an environment that has claimed innumerable lives.
Anjali Karpe is the Deputy Head and Head of student life at the Bombay International School in Mumbai. She teaches English literature and history to secondary and high school students. Lt Gen. Ramesh Kulkarni was commissioned in the Garhwal Rifles Infantry in June 1956. Gen. Kulkarni commanded a battalion of the Garhwal Rifles in high altitude areas of Arunachal Pradesh in 1971-73 and was the Commandant of the Garhwal Rifles Regimental Centre from 1979-81. He then commanded an Infantry Brigade in the northern areas of Nagaland during the counterinsurgency from 1981-83. He went on to command an Infantry Division from 1987-89.