Book Review— The Real Wani—Kashmir’s True Hero: A Definitive Biography of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani

Title—The Real Wani—Kashmir’s True Hero: A Definitive Biography of Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani
Author—Sonal Chaturvedi
Genre— Biographies & Autobiographies
Publisher— Bloomsbury India

I have read quite a number of books on Kashmir–based on insurgency, migration of Kashmiri Pandits, Pakistan-India Kargil war, or a simple love story against the verdant backdrop of the earth’s heaven. But never came across a story of a soldier that too hailing from the state itself. Curious enough, I got my copy from a friend. According to this book, the real hero of Kashmir is Lance Naik Nazir Ahmad Wani instead of that slain terrorist Wurhan Wani. The title itself is strong enough to stir inquisitive among the people.

I finished reading the paperback version of the book in less than a week’s time. The story took me on a tour where I saw how a young hardworking Kashmiri lad sets his journey till he is conferred with Ashoka Chakra posthumously. His personal journey and sacrifice were simply incredible. I think we need more soldiers like Nazir Wani who could identify and fight hidden terrorists in the milling crowd of Kashmir.

The book is a good take on Kashmir’s politics and how army and other forces operate there. No doubt, it is written in such a brilliant manner that it got a letter of appreciation from our army chief General Bipin Rawat. Before the story takes off, there are recommendations and forwards by the army people with whom Lance Naik Nazir worked. He was a fearless soldier and cared more for his colleagues than his life. He played indispensable roles at many operations but in 2018 Operation Batgund he was martyred. The events described in the book look so surreal I felt as I am there beside Nazir and his army.

The book is not all about army busting terrorist hideouts, rather it is also high on Kashmiri culture and taboos, beliefs, and other things. I liked casting of Nazir’s love affair with Mahajabeena and how she handled life in the aftermath of his sacrifice. People from Kashmir and army can relate more to the book and somehow it has a soul of Kashmiriyat in it. Written in lucid manner, Sonal has etched a story that is received well by showing the current Kashmir crises. She has highlighted the right sense of sentiments among patriots. I hope you too enjoy reading this book as much as I did.

Without breaking spoilers, I would recommend you to read this book to know how Nazir joined army from being helping to terrorists earlier. What was the reason behind that transformation? His personal home story, love story, sub audition between fellow mates, understanding of the land and culture – all combined this – how did he evolve as a national hero? Indeed a definitive biography of a soldier. A must read book for all of us!

This book is available on Amazon.