Book Review: Blowback by Mukul Deva!
Lets face it. India is still a soft target for terror strikes. The recent attacks in Pune proved for the infinite time that we need to step up our security and and be more vigilant than ever. Although only one person is reported to be injured, this is not something which needs to be taken lightly.
Ironically, the book I am going to talk about, or rather review upon, is one that deals with organizations that plot these horrifying attacks and another which tries it’s level best to prevent these attacks. Blowback is the third book of a trilogy following Laskhar and Salim Must Die written by Mukul Deva.
For all those who are unaware of the plot, I will give you a quick backdrop. Iqbal (A former jihadi turned Force 22 officer) and Tanaz (a RAW agent) have just eliminated the target which was assigned to them and have come back to Ind0-Pak border. Iqbal is injured and needs to be taken care of as Tanaz volunteers to drive him to a hospital. En route, they are attacked by Pakistan Army. After the relentless attack on them, they are discovered by a terrorist organization called YPS( Youth for Pure Society) where they decided to take shelter. Meanwhile, Mujid, the person who is responsible for the terror strikes recruits Asif. Asif forms a group called the Indian Mujahideen (IM). He handpicks the guys himself whom he thinks he can trust and before every attack challenges the Indian Government to stop them. When Iqbal and Tanaz find their way back to Force 22 head office, Colonel Anbu places before them an idea which can help prevent these attacks. He plans to place Iqbal and Tanaz as infiltrators or as a mole in the IM as they would convey to them every move of the IM. But this mission would require extensive training of the mind, body, all forms of combats, communication techniques and bomb disassembling methods. Will Iqbal and Tanaz be successful on this mission? I will leave that to you to find it out for yourselves!
The good thing about this book is that it moves at breathtaking pace. The sad part is that it can seem a little kiddish to those who are familiar with this genre.
Being a graduate of the Indian Military Academy, Mukul Deva provides a first hand account of actions that a military organizations would take place in light of these events. He transports us in the minds of people running organizations like YPS or IM and what they seek from attacks like these. The methodical way in which they brainwash young educated men and turn them into jihadis brings into light what can possibly be termed as the only “drawback of education”.
Reading this book brings back memories of 26/11, the train bomb blasts in mumbai and other incidents that have terrorized this nation on previous occasions. The tempo of the story is always on alert and the author was careful enough about not letting it down even for a moment. The reason I said it was a childish was because of a “Bollywood” style ending which it has. He successfully experimented by combining fiction with truth which does make a deadly combination but sometimes culminates in a way you would rather not want. Then again, your options are limited. We at OP give it 3 on 5.
Meanwhile, our hearts go out for the city and people of Pune. They need to remain strong and resilient.