This book is about my experiences about why and how I set about soldiering and what life was like in the Indian Army. I have included a lot of my experiences/anecdotes/happenings related to the Assam Regiment, the North-Eastern region of India, Jammu & Kashmir (particularly during the latter part of the Kargil War and its aftermath) and the Chinese.
I end this book with my thoughts on what in the Indian Army was good and what was flawed and some of my experiences on trying to fit into the retired life.
It is important that you as the reader recognise and appreciate that this book is written after much thought, analysis and reflection by a man who had made the Indian Army his career and life. The perspectives, thoughts, analyses, and interpretations I have penned down here are both personal and professional, based on the 44 years I have spent in uniform in a profession that I enjoyed, loved and sometimes found extremely frustrating.
A Soldier for Life: My Story
Lieutenant General J R Mukherjee, Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Vishisht Seva Medal (Retired), completed his education at Kolkata from La Martiniere College. He is an alumnus from the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Staff College Camberly, United Kingdom, and the National Defence College, New Delhi, besides having done many other career courses of instruction and been an instructor at the College of Combat, Mhow. He was commissioned into the Assam Regiment in 1964 and retired from Army service in 2004 as the Chief of Staff, Headquarters Eastern Command. During his service career, he had commanded three battalions, a mountain brigade, a mountain division, 15 Corps in Kashmir during the latter part of the Kargil Conflict onwards; and had served at staff appointments at Army, Command and Corps Headquarters besides having been Head of the Indian Training Team at Botswana Africa. He is well known for his knowledge of India's North East and Kashmir having served in these regions extensively and with regard to China having dealt with the People's Liberation Army for almost his entire career.
He had authored a series of articles published on the Editorial pages of the Statesman, the Ananda Bazaar Patrika and the Telegraph newspapers and two books – one in 2006, titled 'An Insiders Experience of Insurgency in India's North East' and the second - the 'History of the ASSAM Regiment Vol 3'. This would be his third book. He is currently 'Member Emeritus on the Governing Council' of a think tank titled the 'Research Centre for Eastern and North Eastern Regional Studies and a Patron of 'Kolkata Achilles Research and Analysis Wing Pvt. Ltd.' A Kolkata based Organisation dealing with Cyber Warfare.