IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


6th January, 2024 Polity


Copyright infringement not intended

Picture Courtesy: economictimes.indiatimes.com

Context: Former Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane's book "Four Stars of Destiny" is being reviewed by the Army due to concerns about potential breaches of rules regarding publications by military personnel.

Key Highlights

Communication on LAC Standoff

  • The book describes a communication between General Naravane and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on August 31, 2020, when Chinese troops were observed moving tanks and personnel in the Rechin La pass on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
  • Singh conveyed that he had spoken with the Prime Minister, and the Army was given the freedom to act as deemed fit.

Decision-Making During Standoff

  • General Naravane recalls various thoughts crossing his mind during the situation. He contacted the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Y K Joshi.
  • Instead of initiating a first strike, General Naravane directed the deployment of Indian tanks to the forward slopes of the Pass, with gun barrels depressed, creating a deterrence against the PLA.

Galwan Valley Clash

  • The book provides details about the deadly clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Galwan Valley on the night of June 15-16, 2020.
  • It notes that China's President Xi Jinping would remember the incident because PLA troops suffered "fatal casualties" for the first time in over two decades.

Book Review by the Army

  • The book is under review by the Army, and the review process is governed by Section 21 of The Army Rules, 1954.
  • The Rules prohibit serving personnel from publishing information related to political questions or service subjects without prior government sanction.
  • The rules do not explicitly state the process for retired officers. However, officials suggest that the review process may draw from the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, which were amended in June 2021. These rules apply to retired government servants serving in intelligence or security-related organizations.

Previous Instances of Army Officers Writing Books

  • Several serving and retired Army officers have written books on various military-related subjects in the past. Examples include books by former Army Chiefs Gen V P Malik, Gen V K Singh, and Gen K Sundarji.


  • The book offers insights into the LAC standoff and General Naravane's decision-making during the crisis. However, its publication has triggered questions about potential rule violations and the process for retired officers to publish such sensitive material.


Q. Who is the author of the book "Four Stars of Destiny"?

A. General Bipin Rawat

B. General Manoj Mukund Naravane

C. General Vipin Rawat

D. General Dalbir Singh Suhag

Answer: B


General Manoj Mukund Naravane, the former Chief of the Indian Army, is the author of the book "Four Stars of Destiny." The book chronicles his experiences and insights during his military career.