Red Jihad - Battle for South Asia
by Sami Ahmad Khan
As I finished reading ‘Red Jihad – Battle for South Asia’ by Sami Ahmad Khan, the first thought that came to my mind was, “Wow! What a thriller! Perfect movie material! Wish some good film maker reads it...!”
The book, a debut novel by Sami Ahmad Khan, has been accorded the "Muse India Young Writer (Runner-Up) Award" at the Hyderabad Literary Festival 2013. Red Jihad has also won an award for "Excellence in Youth Fiction Writing" at the Delhi World Book Fair.
The story, set in a not so distant 2014, depicts Pakistan as a full-fledged democracy, making sincere peace moves towards India, aided especially by the fact that the heads of these countries were roommates at Stanford. It explores the ramifications of what could transpire, when some militant forces on the Red Corridor in India led by a Naxalite Commander Agyaat and some disgruntled elements in Pakistan led by a Jihadi leader Yasser Basheer collaborate in a terror ploy to gain control of their respective countries... For both of them the common enemy is their respective “democratic, bourgeois, secular” countries, frequently attacking them and hell bent on finishing them. They plan meticulously and succeed in not only hijacking India’s experimental intercontinental ballistic missile (appropriately named) Pralay, but also activating it. The missile, intended by Agyaat to be unleashed on India to deflect the government’s attention from the Red Corridor, intriguingly changes course from New Delhi and heads to Lahore....!
What ensues is mayhem in both the countries at the highest levels...It looks as if a mother of all wars is about to be sparked off, with other countries too getting embroiled and forced to take sides...Also, the military occupies political centre stage for the first time in the history of independent India....
‘Red Jihad – Battle for South Asia’ is a nail-biting page turner that keeps you riveted till the very end. Yes, the book is indeed unputdownable.
The young writer Sami Ahmad Khan has apparently done extensive research to write this book – the reason why it is so convincing and gripping. The scenario painted in the book is completely believable and plausible... As the writer weaves a web of politics, deceit and treachery, and describes war room strategy meetings in India and Pakistan, one feels that he must have been a very observant fly on the ceiling when these took place - the hallmark of a great writer in making! The writer’s in depth knowledge of warfare weapons, missiles, war planes, etc. and what goes on behind the scenes during peace and war times is on full display in the book.
Sami Ahmad Khan read Literature at Hindu College and Rajdhani College, University of Delhi. He completed his master’s in English at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi and then went to The University of Iowa, USA, on a Fulbright grant. He has engaged in film production, teaching, theatre and writing. His short stories, plays and articles have been published in magazines and academic journals. Currently, Sami is a Doctoral Candidate at JNU where he is working on Techno-culture Studies.
Sami is now working on his second book, a Science-Fictional sequel to Red Jihad.
All I can say is: Well done Sami Ahmad Khan!
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