Book Review: Heads You Win

Dragon Fire

The recent events in Tibet brought to my mind, memories of a book I had bought and read 8 years back. "Dragon Fire" by Humphrey Hawksley was published in 2000.

It was interested to read it again. The author is a BBC correspondent. The book is a futuristic work, that talked about events which would occur in 2007.

The novel starts with a Tibetan political prison being freed in a daring unauthorised operation by a Tibetan Special Force trained by Indian Army. In Pakistan, an Army General takes over the country in a bloodless coup. Infiltrators from Pakistan, shoot down a helicopter carrying Indian Foreign Minister. These events spark off a war in the region. The novel describes the progress of the war, and the climax is not pleasant reading for Indians!

The book is based on the premise that both India and China are trying to become regional superpowers of Asia. Pakistan is considered a rogue state. US and UK want to side with India, it being a democratic country in contrast to China. However, their economic relationship with China is too large to ignore. Russia wants to use this opportunity to re-establish its superpower status.

Most political aspects described in the novel are true to date - Tibet issue, Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir, superpower ambitions... Fortunately, war is being fought on economic and not on battle front! Let us hope it continues this way.