Nowhere Man: A biography of Captain Kamal Bakshi, taken as Prisoner of War in the 1971 Indo-Pak War by Shivalik Bakshi

National,  July, 2023: Nowhere Man chronicles the heartbreaking and moving story of the braveheart, Captain Kamal Bakshi, who was a company commander in the Battle of Chhamb-Pakistan’s biggest offensive in 1971. He went missing after four days of intense fighting. Written by his nephew, Shivalik Bakshi and published by Penguin Random House India, this biography remembers and honours Captain Kamal Bakshi, for his courage, trials and tribulations and his ultimate sacrifice in the service of the nation. Nobody from Captain Bakshi’s battalion had seen him get injured, nor had they been able to locate his body, and yet, he was declared killed in action. However, in 1979, the Ministry of External Affairs announced in Parliament that it had reasons to believe that at least forty Indian prisoners of war were still in Pakistani custody and one of the names on the list was Kamal Bakshi’s.
Nowhere Man builds on Kamal’s journals and letters that his family carefully preserved, memories of his classmates from boarding school and the NDA, and his colleagues from the army to narrate an intimate account of his life. It also incorporates anecdotes with dates of Indian prisoners being spotted. It sheds light on the alleged captivity of other Indian soldiers in Pakistan, despite India having released all Pakistani POWs.
Shivalik Bakshi met with several men from Captain Kamal Bakshi’s battalion, some of whom were with him in the trenches until the very end, to present a complete picture of his life. Expressing his thoughts, the author said, “The research for this book led me to some of the finest people I have ever met — people who shared their memories of my uncle with me. It was those stories that propelled me forward to write this book.”Gurveen Chadha, Executive Commissioning Editor, said, “Nowhere Man is the heart-wrenching story of Captain Kamal Bakshi, the man who fought courageously for India. What is special about the book is that instead of painting Kamal as the ‘unfortunate prisoner’, it instead pays tribute to his life as a brave soldier who gave up everything for his country, including his freedom.”Kamal’s family believes that some Indian soldiers from the 1971 war, including possibly him, are still imprisoned and the book is their attempt to throw light on this issue. Nowhere Man is not just a story; it is an appeal to know more about the courageous soldiers who fought to save our nation.It has been released in India today and is available on online platforms and bookstores across the country.