Gen Bipin Rawat: Decorated commander with a penchant for disruption drew each awe and ire

In his lengthy and illustrious profession, Gen Rawat had served in a number of key appointments within the Indian Army. He commanded military models deployed for high-altitude warfare and in addition specialised in counter-insurgency operations

India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat was a adorned commander who drew each awe and ire from throughout the Indian navy for his witty—at instances blunt and controversial—feedback and his penchant for “disruption” in the way in which the defence institution historically ran.

After all, he was tasked with overseeing and maybe implementing probably the most bold reform that the Indian navy would have needed to endure—jointness and integration—by the use of creating 4 model new theatre instructions and modernising the navy.

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Since he took over because the CDS on January 1, 2020, he was relentlessly chasing this train, those that labored with him intently say. He was additionally liable for prioritising main defence procurements of the military, navy and the air power.

Much of his plans, nonetheless, remained unfulfilled as he died in a tragic Mi-17V5 chopper crash on Wednesday, alongside together with his spouse Madhulika and 11 military and IAF personnel, together with the air crew, whereas on his strategy to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) at Wellington from Sulur in Tamil Nadu.

Others who have been killed within the crash included Brig LS Lidder, Lt Col H Singh, Wg Cdr PS Chauhan, Sqn Ldr Okay Singh, JWO Das, JWO Pradeep A, Hav Satpal, Nk Gursewak Singh, Nk Jitender, L/Nk Vivek and L/Nk S Teja.

Gen Rawat, 63, was scheduled to ship a lecture at this tri-service navy establishment within the afternoon. The IAF chopper crashed round midday within the Coonoor space, minutes away from its vacation spot.

The lone survivor of the mishap, Group Captain Varun Singh, directing workers at DSSC, is present process therapy on the Military Hospital, Wellington for his accidents.

General Rawat’s chopper crash was among the many few involving prime navy officers. A lethal Chetak helicopter carrying Lt Gen Daulat Singh, Lt Gen Bikram Singh, Air Vice Marshal EW Pinto, Maj Gen KND Nanavati, Brig SR Oberoi, one Brigadier and Flt Lt SS Sodhi crashed at Poonch on November 22, 1963, throughout a reconnaissance mission.

In 1993, the Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Jameel Mehmood, his spouse and MA had died in a Mi-17 chopper crash in Bhutan.

Earlier this 12 months, a Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter, carrying then ARTRAC commander Lt Gen Raj Shukla and IAF south western air command chief Air Marshal SK Ghotia, had made an emergency touchdown in Gujarat’s Kheda district.

In 2015, Gen Rawat himself had survived a helicopter crash in Nagaland.

Top political leaders expressed condolences over the dying of the CDS and the 11 Armed Forces personnel. Defence minister Rajnath Singh mentioned the CDS’s premature dying is an irreparable loss to the Armed Forces and the nation.

“General Rawat had served the country with exceptional courage and diligence,” he mentioned, including that as the primary CDS, he had ready plans for jointness of India’s Armed Forces.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi known as General Rawat an impressive soldier and a real patriot, who drastically contributed to modernising the Indian Armed Forces and safety equipment. In a set of tweets, he mentioned his insights and views on strategic issues have been distinctive and because the CDS, he has labored on numerous features referring to Indian Armed Forces, together with defence reforms.

“He brought with him a rich experience of serving in the army. India will never forget his exceptional service,” he mentioned.

‘Go-getter, penetrated the stiff defence bureaucratic set-up’

Those who know Gen Rawat intently say he by no means shied away from talking his thoughts. This was true outdoors navy circles too, even throughout his interactions with the media, this correspondent can safely say.


A senior defence official who labored with him intently mentioned that Gen Rawat was a “go-getter” and because the secretary of the division of navy affairs, he was in a position to penetrate the present stiff bureaucratic set-up within the defence ministry and put forth his factors, fearlessly.

“It was not easy, given the kind of resistance he battled but he could sail through because of his excellent knowledge of the ground and his vast experience in high altitude warfare and counter-insurgency operations as well as in Delhi,” the official mentioned.

“The best part was that he had the bird’s eye view of things. Thus, contrary to common perception, he looked at the army’s proposals too, impartially,” the official added.

A second official who knew Gen Rawat intently mentioned he was well-read and had an infinite grasp on navy issues.

“He spoke with conviction and that showed things were crystal clear in his mind. Many of us were awed by the way he handled the deposition on parliamentary committees replying to questions in detail,” the official mentioned.

He added that a lot of the respect Gen Rawat earned may be attributed to his nice stability {of professional} and human method.

“One can say that he was the architect of contemporary defence philosophy and strategy,” he mentioned.

‘His comments stoked controversy’

Gen Rawat was a charismatic navy chief, excessive in power and data, however had ruffled many feathers together with his blunt statements because the CDS and the military chief earlier than that.

At a time when the IAF had expressed reservations on the proposed construction of the built-in theatre instructions, Gen Rawat had referred to the service as a help arm—a remark promptly refuted by former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd).

The remark, nonetheless, triggered a lot controversy and earned Gen Rawat brickbats, though a bit of the Indian navy supported what he mentioned.

Gen Rawat additionally drew the Navy’s ire when he indicated that the power’s long-standing demand of getting a 3rd plane service doesn’t have weight and the power wants submarines as a substitute.

In his maiden press convention earlier this month, new Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had clarified that plane service is a functionality the Navy wants, though submarines have a distinct position to play.

Some of Gen Rawat’s feedback as the military chief had additionally stoked controversy. In 2018, he had mentioned {that a} lady officer will not be accepted by the military’s jawans, a majority of whom hail from villages.

In 2019, as the military chief, he had mentioned there is no such thing as a room for consenting grownup same-sex relationships within the Indian Army.

Illustrious profession

Born on 16 March, 1958, in Uttarakhand, Gen Rawat had lots of his members of the family within the military—together with his father who was a lieutenant basic. Gen Rawat had joined his father’s navy unit, 11 Gorkha Rifles, in 1978.

He was awarded the ‘Sword of Honour’ on the National Defence College and the Indian Military Academy, the place he underwent navy coaching.

In his lengthy and illustrious profession, Gen Rawat had served in a number of key appointments within the Indian Army. He commanded military models deployed for high-altitude warfare and in addition specialised in counter-insurgency operations.

Gen Rawat commanded his battalion that was deployed alongside the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh in the course of the Sumdorong Chu navy stand-off with China in 1987.

He additionally headed the essential 3 Corps, and oversaw the cross-border surgical strikes inside Myanmar on Naga insurgents after they carried out an ambush on Indian troops.

He took over because the Indian military chief in 2016, superseding two different senior officers.

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