Chief of Defense Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others died after the Mi-17V5 helicopter crashed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.
Top leaders of the country including president and Prime Minister, expressed anguish over the sudden demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife.
Tributes have poured in from around the world for India’s top military commander, who died in a helicopter crash on Wednesday.
The helicopter crash that tragically cut short the lives of the Chief of Defense Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and 12 others was a professional and personal blow.
What is especially tragic about the death of India’s first CDS is that General Rawat had earlier in his career survived a helicopter crash. It was 2015, and he was a Corps Commander in the Northeast.
The chopper he was flying in crashed and he survived. But typically, he was unflappable and flew on in a different chopper after a couple of hours.
His colleagues when asked about it. He replied ,.. I am a man from hills and won’t die in such a small incident. I am from Gorkha Rifles, who are known for their fearlessness, I am from the hills of Uttarakhand, the people there are also known to be fearless.
General Rawat as soldier and a man, he was a diehard infantry officer, a thorough professional and highly competent leader. He passed out first in the order of merit in the Indian military academy and was awarded the sword of honour.
Thereafter, his performance on all professional courses was outstanding. He served in all operational area of the country, from the line of control in Jammu & Kashmir, in the line of actual control in the north east and in country insurgency environments.
His merit was one standout facet of his character, the other was his forthrightness. Even if he was talking to someone close to him, he spoke straight. Being honest mattered to him more than courting popularity. He was also someone who could talk frankly with.
General Rawat was a soldier- statesman, he could strike up a rapport with the higher leadership and also approachable to the last soldier. He would go to the great length to ensure the welfare of his juniors, his Jawans and anybody who came in contact with him. That was his rare quality.
He was a very good army chief , who took a strong stand against the Chinese advance in Doklam in 2017.
He was nominated by the government to be the first CDS on December 30, 2019 with a focused mandate of integration of army, naval and air force. He was doing this efficiently by setting up the department of military affairs .
He started the process of integration with a view to forming integrated theatre commands by the end of three year but in the mean time the armed forces have lost the General Rawat who was on the top of the job.
The PM said. .. General Rawat as an outstanding soldier and a true patriot. He greatly contributed to modernizing our armed forces and security apparatus. His passing away has saddened me deeply.
Home Minister said.. it was a sad day for our nation. His exemplary contributions and commitment cannot be put into words. I am deeply pained ..
Life is temporary. Memories are forever.
The country has lost one of its most humble and devoted soldiers. The suddenness of his demise has shocked an entire nation.
Our tributes on the sad demise of CDS General Bipin Rawat his spouse & other armed force officers in tragic helicopter crash. My deepest sympathies with the families of everyone who was on the ill-fated flight.
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