By Patial RC*
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea….. and this is the way to success.” — Swami Vivekananda
General Bipin Rawat’s way to success, I suppose flows out from Swami Vivekananda’s above quote. This is also echoed from the inspirational words received by his niece Bandhavi Rawat the national shooter who got 11 golds during the shooting championship which concluded after the tragic MI-17 helicopter crash on 08 December 2021 in Coonoor hills.“Whenever someone takes up any task, they should not rest until they complete it.” She dedicated the gold medals to General Rawat and the other warriors who died with him.
He was known in the armed forces and in the government circles as a “go-getter”and a hard task master and never taking ‘No’ for an answer but wanting a solution. At times he was not liked by some for his unpopular decisions.
A man of ‘Action’ who never hesitated in taking hard decisions and then pursued to its completion. Cross border strikes and stand offs against the Chinese are stirling examples of his hard stands on being offensive and aggressive against the adversaries if other means fail. A ‘No Nonsence General’ who strictly adhered to the rules. An honest officer who never avoided the media and spoke his mind rather than giving a diplomatic answer. At times this habit of his has landed him in trouble. General Rawat was a total professional soldier, a diehard spirited Regimental officer and a man of great values whose untimely demise has created a void for the Regiment, the Army , Indian Armed Forces and the nation. India lost the strategist who displayed immense acumen in ongoing restructuring of the armed forces and on whom the Modi government had reposed the trust to implement .
Indian Armed Forces are the most credible Institution of the country and General Rawat as CDS was seen as the face of this most credible institution. General Rawat with his charisma, articulation and his frank forthright views coupled with the faith and trust reposed in him to carry out the reforms and modernise the Armed Forces took this respect to even higher levels. The untimely demise of the CDS,Gen Rawat has brought the tri-services closer and sent a signal that the love of citizens for the uniform in India is unparalleled. Gen Rawat was honoured with a 17 gun salute.
All media channels covered the events non stop 24×7 and certain facts came to light about the civil population connection and the respect for the Armed forces. This was one of the rarest of funerals, wherein, the tri-services were involved in such a big way. He always talked about the nation first and the sacrifice of the soldiers has brought the entire country together right from Kashmir in the north to the south. People with their posters were showering flowers, standing for hours on the roadside, just to pay their homage. Citizens were seen running alongside the gun-carriage, with the tricolour in their hands. led to nationwide outpouring of grief. The love and affection and solidarity demonstrated by the countrymen is truly remarkable and unprecedented in .To be a SOLDIER is the highest call of duty and to lay down life on the line of duty is the ultimate sacrifice. As our ancient scriptures say.
Comment on twitter from an Army Veteran from Pakistan on Gen. Rawat: “He has no land at Lutyens Delhi, no pizza food chain, no investment outside the country, children are not sent to US/UK. No bank account in Switzerland.He was building his retirement home in his hometown…This is the main reason why INDIA is mourning.’
Over 25 countries extended condolences to New Delhi in the aftermath of the tragic death of India’s Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 11 defence personnel. Not just at the head of state/level, condolences were sent at the Foreign Ministerslevel.Globally, Defence ministers also extended messages of support and solidarity. Many envoys paid homage at the Brar Square cremation complex in Delhi cantonment.United Nations’s chief Antonio Guterres also expressed his “heartfelt condolences”…”As you may recall, General Rawat served the United Nations with distinction and we fully appreciated that work,”
In the ultimate analysis General Rawat never refrained from action and knew it how to perform it well and that’s what our Bhagwad Gita teaches us and all tasks he undertook in his career must have led to the purification of his heart and mind leading to the Almighty God being happy of his actions in the interest of the nation -‘Nation First’. The result is the spontaneous outpouring of love and affection received on his death from across the nation making him ‘People’s General’ as mentioned by the media.
*Patial RC is a retired Infantry officer of the Indian Army. Possess unique experience of serving in active CI Ops across the country and in Sri Lanka. Regular writer on matters military and travel in military professional journals. The veteran is a keen mountaineer and a trekker.