General Bipin Rawat, a name in golden letters in Indian military history, is unforgettable to Indians. Even those who hardly had some knowledge of the Indian military and Indian army had come across this name in the past few years. General Bipin Rawat, who was a four-star general of the Indian army, was widely known for being the first Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian armed forces since January 2020. Prior to that, he was the 57th and last Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the 26th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army. His other contributions are also of immense importance to the country. Sadly, this wonderful person is no more among us.
General Bipin Rawat was born in Pauri, a scenic hill station in Uttarakhand. His schooling was from Cambrian Hall School in Dehradun and the St. Edward’s School in Shimla. He was a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington and the Higher Command Course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, along with an MPhil degree in Defence Studies as well as diplomas in Management and Computer Studies from the University of Madras.
General Bipin Rawat’s military journey started when he was commissioned into the 5th battalion of 11 Gorkha Rifles on 16 December 1978. He commanded his battalion as a major in the Uri sector near the Line of Control (Pakistan border) and as a colonel in the Kibithu sector near the Line of Actual Control. As a brigadier, he commanded 5 Sector of Rashtriya Rifles in Sopore, while as a lieutenant general, he commanded III Corps, headquartered in Dimapur. General Bipin Rawat is widely known across the world for his military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he headed the MONUSCO. He is also remembered for cross-border strikes in Myanmar in 2015.
In 1985, General Bipin Rawat married Madhulika Rawat, a descendant of an erstwhile princely family. The couple had two daughters, Kritika and Tarini. Both General Bipin Rawat and his wife were aboard the Indian Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, which crashed in Coonoor. They, along with 11 others, were on their way from the Sulur Airforce base to the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), Wellington, when the accident occurred. The accident is currently under investigation. General Bipin Rawat’s liaison officer is currently the sole survivor of the accident. His death has cast a gloom across all over India. Nevertheless, Bipin Rawat will remain at the heart of every Indian in years to come for his memorable contributions in safeguarding the security of the country.
Written by – Himadri Paul