In a shocking incident on Wednesday 8 August 2021, India's first CDS General Bipin Rawat,his wife Madhulika, 11 others died in a IAF's chopper crash in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
General Bipin Rawat was the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. He was appointed the same on 1 January 2020. Born in Pauri, Uttrakhand, Rawat’s family has been serving in the Indian Army for four generations.
Who was General Bipin Rawat and Madhulika Rawat
General Bipin Rawat was the first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of India. He was appointed the same on 1 January 2020. Born in Pauri, Uttrakhand, Rawat’s family has been serving in the Indian Army for four generations. His wife Dr. Madhulika Rawat had been a constant support in his service to the nation. She was the president of AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association).
Mrs Madhulika Rawat worked for the welfare of wives, children and dependents of Army personnel. She completed her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and was a part of many social campaigns and programmes including those working for Army widows, cancer patients, differently-abled children and others.
General Bipin Rawat’s Family and Kids
General Bipin Rawat and Madhulika Rawat are survived by two daughters named Kritika Rawat and one more. Bipin Rawat’s father Laxman Singh Rawat served the Indian Army and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-General. On the other hand, his mother was the daughter of Kishan Singh Parmar, the ex-Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Uttarkashi.
Bipin Rawat started his career as an officer in the Gorkhas and rose to command 5/11 Gorkha Rifles, the battalion his father Lt Gen L S Rawat also commanded.
He was nearly two years into his term as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff and presiding over the most significant transformation of the defence architecture of the country. Rawat started his career as an officer in the Gorkhas and rose to command 5/11 Gorkha Rifles, the battalion his father Lt Gen L S Rawat also commanded. As Deputy Chief of Army staff, Lt Gen L S Rawat used to take me, then a Brigadier in the Defence Planning staff, and also from the Gorkhas, to brief the Prime Minister’s Office on the Gorkhaland movement in 1988.
Young Major Bipin Rawat was then in the Military Operations Directorate and our paths would frequently cross in South Block. My next meaningful meeting with Rawat was in 2015 when he was GOC 3 Corps at Dimapur and I was visiting my battalion, 2/5 Gorkha Rifles (FF) outside Imphal where 70 years earlier, it had won two Victoria Crosses within 24 hours.
Rawat was then planning a retaliatory commando operation inside Burma to avenge the ambush of a Dogra battalion along the border. 21 Para Special Forces, the unit which was involved in last week’s tragic ambush in Nagaland, was the one which conducted the successful cross-border raid into Myanmar making BJP MPs extol the idea of hot pursuit. Rawat’s boldness, courage and daring came out clearly in his plan for the raid which he explained to me in 57 Mountain Division’s guest house outside Imphal.
After his command of an Army (Southern Command), Rawat was appointed Vice Chief of Army Staff to Army Chief, Gen Dalbir Singh, the first time both the two top Army offices being held by Gorkha officers.
In his Independence Day speech in 2019, Prime Minister Modi announced the appointment of CDS. Madhulika, Rawat’s wife, had the sixth sense and the intuition that he was getting the job and sure enough the government announced Rawat’s name as the CDS transitioning from COAS. In acquiring both these appointments, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was an effective ally. Enjoying the confidence of Modi and Doval was Rawat’s biggest asset as he spearheaded the unprecedented reforms process as CDS.
When the Balakot airstrikes were planned, Rawat, who was the Army Chief then, called a meeting of the Army Commanders, Saini, himself an Army Commander then, recalled. “He took us into confidence and forewarned us that this is high-profile retaliation, therefore we must not be caught off-guard,” he said.
Bipin Rawat told the Commanders to have the air defence grid ready, and while “surprise is of paramount importance, after that we have to have a balanced posture, we will get retaliation”.
Later, during the standoff in eastern Ladakh, CDS Rawat attended a “large number” of China Study Group meetings “and always came up with very practical and implementable suggestions”, according to Saini. He said Rawat was part of the decision-making process of the Army’s operations to capture the heights on Kailash ranges in August 2020, which gave India leverage in negotiations.