Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh unveiled a life-size statue of late General Bipin Rawat – the country’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) – at TonsBridge School, Dehradun in the presence of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Shri Pushkar Singh Dhami on February 12, 2024. He paid floral tributes to General Rawat at the statue, terming him as a courageous soldier and a good human being, who will always be an inspiration to the future generations.
Recalling the incident when General Rawat was wounded due to a gunshot at a remote border post in J&K, the Raksha Mantri said the episode prompted the decorated officer to strengthen the functioning of the Indian Army near the Line of Control and Line of Actual Control when he was the Army Chief and later became the CDS. General Rawat was a true symbol of the country’s military tradition, wherein a soldier, irrespective of the birth place, remains dedicated to the security of the nation, he added.
Shri Rajnath Singh remembered the last moments of General Rawat, stating that it signified the true meaning of ‘Die with your boots on’. “The demise of General Rawat is an irreparable loss to the nation. Even in his last moments, he was on duty, serving the nation. His commitment, dedication, and patriotism could be felt until the very end,” he added.
The Raksha Mantri added that General Rawat was appointed as the first CDS which is one of the most significant reforms in the military history of the country. The creation of this post reflects the Government’s commitment towards bolstering the Armed Forces.
Shri Rajnath Singh described ‘upholding the dignity of the soldiers and honouring their contribution’ as the duty of the Government, asserting that “Under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s leadership, we are honouring the valour and sacrifices of our soldiers.” He emphasised that while the Government is equipping the Armed Forces with state-of-the-art weapons/platforms, it has also constructed the National War Memorial in New Delhi to pay a fitting tribute to the bravehearts.
Appreciating the idea of installing the statue inside the school premises, the Raksha Mantri stated that the objective is to take the stories of valour of the Armed Forces to the children and instil patriotism & dedication in them. “Statues hold a significant importance in our society & culture. It is a part of our rich heritage, which also serves as an inspiration for the future. Schools not only provide education but also shape the personality of students. Every child can learn from personalities such as Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, former President APJ Abdul Kalam & General Bipin Rawat and contribute to nation building,” he added.