President Ram Nath Kovind today said General Bipin Rawat was an extraordinary military leader, and his death creates a void that cannot be filled.
He was speaking on the occasion of the review of the Passing Out Parade of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
The President said the nation is yet to come out of the shock of the untimely demise of Gen Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Defence Staff. Uttarakhand was his home and he was trained at the Indian Military Academy, Kovind said.
“At the IMA, he was awarded the Sword of Honour for his exceptional skills. But for the tragedy, he would have been among us here today, looking at the passing-out parade with delight and pride for the cadets,” the President said.
The President said that Gen Rawat added to the glory of the IMA, which is an institution with an inspiring tradition. Before him, Field Marshal K M Cariappa, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and many other extraordinary warriors and strategists began their journey here as young cadets and potential leaders.
He recalled the iconic status acquired by one of the many illustrious alumni of the academy, General Bipin Rawat, who by dint of his hard work had emerged as the role model of soldierly conduct for the future generation.
The President expressed confidence that “our flag shall always fly high because brave men like gentlemen cadets present here would preserve and protect its honour.”
The President said that “the challenges that our great nation faces today are defined by a complex security environment, at the regional and global level. The cadets must, therefore, keep in mind that physical and mental toughness alone would not equip them to tackle modern-day threats to the country.”
As military leaders, they would have to develop a strategic mindset, cultivate an adaptive temperament and acquire the mental resilience essential to hone the skills required for military leadership, he said.
They must be prepared to deal with the unexpected challenges that the profession of arms shall present before them at various junctures of their service, he said.
The President was happy to see gentlemen cadets from friendly foreign countries of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkmenistan and Vietnam at the parade.