The Chinese attempt of show of strength in Galwan Valley fell flat after the Tiranga was flown high there to usher in the New Year by the Indian Army

The Chinese attempt of show of strength in Galwan Valley fell flat after the Tiranga was flown high there to usher in the New Year by the Indian Army. On the New Year Day, a video of Chinese army saluting their national flag, with a caption – China's national flag rises over Galwan Valley – went viral. Our brave soldiers too hoisted the tricolour at Galwan Valley, though not at the disputed and demilitarised zone.

When we make a mention of the brave Indian Army, we are reminded of a brave heart – Chief of Defence staff Gen Bipin Rawat – whom we lost in an unfortunate chopper crash recently. The top officer had been a frequent visitor to the valley. This remained part of his personality trait. Whether it was to kill terrorists by crossing the border in Myanmar or giving a befitting reply to terrorism through a surgical strike across the Line of Control or Balakot airstrikes or paying the Chinese troops in the same coin in Galwan Valley, India's military manoeuvring without his participation is unimaginable.

After passing the written examination of NDA in 1977-78, a young man appeared in front of the Brigadier for an interview. This young man was very fond of trekking. In the interview, the Brigadier asked, "If you must go on trekking for 4-5 days, then tell the most important thing, which you would like to keep with you." The young man said: 'matchbox." The Brigadier coaxed him to choose the answer to keep several other items, but he remained adamant on his decision. He was known for taking a decision and then sticking to it. No wonder he became India's first Chief of Defence Staff.

In another incident in1993. Bipin Rawat was posted as a Major in 5/11 Gorkha Rifles. He was patrolling with some of his soldiers in the Uri area of Kashmir. At the same time, Pakistan started firing. Bipin Rawat also came under the firing. A bullet hit his ankle and the second one hit his right hand. He was rushed to the hospital in Srinagar. Doctors at the hospital treated his hand and ankle, but Rawat feared that he might be barred from joining the senior command course after being shot. He didn't give up. He started walking with the help of crutches and recovered within a month.

In 2015, Rawat became lieutenant general. He was responsible for the 3 Corps Headquarters located at Dimapur in Nagaland. On 3 February 2015 at 9.30 am, accompanied by a colonel and two pilots, he boarded a Cheetah helicopter. After taking off from Dimapur, the chopper rose 20 feet above the ground, when the engine failed. Within a few seconds, it fell to the ground. All the people aboard were hurt, but once again Rawat defeated death.

These are the two incidences where he defeated death with his bravery. But on December 8, something else was in store for him. 14 persons including the country's first CDS and his wife Madhulika Rawat died in a helicopter crash in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. The demise of India's first CDS is a great loss to every Indian, to every patriot. The whole country has been a witness to the hard work that General Bipin Rawat was doing to make the country's forces self-reliant.