Bipin: The Man Behind the Uniform by Rachna Bisht Rawat

The biography of General Bipin Rawat, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, will release on his 66th birth anniversary on March 16.

The book is reconstructed from interviews with General Rawat’s closest family members and friends, including his daughters, former chief of army staff General MM Naravane, and wife of Brigadier LS Lidder. General Rawat, his wife Madhulika Rawat and 12 other military personnel including Lidder were killed in a helicopter crash near Coonoor in Tamil Nadu on December 8, 2021.

General Rawat was an alumnus of Charlie Squadron of the 53rd NDA course. He served the nation as the 27th Chief of the Army Staff and subsequently the first Chief of the Defence Staff. As India’s first Chief of Defence Staff, he spearheaded an initiative to bring convergence in the functioning of the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force and bolster the country’s overall military prowess.

Who was the General Rawat behind the uniform? What was his childhood like? What drove him to achieve a post that made him the country’s foremost military officer? are some of the questions that the book seeks to answer.

About the Book

On the morning of 8 December 2021, India’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, and his wife, Madhulika, said goodbye to their daughter, Tarini, and dogs, and left their Delhi home to board a flight for Sulur in Tamil Nadu. Around 11.48 a.m., they boarded an Mi-17 V5 helicopter that took off from Sulur to Wellington, where Gen. Rawat was to deliver a lecture at the Defence Services Staff College. Just a few minutes away from its destination, the chopper crashed, and all fourteen passengers onboard eventually perished. It was a sudden and shocking end to the life of a man who had risen like a meteor in the defence forces.

Bipin: The Man behind the Uniform is the story of the NDA cadet who was relegated in the third term for not being able to do a mandatory jump into the swimming pool; of the young Second Lieutenant who was tricked into losing his ID card at the Amritsar railway station by a 5/11 Gorkha Rifles officer posing as his sahayak; of the Major with a leg in plaster who was carried up to his company post on the Pakistan border because he insisted on joining his men for Dusshera celebrations under direct enemy observation; of the Army Chief who decided India would retaliate immediately and openly to every act of cross-border terrorism; of the Chief of Defence Staff who was happiest dancing the jhamre with his Gorkha troops.