NEW YORK (TIP): General J.J. Singh, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and former Chief of the Indian Army officially launched his book at the Indian Consulate in New York November 14. The book titled ‘A Soldier’s General’ is an autobiography that carries the story from his childhood to his struggles and achievements when he served for the Indian military. In the 386 page book Governor Singh explains his role, achievements and the decisions that were undertaken during his tenure with the Indian Army. He also discusses at length about his active role in maintaining India’s relations with its neighboring countries. Belonging to a third generation of a family that served in the army, Governor Singh is extremely happy that he was able to pen down his accomplishments before “the memory fades”.
“I had an inner call that told me that I should sit down and write my trajectory and write all the experiences I had before I forget or do not remember the facts. This story is about me as a young man who belonged to the third generation of Indian soldiers. My grandfather was a sepoy,my father a Colonel and I eventually rose to be a General, 18 ranks higher in the ladder. Therefore this book talks about a century of service to the nation and the armed forces.” He also writes in detail about the countless counterinsurgencies and counter-terrorism missions that he undertook. Governor Singh also talks about the numerous military lessons that he learnt from his time with the Indian army, which he condensed into his book. General Singh has been a thinking and perceptive soldier who is a thorough professional.
His concern, involvement and vision for the State of Arunachal have earned him the sobriquet of a “Soldier’s General and People’s Governor”. In his address to the gathering he dwelt mainly on his struggles to move forward and achieve and the importance of leadership role in making an achievement. Here are some memorable quotes from General Singh. “I have roughed many storms. Kucch to karmon ka bhi phal hota hai. But I have gone through difficult days….But I have a spirit that I have imbibed from my forefathers genetically and through faith that has stood me in good stead………I have lived a full life. And about leadership he said, “I should not demand your respect.
I should command it”. Speaking about India’s neighbor, General Singh said, “I am an optimist. It may take long. But all countries in India’s neighborhood need to live in peace”. As for India, he said, “Our country’s leadership is on the right and the best path”. Referring to the criticism of there being a lot of corruption in India, he said there was widespread corruption in the US in 1890’s but the country got rid of it. So, “we can have a hope that we can achieve the desired goal of ending corruption”. Speaking about his book ‘A Soldier’s General’, the one time “Brigadier Shaitan Singh”-that is how he was called by Kashmiri militants when he was fighting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir- said ” I have covered many issues in my book…..Every Chapter is a different story……In anecdotal form, at times, fictional, you will find the book an interesting reading”. Earlier, Ambassador Prabhu Dayal in his welcome address described General J.J.
Singh as “one of the most decorated Indian Army officers” who “dwells in everyone’s heart”. He added that the government of India had appointed him Governor of Arunachal Pradesh in recognition of his meritorious services. The large gathering at the book launch included Consul General Prabhu Dayal, acting Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict of the United Nations Secretary-General and a former UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Myanmar, Ambassador Vijay Nambiar, prominent businessman Padma Bhushan Sant S. Chatwal, Master Card CEO Ajay Banga and Sikh Art & Film Foundation President Teji Bindra. The recently appointed Law Minister of India, Ashwani Kumar who held an impromptu press conference at the Consulate had to leave for another engagement without attending the formal book launch. The Sikh Art and Film Foundation of New York promoted the highly successful event which was hosted by Sant Singh Chatwal.