General K. V. Krishna Rao

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The Times of India, January 31, 2016

General K. V. Krishna Rao

Commissioned in August 1942, Gen Rao participated in the 1947-48 operations in J&K and the 1971 war with Pakistan before becoming the 14th Army chief in June 1981. While not flamboyant like some other chiefs before and after him, Gen Rao is credited with crafting the new forward policy against China as well as launching a major modernisation drive during his twoyear tenure as the chief.

Gen A S Vaidya took over as the Army chief from him in July 1983 after the then prime minister Indira Gandhi superseded Lt-Gen S K Sinha, who later blamed Gen Rao for playing a role in the controversy . Considered close to the Nehru-Gandhi family , Gen Rao later served as the governor of Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Mizoram through much of the 1980s.

“When a proxy war developed in J&K and reached its peak, he was re-appointed go vernor of the state in March 1993 (he had earlier served as J&K governor in 1989-1990) and was instrumental in restoring peace and democracy in the insurgencyriven state,“ said an official statement.

Paying tributes, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said, “In the passing away of Gen Rao, the country has lost one of its best known military leaders. He was a visionary who led ably, inspired a generation of soldiers and initiated modernisation of the Army in the early-1980s. His contribution in the 1971 war and (later) maintaining the unity and integrity of the country will always be remembered.“

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