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Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora - RIP

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Postby Guru » 03 May 2005 22:04

RIP.

R.I.P.: This does not conveniently stand for “rest in peace,” although it does mean that. It stands for the Latin, requiescat in pace.

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Postby Sridhar » 03 May 2005 22:20

Anand K wrote:Any official condolences/messages from the BD govt or media yet?


Don't waste your time waiting for it. It is not going to come.

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Postby putnanja » 03 May 2005 23:50

From Asian Age, posting in full as it isn't archived...

Dhaka mourns death of a legend
- By Our Correspondent



New Delhi, May 3: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Indian Army and Bangladesh expressed grief at the death of Lt. Gen. Jagjit Singh Aurora (Retd.) on Tuesday.

Describing him as a heroic and gallant son of India, Prime Minister Singh said generations would recall his glorious role in the liberation of Bangladesh.

Condoling Aurora’s death, Bangladesh said that he will be remembered for his contribution during the war of liberation in 1971.

In a message to external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh, his Bangladesh counterpart Morshed Khan said, "The late general will be remembered in the history of Bangladesh for his contribution during our war of liberation in 1971 when he led the allied forces culminating in the surrender of the occupation forces."

Aurora was awarded Padma Bhushan and Param Vishist Seva Medal for his service. He also had a stint in Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member.

The Rajya Sabha observed a minute’s silence in his memory and chairman Bhairon Singh Shekhawat said Aurora would be remembered for his heroic deeds and strategic planning.

"Mrs Sonia Gandhi on her behalf and on behalf of the Congress party has expressed deep condolences to the family members of Lt. Gen. Aurora, the Bangladesh war hero," Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said.

Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee described him as principal architect of India’s victory in the Bangladesh war and said he would be remembered as a great war strategist.

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Postby ramana » 04 May 2005 00:17

More tributes.
1) Pioneer, 4 May 2005.

India mourns death of '71 war victor

Rahul Datta/ New Delhi

"While Jaggi did all the work, I got the baton of field marshal", India's second Field Marshal and former Army Chief Sam Manekshaw aptly summed up Lt General Jagjit Singh Aurora's role in the 1971 war in these words.

Manekshaw paid this handsome tribute to Aurora, who was the Eastern Command Chief based in Calcutta during the 1971 war, in a recent meeting of former Army chiefs and senior officers of the Indian Army in Delhi.

Aurora became a national hero after the media showed photographs of him accepting instrument of surrender from Lt General AAK Niazi, the commander of the then East Bengal frontier of the Pakistani Army, in Dhaka. Incidentally, Niazi died a few months back in Pakistan.

Former colleagues in the Army in undivided India, Niazi and Aurora were also commissioned into the same regiment, Punjab regiment, after passing out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA). Aurora, however, did not allow this camaraderie amongst professionals and fellow Punjabis come in his way when the final moment came to accept surrender from Niazi.

Popular folklore says Niazi broke out in chaste Punjabi on seeing Aurora but he politely told his former colleague to switch over to English and get down to the serious business of signing the instrument of surrender of more than 93,000 Pakistani troops on December 16, 1971.

It is also learnt that Lt General Aurora sought a promise from his Army Chief that he would give Aurora a bottle of whiskey and drink it to Pakistani president Yahya Khan when the war gets over.

The nation honoured Aurora for his leadership during the operation and conferred Padma Bhushan on him. Aurora, who later became a Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab in 1987, retired from the Army in 1973.

Born on February 13, 1916 in village Kalle Gujjran, district Jhelu, Punjab, now in Pakistan, Aurora attended a mission school in Rawalpindi and then joined the IMA, Dehradun where he received commission into the 1st battalion of the Punjab Regiment. He went on to command the same battalion in the 1947-48 Indo-Pak hostilities in Peer Kalewa of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir.

As a brigadier, he commanded a brigade in the Rajouri sector and was the brigadier general staff of the corps that first engaged China in 1961. Aurora then went on to command a mountain division in Arunachal Pradesh as major general.
He also became a key campaigner for justice for the victims of the 1984 riots and set up the Sikh Forum and the Citizens' Justice Committee, comprising top judicial celebrities, to press for justice to the victims.

He was known to be an extremely tough trainer yet very compassionate in his interaction with the troops and was also very transparent and fair in his dealings and led by example.

One of the principal architects of the Indian victory leading to creation of Bangladesh, Lt General Aurora will be remembered for his offensive utilisation of air power in support for ground forces and advocating "leaving the highways for the byways." He also introduced an element of surprised by employing the newly-raised mechanised battalions in the 1971 war.

Married to Bhagwant Kaur in 1941, Aurora suffered a great loss when she passed away in 1997. He is survived by a son, who is a publisher in San Francisco and a daughter who lives in Delhi.

In a fitting tribute to Lt Gen Aurora, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee described him as the "principal architect" of India's victory in the Bangladesh war and said Aurora would be remembered as a great war strategist and a great son of India. Expressing condolences to the bereaved family, Mr Mukherjee said Aurora's name had become synonymous with the highest level of patriotism as well as pride for every Indian soldier.


2) Op-Ed same paper and date.

India's hero

The Pioneer Edit Desk

As GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, in 1971, Lieutenant-General Jasjit Singh Aurora strategised independent India's only decisive military victory. The famous photograph of him accepting the Pakistani surrender in Dacca's Race Course on December 16, 1971, stands not only for India's finest hour but also the moment of the birth of a new nation-Bangladesh. Though the larger canvas of that famous war is full of heroes-chief among them a woman, Indira Gandhi-it was Aurora, the Sikh with a noble visage, who made the most lasting impression. Like all great photographs, that one too has a story behind it.

Aurora had overruled the Bangladeshis' demand to turn over his Pakistani counterpart, Lt-General Niazi, and his pack of murderers to them for a public trial and sure execution. The request that a Bangladeshi leader receive the surrender was also rejected by Aurora because in his heart he believed that an opponent deserved respect. Soon afterwards, news arrived of the discovery of the bodies of scores of Bengali intellectuals who the Pakistanis had murdered just before the surrender in order to deprive the new nation of a talent base. That caused widespread resentment, not only among the local population but also the Indian occupying forces. Yet, Aurora's firm control of the situation ensured the absence of vendetta killings and the smooth transfer of 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war to India.

To this day, he is remembered in Bangladesh as a gentleman-general whose troops won the affection of the people for their discipline and compassion. In fact, the true breadth of Aurora's achievement is yet to be gauged because as GOC-in-C of a senstive command, it was his task not only to oversee the troop buildup to the minutest detail in utmost secrecy, but also cordinate the war effort which began much before December 3. In addition, he had to marshall intelligence, regulate the activities of the Bangladeshi government-in-exile, organise relief for ten million refugees, mobilise the Mukti Bahini and never forget the Mizo and Naga insurgents who continued to be a source of headache. The Bangladesh War involved all branches of the services. The Eastern Command had to move millions of tonnes of hardware and equipment over eastern Bengal's numerous rivers, construct bridges and maintain supply lines.

Aurora disagreed with the high command over the objective-whether to go for total victory or gain the upper hand in a stalemate. Finally, his insistence on the former prevailed and Aurora could deploy paratroopers for the invasion of Dhaka even as General Manekshaw rolled back IAF bombardment during the crucial first hours in pursuit of his own plan for getting Niazi to make a peaceful surrender.

Many expected Aurora to be made the next Army chief, but that honour went to General Bewoor. Those were the days when generals seldom courted the media but filled their sunset hours in quiet service of the public good. During the pogrom against Sikhs that followed Indira Gandhi's assassination, he worked among the victims and tried-in vain-to extract justice. Never a high-profile campaigner, Aurora's hard work in the documentation of evidence against powerful figures behind the carnage serves as a reminder that when it comes to repaying our greatest sons, we can often be inadequate. Yet, thanks to the tradition he has set, India will never be short of heroes like General Aurora. The nation bows in reverence to him-he has taken with him the hearts of a nation he did proud.

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Postby Kartik » 04 May 2005 00:32

May your soul rest in peace Sir :India shall be ever grateful to have had a son like you..

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Postby Rakesh » 04 May 2005 02:00


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Postby Anaath » 04 May 2005 07:19

Jo Bole So Nihaal

Sat Sri Akal

Sardar Jagjit Singh Amar Rahe

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Postby JCage » 04 May 2005 07:57

RIP Sir. You did your nation proud.

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Postby dwaipayan » 04 May 2005 08:17

My condolende to Lt-General Jagjit Singh Aurora.

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Postby Vasu » 04 May 2005 10:15

RIP, General.

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Postby chandrahass » 04 May 2005 12:51

hats off to agreat soilder

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Postby shek » 04 May 2005 13:42

Jagan wrote:
Rakesh wrote:Tiger Niazi died in Lahore, Pakistan - in early 2004 - at the age of 89, due to diabetic complications. I would assume after the '71 war, he took up a post (GOC, Command, etc) in West Pakistan.


He didn't. He was already GOC-in-C Eastern Command when he surrendered. He went back to Pakistan with the last of the POWs in 1974 and retired. I dont think he held any other post. He did float a political party that went no where. His Autobiography is an interesting read.


The Hindu has carried out an excellent artice today. It is more like a news story cum memorial. The General Officer was commissioned into the 1/2 Punjab in 1939, an aluminus of the IMA. He commanded his parent Bn in the 1947-48 conflict. He then converted his Bn to 1 PARA, now 1 PARA (COMMANDO).
Any idea where i could get info on Gen Niazi's Autobiography on the net? As you said, it would make an interesting read.
It is ironical that both the officers died at 89.

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Postby Jagan » 04 May 2005 15:16

shek wrote:Any idea where i could get info on Gen Niazi's Autobiography on the net? As you said, it would make an interesting read.
It is ironical that both the officers died at 89.


Shek - Try www.manoharbooks.com . The published the Indian Version.

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Postby Ujjal » 04 May 2005 15:28

Finally an article from Awami League website after my email to them :


Dear Fellow Friends in Bangladesh :

The hero of the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971 Lt General J S
Aurora died in New Delhi on Tuesday morning. He sacrificed his life so
that people in Bangladesh could lead a better life in future. However,
to much astonishment and shame, not a single article about his demise was published on any Bangladesh local newspaper! Why? Why people are so mean? I request AL to write an article about him and honour him for
his deeds.

Regards,

An Indian

Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora passes away

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Postby Jagan » 04 May 2005 16:24

Cross Posted from Bangladesh Thread:

Shafqat
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bangladesh loses a friend
http://www.thedailystar.net/2005/05/04/d50504011210.htm

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Postby merlin » 04 May 2005 16:36

My condolences. RIP sir.

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Postby Umrao » 04 May 2005 17:56

My Childhood hero whose picture continues to inspire me.
Great soul.
My condolences to the family.

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Postby svinayak » 04 May 2005 20:42

Salute!

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Postby ramana » 04 May 2005 22:44

I think what he achieved was a roll back of the idea of Pakistan. And in a sense it was a reversal of the inexorable roll of history as scripted by those unfriendly to the idea of India. That is his great contribution.

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Postby Paul » 04 May 2005 22:50

I remember reading a very interesting and touching incident about General Aurora in the India Today a few years ago.

Apparently General Aurora was going home at night in the summer when his car hit a bicycle. The cyclist was not hurt but his cycle was damaged beyond repair. As usual a crowd gathered in short time and ready to administer street justice to the General's car and driver when the General, courteous and unflabbale as ever, introduced himself as General Aurora and offered to reimburse the cyclist for the damage to his cycle.

The crowd's behaviour changed immediately. Wahi Bangladesh wale? , they asked. The General said yes. I am the same guy. Suddenly everyone wanted to shake his hand. and they even made the cyclist apologize to the General. The cyclist apologized too.... :)

The General apparently narrated this incident many times to show the respect he received from the Aam Janta and the cold disespect from the Congress Governmant as he was an SAD RS MP at that time.

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Postby afadia » 04 May 2005 22:55

My Condolences to the family at the loss.

While he was at the helm when the disintegration of Pakistan took place, I belive everyone is going overboard by giving all the credit to the General. He is but one cog among others in the entire machinary of the Army. Credit should go to the Chiefs of Staffs , the GOC-in-Cs of the other commands, the Army Chief etc. Also Eastern Command's initial objective was only to grab land - Dacca was never the final objective. It was only when the war was going well (extremely well for us) that the Army puts it entire weight behind Aurora.

Also our definition of "war hero" needs to be reworked. Out there in the west a war hero is someone who gets shot at, gets wounded and almost gets killed in the process. What would be a better term? "War General"?

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Postby Jagan » 04 May 2005 23:02

afadia wrote:was only to grab land - Dacca was never the final objective. It was only when the war was going well


Hmmm..... not really sure where you got this, but Dacca was given as the final objective to II Corps under Raina. Its another thing the said formation never got near and some other unintended units won the race to Dacca.

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Postby IssacB » 04 May 2005 23:09

Sridhar wrote:
Anand K wrote:Any official condolences/messages from the BD govt or media yet?


Don't waste your time waiting for it. It is not going to come.
Last edited by IssacB on 05 May 2005 05:09, edited 1 time in total.

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A great warrior!!!

Postby member_7177 » 04 May 2005 23:10

Salute!

A worthy warrior and a true son of India. A great inspiration to the present and future generations of this great country of ours.

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Postby ramana » 05 May 2005 00:27

In that case IassacB shouldnt you edit your previous message? Gentle reminder -no need to be jingo when not needed!

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Postby rsingh » 05 May 2005 01:15

Salute

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Postby Manu » 05 May 2005 04:01

Heartfelt Condolences.

I hope Captain Sahib and Badal both go for the Bhog.

Loki dunia vich vasde bathere, is punjabi di shan vakhri

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Postby karan » 05 May 2005 04:37

I remember an incident about Gen Arora, During 1984 Sikh Riots the mob was all riled up, some A$$holes wanted to burn the house of this Sikh in their neighborhood. Some Losers turned his Maruti upside down. Gen came out to protect his property, some young turds didn't know who he was, they were hurling all kinds of abuses at him, general kept his calm under extremly painful, humiliating circumstances. Some People in mob realized (belatedly) they were humiliating the living legend of IA. They apologized to the General, forced those goons to put his car the way it was, posted a watch to protect their Beloved General from any further embarrassment.

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Postby IssacB » 05 May 2005 05:11

ramana wrote:In that case IassacB shouldnt you edit your previous message? Gentle reminder -no need to be jingo when not needed!


I deleted my post. But how do I delete it from the subsequent nested responses? Gentle reminder noted :)

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Postby Ujjal » 05 May 2005 05:25

Why so late?

PRESIDENT CONDOLES PASSING AWAY OF LT. GENERAL (RETD.) JAGJIT SINGH AURORA

04-05-2005 : Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi

PRESS RELEASE

The President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has condoled the passing away of Lt. General (Retd.) Jagjit Singh Aurora.

In a condolence message to the Late Lt. General’s daughter, Smt. Anita Kalra, the President has said, "Lt. General (Retd.) Jagjit Singh Aurora was a highly decorated military officer who served the nation with great distinction in various positions. He was a soldier of that unique generation who saw service in the old British Indian Army followed by the transition to the Indian Army after Independence".

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Postby Jay » 05 May 2005 06:33

afadia wrote:My Condolences to the family at the loss.

While he was at the helm when the disintegration of Pakistan took place, I belive everyone is going overboard by giving all the credit to the General. He is but one cog among others in the entire machinary of the Army. Credit should go to the Chiefs of Staffs , the GOC-in-Cs of the other commands, the Army Chief etc. Also Eastern Command's initial objective was only to grab land - Dacca was never the final objective. It was only when the war was going well (extremely well for us) that the Army puts it entire weight behind Aurora.

Also our definition of "war hero" needs to be reworked. Out there in the west a war hero is someone who gets shot at, gets wounded and almost gets killed in the process. What would be a better term? "War General"?



He aptly deserves all the credit. Did u notice anybody belittling COC, GOC or any other person or institution which was involved in the Bangla campaing. Sir Thanks for your thesicle explanation of the word WAR HERO. I did'nt knew there was a western and eastern standard for that, well all I knew is that anybody who champions a cause is a hero and I did'nt knew that there were Physical qualifications to become one.


HE WOULD ALWAYS BE MY HERO.
SALUTES, and MAY U R SOUL REST IN PEACE

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Postby Philip » 05 May 2005 07:16

One of the best articles on the -71 war was in a British journal which went into great detail how the Indian Army defeated Pakistan in so short a a time.In the brilliant campaign that saw the IA leave the "highways for the byways",the IA used non-traditional forms of transport of troops and eqpt.,in a multi-pronged race for Dacca,keeping the enemy guessing where the next drive would come from and rendering the enemy's main fortified bastions useless and impotent.Deftly using the IAF and the IN's aircraft in support of the land operation and cutting off the Pakistan army's sea routes of escape,the campaign was brilliantly planned and executed,right down to precise IAF rocketing of the Paki top brass to speedup their surrender!I remember and old departed family friend, a Col. from the Gurkhas and veteran of that campaign,say that the IA's planning wa so precise,right down even to the number of coffins."The only unforseen item was the huge amount of Paki troops who surrendered (90,000+)!"

The campaign was described in the journal as akin to the Japanese conquest of Malaya and the shattering fall of "Fortress" Singapiore in WW2,with echoes of the manner in which the Germans blitzkreiged their way through France and their African desert victories under Rommel.Whenever the history of great campaigns is retold,the exploits of the Indian Army in '71 and the principal role of Lt. Gen.Aurora in this great victory will ever be rememberered with respect and admiiration.Farewell great victor!

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Postby Ananth » 05 May 2005 07:55

Condolences.

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Postby ramana » 05 May 2005 08:21

Philp, Wasnt that excerpted in Imprint circa 1975?

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Postby surinder » 05 May 2005 08:37

I have not seen any news about General Arora in Pakistani media like the Dawn, Dailytimes, or the Jang. Has anyone seen any comment from TSP?

-s

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Postby svinayak » 05 May 2005 09:53

We are waiting for it

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Tribute to the Gen.

Postby Jeet » 05 May 2005 13:06

One of the best ways to remember him ......

Image

Jeet

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Postby SSridhar » 05 May 2005 17:14

Gen. aurora cremated with full military honours

The mortal remains of Aurora, a recipient of Padma Bhushan and Param Vishisht Seva Medal, were cremated at the Brar square crematorium at Delhi cantonement with full military honours.

The priests performed customary religious rituals before the pyre was lit by his son Kiran.

Minister of State for Defence BK Handique, Defence Secretary Ajay Vikram Singh, Marshall Arjan Singh, Vice-Chief of Army Staff VK Thakur, former Prime Minister IK Gujral and host of admirers of the late hero placed wreaths on the body.

A wreath was also laid on behalf of three chiefs of Defence Staff and by the acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh High Commission.

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Postby Sumeet » 05 May 2005 21:51

British daily pays tribute to Lt. Gen. J S Aurora

London, May. 5 (PTI): A leading British daily today paid tributes to Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, hero of the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

In an obituary, The Times noted that Lt Gen Aurora, who died on Tuesday, became a household name to schoolchildren in India and Bangladesh because of a single photograph that appears in history textbooks - Aurora watching Lt Gen Niazi of Pakistan signing the surrender in Dhaka on December 16, 1971. 8) The general also oversaw the surrender of 90,000 Pakistani soldiers after the 13-day war.

"The eternal gratitude of Bangladesh to Gen Aurora was emphasised in a message to India, after his death, from Mohamed Morshed Khan, the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister, stating "Aurora will be remembered in the history of Bangladesh for his contribution during our war of liberation in 1971, when he led the allied forces."

The site of the Pakistani surrender is being converted into what will be called Independence Square, with an eternal flame, the daily noted.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We need capable people like him otherwise what will Arjun, T-90S, MKIs, Brahmos etc..... achieve ?

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Postby ramana » 05 May 2005 23:31

I recall reading that the total forces that he effectivley commanded during the Bangla Desh Ops were some of the largest since WWII. Offcourse GWI and GWII had larger number of troops.


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