Gen Aurora: a remarkable soldier

The Indian sub-continent has lost a remarkable soldier, officer and a general in the death of Lt-Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora. In his smashing victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak battle, he changed the political map of South Asia. His victory gave birth to Bangladesh.

I was the Aide de Camp to Punjab Governor Dr D.C. Pavate in 1971, when the General called on the Governor soon after the victory. Dr Pavate said to General Aurora, “General had you served the British and won such a magnificent victory you would have been created a peer and given the title of Lord Jagjit Singh of Bangladesh”.

He was the best field commander the Indian sub-continent has produced since 1947. He was diffident and cautious. He measured and calculated every step he took. He rehearsed his advance and withdrawal. He didn’t have the swagger and dash of Patton or Rommel. He was more like Montgomery of Alamein. Very slow, very firm but very certain. However, India never rewarded this great soldier.

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After retirement, General Aurora joined the traditional Akalis and was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He condemned Operation Blue Star and worked for the rehabilitation of Sikh soldiers who had left the barracks in protest against the attack on Darbar Sahib. He helped the widows of the Sikhs whose husbands became the victim of the genocide after the death of Indira Gandhi.

Could the Indian state issue a stamp and strike a coin with his bust to honour this great General posthumously?

SIMRANJIT SINGH MANN, President, SAD (Amritsar), Quilla S. Harnam Singh


Gen Aurora was the real war hero of Independent India. He was a master strategist in all respects during the nine-month-long strategic war scene in the then East Pakistan. Refugees in millions were pouring into India and managing them at the border areas was a Herculean task. I was the BSF Officer on the border in 1971. Gen Aurora used to visit all sectors and guide the soldiers with his exemplary and cool style.

It was his strategic planning that the victory was achieved against the enemy, which was highly motivated in earlier stages but got demoralised when the onslaught began from Gen Aurora’s Army, accompanied by the paramilitary forces and the Mukti Vahini.

VINOD TULI, On e-mail


The editorial, “Gen J.S. Aurora” (May 5) rightly quotes the words of Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, “while Jaggi did all the work I got the baton”. India has lost one of the most courageous and professionally competent commanders. When the hour of honour came, he gave it all to his men, keeping with him only their love and loyalty. Sadly, he was not given a deserving decoration.

I am reminded of the famous words of Sir Walter from the “Lady Lake”:

Soldiers, rest thy war fare is O’er

Dream of fighting fields no more

Sleep, the sleep that knoweth no breaking

Morn of toil, nor night of waking.



In recognition of General J.S. Aurora’s services to the nation, the Government of India should honour him posthumously by bringing out a special postage stamp and naming a road in New Delhi after him to perpetuate his memory.


Need to ban pharma ads

Multi-vitamin supplements are not good for health. The pharmaceutical industry is promoting them as miracle drugs. The industry has made inroads into the life of consumers by making these supplements a part of their meals. The layman is ignorant about them, their dosage and adverse reactions. Using them without proper knowledge can be dangerous.

Cosmetics with a picture of tree and a caption “rich in Vitamin E” sell like hot cakes. However, Vitamin E cannot be absorbed through this route. Multi-vitamins may make the patients’ life more stressful with new diseases. Patients should believe more in natural resources like fruits and vegetables rather than the synthetic sources.

It is time a law was enacted to ban such pharma ads. Nutritious food and a healthy lifestyle with yoga or meditation hold the key to healthy life.

Dr KIRANDEEP KAUR, Pharmacology Dept, Govt Medical College Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh


Bitter experience

We had a bitter experience while travelling by Haryana Roadways bus recently from Delhi to Chandigarh. The fare was Rs 249 each but there were no fans, video etc. Moreover, the bus’s battery was down and people pushed the bus at the ISBT. Then it was repaired at a workshop at Panipat. We reached Chandigarh at 11.15 pm (one hour late).

VIJAY ARORA, Chandigarh

Awry clubs

As regards Himmat Singh Gill’s awry clubs which are a hangover from the British Raj, the reason could be that if you served behind the counter for a shop you were not eligible for the club. Membership was rather exclusive. Today, there is no such rule. It’s one come, one all. And there in lies the malaise and deterioration of the club culture. However, society is being considered upward mobile!

H. KISHIE SINGH, Chandigarh

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