Monday, 12 January 2009
General Joginder Jaswant Singh, born 17 September 1945 in Bahawalpur (now in Pakistan), was the first Sikh chief of army staff of India, the second largest army in the world. He served as chief of army staff from January 31, 2005, to September 30, 2007. He was named 22nd chief of army staff on November 27, 2004, and took over the role when his predecessor, General N C Vij, retired on 31 January 2005. He was succeeded by General Deepak Kapoor. He is the first Sikh to have led the Indian Army and the 11th chief of army staff from the Western Command based at Chandigarh. His selection did not come as a surprise, as at the time of his appointment he was the most senior officer in the army after General Vij. Following his retirement, he became governor of the state of Arunachal Pradesh in January 2008. The new governor is taking a keen interest and monitoring all the developmental activities of the State, as well as taking care of his special constitutional obligation with regard to maintenance of law and order in the State. In fact, with his presence the pace of development has multiplied manifold. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy and was commissioned into the 9 Maratha Light Infantry on 02 August 1964. Hailing from a family of warriors, he is a third-generation soldier. Born on 17 September 1945 his family migrated to India (Patiala, Punjab) after partition in 1947. His grandfather served in the 1/67 Punjab Regiment during the First World War in Mesopotamia and Kut-al-Amara, both in present day Iraq, along with the 103rd, 105th, 110th, 114th and 117th Mahrattas. These five battalions subsequently joined the Maratha Light Infantry, the same regiment General Singh was commissioned into 50 years later. His father, Lt Col Jaswant Singh Marwah, served in the Electrical & Mechanical Engineers from 1943 to 1973 and is also a veteran of the Second World War. Recognising the distinguished contribution made by Gen JJ Singh towards India’s Security and Nation building ‘The Sikh Forum UK’ a renowned World Sikh body awarded him with the coveted ‘Sikh of the Year 2007’ in London, UK on 28 Oct 2007. He is married to Mrs Anupam Singh and they have a son and a daughter. He is fluent in Arabic and French, the widely spoken languages in Algeria. His nickname is "JJ". He has also been awarded the Life Time Achievement Award on the 26th April by the Mother Teresa's International & Millennium Awards Committee, for being a protector of the country and a social worker.