Free 650 words essay on India’s First Air Marshal Arjan Singh for school and college students.
On 17th September 2017, the Government of India announced that the Indian flag would flow half-mast in New Delhi, as the country expresses profound grief on the death of Marshal of Air Force, Arjan Singh. The most prolific dignitaries of the nation paid rich tribute to the Air Force Marshal who has been one of the most lionhearted soldiers of Indian history. His contribution has been stupendous and transformational in making India the most potent forces of the world.
Only three soldiers in India have been given the highest ranking in Indian Armed Forces. It is the most honorable and prestigious title given to the soldiers for their extraordinary and unparalleled contribution to Indian defense. They were Army Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw, first Indian Commander-in-Chief KM Cariappa, and Air Force Marshal Arjan Singh. Arjan Singh died of cardiac arrest and he was 98 years old. The time he was admitted to the hospital, he was visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and the three service chiefs of Indian Armed Forces- Gen. Bipin Rawat, Admiral Sunil Lamba, and Air Chief Marshal Birendra Singh Dhanoa.
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Arjan Singh is touted as the hero behind the country’s victory during the 1965 India-Pakistan conflict. He played the role of a defiant hero as Pakistan unleashed Operation Grand Slam in the Akhnoor town of Jammu & Kashmir. He was the man who led Indian Air Force in the war. Singh also had led in the 1944 Arakan Campaign, the IAF squadron into combat against the Japanese. Singh even assisted the Allied troops in their operation at Yangon. He is remembered for his valor and exceptional skills of flying more than 60 aircrafts. His monumental military leadership was recognized and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) by the Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia.
Singh was born in Lyalpur which is presently in Faisalpur, Pakistan. He completed his education in Montgomery, which is presently in Sahiwal, Pakistan. He was first commissioned to fly Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North-Western Frontier province. Just in the year 1947, he already had the unique distinction of flying past over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in the national capital. Arjan Singh received an extended part of his training from the Royal Staff College in the United Kingdom after he received the rank of Wing Commander. When India received independence from the British rule, he was placed as Group Captain to command the Ambala camps. He then was made the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of the Western Command in 1949, where he served for the longest tenure 1949-1952 and 1957-1961. At the time of 1962 Sino-Indian war, Arjan Singh had been appointed as the Vice Chief of Air Staff, and within a year elevated to Chief of Air Staff.
Singh had the rare honor of commanding the entire joint training exercise between Indian Air Force (IAF), Royal Air Force (RAF), and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). It was finally in the year 2002 when Arjan Singh received the title of Marshall of Air Force, for his spectacular service. Interestingly, he has flown 60 aircrafts including the World War era biplanes to the contemporary Gnats and Vampires. He has also had the experience of flying transport aircraft Super Constellation. His determination and professional skill was compelling and formidable. Singh also received the civilian honor of Padma Vibhushan.
After retirement from Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh was appointed as India’s ambassador to Switzerland in 1971 and simultaneously to the Vatican. He also served as the high commissioner to Kenya in 1974. For domestic services he served as the member of National Commission of Human Rights and even as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. His indomitable spirit was evident from the fact that in spite of his failing health, he always stood steadfast to salute any dignitary. This was even mentioned in the obituary Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave him on Twitter. This five-star rank officer is indeed an epitome of unflinching and daredevil glory.