Born in a traditional Indian middle-class family in 1921, Tapishwar Narain ("Tappy") Raina rose to the pinnacle of the Indian Army in 1975. A decorated and battle-hardened soldier, Tappy Raina proved also to be a visionary Army Chief. He pushed through ground-breaking initiatives both for making the Indian Army future-ready and for the welfare of its officers and men. Equally, his quiet but firm stand against the Indian Army being drawn into the maelstrom of Indian politics during the period of Emergency was a truly signal service to India’s democracy.
Tappy Raina was pitched into the 2nd World War at the very outset of his army career and saw action in the Middle East, Burma and the Far East. During this period he was wounded and lost his right eye but never let this early setback affect him professionally. His finest hour as a soldier came during India’s war with China in 1962. Amidst the ruins elsewhere along the borders, Brigadier Raina won laurels as a battlefield commander in Ladakh, where Indian Army blunted the Chinese PLA in the battle of Chushul. For this exemplary military leadership, Tappy Raina was conferred the country’s second highest gallantry award, the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC). Later, for his contribution in the war against Pakistan in 1971, then Lt General Raina was conferred the award of Padma Bhushan. Not even sixty yet, General Raina passed away in 1980 with his boots on while serving in India’s High Commissioner in Canada.
Interspersed in the book are notes by Tappy Raina’s wife, Ninette, which etch out some personal facets of his life and reveal his innate decency, modesty and compassion. General T. N. Raina’s was an inspiring life of outstanding service to the nation, embodying vision, professional excellence and courage.
Author: Brigadier Satish K. Issar
Foreword: Gen. V.P. Malik
Imprint: Vision Books
Extent: 500 pp