Saturday, December 14, 2013

General J.J. Singh

Yesterday, there was a story in the Hindustan Times (13.12.2013) that Former Chief of the Army Staff, General Joginder Jaswant Singh’s adopted son Kuljit Kumar has been commissioned in the Indian Army as an officer. Kuljit belonged to a poor family of Kashmir. The story further informed that General J.J. Sigh and his wife Anupama have also adopted yet another Naga boy James Kelengoto who is also a Jawan in the Army. The worthy couple has their own two children. I am touched by the generosity and kind heartedness of General J.J. Singh and his wife.

I have had the good fortune to meet General J.J. Singh and his wife Anupama. There was friendly Mushaira (Poetry recital) at the residence of Col. Narenderpal Singh and Prabhjot Kaur, the parents of Prabjot Kaur, at Defense Colony in New Delhi sometime in 1999-2000 when I was the Director of Central Asia Division in the Ministry of External Affairs. Both Col. Singh and Prabhjot kaur were renowned personalities in the literary circles. Col. Narenderpal Singh was the Deputy Military Secretary to the President of India Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and the Military Attaché in the Embassy of India in France. He was a novelist and a poet. His wife Prabhjot Kaur was an acclaimed poetess of Punjab. Their second daughter Nirupama, a socio-cultural activist and a poetess herself, was a friend of mine. She invited me and my wife Vidya to the dinner. It was an informal get-together which we enjoyed very much. There were many poets from the Punjabi elite of Delhi who recited their poems.  Exactly remember that both General Singh and Anupama sat with us on the matted floor and enjoyed the Mushaira. I found General J.J.Singh and his gracious wife humble and friendly. The newspaper story confirmed my good impression of the couple.

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