Strategic thinker Jasjit Singh passes away

Aug 05, 2013, 01:29 IST | IANS

Air Commodore (retd) Jasjit Singh, one of India's leading strategic thinkers, passed away Sunday. He was 79.

He was cremated at the Brar Square cremation ground with many serving and retired officers from the three services present. IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne and other top officers laid wreaths.

Known as a passionate professional, Jasjit Singh taught flying to many a top air force officers, headed the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) for a long tenure and after retirement from there, set up the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), the think tank dedicated to modern and futuristic air power trends.

CAPS has done many useful studies on air power strategic issues for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

He wrote or edited an astonishing number of books and contributed in positive to the go-ahead for India's 1998 nuclear explosion, when IDSA was asked by the government about the likely international implications. Both he and K. Subrahmanyam, his predecessor in IDSA, prodded the government to go ahead.

Jasjit Singh was a regular at air power seminars in India and around the world, and only about 10 days back, he delivered a lecture on the subject at Mhow.

He fell ill after the visit and was admitted in a Gurgaon hospital for a week due to a chest congestion, put on a ventilator, and had come out of the hospital a couple of days back.

Born July 8, 1934, Jasjit was awarded the Vir Chakra for displaying gallantry during the 1971 War. As a squadron leader then, he attacked and destroyed many Pakistani tanks and bunkers. He displayed determination and devotion to duty of a high order, according to the citation for the honour.

In 2006, president APJ Abdul Kalam conferred Padma Bhushan, the country's second highest civilian award, on him for his contributions in strategic thought.

A prayer meeting will be held in a gurdwara in a Gurgaon, where he lived with his family.

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