TORONTO: Former Indian army chief Gen J.J. Singh, who was in Toronto to promote his autobiography `A Soldier’s General’, also joined in Diwali festivities organized by his friends and well-wishers here in the city suburb of Mississauga.
In fact, the first Sikh to head the Indian army also briefly joined the dance floor to shake a leg.
Sharing his thoughts, General Singh, who is currently the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, said, “There is no doubt India will be a super power and our kids and grand children will live to see it’’ because Indians have a culture of hard work.
While people in the West don’t work on weekends, Indians never stop and work almost 24 hours a day, he added.
Giving his own example – the grandson of a soldier and son of a colonel, Gen Singh said in India anyone with hard work and clear goals can rise to the top.
He said his soldiering background goes back a hundred years when his grandfather joined the military in 1914 and fought in the First World War in Mesopotamia. Later, he said, his father Lt Col Jaswant Singh fought in the Second World War. “I am a proud third-generation soldier and I have been a front-runner from the start to the finish.’’
General Singh, who became the army chief in 2005, said he imbibed qualities of hard work and clear goals from his grandfather and father. “I have risen 18 rungs, and today is Remembrance Day and I am meeting you on this important day,’’ the former army chief told the gathering.
Later, in an informal chat, General Singh said Indian armed forces today were ready to meet any challenges. Reminded of the 1962 war and the Chinese aggressive attitude towards India, he said today is not 1962.
“India is strong enough to meet any threat and we have a clear leadership now,’’ he said.
General Singh said Arunachal Pradesh (which was overrun by the Chinese in 1962) was undergoing major developments in terms of infrastructure and connectivity by road, rail and air. “It (Arunachal) will become a totally different place within the next five years,’’ the state governor said.
The General, who has been to over 40 countries during his travels abroad, said Toronto was one of the best places he has ever visited and he lauded the Indians in Canada for their achievements.