General K.V. Krishna Rao was born to K. S. Narayan Rao and K. Lakshmi Rao on July 16, 1923 in the Indian city of Vijayawada located in Andhra Pradesh. In the aftermath of his induction into the Indian Army in 1942, he assumed duties in the parts of North-West Frontier, Burma followed by his involvement in the WWII. He was also an instructor in the prestigious National Defense Academy. He was associated with a number of prominent assignments around the world encompassing Europe, Russia, Canada and United States. Due to his perseverance and stature, he rose through the ranks of Indian Army to finally assume the highly decorated post of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) in 1981. Not only did he exert acumen in his role as a decorated Army Chief, but he exhibited analogous echelon of dedication and leadership when he served the army in the wars of 1947 and 1971.
Life as Governor
Soon after he retired from the armed forces, he was then entrusted with the task of administering of states through his subsequent appointments as the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur & Tripura. He effectively blended his experience as an Army Officer into a Governor while dealing with the burning issues of terrorism and the insurgency in the North-East corridor of India.
Honors and Awards
General K.V. Krishna Rao in his long army career received numbers of awards including the prestigious Param Vishist Seva Medal. He was honored for his distinguished leadership, valor and fortitude for his contribution in the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh against Pakistan where he ousted the enemy forces from Sylhet and unfettered the North-east Bangladesh. In recognition to his outstanding service to the Nation, Andhra and Sri Venkateswara University had subsequently conferred Honorary Doctorate of D.Litt. and Doctor of Laws on him.
Illness and Death
He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 93 at an army hospital in Delhi on 30th January, 2016.
Pranab Mukherjee: “I am sad to learn about the passing away of your father, General K.V. Krishna Rao, former Chief of Army Staff. His exemplary services to the nation and the Indian Army shall always be remembered. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey them to the rest of your family members. I pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of your family, the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss,”
Sonia Gandhi: “A decorated chief of army staff and a brave son of India who played an exemplary role during the 1971 Bangladesh War and always led by example"
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar: "The country has lost one of our best known military leaders. He was a visionary who led ably, inspired a generation of soldiers and initiated modernisation of the Indian Army in the early 1980s. His contribution in the 1971 war and maintaining the unity and integrity of the country shall always be remembered,"
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