Tapishwar Narain Raina
General Tapishwar Narain Raina.jpg
9th Chief of Army Staff (India)
In office
1 June 1975 – 31 May 1978
Prime MinisterIndira Gandhi
Preceded byGeneral G G Bewoor
Succeeded byGeneral O P Malhotra
High Commissioner of India to Canada
In office
February 1979 – May 1980
Prime MinisterMorarji Desai
Preceded byMahboob Ahmad
Succeeded byG.S. Dhillon
Personal details
Born(1921-01-24)24 January 1921
Srinagar, India
Died19 May 1980(1980-05-19) (aged 59)[1]
IND Padma Bhushan BAR.png
Padma Bhushan
Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg
Maha Vir Chakra
Mentioned in dispatches
Military service
Allegiance British India
Branch/service British Indian Army
 Indian Air Force
 Indian Army
Years of service1941–1978
General of the Indian Army.svg
Unit8th Punjab Regiment
19th Hyderabad Regiment
Kumaon Regiment
IA Western Command.svg
Western Army
II Corps
25th Division
114 Infantry Brigade
14 Kumaon
Battles/warsWorld War II
Sino-Indian War
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
Service numberIC-1850[2]

General Tapishwar Narain Raina MVC, SM (24 January 1921 – 19 May 1980), best known as T.N. Raina, was a senior army officer and a diplomat who served as the 9th Chief of the Army Staff of the Indian Army between 1975 and 1978.[3]

Upon retirement, he was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to Canada. He was a recipient of the third highest civilian honour of India, the Padma Bhushan.[4]

Early life and education

Raina was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family on 24 January 1921,[5] the son of Rai Bahadur A. N. Raina, sometime Postmaster-General of Punjab.[6][7] He received his early education in Ludhiana, where his father had been posted as Head Postmaster.[8] While a college student in Lahore, at the University of the Punjab, Raina joined the 4th Punjab University Training Corps in October 1938.[6]


Second World War

On 1 May 1941, Raina was attached to the 10th Battalion of the 8th Punjab Regiment, but subsequently considered the air force and briefly served as a cadet in the Indian Air Force during July-August 1941.[6] He then joined the Officers' Training School at Mhow.[6] On 12 April 1942, Raina received an emergency commission as a second lieutenant in the 10th Battalion of 19th Hyderabad Regiment,[9] which became the Kumaon Regiment in 1948.[10] Raina initially joined 10/19 Hyderabad, then at Agra, but was posted to 2/19 Hyderabad in December 1942.[6] In March 1943, he was posted to 1/19 Hyderabad, stationed in Iraq.[6] 1/19 Hyderabad was then part of the 24th Indian Infantry Brigade, attached to the 6th Indian Infantry Division. By the time Raina joined his battalion in Iraq, the major actions in which Iraqforce had been involved in were over. While at Kirkuk, Raina was seriously wounded in a grenade-throwing accident which left him with severe wounds in his thighs and resulted in the loss of an eye.[6] He had a glass eye in place for the rest of his career in the army.[citation needed]

In July 1944, Raina's battalion returned to India and was attached to the 26th Indian Infantry Brigade, which that December was sent to Burma attached to the 36th Indian Infantry Division[6] He was mentioned in dispatches for his service in the Burma Campaign.[11]


He was the Brigade Commander at Chushul in Ladakh during November 1962. He was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra for his handling of the Battle of Chushul. He was a veteran of the 1962 war and 1971 wars.[12]

On 5 January 1965, Lieutenant-Colonel Raina was appointed Brigadier General Staff (BGS) of the XXXIII Corps in West Bengal.[13][2]

On 7 October 1971, Raina was appointed General Officer Commanding of II Corps in the Khulna sector, with the acting rank of Lieutenant General.[14] Raina was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contributions in the War.

Raina was appointed GOC-in-C, Western Command on 27 October 1973.[15] He served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1 June 1975 to 31 May 1978.

During his tenure as the COAS, the central government led by Indira Gandhi declared a state of national emergency in India. Before the imposition of the emergency, it is believed that the Prime Minister asked for the Army's support in the venture, but General Raina bluntly told the Prime Minister that the army would not be used to 'further her ends' but obey only those orders of a 'legally construed government.' . This was considered a crucial moment that kept the Indian Army out of politics at a critical juncture.[16]

Later life

Raina died on 19 May 1980 in Ottawa, while serving as India's High Commissioner to Canada.[12]

Personal life

On 25 February 1949, Raina married Marie Antoinette Florence Kurt, who was French. The couple had a son, Jyotishwar Narain (1949–March 1974) and a daughter, Anita (born 1952). Jyoti Narain, who followed his father into the Army and joined his old regiment, was killed in a motorcycle accident in March 1974.[6][7]

Awards and decorations

Maha Vir Chakra ribbon.svg
Sena Medal ribbon.svg
IND Poorvi Star Ribbon.svg
IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg
IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg
Padma Bhushan Maha Vir Chakra Sena Medal Samar Seva Star
Poorvi Star Special Service Medal Sangram Medal Sainya Seva Medal
Indian Independence Medal 25th Anniversary of Independence Medal 20 Years Long Service Medal 9 Years Long Service Medal
1939–1945 Star Burma Star War Medal 1939–1945 India Service Medal

Dates of rank

Insignia Rank Component Date of rank
British Army (1920-1953) OF-1a.svg
Second Lieutenant British Indian Army 12 April 1942 (emergency)[9]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-1b.svg
Lieutenant British Indian Army 1943 (war-substantive)
2 June 1947 (substantive)
British Army (1920-1953) OF-2.svg
Captain British Indian Army 1944 (acting)
British Army (1920-1953) OF-1b.svg
Lieutenant Indian Army 15 August 1947[note 1][17]
British Army (1920-1953) OF-2.svg
Captain Indian Army 12 April 1948[note 1][17]
Captain of the Indian Army.svg
Captain Indian Army 26 January 1950 (recommissioning and change in insignia)[17][18]
Major of the Indian Army.svg
Major Indian Army 12 April 1955[19]
Lieutenant Colonel of the Indian Army.svg
Lieutenant-Colonel Indian Army 12 April 1958[20]
Colonel of the Indian Army.svg
Colonel Indian Army 29 August 1964[21]
Brigadier of the Indian Army.svg
Brigadier Indian Army 1962 (acting)
5 January 1965 (acting)[2]
1 May 1965 (substantive)[22]
Major General of the Indian Army.svg
Major General Indian Army 19 January 1966 (acting)[23]
14 October 1967 (substantive)[24]
Lieutenant General of the Indian Army.svg
Lieutenant-General Indian Army 7 October 1971 (acting)[14]
20 May 1972 (substantive)[25]
General of the Indian Army.svg
Indian Army 1 June 1975[26]


  1. ^ a b Upon independence in 1947, India became a Dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations. As a result, the rank insignia of the British Army, incorporating the Tudor Crown and four-pointed Bath Star ("pip"), was retained, as George VI remained Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces. After 26 January 1950, when India became a republic, the President of India became Commander-in-Chief, and the Ashoka Lion replaced the crown, with a five-pointed star being substituted for the "pip."


  1. ^ "The Official Home Page of the Indian Army".
  2. ^ a b c "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 27 February 1965. p. 107.
  3. ^ "General Tapishwar Narain Raina - Bharat Rakshak - Indian Army & Land Forces". www.bharat-rakshak.com. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ Indian Army List for July 1942. Government of India Press. 1942. pp. 600(s2).
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "General Raina Retires" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India. 30 May 1978. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Morale of Indian Army continues to be high: General Tapishwar Narain Raina". India Today. 31 January 1978. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  8. ^ Little Known facts about Ludhianvis The Tribune, Dated 25 June 2000
  9. ^ a b Indian Army List for July 1942. Government of India Press. 1942. p. 1580.
  10. ^ "The Courage of 13 Kumaon". Indianexpress.com. 20 February 2012.
  11. ^ "No. 37558". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 May 1946. p. 2222.
  12. ^ a b "Chief of Army Staff". Indian Army Official Website. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
  13. ^ Obituary to a Hero India Defence
  14. ^ a b "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 1 July 1972. p. 955.
  15. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 23 February 1974. p. 235.
  16. ^ Militarism in India:The Army and Civil Society in Consensus by Apurba Kundu Archived 30 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ a b c "New Designs of Crests and Badges in the Services" (PDF). Press Information Bureau of India - Archive. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)". The Gazette of India. 11 February 1950. p. 227.
  19. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 2 July 1955. p. 131.
  20. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 27 August 1960. p. 217.
  21. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 13 November 1965. p. 583.
  22. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 2 April 1966. p. 211.
  23. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 26 March 1966. p. 193.
  24. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 3 February 1968. p. 76.
  25. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 19 August 1972. p. 1226.
  26. ^ "Part I-Section 4: Ministry of Defence (Army Branch)" (PDF). The Gazette of India. 5 July 1975. p. 867.
Military offices Preceded byGopal Gurunath Bewoor Chief of Army Staff 1975–1978 Succeeded byOm Prakash Malhotra Preceded byM L Thapan General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command 1973–1975 Succeeded byInderjit Singh Gill