Lt General (retired) JP Nehra served in uniform for four decades, rising through the ranks to become its deputy chief.
In between, he led foreign troops in Lebanon during a raging conflict between Israel and the terror group Hezbollah. And in the midst of all this, the General also made time to work for protecting the environment.
The fourth episode of the web series Undefeated charts these and other facets of General Nehra’s story.
General Nehra negotiated numerous challenges – ranging from serving in hostile areas to promoting children’s welfare and protecting the environment.
In War-Torn Lebanon
In February 2006, General Nehra was stationed in Lebanon, where he commanded foreign troops as part of a United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.
Soon after his arrival, a fierce conflict broke out between Hezbollah and Israel.
General Nehra describes the 34 days he spent in war-torn Lebanon as “absolutely unique”, adding that serving as commander of the UN troops was “immensely tense”.
“Army Must Connect With People”
General Nehra says it’s important for the army to connect with the people, and to also keep in mind that their “own ease, comfort and welfare comes last always and every time”.
The general’s family has long been part of the army. Besides his father and brothers, his father-in-law too served the nation, before he was martyred in 1962.
However, joining the army for him was a "natural decision”. He says, “I don’t think there was a real conscious thought, it just happened naturally.” The General’s son too has followed in his footsteps and donned the army uniform.
“Couldn’t Have Achieved Anything Without My Wife”
Talking about his 40-year service in the defence forces, General Nehra calls himself “uniquely fortunate”.
He adds, however, that the support of his family was absolutely essential in making it easier for him. “Without family support, I don’t think anyone can achieve anything.”
My wife understood the travails of army life and how to manage the family in my absence. Not only did she look after the house and kids, she was also very caring towards the families of the units.
During his long career, General Nehra served five tenures in the North-East and five in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Social Media is Here to Stay”
The General also has a message for the media, and urged them to to be responsible, while also asking people to not believe everything they hear about the army. Commenting on the rise of social media, he said:
Social media is here to stay, you can’t avoid it, you can’t ignore it. But don’t just spread social media messages without verifying them.
Commenting on a recent video in which a CRPF jawan complained about the poor-quality food, he said the army is a disciplined, professional and secular unit. People, therefore, should not get misled by “mischievous messages” intended to "malign" its reputation, he stressed.