The question uppermost in everybody’s mind is: who will be the next Chief of Defence Staff following the untimely demise of CDS Gen Bipin Rawat. PM Narendra Modi had picked Gen Rawat for CDS post on January 1, 2020 — because he was blunt, outspoken and a man of integrity. Rawat was liked as he was not afraid of speaking his mind when it came to military reforms and the defence of the country. He was a fighter and a nationalist to the core. Modi noticed his qualities after he, as Dimapur Corps Commander, supervised a strike against NSCN (K) insurgents across the Indo-Myanmar border by Special Forces in June 2015. Prior to that he performed exceptionally as the 19 Division commander in the Uri sector against the Pakistanis. On December 17, 2016, Modi appointed Rawat as India’s 27th Chief of Army Staff after superseding the then Eastern and Southern Army Commanders on grounds of merit, track record and vision. Modi saw Rawat’s role as a military commander when he took on the Chinese PLA at Doklam Plateau on the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in June 2017. He stopped the PLA from building a road to the Jhampheri Ridge, which would have made India vulnerable in the Siliguri corridor. So Modi wants the next CDS to be someone like Rawat! Who can it be?