The Indian Army has organized the first “Lieutenant General P S Bhagat Memorial Lecture” on “Legacy of Lt Gen Prem Bhagat- A Visionary and Strategic Leader”, under the aegis of United Service Institution of India (USI) at Manekshaw Centre on 14 June 2023. The lecture was conducted as part of “The Lt Gen PS Bhagat Memorial Chair of Excellence instituted at USI, by General Manoj Pande, COAS on 14 October 2022.
General VP Malik (Retd), Former Army Chief delivered a keynote address during the lecture, in which he gave many anecdotes from the legacy of Lt Gen Bhagat from his early days as a Second Lieutenant to till his demise while working as Chairman of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).
General Manoj Pande, the Chief of the Army Staff, Former Chiefs General VN Sharma (Retd), and General M M Naravane (Retd) attended the event along with senior veterans and serving officers and civilians to draw inspiration from the legacy of Lt Gen Bhagat, whose charisma has left an indelible mark on the history of the Indian Army.
Speaking on the occasion, the Army Chief mentioned that “Late Lt Gen PS Bhagat who served as the first General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the re-raised Northern Command was an outstanding professional and a prolific writer”. The Army Chief recounted that “as a young second lieutenant, Lt Gen Bhagat was the first Indian soldier to have been awarded the prestigious Victoria Cross in World War II, while clearing minefields, under enemy fire, with his vehicle encountering a mine explosion thrice, sustaining an ear drum puncture, yet going about his task relentlessly for 96 hours, without break.” He also fondly mentioned the tale in which Lt Gen Bhagat as Army Commander at Lucknow in September 1971, saved the Lucknow city by pushing the trucks loaded with stones and boulders to plug the flow through the breach on the Gomti River, for which local newspapers captioned him as “the saviour of Lucknow”, in next day’s headlines.