jhaldiyal final


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. 

Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 65)

Maj Gen (Retd) KB Jhaldiyal, AVSM left our world of mortals on 19th August 2012. His army career spanning over 35 years has many distinguished appointments, but he is remembered most for the two tenures which he did in the Personnel Branch of the Corps of EME. He was first posted there as a Major in 1975 and he handled the placement of officers for nearly three years. This is a challenging assignment, because one has to suit the personal needs of the individual officer with the organizational compulsions. The pulls and pressures are enormous, and it needs a considerable fortitude and professional commitment to strike a balance, and choose the right man for the slot available. Most people end up in creating a mess by driving square pegs in round holes. Since there is ‘power’ attached with the job, I have seen officers develop a swollen head, or even seek favors in return for  a posting of choice. Jhaldiyal was neither affected by the pressure nor the temptations; and yet, he was accessible to everyone who approached him.

It is said that “the reward for a job well done is to be asked to do it again” KBJ was posted as the Deputy Military Secretary for a second tenure in 1985. This time, he was not an advisor but the executive head of his section. The responsibility was greater, but he had the emotional strength for it. He allowed every one to see him between 1230 to 1330, without any prior appointment, and he heard them with great patience. I was posted in the Pay Cell during that period, and we used to play Golf together. He once told me that his main problem was that officers did not tell him the truth, and some times, when he cross checked through other sources, he felt cheated. He said, that there were times when he could not sleep all night, weighed down by the burden of responsibility. 

Maj Gen KB Jhaldiyal, AVSM (1939-2012)

I first met Jhaldiyal when he joined the IMA, as a Technical Graduate in July 1961. Later, during service, we were togehter several times, and in the fitness of things, we were both posted in Delhi Cantonment when KBJ retired in October 1995. Soon after that Jhaldiyal was appointed the Secretary General of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications (IETE). The official journal of the Institute has the following tribute for his contribution to them :

Maj Gen K B Jhaldiyal, AVSM (Retd) (F060923L),is a science graduate from Allahabad University, BE from University of Roorkee and M Tech from IIT, Bombay. He served the Indian Army with distinction for 35 years and made special contribution towards engineering support for guided missiles, tank electronics, communication systems and HRD. He was awarded AVSM by the President of India for his distinguished services,in 1996. Maj Gen Jhaldiyal served IETE as Secretary General for a record period of seven years (1996-2003) and implemented effective revenue generating measures. He has been instrumental in creating infrastructure and buildings at 20 Centers resulting in record all round growth of IETE. He was responsible for smooth conduct of Golden Jubilee celebrations of IETE and successful projection of Institution at the national level.

Even after handing over the executive office, Jhaldiyal remained actively involved with the activities of IETE, and as late as a few days before his demise on the 19th Aug 2012, he was elected as a member of the Governing Council for the period 2012-15. But fate willed otherwise. He returned from Australia in early August and had no serious problem until the 14th August, when he complained of loss of appetite and general weakness. For this, he was admitted to the Hospital and even before they could diagnose hi ailment, he passed away on the 19th August 2012. The men of medicine will never know what took him away. It has nothing to do with his somatic organs. KBJ had a certain set of values, and he chose to go the way he had lived : without ever becoming a burden on any one. He had sworn to live only as long as there was a smile on his face. From my album, I have fished out two pictures. The first one shows a house which I took over from him in Agra in 1989. His wife Kumud is a talented gardener, and she had maintained its lawns with great care. The precincts were pristine clean when we entered.

The Bungalow is known as the FON house is reported to have been constructed in 1850, and it was our privilege to take it over from KBJ and Kumud ji

The other picture depicts our formal change of guard of the Base Workshop in Agra. The smile on his face was a permanent feature. It derived from his faith in himself, and all those who served with him as his colleagures.

The Workshop which I took over was as ‘clean’ as the FON house. There were no skeletons in the cupboards.

 I end this brief obituary with a prayer for eternal peace for KB Jhaldiyal’s soul. For his wife, Kumud and their two daughters, Shikha and Richa, the sudden death is bound to be a traumatic shock. May the Lord give them the strength to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude and equanimity. 

Post Script :

The address of Mrs.Kumud Jhaldiyal is:

562 Mandakini Enclave,  New Delhi

Ph No. 26278080,

  1. Gen Jhaldiyal was a man apart. Firm,friedly and faithful he left an unforgettable image in the minds of those whom he met.

    509 Army Base Wksp was the first unit of mine.His presence there was enormously beneficial to M&R Gp. The other Gps were highly dependant on it.

    Thereafter we served together several times,but his best was as Cdr TG.where his forthright views were admired by one and all. As Director EME(L), I had tremendous backing from him.

    For us. he was like an elder brother… what more can I say?


    We were colleagues in UHAMPUR. Always cheerful, with a ready smile and a positive outlook. It was wonderful working together. RIP, friend.

  3. brig kanwal dhingra says:

    a lot has been said about him. i corroborate it all.h was a true tiger who was an hhonest gentle man.

  4. Moru Kelkar says:

    Dear Sujit,

    We were togather at Bhopal centre and he was more a friend than a boss. It came as a shock when Amar informed me that he was no more. Have no comments to add to tributes by you, but wish to thank you for the same (via mail).
    Moru Kelkar

  5. Dharam Rawat says:

    We were shocked to learn about K B.Thanks 4 info us.


  6. Maj Gen A K Sharma says:

    My association with Gen Jhaldiyal dates back to 1975.
    I was posted as a Major at EME Directorate. Both of us served under a common (and all powerful) boss. We often discussed the high handed approach and deviation from the laid down norms when it came to issues related with individual postings. Occasionally, we talked about unbearable pressure being exerted in matters of placement of officers against the laid down norms. He was clearly anguished when ever forced to convey a decision that was patently wrong.
    Invariably, I found him backing the “under dogs” with his perpetual concerns for those who had no “God Fathers”.
    As colleagues we were both posted at MCEME as Brigadiers and were next door neighbours for a while. This gave me added opportunity to know him as a person- a little more intimately.
    As an individual, I remember him deeply committed towards the betterment of the organisation. He always cared for under dogs. I admired his cool temperament and his caring nature to look after genuine needs of individual officers who freely impinged on his time in matters of posting.
    Despite being posted at Military Secretary Branch, he took his posting to 509 ABW in his stride despite his personal preference of wanting to go as Head of an Advance Base Workshop at Udampur.
    As a tribute to a departed friend, I will always remember him as a mild mannered, courageous, sympathetic, open, forthright and a man full of compassion with unflinching loyalty to organisation that he served with distinction and endeared himself to one and all.
    Fortunate were those, who came in his contact.
    Individuals like Gen Jhaldiyal are born to enrich the life of those who come in their contact.
    Alas! Even the God wants them in heaven, snatching them away rather abruptly.
    My salute to KB where ever he may be and heartfelt condolences for his family!
    Maj Gen A K Sharma
    141, Sector 37,
    Noida- 201 303
    Mob. 09350051919

  7. COLLS says:

    Just a Tribute

    In life we come across many folks
    but very few of us pass by
    the side of such men as
    General K B Jaldhiyal

    He hailed from Dehra Dun
    My home place

    But I never knew him till one day
    I overheard him say

    ‘’A gentleman I am sending to you…
    He alone knew…’’

    Tears rolled down my eyes
    outside his room

    I wiped and he spoke
    Go try your luck
    If you are destined to….
    He never knew me ere…

    Now again tears roll down
    as he alone did for me care.
    I can now only pray for his family today
    God do take care of their way….



  8. Yashvir Tuli says:

    Dear Sir,
    I am very mcuh pained to hear about the demise of Gen KB Jaldhial with whom I had an opportunity to serve in one of the stations far away from Delhi. In fact Gen KBJ, Brig Nagea and me took our first lessons in Lawn Tennis from one Lt Col AY Moghe, who was once upon a time the Deputy Commandant of the 4th EME Centre.
    I have KBJ’s contact number of Delhi and shall definitely convey my condolenses to his wife just after sending this e-mail.
    Thanks and God bless you.

  9. Manmohan Bains says:

    Dear General Surjit,

    It was a shock to learn about the sad and sudden demise of Gen Jhaldiyal. As you may be aware I was the Col Adm at 509 when he was the Comdt. He was also very well known to my father-in-law who was also an EME officer. Could I please have the address of Mrs Jhaldiyal.

    Thanking you

    With best regards

    M S Bains
    House No 27
    Sector 3-A
    Chandigarh 160001
    Tel 01722749393
    Mob 09814013331

  10. R K Mehta says:

    many thanks sir for sending the befitting tribute.



  11. Jacob Koshi says:

    to me

    Dear Surjit,

    Indeed very sorry to hear that my dear friend KBJ passed away. He was a true ‘ Officer and Gentleman’

    Could you please let me know the address and contact details of Mrs. Jhaldiyal


  12. Maj Gen sc goel says:

    I have very fond memories of the general.He was the finest officer and human being.May his soul rest in peace.

  13. VINAY SINGH says:

    Gen K. B. Jhaldiyal, AVSM, was a Gentleman and an Officer in true sense. He served and lived with dignity and grace. My condolence to his family.

    Vinay Singh
    25 Aug 12

  14. Surinder Mehta says:

    Dear Gen Surjit Sir,

    The untimely demise of Gen Jhaldiyal really came as a shock to all of us. The piece written by you is a true tribute to this great soldier and a gentleman. He lived an honest,simple and truly fulfilling life . He as Dy MS helped a score of people including me which changed the course of my life. I am and will always remain indebted to him. The next copy of EME Journal is going to be out in Sep. I would like to use some of the info from your piece to write about him and Col Dua .

    Warm regards,


  15. Chinnappa Kuppanda says:

    Dear Sir,

    I remember him when we were in SDD, he was in FEL if I am not mistaken.

    What Dignity and what grace… I guess they don’t make them anymore that way.

    RIP General

  16. Surinder Singh says:

    Dear Surjit.

    The tribute to Gen Jhaldiyal is beautifully written. It should go in the EME Journal also.


  17. Anil Bhalla says:

    Thank you Surjit.
    Really it was a shock to see a great man goimg.

  18. J S Oberoi says:


    Sorry to hear about the sudden demise of Gen KB Jhaldiyal.

    He was our instructor at MCEME and then I interacted with him at Dte Gen of EME. Played golf with him on two occasions.

    He was gifted with ‘good looks’, but what came across to all of us was his “demeanour and smile”. He always listened to us very patiently.

    May I take the liberty of using Hasrat Jaipuri’s lyrics for him -

    ” Sab ke liye tha inke dil mein pyaar,

    Jeena isi ka naam hai”

    May God give his family the fortitude to bear his loss with equanimity.

    Shall be posting these comments on the webpage.


    Jaggi Oberoi

  19. Arun Mishra says:

    Dear Gen Surjit,
    Gen Jhaldial was lucky to have a friend like you who remembers him so fondly after he is no more. In the course of our life many people touch our lives specially in Army. As most us by nature are not artistic we lack fine art of writing, we fail to record for posterity the golden moments. Time is a very good eraser and these memories get obliterated for ever as we trudge along the life. I wish God had made this quality intrinsic to human beings. We would then emote well and world would have been a more peaceful place. Regs best Arun

    Arun Mishra, VSM
    C-9/9122, Vasant Kunj
    New Delhi 110070

  20. JS Oberoi says:

    He was our instructor at MCEME and then I met him at Dte Gen of EME. Played golf with him on two occasions. He was gifted with ‘good looks’ but what came across to us was his ‘demeanour and smile’. He always listened to all of us very patiently.
    Hasrat Jaipuri’s words describe him well

    “Sab ke liye tha inke dil mein pyaar,
    Jeena isi ka naam hai”

  21. Maj Gen K B Jhaldiyal, AVSM …a thorough gentleman, professionally very sound and very helpful .
    May his soul rest in peace

  22. Col M B Jauhari says:

    I inherited honesty and integrity from my father but these values were further strengthened by Gen Jhaldiyal when I served under him at 509 ABW agra. He was clean, honest and upright besides being handsome.

    I am also a thomsonian like him so there was additional bond.

    He was a ladies man and loved children.

    he shall always be fondly remebered by us and many others. We are with his family in their hour of grief.

    AND.. Thanks General Surjit Sir. I am a witness to your taking/handing over at FON. Regards

  23. Maj Gen (Dr) SC Jain says:

    As a Maj, I was holding four appts (CCO, Head RC, Head Msl and TA at FEL) for nearly six month under Gen Jhaldiyal.

    Sir had created most conducive, stress free, cordial, free of politics environment in MCEME which enabled all of us to perform our work and duties with ease. One of the most upright Gen of IA who was extremely honest.

    I consider myself fortunate to have served under him. May his soul rest in peace.

  24. Samay Ram says:

    Very sad to hear about the sudden demise of Maj Gen KB JHALDIYAL.It has been a great loss to all of us. May GOD give necessary strength to his family to bear his loss and grant peace to his soul. With deep condolences.
    Maj Gen Samay Ram.

  25. Had known Gen Jhaldiyal for many years, from the time of his first posting in EME Pers. Met him off and on , being a FONIAN too and an UOR alumini. Was closely associated with him during the last five years in the IETE, though a decade junior to him in age and service. A more mature,cool, helpful,ever smiling person would be hard to find. And yet he was always firm on matters involving ethics and principles, though he never lost his temper. A person who you would get attracted to, right from the first meeting, such was his genuine (yes, that’s the word-genuine) warmth, charm and smiling face, a la Gregory Peck. It’s a pity he had to leave so early.

  26. Kulbir Singh says:

    What can research on “God’s Particle” do? May the Almighty be praised and let his soul rest peacefully in Heavens.


  27. cpj says:

    God needs people dearer to Him NEARER to Him .RIP

  28. Lt Gen Virin Dhir says:

    I carry many fond memories of Gen Jhaldiyal – he was a straight forward soldier to the point of being blunt, but he had a golden heart. I served under him at FON and the job of General Manager Production became a great leaning experience, apart from being an enjoyable one. Stickler for honesty and uprightness, he left you free to do your job; yet he stood by you if anything went wrong. He was a leader with lot of compassion for the members of his team. I will personally miss his presence around us and the Corps has lost a stalwart. May his soul rest in peace.

Leave a Reply to Kulbir Singh