In Memoriam: General Om Prakash Malhotra passes away on 29 December 2015


It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of our former Chairman, General Om Prakash Malhotra, who, as one of the Trust’s founding Trustees, was associated with the Trust for some 25 years.


All our Visiting Fellows will recall his generous welcome to them when they came to  interview, and his pleasure in meeting all the candidates. He remained equally interested in reading and hearing the reports on all our award holders’ projects. He will be much missed. 


General Malhotra was highly distinguished as a soldier, diplomat and governor.  The 13th Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, he served as the Army chief for the three years from 1978-1981, the culmination of a career which started at the age of 19, in 1941,  when he graduated from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun and was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery.  He was among the last of India’s World War II veterans, seeing action against the Japanese front during the war.


Between 1950 and 1961 he served in and commanded artillery regiments across India and served as an instructor at the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, and then moved to become India’s Military and Naval Attaché in Moscow between 1962 and 1965.  Returning to India he commanded an artillery brigade and then a mountain brigade in Northeast India, and other held other positions, being recognised for his service of the most exceptional order with the Param Vishis Medal,   before  being appointed Vice Chief and then Chief of Army Staff.

After his retirement from the army he was far from idle.  From 1981 to 1984 he was India’s ambassador to Indonesia, and was late appointed as the Governor of the Punjab from 1990-1991, when militancy was at its height.   There, despite some groups boycotting his visit, he went to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple within twenty-four hours of taking up office. He subsequently resigned from the post in protest at the delay in conducting the state polls.


General Malhotra’s work for this Trust was only one of several areas of dedicated charitable activity that he undertook. He was for many years the President of the equestrian Federation of India and the Founder President of the Asian Equestrian Federation. He also, with his family, set up and was devoted to two charities – Chikitsa and Shiksa – supporting communities in the fields of health and education, spending time there  each day during his latter years.


The Trust was honoured to have General Malhotra at its helm for so many years and we send his son, our present Chairman, and his family our deepest sympathies.