Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby bala » 28 Jun 2008 01:39

In this Saturday, February 24, 2007, file photo provided by Rashtrapati Bhavan, then president A P J Abdul Kalam greets Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw at a military hospital in Wellington.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby disha » 28 Jun 2008 01:47

May his spirit be reborn and multiply. Sam Bahadur, thanks for inspiring a new generation. You will be always missed.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby sunilUpa » 28 Jun 2008 01:47

Manekshaw: A soldier till the last

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw lives on.
His exploits in battlefield, as soldier and general, are the stuff of legend. In World War II, in the fighting in Burma, his stomach was ripped by Japanese fire. He did not give up fighting. In the 1961 India-China war, he was called to the front to lionise Indian soldiers being pushed back by the Chinese. He came, he inspired and he forced back the attack. His finest moment as soldier was, however, when he led the Indian forces to victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Sam Manekshaw was a soldier of great repute, but he also built a reputation of being no respecter of men. Lt-General A.K. Kalkat, a former army commander in Manekshaw's regiment, remembers a conversation between Manekshaw and a general accused of misusing funds: "Sir, do you know what you are saying?" asked the general. "You are accusing a general of being dishonest." Replied Manekshaw: "Your chief is not only accusing you of being dishonest but also calling you a thief. If I were you I would go home and either shoot myself or resign. I am waiting to see what you will do." The general submitted his resignation.
Some may have found him a man of eccentricities and unlikely virtues. But they say eccentricities are the mark of rare men – the kind of men who live on even after their death.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby ShibaPJ » 28 Jun 2008 01:52

Hindustan truly lost one of the bravest souls of the land. Rest in peace, Sir.. May we be blessed with 1000 more Sam's..

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby kaangeya » 28 Jun 2008 02:39

From The Dawn, next door, dated though. I am sure there are enough sane minds over there that can't but be moved/puzzled/WTF'd :eek: :roll: by the scale of tribute and homage paid to this soldier's soldier. The contrast between Sam Bahadur and their own rapacious [i]Crore "Chor" [Corps] Commanders[/i] is too sharp to be ignored. I believe that almost every walking talking soul in the Nilgiri Hills turned up to pay their respects yesterday.

http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/archive ... dmag10.htm
[quote]
Manekshaw’s war

By Commodore (retired) Najeeb Anjum
For 36 years now India’s first field marshal has been the icon of heroism.

“ALL QUIET ON THE EASTERN FRONT”, the melodious message continued ringing in the ears across West Pakistan (present-day Pakistan) by the state controlled media even on December 16, 1971 — a date which will live in infamy.

It is a reminder of the failure of leadership at the time as exemplified by Yahya Khan and his coterie in their handling of the worst crisis the country ever faced.

The Indo-Pak war of 1971 culminated in the creation of Bangladesh. Ironically, General Yahha Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army (re-designated as COAS in 1972) and President of Pakistan at the time of independence was a staff officer at Military Operations Directorate as a major and General SAM Manekshaw, the COAS of the Indian Army was posted as GSO-I as a Lt-Col. It was ordained that these two erstwhile compatriots would fight a full scale war against each other on 1971. Manekshaw showed uncommon ability to motivate his forces, coupling it with a mature war strategy and the war ended with Pakistan’s unconditional surrender.

Filed Marshal Sam Hormusji Framjee Jamsetjee Manekshaw MC, popular known as Sam Bahadur joined the first batch of 40 cadets at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, on October 1, 1932. He passed out in 1934 and was commissioned in the Royal Scouts and later to the 12 Frontier Force Rifles.

Manekshaw became the 8th Chief of Army Staff, Indian army when he succeeded General Kumaramangalam on June 7, 1969. In Indian Army the principle of seniority is an established norm since the appointment of General (later Field Marshal) Cariappa as the first C-in-C in 1949. When in April 1966 Mrs Indira Gandhi had informed Manekshaw that she had made up her mind to appoint him the next COAS after General Chaudri’s retirement, he declined the offer and later succeeded Kumaramangalam after his retirement.

General Manekshaw stood up to Mrs Indira Gandhi, the “Iron lady”, when asked to launch the offensive in East Pakistan in April, 1971. He even threatened to resign. He, at that point made it absolutely clear that he would not like any interference in his tasks and that he would guarantee her 100 per cent success. The Prime Minister let the COAS who by virtue of his seniority was also the chairman of Chief of Staff Committee to coordinate with other services.

Once the decision to undertake the operation was taken by the government, Sam set about it in earnest with his counterparts in the Navy and Air Force. He closely coordinated and integrated plans of all three services. On the contrary, the C-in-C Pakistan Navy heard the announcement of war on radio. The strategy as decided by Sam was to mount a multi-pronged attack, bypassing strongly held areas, with the aim of capturing maximum territory in the shortest possible time.

Sam set December 4, 1971 as the date for the launch of operation as the figure 4 was a lucky number. After having agreed upon D-Day the chief conveyed the decision to his army commander and the other two services’ chiefs. By an Indian account, “On December 3, 1971, at about 4:45pm, Pakistan Air Force jets attacked some forward airfields in India. The day and timing of these attacks left one wondering if our D-Day of December 4 had been compromised”.

Sam’s reaction to this was that Pakistan had taken the initiative and Indian operations would now be in response to these actions. Before the Indian troops marched into East Pakistan Sam ensured that the Indian Army did not resort to loot and rape. He also broadcast a message to the troops that, “When you see a Begum, keep your hands in your pockets, and think of Sam”.

Sam was the first Indian officer to reach at Delhi Railway Station to meet the Pakistani POWs. He shared a cup of tea and chatted with them for some time. The POWs were seen shaking their heads, saying that they wished they had generals like this in Pakistan, writes Major-General V K Singh in his book Leadership in the Indian Army.

General Manekshaw was conferred with the rank of Field Marshal on January 1, 1973, and thus became the first of the two Indian Army generals to be awarded this prestigious rank. For 36 years now India’s first field marshal has been the icon of heroism for his role in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Manekshaw proved beyond any doubt that the generals who leave their legacy through their varied experiences, failures and successes are those who combine military skills with a mastery of dealing with the civilian holders of power.[/quote]

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby shaardula » 28 Jun 2008 03:58

sir thank you.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Vivek K » 28 Jun 2008 04:31

RIP Sir! Thank you for your service to the nation.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby eklavya » 28 Jun 2008 04:53

A great leader and a great soldier.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby JaiS » 28 Jun 2008 05:08

Bangladeshi freedom fighters condole Manekshaw's death

New Delhi (PTI): Describing the Field Marshal as the supreme commander of the Bangladesh-India Allied Forces in 1971, his friends from the neighbouring nation on Friday expressed "deepest sorrow and profound shock at the sad demise" of Sam Manekshaw, the architect of the 1971 victory of India in its war with Pakistan.

At a condolence meeting held at Gulshan in Dhaka, the BCS Freedom Fighter Officers-Employees Central Welfare Association said the Bengali nation shall always remember the highest contribution of the iconic Field Marshal Manekshaw individually and his valiant forces for the liberation of Bangladesh.

"We gratefully acknowledge the valiant Indian soldiers, who sacrificed their valuable lives to free Bangladesh from the occupation forces of Pakistan under his supreme stewardship," a message from Muhammed Musa, Secretary General of the Association, said.

"Immediately after the liberation of Bangladesh, the Indian allied forces, who fought alongside the Bengali Mukti Bahini, had left Bangladesh under the undisputed Commander of Field Marshal Manekshaw, which amply proved their commitment and sincerity to the cause of liberation of Bangladesh," members of the association recalled at the meeting.

This recognition of Manekshaw's contribution in Bangladesh's liberation comes close on the heels of a recent invitation to Indian ex-servicemen, who participated in the campaign, to visit the neighbouring country to attend an event to mark the victory.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby putnanja » 28 Jun 2008 06:00

A Field Marshal and a gentleman

A Field Marshal and a gentleman

Rahul Bedi

Through earthiness and plain-speak Sam Manekshaw motivated an army that achieved what no other army has done since the Second World War — liberating a nation.


Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw was the quintessential soldier: magnificently mustachioed, charming, dapper, decisive, and above all, impervious to political pressure. He was better known as Sam Bahadur, or Sam the Brave, a title bestowed on him by his beloved Gurkhas. Compared to today’s standards and levels of probity in the Army, he was cool, bold and seminal. And he was considerate to those under his command. His was a highly decorated soldiering career that sp anned four decades.

He was also droll and irreverent, traits long extinct in the Indian military. He was an able listener, irrespective of how junior his interlocutor. He was charismatic, and rarely ever stood on ceremony. Through earthiness and plain-speak he motivated an army that achieved what no other army has done since the Second World War — liberating a nation. Even the U.S., with all its might and technical wizardry, has not managed such a feat in the past 63 years.

The Field Marshal was a team player. He almost always finished his own work in an hour and spent the rest of his time floating from one office to another. He often dropped in on harried juniors, and eagerly helped them with their tasks.

As Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Manekshaw’s chutzpah helped achieve ‘jointness’ among the three Services. This was evidenced by the coordinated and synergised operations that resulted in Pakistan’s military rout in 1971. Without doubt India’s finest war-time chief, he was also a noble warrior who looked upon his enemies with respect. Addressing troops from atop the bonnet of his jeep in the Chamb Sector in November 1971 weeks before the 1971 campaign started, he asked them not to be rapacious in victory.

Separately, he urged the officers not to misbehave with Pakistani women. If they were ever overcome with “negative urges,” they should put their hands in their pockets and think of Sam Manekshaw, he added. By and large, the Indian Army behaved in an exemplary manner in both the theatres of war. Having begun with the Second World War in which he was awarded the Military Cross on the battlefield during the Burma campaign, Manekshaw actively participated in all the wars that independent India fought. He capped it all with the decisive 1971 triumph that led to the birth of Bangladesh.
Measured campaign

Manekshaw’s planning of the 1971 campaign was brilliantly measured, and it showed his well-rounded leadership qualities. He steadfastly refused to cave in to pressure from either Prime Minister Indira Gandhi or her Cabinet colleagues to launch immediate military operations against East Pakistan. Their intention was also to stem the flow of millions of Bengali refugees into India after the Pakistan Army had executed a pogrom of intellectuals and leaders, killing over 50,000 of them.

In March 1971, largely Bengali East Pakistan had revolted against the dominance of its Punjabi and Pathan-dominated Western section. This resulted in a brutal crackdown by the army, which had a similar ethnic mix. The refugee exodus into India followed. This imposed on India a crippling financial burden. In addition, the influx strained the social and political fabric in the northeastern States, the effects of which remain till today. After touring the teeming refugee camps, Indira Gandhi asked Manekshaw what the Indian Army could possibly do to control the situation. “Nothing,” quipped Manekshaw, to the horror of the Prime Minister’s entourage of civil servants and Ministers. No one had ever dared to respond so brusquely to her.

An impatient Indira Gandhi, backed by her eager-to-please Cabinet, wanted Manekshaw to conduct a swift, surgical strike on East Pakistan and install a government led by Mujibur Rehman, the popular Bengali leader. This was to be followed by the return of the refugees. Manekshaw patiently listened, and then went on to elaborate firmly on the enormous logistical exercise that was necessary to launch operations against a 90,000-strong Pakistani Army. Guided by military logic, his capability and the reality on the ground, Manekshaw said that though his army would be operationally ready three months later in June, November 1971 would be the tactically opportune point to launch an attack on East Pakistan.

He had principally two reasons for this. The first was that the monsoon would render the region a virtual lake, making troop movement difficult. If India launched operations in June, the outcome would be catastrophic, he said. The second and equally credible rationale for a postponement was a perceived threat from China, with which India had fought a debilitating border war nine years earlier. Manekshaw wanted the Himalayan mountain passes to be snowed up before troops — at least two divisions of them — could be withdrawn from the Chinese front for deployment in the east.

He maintained in his briefing to Indira Gandhi and her Ministers that India must guard against the prospect of having to fight a war on two fronts. “That,” he declared, “would present me with problems far more complex than what had been the bane of the German General Staff for more than 50 years across two World Wars. It would be unwise to rely on diplomatic assurances that the Chinese would not react in support of Pakistan. We must wait for the snow to block the northern passes.”

Indira Gandhi ordered the General to move his formations into position and be ready to engage battle by June. In the ensuing months a whispering campaign was mounted by senior officials and politicians against Manekshaw. He was being accused of cowardice, vacillation and shoddy generalship. Manekshaw was aware of the calumny unleashed against him, but maintained his cool. He went about preparing for combat by bolstering the communication lines around East Pakistan. Indira Gandhi meanwhile secured a friendship and military treaty with the Soviet Union, the country’s principal materiel provider, thereby neutralising the possibility of any interference from either the United States or China. It also enabled the establishment of a formal Bangladesh government-in-exile in India and the arming and training of Mukti Bahini guerilla fighters jointly by the Research and Analysis Wing and Indian Army Special Forces personnel.

Over the next few months, until war started, these guerrillas successfully harassed and engaged the Pakistani Army, confining it to the garrison towns cut off from the capital, Dhaka. This made Manekshaw’s eventual task easier. And, when the Pakistan Air Force conducted a pre-emptive strike on Indian airfields in December 1971 from West Pakistan, Manekshaw unleashed his campaign. It all ended in a fortnight with the liberation of East Pakistan and the capture of over 90,000 Pakistani soldiers.

A firm believer in the chain of command, he delegated the battle planning and execution to Eastern Army field commanders. Meanwhile, he used his clout with the political establishment to meet the financial and hardware requirements. He was the uncrowned Chief of Defence Staff. (This is a post India’s military and political establishment has been wrangling over for the past decade.)
Inimitable modesty

With his inimitable modesty, Manekshaw declined to preside over the Pakistani surrender in Dhaka. He insisted that the credit go to the Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen. Jagjit Aurora. He jocularly remarked that he would go only to accept the surrender of the entire Pakistani Army.

As Chief of the Army Staff, Manekshaw had issued instructions that if anyone from 54 Sikhs came visiting, he was to be escorted straight to him, whatever time it was and whatever he was involved with. Occasionally, these grizzled veterans would arrive at Army House with a string of ‘sifarishs’ (requests) ranging from a bag of sugar for a daughter’s wedding or a note to the local administration for help. All were received with a robust burst of colloquial Punjabi, which Manekshaw spoke like a native. And none was left unrequited.

Deployed to Burma during the Second World War, he was badly wounded during a successful attack near the Sittang river on February 22, 1942 to capture a vital hill while leading two companies. As he charged forward with his men, a Japanese soldier emerged from the jungle and pumped seven bullets into Captain Manekshaw. The Division Commander, Major General D.T. Cowan, who was witness to the action, whipped off his own Military Cross ribbon and pinned it onto Manekshaw. His rationale was that a dead person could not be awarded one of the most coveted bravery medals in the British Army.

After recovering from his wounds, Mankeshaw was once more dispatched to Burma as part of General (later Viscount) Slim’s 14th Army and was wounded again. In the final days of the Second World War, he was appointed Staff Officer to General Daisy in Indochina. There, after the Japanese surrender he helped rehabilitate over 10,000 prisoners of war.

Appointed to the Military Operations Directorate after Independence in 1947, Brigadier Manekshaw was responsible for Planning and Logistics during the first India-Pakistan war over Jammu and Kashmir. He was reportedly the only military officer and one of three people present, albeit in an ante-room, in the palace in Jammu, when Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession ceding his kingdom to India in October 1947. The third person was V.P. Menon, who was political adviser to Lord Mountbatten at the time of Partition.

A series of staff and command postings followed. But in 1961 Manekshaw’s outspoken nature offended Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon. He favoured Lieutenant-General B.M. Kaul. There was also a court of inquiry into a nebulous charge, but he was exonerated.

India’s 1962 defeat by the Chinese followed, and Manekshaw was swiftly given command by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of the retreating 4 Corps, which was commanded earlier by General Kaul. Manekshaw did wonders to salvage their battered morale. He became Chief of the Army Staff in June 1969 and was made Field Marshal on January 1, 1973. He retired a fortnight later.
Unconventional

He was an unconventional and at times risqué dresser. He once hosted his senior Lieutenant-General, Kulwant Singh, who was commanding the Western Army at Shimla, at an inspection in a “wholly unsuitable” jacket that was a cross between a regulation shirt and a bush shirt. When General Singh referred to it disparagingly, he quipped: “Have you come to inspect my formation or my dress?” Manekshaw invariably supported his subordinate officers, even if they expressed views contrary to his — as long as they were professionally sound. Those who served with him said that he never raised his voice. But even a mild rebuke accompanied by “Sweetheart, this will not do,” was enough to tame the wildest of soldiery egos. Towards some of his peers, however, his attitude was one of disguised mockery.

But Manekshaw’s fabled irreverence got him into trouble with a vindictive Indira Gandhi, who was jealous of his standing after the war. A throwaway line to a news reporter at an airport soon after the 1971 victory that had he decided to migrate to Pakistan at Independence — thousands of Parsis had opted to stay on — India would have lost the war, infuriated Indira Gandhi. She not only castigated him publicly but withdrew some of the perquisites he enjoyed as Field Marshal.

Unlike his successors, Manekshaw faded gracefully into retirement, seeking neither to perpetuate the glory that was justifiably his for personal profit nor compromising his Field Marshal’s Five-Star standing.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby putnanja » 28 Jun 2008 06:04

Farewell, Field Marshal

SPECIAL TO THE EXPRESS

Farewell, Field Marshal
Posted online: Saturday, June 28, 2008 at 0220 hrs Print Email
‘An icon, he stood up for the Army and maintained its izzat’

Lt Gen J F R Jacob: I knew Sam Manekshaw from 1950 when he was Director, Military Operations at Army Headquarters. I used to visit his house frequently. He was very generous and his wife was a charming hostess. She used to throw nice candlelight dinners for us.

Sam used to bring home files and would ask me to help clear them. He was under great pressure at that time as there was a proposal to run the Army down to 100,000 which was known as plan 100. It was to the credit of Sam that he strongly opposed it and ensured that the arm was not run down.

He was also kind enough to give me a dog called Ponting which was my companion for a long time.

My next interaction with him was at Staff College when he was a very popular Commandant and took part in a lot of social activities. He was a keen fisherman and used to go out fishing a lot for trout. Sometimes I went with him. He used to carry a smoker with him to smoke the fish on site.

Unfortunately for him, Lt Gen B M Kaul was very apprehensive and envious of him and instigated an inquiry against him for anti-national activities. I was asked to give evidence and I refused. The charges were stupid and the inquiry was dismissed.

From there he moved to a Corps and Army commander and later as Chief. My next interaction with him was when he was Army Chief and in 1969 he came to see us with the Home Secretary. We had long discussions and he gave us the directive to deal with Naxalites in West Bengal. I asked for more troops and he was kind enough to give us two more divisions.

The Naxals were driven out by mid-1971. This was on the initiative of Sam, that was based on the instructions of Mrs Indira Gandhi.

In April ‘71, after the crackdown on Bangladesh, a lot of refugees were coming in and Manekshaw told me that the government was pressuring him that the army should move into Bangladesh. I told him we have Mountain Divisions, the monsoons are about to begin, we have no bridges, are lacking transportation and we need time to train.

We could not get ready for the war.

There was a meting held in the Operations Room in Army Headquarters. Mrs Gandhi came to the meeting. It is to the credit of Manekshaw that Mrs Gandhi was briefed as to why it is inadvisable to move in now and that the earliest date would be after the monsoon. He insisted on that and Mrs Gandhi accepted this.

As Army Chief, Manekshaw got along very well with Mrs Gandhi and others. He was able to get from the government the equipment and weapons that we required. He also got on with the bureaucracy but stood up to them.

It is to Sam’s credit that he stood up for the Army and did not let the bureaucracy ride over us. He maintained throughout the izzat of the Indian Army. That is one of his greatest contributions. He raised the prestige of the Indian army. We should not forget that.

Sam was very gregarious, he mixed a lot, met people and was very popular with troops. He had a great personality and the ability to charm people. The Army needed someone and Sam was there. Sam became an icon.

— Lt Gen J F R Jacob was the Chief of Staff, Eastern Command during the 1971 war and negotiated the surrender of 93,000 Pakistani soldiers from General Niazi.


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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby sunilUpa » 28 Jun 2008 06:12

Lust for life, zest for battle

New Delhi, June 27: By the time the Great Mule finally kicked him in Wellington last night, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had transcended the line between legend and myth. It’s been a lark of a trip.

He was a legend when he said “No” to Indira Gandhi and refused to go to war in April 1971 and then, eight months later, delivered modern India’s greatest military victory.


Sam Bahadur has been in and out of the military hospital in Wellington for much of the last five years. He’s been in and out of a coma, prepared to die, never looking forward to it, adept at dodging his Maker with a feint here and a shove there for much of his life.

It surprised him no less than others that he should be able to exhibit such zest, such a lust for life that it should conceal the horrible, calculated working of a military mind.

Four corps of the army he commanded converged on Dhaka from four directions and, aided by the Mukti Bahini, forced the surrender of the Pakistani army and helped create a new nation.

In the most celebrated military photograph showing Pakistan’s Lt General A.A.K. Niazi signing the instrument of surrender on December 16, 1971, the general who crafted the victory is absent.

He was in Delhi, twirling a waxed moustache and guffawing. Did he really tell Indira Gandhi “Sweetie, I told you so?” — we’ll never know now.

We know of course that subsequent generals had not learnt to say “No” when it mattered most, for example, in 2001, when India’s Prime Minister ordered the army to mobilise for a war that was never intended.

Thirty years on from 1971, the generals quietly agreed to march the entire soldiery into a political game, not daring to point out how foolhardy it is to expose military assets when you do not intend going into battle.

Myths have been woven about Manekshaw’s flamboyant personality since the time he was conferred the rank of field marshal in 1973. Myths are necessary to the military in India because real life is boring.

Manekshaw was not prepared for the honours that came his way. You can bet he did not dream of getting a state funeral — like the government has today decided to accord to him “in a rare gesture” — when he died.

For, decades before he was made field marshal, Manekshaw, the first Indian Military Academy cadet to be punished for weekend excess on “liberty”, was prepared to die when he was only 28 years of age.

He took bullets in his body in Burma in 1942 — and lived a decade and more for each of the nine pieces of lead. When the Australian surgeon asked him what had wasted him so, Manekshaw replied: “A bloody mule kicked me.” After that, the doctor was determined. “By Jove,” he said, “you have a sense of humour; I think you are worth saving.”

If leadership sat lightly on the general who exemplified it, it was because the man couldn’t stop having a good laugh at the world, his times and himself, in that order. He waged war, yes — and war is horrible because you kill or get killed or plot to kill and it is macabre and all of that — but Manekshaw almost spotted a sport in it.

If you must be a professional soldier, paid to kill or get killed, it is just as well that you should go about the nasty business with a head swilling in Dimple scotch whisky.

Manekshaw’s nasha has been infectious. He allegedly called Indira Gandhi “sweetie” in 1971 and, a few months back, called septuagenarian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who went to meet him, “a baby”. Kalam had gone to gift him the arrears of salary totalling more than Rs 1 crore, much of which had accrued when politicians were suspicious of the field marshal and he was being victimised for a cavalier attitude towards India’s rulers.

The provocation, apparently, was a newspaper interview in which he said had he chosen to go to Pakistan at the time of Partition, India would not have won the 1971 war. Parliament members of the time (1972) found in that statement an element of disloyalty when, in fact, it was reflecting a professional military mind.

Seeds of suspicion were sown again in 2005 when Gohar Ayub Khan, former Pakistan governor and son of Pakistan’s General Ayub Khan, insinuated that Manekshaw, as an officer of the Directorate of Military Operations in 1948, had leaked plans for the 1965 war.

Gohar Ayub Khan never named Manekshaw but maintained that the officer was still alive and that his wife had a fondness for gardening. Manekshaw’s wife Siloo died in 2001.

Despite the army protestations, few Indian politicians rose up and asked how it was that Pakistan lost the 1965 war despite getting hold of India’s warplan?

Manekshaw, if he was aware of the controversy, never spoke a word about it and, in fact, the Indian Army was even shy of uttering that it was to their field marshal that the Pakistani politician was referring.

Now that Manekshaw is no more, Gohar Ayub’s views should be all the more interesting. But the field marshal has left no one in doubt about what he thought of India’s politicians — though he did tell Indira Gandhi who was afraid he was planning a coup that he was happy running the army without having to shoulder the burden of running the country.

He said: “I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor; a gun from a howitzer; a guerrilla from a gorilla — although a great many of them in the past have resembled the latter.”

Manekshaw refused to take ambassadorships and gubernatorial positions since his retirement. His biggest prize probably came only in April this year, when he was given the news that Bangladesh hosted 10 Indian generals he had commanded in the 1971 war, and finally acknowledged the role of the Indian Army in the creation of that nation.

Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw a.k.a Sam Bahadur R.I.P.


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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Surya » 28 Jun 2008 06:15

In another thread some folks questioned what an Army chief can do against the political\babu combo.

Manekshaw showed how one can maintain that izzat.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby BSR Murthy » 28 Jun 2008 07:04

Sam Bahadur, you made us proud sir. Thank you for your service and inspiration. RIP. We will miss you dearly. Yes, our government and military leadership lost our ways and do not respect our national heroes. But, every Indian that is patriotic is mourning your loss and fondly remembering your heroism and looking forward to a day we will have the military and civilian leadership that we can be proud of.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Jagan » 28 Jun 2008 07:30

Shiv Aroor's Live Fist

Friday, June 27, 2008
R.I.P Sam Manekshaw - 1914-2008

The first time I met Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was at a Cavalry function held on the Army parade grounds in late 2004, a function I reported for the Express. Bent and frail, but still supremely regal, Sam inspected a guard of honour and the formation. His famous humour was intact. When one television journalist asked Sam what he would have liked to be if not an Army officer, he looked her up and down rakishly and said, "Why, my dear, a gynecologist!" That was my first encounter with the Field Marshal.

In early May 2005, after Lt Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora passed away, I got my first one-on-one with the Field Marshal. My boss at the time insisted that I begin Aurora's obituary piece with a quote from Manekshaw. His daughter Maja was kind enough to allow me to meet them -- they were staying with a friend in the Cantonment area. Gracious and still a formidable presence despite how age had enfeebled him, Manekshaw spoke about Aurora and the war. He did not wait for my questions. He said, "Jaggi was a first class officer, a first class soldier and a first class gentleman. He won the war for India, and I sent him to accept the surrender. He did all the work, and they made me a field marshal instead." My one regret is that I took not photographs of and with the man during this privileged interaction.

More at http://livefist.blogspot.com/2008/06/rip.html

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby AnantD » 28 Jun 2008 08:01

I have no words but gratitude for a Great Soldier.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Santosh » 28 Jun 2008 12:07

Rest in peace sir.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Austin » 28 Jun 2008 12:44

God Bless the brave soul , R.I.P

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Sriram » 28 Jun 2008 12:51

na karma na prajayA dhanEna tyAgE naikE amritatvamAnusuhu.

My respects.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby dipakp » 28 Jun 2008 15:20

Tributes to Sam Bahadur - the greatest and unparalleled!

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Juggi G » 28 Jun 2008 16:40

IndianExpress
‘Free from Anxiety, Perplexity and Fear’
OBITUARY
S. D. Sood
The writer, a retired Major General served as ADC and Deputy Military Assistant to Manekshaw (August 68 till September 72)

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Juggi G » 28 Jun 2008 16:40

IndianExpress
The Troops’ General
V.P. Malik [The Former Chief of Army Staff (1997-2000) ]
His example took me to Kargil

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Juggi G » 28 Jun 2008 16:40


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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Vasu » 28 Jun 2008 17:09

One of India's greatest sons will inspire us forever.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Tamang » 28 Jun 2008 17:41


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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Tilak » 28 Jun 2008 17:46

Field Marshal Sam Bahadur, Amar rahe!.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Surya » 28 Jun 2008 20:07

yup these are the Chiefs who are going to get their izzat back.

The ones in country could not even make it to his funeral. What can we tell politicians if our senior military men a re like that.

:( What a shameless bunch?

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Vishal VT » 28 Jun 2008 21:31

The nation has lost an inspirational legendary military commander who restored the pride of the Indian armed forces after the dark times of 1962 and the stalemate of 1965.

Sam Bahadur I pray that you continue to inspire the officers and men of our armed forces and of our country and that your legend live on for a long long time in the history of our nation.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby skher » 28 Jun 2008 22:24

May you inspire a billion more hearts to serve their nation with courage and honor.

As he rightly surmised once: "I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor; a gun from a howitzer; a guerrilla from a gorilla -- although a great many of them in the past have resembled the latter."

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Rahul M » 28 Jun 2008 22:27

NDTV running a talk show hosted by ajai shukla on should Sam get the bharat ratna.

the guests are Gen VP Malik, Gen JFR Jacob and some BJP MP who has served in the forces.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby ramana » 28 Jun 2008 22:35

THE TIMES OF INDIA
EDIT PAGE
SATURDAY, 28 JUNE 2008



SO LONG BAHADUR: Play It Again, Sam
28 Jun 2008, 0000 hrs IST,

by C Uday Bhaskar





Field Marshal Manekshaw, better known as Sam Bahadur, was an extraordinary 'fauji' who combined the best qualities of head and heart with aplomb and elan -though he had his fair share of luck -to steer him through tumultuous times.

Commissioned in the erstwhile British Indian Army in 1934, his exploits as a young officer in the Burma campaign in World War II earned him a coveted Military Cross.

Even then, his irrepressible, puckish wit was on display. With 18 LMG bullets embedded in his body, his response to the doctor was "a mule kicked me!" Victim of the Krishna Menon vendetta against apolitical professionalism in the higher ranks of the Indian mili-tary during the Nehru years, Sam stood his ground and would have been relegated to obscurity but for the ill-fated 1962 war with China.

Brought back into the operational loop, he became army chief in 1969 with Indira Gandhi as prime minister. His finest hour was the 1971 war, leading to the birth of Bangladesh.

In many ways this was an unprecedented punctuation in the annals of Indian history. Not since Chandragupta Maurya in 300 BC had the entity of India won such a decisive military victory.

Sam's charisma was legendary and his personal rapport with Indira Gandhi distinctive. His quip at the time was that fate had ordained that he obey two women for greater part of his adult life -his wife at home and the PM at work.

The Indian Army was demoralised after the debacle of 1962 and the political ineptitude of the time had eroded the institutional sinews of the glorious Indian 'fauj'. By dint of personal example and astute leadership -which meant being able to recognise professional talent sans sycophancy -Sam nurtured the Indian Army back to its lost stature with a sure hand.

The post-1962 decade was a period of uncertainty and anxiety for India and if Indira Gandhi steadied the ship of the state with her political acumen, Sam and his peers gave the nation its finest hour in 1971.

A despondent nation bounced back. More than the personal courage a la Burma and sound professionalism, Sam's most significant contribution was his politico-military pers-picacity.

Indira Gandhi was a strong-willed PM and brooked no dissent. But as army chief he was both firm and persuasive in rendering the most objective military advice that she needed and, to her credit, this was heeded.

Such politico-military synergy, alas, has remained elusive after Sam and his celebratory life

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby ramana » 28 Jun 2008 22:37

Sam Bahadhur was appraising his leader Mrs. Gandhi, of the ground realities of troop readiness. Instead of acknowledging that he did it the right way, the DDM is spinning it as defiance of Mrs. Gandhi. I dont like the trend.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Gerard » 29 Jun 2008 00:04

Stirring send-off to ‘Sam Bahadur’

The body was buried in a Parsi graveyard in Udhagamandalam, next to where lay buried his wife Silloo, who died seven years ago.

Union Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju placed a wreath on behalf of the Prime Minister and the Central Government. State Khadi Minister D. Ramachandran placed a wreath on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government.

Representatives of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, the Royal Bhutan Army and the three forces of Bangladesh, the Southern Command and local wings of the forces placed wreaths.

Around noon, the body was kept at the Madras Regimental Centre parade grounds, Wellington, for about three hours to enable the public to pay homage. Thousands of people, ranging from officers of the armed forces and civil officials to members of the public, filed past. The queue seemed endless.

The body was then placed in a coffin and taken in a flower-bedecked military truck to the graveyard, 20 km from Wellington. The last rites were performed by Manekshaw’s family members in a private ceremony under Zoroastrian customs.


Image

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby sunilUpa » 29 Jun 2008 01:02

Play it again, Sam

It’s friday morning. I’m driving to work and, as usual, turn on the radio to catch All India Radio’s breakfast news bulletin. But what’s this? Instead of the headlines I half expected — the latest antics of the Left on the nuclear deal that had become de rigeur the past few days — the clinical voice of the news reader announced something quite different: ‘Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw passed away this morning.’

The grand old man (he was 94) of the Indian army had breathed his last in the army hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu. And then there were the usual eulogies to the first field marshal of independent India, the man who master-minded India’s victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

I listened, but desultorily, for my mind was no longer on the details of what was undoubtedly, a brilliant career. Instead my thoughts flew back to the day back in 1971, when as a dewy-eyed teenager in her first year of college I’d penned a letter to Sam Manekshaw. It was immediately after the war, a time when I, like most others in Delhi’s Lady Shri Ram College had spent trying, in our own small way, to help with the war effort.

We went around various colonies in the capital, collecting what we could for the jawans and their families — warm clothes, rations, books, whatever we could lay our hands on. We held jumble sales to raise money and spent precious hours wrapping up chocolates to be air-dropped to jawans in the Western and Northern sectors. In retrospect, when I think back, half of what we collected must have been completely useless. But we were so caught up in the fervour of doing something for the country that I don’t think any of us thought about it rationally.

In all this, Sam Manekshaw was everyone’s, or at least every girl’s, hero. So it was that soon after the war ended, I decided I had to write to Manekshaw and tell him just how much I admired him! Needless to say I immediately became the butt of merciless teasing from friends and relatives. ‘You, a chit of a girl, want to write to this great war hero! Do you think he’ll even bother to reply? Most probably the letter will be read by some lackey of his and be thrown into the dustbin.’

But obstinate as a mule (a trait that, unfortunately, I carry with me to this day!), I sat down and in my best convent-school handwriting (personal computers were unknown then and my middle-class family did not possess a type-writer) wrote to Maneksaw and told him just how much I admired him. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a copy because after all the ribbing I’d got I never expected him to reply. But it must have been a pretty silly sort of letter. All fan mail usually is!

So imagine my surprise when about a fortnight later, a shiny army car drew up in front of our government flat, a smart young officer got out and asked to see me. And in full view of the whole family and the curious eyes of neighbours gave me a smart salute before handing me a letter with compliments from Army Chief Sam Manekshaw! I could scarcely contain my excitement! With eager hands I tore open the envelope and there was a neat hand-written letter in black-ink, thanking me and enclosing a small photograph of the dapper general, his cap set at his customary rakish angle!

Almost by magic my stock in the neighbourhood and my friends’ circle soared. I had actually received a letter from the great man himself! Could there be a better prize? Today more than 37 years later, I still have his letter and photograph, slightly yellow with age, but none the worse for that.

Thank you, Field Marshall Manekshaw! You made my day! I never told you because we never met, but if I walked a little taller than my 4 ft 11 inches for a few days back in 1971, it was thanks to you. Goodbye, Sam! They don’t make them like you anymore!

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby sunilUpa » 29 Jun 2008 01:12

Remembering Sam Manekshaw He was Bangladesh's true friend and ally
The death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw brings to an end a life that was as noted for its longevity as for its achievements. Manekshaw was ninety four when he passed away on Friday. To that extent, he lived a full life in a country that he honoured and which in turn remained ever grateful to him. All Indians will remember for long the singular contributions he made toward upholding the prestige of their country through shaping a military victory against Pakistan in 1971.

For the people of Bangladesh, Manekshaw remains, and will remain, a shining symbol of friendship in a time of their greatest need. As the chief of the Indian army, he was one individual who acknowledged early on in 1971 the odds the people of Bangladesh were up against in their war of liberation against a genocidal Pakistan army. It was through his unparalleled commitment to the cause of justice for Bengalis that he was able to strategise the course of a war which would culminate in the liberation of Bangladesh.

Yet it is also remembered by the people of this country that Manekshaw brought no jingoism to bear on the battle plans he shaped in 1971. Asked by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the cabinet in April of the year if he was ready to move into battle mode against the Pakistan army in occupied Bangladesh, he was honest in his answer. He cited geography, the weather and, most importantly, the need for military preparations. By November 1971, with the Pakistanis in deepening trouble in Bangladesh and the Mukti Bahini making advances, Manekshaw was ready to strike. Pakistan gave him a convenient reason to hit back when its air force struck Indian cities on the western front in early December. Less than a fortnight later, half of Pakistan was gone and Bangladesh emerged, bloodied but unbowed, as a free nation.

We pay tribute to Sam Manekshaw. A gentleman soldier, one given to wit that matched his seriousness, he was committed to our cause. Had he not been around in 1971, things could well have been different for us. He was our true friend and ally and will always be our pride, just as he is India's, and a source of inspiration for all of us in Bangladesh.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Jagan » 29 Jun 2008 03:04

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/0 ... ws0718.htm

Foreign Advisor, Army Chief condole Manekshaw's death
UNB, Dhaka

Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury expressed profound sorrow and grief condolence at the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.

In a message of condolence to Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the Foreign Advisor said Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw combined in him the rare qualities of a great soldier, military strategist and a leader of people he worked with.

"The people and the government of Bangladesh will always recall with warm gratitude his signal contribution to our war of liberation and his association with a glorious epoch in the history of Bangladesh's evolution," Iftekhar said.

The Advisor conveyed deep sympathy for members of the bereaved family.

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed has also conveyed his condolence to the bereaved family of Field Marshal Manekshaw and also to the Chief of Staff of Indian Army.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Jagan » 29 Jun 2008 03:07

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jun/27spec.htm

When destiny played its part

Maj Gen E D'Souza (retd) | June 27, 2008

Was Sam Manekshaw destined to be elevated to the highest rank in the army in the world, that of a Field Marshal? It would appear so in this case because Sam Manekshaw, when a student, had set his eyes on following in the footsteps of his father, Dr Hormusji Framjee Manekshaw, and one of his elder brothers, the late Air Vice Marshal Manekshaw of the Air Force Medical Corps, into the medical profession. And this is where destiny stepped in.

Sam Manekshaw's father had settled in Amritsar [Images]. Sam was sent to the well-known Sherwood College, Nainital, in the beautiful Kumaon Hills, Jim Corbett country, as a boarder. He did well in the Senior Cambridge Examination and had no difficulty in obtaining a seat in the Hindu Sabha College, Amritsar, to do his inter science examination in biology and chemistry, a prerequisite to qualifying for a seat in a medical college. He did well in this examination and had hoped to be sent to England [Images], in the footsteps of his two older brothers. But his father Dr Manekshaw thought that Sam, who was then just 16, was too young to be exposed to the flesh pots of England. And this is where destiny took over.

While glancing through a newspaper, Sam saw an advertisement issued by the government, calling for eligible young Indian gentlemen to apply for the first ever course at the newly established Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun. The first course was to commence in 1930. Of the 1200 young Indians who applied, Sam Manekshaw was one of the 16 to quality, which was quite an achievement.

The soldier who created a nation

He had set his sights on asking for a good infantry regiment, and in making his choice he was influenced by a Major Moore, one of his instructors, who belonged to the 12th Frontier Force Regiment, to join that regiment which carried with it the tag Frontier Force (FF), flaunted with much pride by those Indian and Cavalry Regiments entitled to use it.

When World War II ended, Sam was selected to fly with 35 Sikh Troops of his regiment as part of General Gracey's force to Indo-China and was the first to land at Saigon to implement the task of disarming 60,000 Japanese troops, including a Japanese general. He took this unusual role in his stride.

His exceptionally gifted qualities, both professional and personal, were soon recognized when he became the first ever Indian officer to become the Director General of Military Operations in Army HQ at a period when India's future was being shaped. Perhaps what influenced the powers that be in making this appointment were his ability to grasp the geo-political and military situation prevailing, and his uncanny ability to translate and apply them to India's military problems.

Images: Beloved Sam Bahadur

The next step in his steady rise in the Army hierarchy was the predicted move from Mhow to do the year-long course at the Imperial Defence College, London [Images]. This was strictly by stringent selection and senior officers deputed for this course were obviously headed for greater things. Brigadier Manekshaw returned from this course having earned the symbol idc, which he added to his psc earned at the Staff College, Quetta.

On his return to India he was posted on promotion to take over 26 Infantry Division responsible for the security of the Jammu-Pakistan border. But he did not stay here for long. Having successfully done the course at the IDC, predictably, he was moved to the then most important training institution of military training, the prestigious Defence Service Staff College, Wellington, nestling in the Nilgiri Hills or the Blue Mountain.

He was moved to the East in November 1962, to take over 4th Corps at Tezpur in the rank of Lieutenant General. This was a sensitive command after the recent Chinese incursions and much rethinking was demanded.

After a stint of a year, an experience he treasured, he was moved once again, but on this occasion to the North to take over the prestigious Western Command, headquartered in Shimla. But he did not stay here long. With trouble brewing in the East, he was moved to Calcutta to take over the very sensitive Eastern Command facing two major powers, China and Pakistan.

Manekshaw's Kashmir mission

Lieutenant General Manekshaw faced numerous critical situations not only in NEFA, Nagaland and Mizoram, but in West Bengal and Calcutta, with firmness and personal courage. He would face howling mobs baying for blood. His very presence � armed with only his cane and in his inimitable side cap, he would move around nonchalantly � had the desired help.

In 1969, General PP Kumaramangalam's tenure as Chief of the Army Staff was coming to an end and the government was faced with the problem of selecting a new Chief. The race was between two distinguished infantry Generals, both with good records of service and both Army Commanders, Lieutenant General Sam Manekshaw and the very impressive Lieutenant General Harbaksh Singh, a contemporary and an IMA product as well, the GOC-in-C Western Army. Whereas General Manekshaw had a better all-round record in command, staff and instructional appointments, General Harbaksh Singh had field experience as a Brigade Commander in the Uri sector and had led the Western Command successfully during the 1965 War against Pakistan; the choice facing the government was a delicate and narrow one.

Sam Bahadur

Both were commanding 'operational' Army Commands, both were war experienced, Sam Manekshaw earlier in his service but Harbaksh Singh later, and both were decorated. The latter had powerful connections, belonging as he did to the Patiala royal family. The prime minister was Indira Gandhi [Images] and the defence minister was Sardar Swaran Singh. There was a delay in announcing the choice, which meant that there must have been a debate. Eventually, at 1315 hours on that fateful day news seeped through the grapevine that Lieutenant General Sam Hormusji Framjee Manekshaw was to be the next Chief of the Army Staff. For his supporters the tense period of waiting had ended. Yet again destiny had intervened. Had the choice been otherwise, would India have had a Field Marshal? And a Parsi at that!

Excerpted from Enduring Legacy, Parsis of the 20th Century, Volume II � The Professions, Pages 492, 494, 497, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505 and 506. Editor: Nawaz B Mody

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Jagan » 29 Jun 2008 03:11

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1174188

He planned, conducted, and won the 1971 war
Josy Joseph
Saturday, June 28, 2008 03:25 IST
Depinder Singh

There is a saying that “victory has many parents, defeat is an orphan.” So the 1971 victory has many claimants, of being its architect, but the fact of the matter is that it was Sam Manekshaw’s strategic vision and character which ensured that we didn’t enter the war prematurely.

And we only started when we were ready. And thus made the enemy play to your tune rather than you play to enemy’s tune.

Correlated with that, one must give credit to Mrs Gandhi, who despite all political pressures had the audacity to accept the advice of a professional, and not to hustle him into doing anything prematurely. The operations of 1971 were planned by him, conducted by him, and won by him.

The war days were a relaxed atmosphere in the headquarters, there was never tension and the mornings would start with me going around getting details of what had happened in the last 24 hours. I would brief him when he came into the office around 9 or little earlier. He would then push off to the PM, everyday, brief her, come back, and then the defence minister would walk across to his office, get briefed. Then there would be a chiefs of staff meeting, and orders would be issued for 24 hours. Very relaxed!

That time even though he gave that impression of being relaxed, internally there was a lot of tension. So his natural wit was at a premium, I remember.

Many stories have been spawned over by many, but the fact is that when Mrs Gandhi was first briefed about incursions in the military operations room, she asked, “Can we do something to ease pressure?” He turned to her: “Prime Minister, you never allowed me to enroll goondas into the Army, so there is nothing that I can do at the moment.” She just smiled, and said, “OK.”

The day after that or so there was the cabinet meeting at which the Field Marshal was invited, where everyone was insisting that we must go in right away. That is where he said, “I am glad that you all are playing Hamlet without the prince.”

Then he got after the finance minister saying, “I asked for tanks you haven’t given me money for that.” And another minister, complaining about some other pending sanction. “How can you now tell me to start right away? I will only start operations when I am ready,” he said. Since the PM had already accepted the advice, it was left to his professional judgment.

It was his human qualities that really attracted people to him, his abilities to be gracious, to be kind, to be giving and not demanding anything in return except hard work. And hard work is what we are paid for. That is what sort of earned him all that charisma he generated, and it made people following him loyally.

When finally Bangladesh was liberated, and the moment for accepting Pakistan’s surrender in Dhaka came, he said, “(Lt General) Jagjit Singh Arora (then chief of the army’s eastern command) fought this battle, it is but right that he accept this surrender.” He was ready to give due, equally ready to accept blame.

One remembers him happily, always a light hearted spirit. Sadness, as in this moment, was never attached to his character.

(As told to Josy Joseph.) Lieutenant General Depinder Singh, who was military assistant to Manekshaw during the 1971 war, has written the official biography Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw: Soldiering With Dignity.

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Re: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away

Postby Jagan » 29 Jun 2008 03:12

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080628/j ... 476241.jsp

Charming, Sam could call a spade a spade
- He led a happy team and believed in the motto: work hard and play hard

J.J. SINGH

Sam Manekshaw
A tribute to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who died on Thursday night. He was 94. Manekshaw was accorded a state funeral on Friday in Tamil Nadu.

Sam Bahadur, as he was fondly called by the rank and file of the Indian Army, was an epitome of “the officer and a gentleman” tradition. For most of us who had the privilege and good fortune to serve under his leadership, he was indeed a role model.

General, later Field Marshal, Sam Manekshaw led our army to its finest victory in 1971. He masterminded the defeat of the Pakistani Army in erstwhile East Pakistan. It was the swiftest and most decisive victory in recent history. And importantly, it resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

I got to know him in 1957 as a teenager studying in Jammu, when he was the commanding general of the 26 Infantry Division there. He was one of the primary motivating factors in my deciding to join the NDA and serve the nation.

During my early years in the army, he was the army commander in Eastern Command in Calcutta. In 1965-68, we were serving in Nagaland. He had inspired all of us so much that we were ready to do anything to implement his strategy and directions relating to counter-insurgency. We had outstanding successes such as the neutralisation of the entire gang of Naga hostiles led by the self-styled General Mowu Angami.

I realised that Sam Bahadur was not only a great military leader, but he had many other qualities and facets of his personality, such as being lion-hearted, particularly in adversity. He also had an uncanny sense of humour, and seldom lost his cool.

At the highest levels of military leadership, one is required to have the moral courage to call a spade a spade and to render professional advice keeping national interest uppermost. Not only was he gifted with this important quality, but he was also endowed with the ability to put across his views tactfully and effectively.

The manner in which he displayed these attributes in early 1971, when the occasion demanded, during the briefing and discussions regarding the Bangladesh War, is legendary. A lesser person would not have been able to do what Sam Bahadur did.

Sam also lived life fully. He was disarming and friendly. Endowed with social charm and grace, he was extremely popular with the fair sex. He led a happy team and believed in the motto “work hard and play hard”.

He has many admirers and friends in Calcutta because of his stint as GoC-in-C of Eastern Command. He will surely be missed by them all as also by the rest of our countrymen.

I would fail in my responsibility if I do not mention Sam Bahadur’s concern for his men, the gallant soldiers of his Regiment, the 8th Gorkha Rifles, and the Indian Army. He was loved by the men. A true soldier’s General he was.

His passing away is a great loss to the Indian Army and our country, but his legend will live on.



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