As a child everyone asked me who do you idolize, well I said nobody. That’s true, but I had a hero-maybe a little unusual for most people but I adore him- Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw. Why am I stating it today? My hero died last night. The man took seven rounds of bullets in his stomach and but continued to fight so his men were not left leaderless in the 1942 world war. He was the architect of India’s Victory against Pakistan in the 1971 war which lead to the creation of Bangladesh.
He was no stranger to controversy and managed to rub a lot of politicians and Bureaucrats the wrong way-it seems his outspokenness and refusal to toe the line landed him in serious trouble with Defence Minister V K Menon. Gouhar Khan son of Former Pakistani President Ayub Khan had insinuated that Sam Bahadur had sold India’s war plan of 1965 to the Pakistani Army- shame that even then Pakistan couldn’t win. No surprises that he released his father’s biography a few months later of making the statement. From whatever I have read and heard about him he was a task master, but very humane and had a wry sense of humor.
Wish I had written to him to let him he was my hero. Maybe you could try reading Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Soldiering with Dignity.