When former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi asked Sam Manekshaw, one of the most celebrated generals of the Indian Army, if he would go to war with Pakistan over Bangladesh in 1971, the brave officer had reportedly told Gandhi, "I am always ready, sweetie."
Considered to be one of India's greatest soldiers, Manekshaw symbolized courage and fearlessness in a military career spanning over four decades. Born as Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw in 1914, April 3 (Tuesday) marks 'Sam Bahadur's' 104th birth anniversary.
Manekshaw served as the chief of the army staff during the Indo-Pak War of 1971 and fought in 5 wars during his military career. For his contributions to the Indian Army, he was conferred with the rank of field marshal in 1973.
Here are a few facts about India's 1st field marshal:
- Born as Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, he was popularly called Sam Bahadur.
- Manekshaw was born April 3, 1914. Today, April 3, marks his 104th birth anniversary.
- Manekshaw was married to Siloo Bode April 22, 1939 in Bombay (Mumbai). The couple had two daughters Sherry and Maya.
- His career spanned over 40 years and he fought in 5 wars.
- The wars in which he participated were World War II, India-Pakistan war of 1947, Sino-Indian war of 1962, India- Pakistan war of 1965 and Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.
- For his bravery and contributions to Indian Army, he was awarded Military Cross in 1942, Padma Bhushan in 1968 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1972.
- Manekshaw was the 1st Indian Army officer to be conferred with the rank of field marshal in 1973.
- Manekshaw was set to retire in 1972, however, on the request of the then-president, his term was extended by 6 more months.
- He passed away due to pneumonia in Wellington, Tamil Nadu, in 2008.
- One of Manekshaw's most famous quotes is, "Give me a man or a woman with common sense and who is not an idiot and I assure you can make a leader out of him or her."
Tributes poured in for the brave officer as many famous personalities took to Twitter to pay their respects to Sam Manekshaw.
My homage to the great military leader Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his birth anniversary. Took part in liberation of Bangladesh under him .— Vijay Kumar Singh (@Gen_VKSingh) April 3, 2018