I'll start this blog with a confession. I had not a clue about this great man till Sulekha wanted us to write a tribute in honor of his life. If I hadn't casually surfed through the posts here, I would've probably lived my life without ever gaining any awareness about this person. But, my interest got aroused at the mention of the 1971 Indo-Pak war and I decided to google and get some information on him.
Apparently, Sam Manekshaw held the highest rank of Field MArshall in the Indian Army. He was involved in active combat in the world war 2 and was even severely injured during the war. Oh boy, do I sound so naive and small! For me it is just one sentence ... active combat and was injured. But for some soldiers out there, it probably means a life filled with terror, no food, no water, no family and the sound of bullets from all around. I can just wonder as to how it feels to be away from your loved ones and keep praying that you would get to meet them, just one more time, before you get hit by one of those bullets that whiz past you. I can't even imagine how it feels like to be the family members of such brave soldiers!!
Oh yeah, I've seen my fair share of war movies and done my share of crying when the valiant hero dies a hero's death. But, I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't done anything else. I probably thought of those unknown faces just for a second and then moved on with my life. But, is that enough?
With such heart-breaking thoughts, I tried to read more about this great man. World war 2, Partitiion in India, Jammu Kashmir Issues in 1948 ... you name it, he was present in it. I have just begun to get information on him and I'm already impressed!! Manekshaw became the 8th chief of staff in 1969 after which came the great Indo-Pak war. To be very frank, even as I write this blog, I feel humbled. There have been so many unsung, unknown heroes in our country and it takes their death to arouse our curiosity and make us think about them.
Again, I'm not naive enough to believe everything that I read. Some part of me understands that as great as anybody is, each and every one of us have flaws. I can't help but wonder what was going on inside Mr.Manekshaw's head as he was fighting int the middle of a cold battle-ground? Surely, there must have been times when he wanted to quit and run. Surely he must have wistfully remembered his family and wondered if he'd ever see them again. Would that have been such a big crime?
It makes you think, take a deep hard look at your own life and introspect. HEre I'm, whining about my day-to-day problems, talking about hatred and anger ... and yet I'm alive and safe with my loved ones. If I can't take the ordinary pressures of my blisfully ordinary life, what would I've done if I had to fight in a war or even if my loved one had to fight in some war?
We keep talking about how war is bad and how the poor soldiers outthere are risking their lives for our safety. But beyond that courtesy speech, how many of us have really put their focus on theplight of such soldiers for more than a minute. It is one thing to want world-peace, and totally different to put that concept in to practise. HEy, if we can't achieve peace in our small circle and our small life, how are we ever going to achieve world-peace?
So, till that day comes when each and every one of us are at peace with our lot, wars will continue to exist. And till the day that wars exist, I'm thankful that bravesoldiers like Sam MAnekshaw and so many others like him are out there trying to do their duty to the best of their abilties.
No, I'm not going to amke this blog about listing Mr.Manekshaw's achievements. I just hope that at least a few of those who read this post get curious enough to do their own google search about him and others like him. What I plan to do is to send a prayer in the names of every single soldier out there ... Indian as well as non-Indian and hope to god that those who didn't make it find their own peace!!
As for Mr.Manekshaw, he did his job to the best ofhis abilities and may God bless his soul!!!
i remember him being my childhood hero. we never had television the impressions of this greatman is only some wonderful black and white images on substandard newsprint.
knew sams name from the days of 71 war.
was impressed when he said his juniors rather than he deserved to accept the surrender of pak army.
wow!!! i'm so glad i wrote this blog!! its an honor that you visited my post and decided to comment!! the more i learn about mr.manekshaw, the more my admiration increases .... for him and others like you and him!! my salute to all of you guys and god bless your soul!!
i am ex indian navy
and i have been in action from 1960-1971
chainese aggression we were badly humilated nehru preaching peace jolted to realty and then he realised the necessity of armed forces we started getting little respect
but we learned the lesson then on pak wars we fared well
and sam was the main architect of bangladesh
thanks to manikshah india had only one front to fight jihadi
may god he rest in peace and my salut
sam manekshaw call me sam, had a wicked sense of humour, i heard him live once while i was in wellington.
he was also a charmer...
may god rest his soul.
u know something? even the newspaper reports did not ignite any inetrest in me. 'ur blog has managed 2 do that. thnx sang :)