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  • Yeddanapudi markandeyulu
    Hi, Guys, Here is a wonderful, educative and keep sake mail forward to you that was sent to me by a very close, longstanding friend , philosopher and guide.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2013
      Hi, Guys,
      Here is a wonderful, educative and keep sake mail forward to you that
      was sent to
      me by a very close, longstanding friend , philosopher and guide.
      Please read this patiently( I took clear 30 minutes to read carefully and
      grasp) and preservre
      or otherwise save to your posterity, to explain moral and physical courage,
      leadership, loyalty factor and
      the much needed discipline in our lives.
      I am sooooo haaappppyyy to forward this to worthy you and join me in
      thanking my sincere friend
      in choosing to send this to me.He made my week end.
      V.R.SRINIVASAN, Chennai.


      *Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am fully conscious of the
      privilege, which is mine, to have been invited here to address the college.
      A while ago, I was invited to a seminar where the subject was youth, and
      people said that the youth of this country was not pulling its weight, that
      society generally was not satisfied with how the young were functioning.
      When I was asked what I thought about it, I said that the youngsters of
      this country are disappointed, disturbed and confused. They cannot
      understand why all these untoward things are happening in this country.
      They want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they want to study at night
      and there is no power, they want to know who is to blame. Not them. If they
      want to have a bath, there is no water; they want to know who is to blame.
      Not them. They want to go to college and university and they are told there
      are not any vacancies; they want to know who is to blame. Not them. They
      say - here is a country which was considered the brightest jewel in the
      British Crown. What has happened to this Bright Jewel?*

      * No longer are there excuses with the old political masters saying
      that the reason why we are in this state is because we were under colonial
      rule for 250 years. They turn around and say that the British left us
      almost fifty years ago. What have you done? They point to Singapore, they
      point to Malaysia, they point to Indonesia, and they point to Hong Kong.
      They say that they were also under colonial rule and look at the progress
      those countries have made.*

      *They point to Germany and to Japan who fought a war for four and a
      half years- whose youth was decimated and industry was destroyed. They were
      occupied, and they had to pay reparations; Look at the progress those
      countries have made. The youngsters want an answer. So, Ladies and
      Gentlemen, I thought I should give you the answer.*

      *The problem with us is the lack of leadership.*

      *Commandant, Ladies and Gentlemen, do not misunderstand me, when I say
      lack of political leadership. I do not mean just political leadership. Of
      course, there is lack of leadership, but also there is lack of leadership
      in every walk of life, whether it is political, administrative, in our
      educational institutions, or whether it is our sports organizations.
      Wherever you look, there is lack of leadership. I do not know whether
      leaders are born or made. There is a school of thought that thinks that
      leaders are born. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a population of 960 million
      people and we procreate at the rate of 17 million-equaling the total
      population of Australia-each year, and yet there is a dearth of leadership.
      So, those of you who still contribute to the fact that leaders are born,
      may I suggest you throw away your family planning, throw away the
      pill,throw away any inhibiting factor and make it free for all. Then
      perhaps someday a leader may be born.*

      *So, if leaders are not born, can leaders be made? My answer is yes. Give
      me a man or a woman with a common sense and decency, and I can make a
      leader out of him or her. That is the subject which I am going to discuss
      with you this morning.*

      *What are the attributes of leadership? The first, the primary, indeed the
      cardinal attribute of leadership isprofessional knowledge and professional
      competence. Now you will agree with me that you cannot be born with
      professional knowledge and professional competence even if you are a child
      of Prime Minister, or the son of an industrialist, or the progeny of a
      Field Marshal. Professional knowledge and professional competence have to
      be acquired by hard work and by constant study. In this fast- moving
      technologically developing world, you can never acquire sufficient
      professional knowledge.*

      *You have to keep at it, and at it, and at it. Can those of our political
      masters who are responsible for the security and defence of this country
      cross their hearts and say they have ever read a book on military history,
      on strategy, on weapons developments. Can they distinguish a mortar from a
      motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla, though a vast
      majority of them resemble the latter.*

      * Ladies and Gentlemen, professional knowledge and professional
      competence are a sine qua non of leadership. Unless you know what you are
      talking about, unless you understand your profession, you can never be a
      leader. Now some of you must be wondering why the Field Marshal is saying
      this, every time you go round somewhere, you see one of our leaders walking
      around, roads being blocked, transport being provided for them. Those,
      ladies and gentlemen, are not leaders. They are just men and women going
      about disguised as leaders – and they ought to be ashamed of themselves!*

      *What is the next thing you need for leadership? It is the ability to make
      up your mind to make a decision and accept full responsibility for that
      decision. Have you ever wondered why people do not make a decision? The
      answer is quite simple. It is because they lack professional competence, or
      they are worried that their decision may be wrong and they will have to
      carry the can. Ladies and Gentlemen, according to the law of averages, if
      you take ten decisions, five ought to be right. If you have professional
      knowledge and professional competence, nine will be right, and the one that
      might not be correct will probably be put right by a subordinate officer or
      a colleague. But if you do not take a decision, you are doing something
      wrong. An act of omission is much worse than an act of commission. An act
      of commission can be put right. An act of omission cannot. Take the example
      of the time when the Babri Masjid was about to be destroyed. If the Prime
      Minister, at that stage, had taken a decision to stop it, a whole community
      – 180 million would not have been harmed. But, because he did not take a
      decision, you have at least 180 million people in this country alone who do
      not like us.*

      *When I was the Army Chief, I would go along to a formation, ask the fellow
      what have you done about this and I normally got an answer, “Sir, I have
      been thinking… I have not yet made up my mind,” and I coined a
      Manekshawism. If the girls will excuse my language, it was ‘if you must be
      a bloody fool - be one quickly’. So remember that you are the ones who are
      going to be the future senior staff officers, the future commanders. Make a
      decision and having made it, accept full responsibility for it. Do not pass
      it on to a colleague or subordinate.*

      *So, what comes next for leadership? Absolute Honesty, fairness and justice
      – we are dealing with people. Those of us who have had the good fortune of
      commanding hundreds and thousands of men know this. No man likes to be
      punished, and yet a man will accept punishment stoically if he knows that
      the punishment meted out to him will be identical to the punishment meted
      out to another person who has some Godfather somewhere. This is very, very
      important. No man likes to be superceded, and yet men will accept
      supercession if they know that they are being superceded, under the rules,
      by somebody who is better then they are but not just somebody who happens
      to be related to the Commandant of the staff college or to a Cabinet
      Minister or by the Field Marshal’s wife’s current boyfriend. This is
      extremely important, Ladies and Gentlemen.*

      *We in India have tremendous pressures- pressures from the Government,
      pressures from superior officers, pressures from families, pressures from
      wives, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and girlfriends, and we lack the
      courage to withstand those pressures. That takes me to the next attribute
      of Leadership- Moral and Physical Courage.*

      *Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not know which of these is more important. When
      I am talking to young officers and young soldiers, I should place emphasis
      on physical courage. But since I am talking to this gathering, I will lay
      emphasis on Moral Courage. What is moral courage? Moral courage is the
      ability to distinguish right from wrong and having done so, say so when
      asked, irrespective of what your superiors might think or what your
      colleagues or your subordinates might want. A ‘yes man’ is a dangerous man.
      He may rise very high, he might even become the Managing Director of a
      company. He may do anything but he can never make a leader because he will
      be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his
      subordinates. So shallow– the ‘yes man’.*

      *I am going to illustrate from my own life an example of moral courage.
      In 1971, when Pakistan clamped down on its province, East Pakistan,
      hundreds and thousands of refugees started pouring into India. The Prime
      Minister, Mrs. Gandhi had a cabinet meeting at ten o’clock in the morning.
      The following attended: the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh, the
      Defence Minister, Mr. Jagjivan Ram, the Agriculture Minister, Mr.
      Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Rao, and I was
      also ordered to be present.*

      *Ladies and Gentlemen, there is a very thin line between becoming a Field
      Marshal and being dismissed. A very angry Prime Minister read out messages
      from Chief Ministers of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura. All of them saying
      that hundreds of thousands of refugees had poured into their states and
      they did not know what to do. So the Prime Minister turned round to me and
      said: “I want you to do something”.*

      *I said, “What do you want me to do?”*

      *She said, “I want you to enter East Pakistan”.*

      *I said, “Do you know that that means War?”*

      *She said, “I do not mind if it is war”.*

      *I, in my usual stupid way said, “Prime Minister, have you read the
      Bible?”And the Foreign Minister, Sardar Swaran Singh (a Punjabi Sikh), in
      his Punjabi accent said, “What has Bible got to do with this?”, and I said,
      “the first book, the first chapter, the first paragraph, the first
      sentence, God said, ‘let there be light’’ and there was light. You turn
      this round and say ‘let there be war’ and there will be war. What do you
      think? Are you ready for a war? Let me tell you –“it’s 28th April, the
      Himalayan passes are opening now, and if the Chinese gave us an ultimatum,
      I will have to fight on two fronts”.*

      *Again Sardar Swaran Singh turned round and in his Punjabi English said,
      “Will China give ultimatum?”*

      *I said, “You are the Foreign Minister. You tell me”.*

      *Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, last
      year you wanted elections in West Bengal and you did not want the
      communists to win, so you asked me to deploy my soldiers in penny pockets
      in every village, in every little township in West Bengal. I have two
      divisions thus deployed in sections and platoons without their heavy
      weapons. It will take me at least a month to get them back to their units
      and to their formations. Further, I have a division in the Assam area,
      another division in Andhra Pradesh and the Armoured Division in the
      Jhansi-Babina area. It will take me at least a month to get them back and
      put them in their correct positions. I will require every road, every
      railway train, every truck, every wagon to move them. We are harvesting in
      the Punjab, and we are harvesting in Haryana; we are also harvesting in
      Uttar Pradesh. And you will not be able to move your harvest.*
      *I turned to the Agriculture Minister, Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, “If there
      is a famine in the country afterwards, it will be you to blame, not me.”
      Then I said, “My Armoured Division has only got thirteen tanks which are

      *The Finance Minister, Mr. Chawan, a friend of mine, said, “Sam, why
      only thirteen?”*

      *“Because you are the Finance Minister. I have been asking for money
      for the last year and a half, and you keep saying there is no money. That
      is why.” Then I turned to the Prime Minister and said, “Prime Minister, it
      is the end of April. By the time I am ready to operate, the monsoon will
      have broken in that East Pakistan area. When it rains, it does not just
      rain, it pours. Rivers become like oceans. If you stand on one bank, you
      cannot see the other and the whole countryside is flooded. My movement will
      be confined to roads, the Air Force will not be able to support me, and, if
      you wish me to enter East Pakistan, I guarantee you a hundred percent

      *“You are the Government”, I said turning to the Prime Minister, “Now
      will you give me your orders?”*

      *Ladies and Gentlemen, I have seldom seen a woman so angry, and I am
      including my wife in that. She was red in the face and I said, “Let us see
      what happens”. She turned round and said, “The cabinet will meet four
      o’clock in the evening”.*

      *Everyone walked out. I being the junior most man was the last to
      leave. As I was leaving, she said, “Chief, please will you stay behind?” I
      looked at her. I said, “Prime Minister, before you open your mouth, would
      you like me to send in my resignation on grounds of health, mental or

      * “No, sit down, Sam. Was everything you told me the truth?”*

      * “Yes, it is my job to tell you the truth. It is my job to fight and
      win, not to lose.”*

      *She smiled at me and said, “All right, Sam. You know what I want. When
      will you be ready?”*

      * “I cannot tell you now, Prime Minister”, I said, but let me guarantee
      you this that if you leave me alone, allow me to plan, make my
      arrangements, and fix a date, I guarantee you a hundred percent victory”.*

      *So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as I told you, there is a very thin line
      between becoming a Field Marshal and being dismissed. Just an example of
      moral courage. Now, those of you who remembered what happened in 1962, when
      the Chinese occupied the Thag-la ridge and Mr. Nehru, the Prime Minister,
      sent for the Army Chief, in the month of December and said, “I want you to
      throw the Chinese out”. That Army Chief did not have the Moral courage to
      stand up to him and say, “I am not ready, my troops are not acclimatized, I
      haven’t the ammunition, or indeed anything”. But he accepted the Prime
      Minister’s instructions, with the result that the Army was beaten and the
      country humiliated.*

      *Remember, moral courage. You, the future senior staff officers and
      commanders will be faced with many problems. People will want all sorts of
      things. You have got to have the moral courage to stand up and tell them
      the facts. Again, as I told you before, a ‘yes man’ is a despicable man.*

      *This takes me to the next attribute: Physical courage. Fear, like hunger
      and sex, is a natural phenomenon. Any man who says he is not frightened is
      a liar or a Gorkha. It is one thing to be frightened. It is quite another
      to show fear. If you once show fear in front of your men, you will never be
      able to command. It is when your teeth are chattering, your knees are
      knocking and you are about to make your own geography- that is when the
      true leader comes out!*

      *I am sorry but I am going to illustrate this with another example from my
      own life. I am not a brave man. In fact, I am a terribly frightened man. My
      wife and I do not share the same bedroom. “Why?” you will ask. Because she
      says I snore. Although I have told her, No, I don’t. No other woman has
      ever complained”.*

      *I am not a brave man. If I am frightened, I am frightened of wild
      animals, I am frightened of ghosts and spirits and so on. If my wife tells
      me a ghost story after dinner, I cannot sleep in my room, and I have to go
      to her room. I have often wondered why she tells me these ghost stories

      *In World War II, my battalion, which is now in Pakistan, was fighting the
      Japanese. We had a great many casualties. I was commanding Charlie Company,
      which was a Sikh Company. The Frontier Force Regiment in those days had
      Pathancompanies. I was commanding the Sikh Company, young Major Manekshaw.
      As we were having too many casualties, we had pulled back to reorganize,
      re-group, make up our casualties and promotions.*

      *The Commanding Officer had a promotion conference. He turned to me and
      said, “Sam, we have to make lots of promotions. In your Sikh company, you
      have had a lot of casualties. Surat Singh is a senior man. Should we
      promote him to the rank of Naik?” Now, Surat Singh was the biggest Badmaash
      in my company. He had been promoted twice or three times and each time he
      had to be marched up in front of the Colonel for his stripes to be taken
      off. So I said, “No use, Sir, promoting Surat Singh. You promote him today
      and the day after tomorrow, I will have to march him in front of you to
      take his stripes off”. So, Surat Singh was passed over. The promotion
      conference was over, I had lunch in the Mess and I came back to my company
      lines. Now, those of you who have served with Sikhs will know that they are
      very cheerful lot- always laughing, joking and doing something. When I
      arrived at my company lines that day, it was quite different, everybody was
      quiet. When my second-in-command, Subedar Balwant Singh, met me I asked
      him, “What has happened, Subedar Sahib?” He said, “Sahib, something
      terrible has happened. Surat Singh felt slighted and has told everybody
      that he is going to shoot you today”.*

      *Surat Singh was a light machine gunner, and was armed with a pistol. His
      pistol had been taken away, and Surat Singh has been put under close
      arrest. I said, “All right, Sahib. Put up a table, a soap box, march Surat
      Singh in front of me”. So he was marched up. The charge was read out-
      ‘threatening to shoot his Commanding officer whilst on active service in
      the theatre of war’. That carries the death penalty. The witnesses gave
      their evidence. I asked for Surat Singh’s pistol which was handed to me. I
      loaded it, rose from my soap box, walked up to Surat Singh, handed the
      pistol to him then turned round and told him, “You said you will shoot me”.
      I spoke to him in Punjabi naturally. I told him, “Have you got the guts to
      shoot me? Here, shoot me”. He looked at me stupidly and said, “Nahin,
      Sahib, galtee ho gayaa”. I gave him a tight slap and said, “Go out, case
      dismissed”. *

      *I went around the company lines, the whole company watching what was
      happening. I walked around, chatted to the people, went to the Mess in the
      evening to have a drink, and have my dinner, but when I came back again
      Sardar Balwant Singh said, “Nahin Sahib, you have made a great mistake.
      Surat Singh will shoot you tonight”.*

      *I said, “Bulao Surat Singh ko”.*

      *He came along. I said, “Surat Singh, aj rat ko mere tambu par tu pehra
      dega, or kal subah 6 bjay, mere liye aik mug chai aur aik mug shaving water
      lana”. Then I walked into my little tent.*

      *Ladies and Gentlemen, I did not sleep the whole night. Next morning, at
      six o’clock, Surat Singh brought me a mug of tea and a mug of shaving
      water, thereafter, throughout the war, Surat Singh followed me like a
      puppy. If I had shown fear in front of my men, I should never have been
      able to command. I was frightened, terribly frightened, but I dared not
      show fear in front of them. Those of you, who are going to command
      soldiers, remember that. You must never show fear.So much for physical
      courage, but, please believe me, I am still a very frightened man. I am not
      a brave man.*

      *What comes next? The next attribute of leadership is loyalty. Ladies and
      Gentlemen, you all expect loyalty. Do we give loyalty? Do we give loyalty
      to our subordinates, to our colleagues? Loyalty is a three way thing. You
      expect loyalty, you must therefore, give loyalty to your colleagues and to
      your subordinates. Men and women in large numbers can be very difficult,
      they can cause many problems and a leader must deal with them immediately
      and firmly. Do not allow any non sense, but remember that men and women
      have many problems. They get easily despondent, they have problems of debt,
      they have problems of infidelity- wives have run away or somebody has an
      affair with somebody. They get easily crestfallen, and a leader must have
      the gift of the gab with a sense of humor to shake them out of their
      despondence. Our leaders, unfortunately, our “so-called” leaders,
      definitely have the gift of the gab, but they have no sense of humor. So,
      remember that.*

      *Finally, for leadership; men and women like their leader to be a man, with
      all the manly qualities or virtues. The man who says, “I do not smoke, I do
      not drink, I do not (No, I will not say it)’, does not make a leader. Let
      me illustrate this from examples from the past. You will agree that Julius
      Caesar was a great leader- he had his Calphurnia, he had his Antonia, he
      also had an affair with Cleopatra and, when Caesar used to come to Rome,
      the Senators locked up their wives. And you will agree that he was a great
      leader. He was known in Rome as every woman’s husband and he was a great
      leader. Take Napoleon, he had his Josephine, he had his Marie Walewska, he
      had his Antoinette and Georgettes and Paulettes. And you will agree he was
      a great leader. Take the Duke of Wellington- do you know that the night
      before the battle of Waterloo, there were more Countesses, Marchionesses
      and other women in his ante-chamber than staff officers and Commanders. And
      you will agree he was a great leader. Do you know, Ladies and Gentlemen, a
      thought has just struck me. All these leaders- Caesar, Napoleon and the
      Duke of Wellington- they had one facial feature in common, all had long

      *So much, Ladies and Gentlemen, for leadership, but no amount of leadership
      will do this country much good. Yes, it will improve things, but what this
      country needs is discipline. We are the most ill-disciplined people in the
      world. You see what is happening- you go down the road, and you see people
      relieving themselves by the roadside. You go into town, and people are
      walking up and down the highway, while vehicles are discharging all sorts
      of muck. Every time you pick up a newspaper, you read of a scam or you read
      of some other silly thing. As we are the most ill-disciplined people in the
      world, we must do something about discipline. *

      *What is discipline? Please, when I talk of discipline, do not think of
      military discipline. That is quite different. Discipline can be defined as
      conduct and behavior for living decently with one another in society. Who
      lays down the code of conduct for that? Not the Prime Minister, not the
      Cabinet, nor superior officers. It is enshrined in our holy books; it is in
      the Bible, the Torah and in the Vedas, it is in the teachings of Nanak and
      Mohammad. It has come down to us from time immemorial, from father to son,
      from mother to child. Nowhere is it laid down, except in the Armed Forces,
      that lack of punctuality is conduct prejudicial to discipline and decent

      *I will again tell you a little story about that. Some years ago, my wife
      and I were invited to convocation at a university. I was asked to be there
      at four o’clock. I got into the staff car with my wife, having chased her
      from about eleven o’clock in the morning. Don’t forget, darling, you have
      got to be on time. Get properly dressed; you have to leave at such and such
      time’. Eventually, I got her into the car. I told the driver, “Thoda
      aayisthe, thoda jaldi”, but we got to the university and the convocation
      address place at four o’clock. We were received by the Vice Chancellor and
      his Lady. We were taken into the convocation hall, and the Vice Chancellor
      asked me to get on the platform, asking my wife to do so, too. She
      gracefully declined, and said she much rather sit down below as she seldom
      had an opportunity of looking up to her husband. Anyway, on the platform,
      the Vice Chancellor sang my praises. As usual there were 2000 boys and
      girls who had come for the convocation. There were deans of university, and
      professors and lecturers. Then he asked me to go to the lectern and address
      the gathering. I rose to do so and he said (sotto voce), Field Marshal, a
      fortnight ago we invited a VIP from Delhi for the same function. He was
      allowed to stand on the same lectern for exactly twenty seconds. I wish you
      luck. “I said to myself, had the Vice Chancellor mentioned this in his
      letter of invitation, I wonder, if I should have accepted.*

      *Anyway, I reached the lectern, and I addressed the gathering for my
      allotted time of forty minutes. I was heard in pin drop silence, and at the
      end of my talk, was given terrific ovation. The Vice Chancellor and his
      lady, the Dean, the professors and lecturers, the boys and girls, and even
      my own wife, standing up and giving me an ovation. After the convocation
      was over, we walked into the gardens to have refreshments. And I, having an
      eye for pretty girls, walked up to a pert little thing wearing a pair of
      tight fitting jeans and a body hugging blouse, and I started a conversation
      with her. I said, “My dear, why were you so kind to me, I not being an
      orator nor having the looks of Amitabh Bachhan, when only the other day you
      treated a VIP from Delhi so shamefully”. This pert little thing had no
      inhibitions. She turned round and said, and I quote, “Oh, that a dreadful
      man! We asked him to come at four o’clock. He came much later and that too
      accompanied with a boy and a girl, probably his grand children. He was
      received by the Vice Chancellor and his lady and taken to the platform. He
      was garlanded by the Student Union President, and he demanded garlands for
      those brats too. So, the Union President diverged with the garland that was
      meant for the Vice Chancellor and gave it to the brats. Then the Vice
      Chancellor started singing the worthy’s praises. Whilst he was doing so,
      this man hitched up his dhoti, exposing his dirty thighs, and scratched
      away. Then the Vice Chancellor said, “This man has done so much for the
      country, he has even been to jail”. And I nearly shouted out, ‘He should be
      there now’. Anyway, when the Vice Chancellor asked him to come to the
      lectern and address the convocation, he got up, walked to the lectern and
      addressed us thus, ‘Boys and girls, I am a very busy man. I have not had
      time to prepare my speech but, I will now read out the speech my secretary
      has written’. We did not let him stand there. Without exception, the whole
      lot of us stood and booed him off the stage.”*

      *Now, you see, Ladies and Gentleman, what I mean by discipline. Had this
      man as his position warranted come on time at four o’clock, fully prepared
      and properly turned out, can you imagine the good it would have done to
      these 2000 young girls and boys? Instead of that, his act of indiscipline
      engendered further indiscipline. I thanked my lucky stars, having been in
      the Army for so many years, that I arrived there on time, that I had come
      properly dressed, that I didn’t wear a dhoti to show my lovely legs, that I
      didn’t exacerbate an itch or eczema, to hurt the susceptibilities of my
      audience, by indulging in the scratching of the unmentionables.*

      *Now, Ladies and Gentleman, you understand what I mean by discipline. We
      are the most ill-disciplined people in the world. So far, all of you have
      been very, very disciplined. Will you bear with me for another two minutes?
      Having talked about leadership, having talked about discipline, I want to
      mention something about Character. We Indians also lack character. Do not
      misunderstand me, when I talk of character. I don’t mean just being honest,
      truthful, and religious, I mean something more- Knowing yourself, knowing
      your own faults, knowing your own weaknesses and what little character that
      we have, our friends, our fans, the ‘yes-men’ around us and the sycophants,
      help us reduce that character as well. Let me illustrate this by an example:

      *Some years ago, Hollywood decided to put up the picture of great violinist
      and composer, Paganini. The part of Paganini was given to a young actor who
      was conversant, somewhat, with the violin. He was drilled and tutored to
      such an extent that when the little piece, the Cadenza, was filmed, it was
      perfect. When the film was shown, the papers raved about it, and the
      critics raved about it. And this man’s fans, ‘yes-men’, sycophants, kept on
      telling him that he was as good a violinist as Heifetz or Menuhin. And do
      you know that I took eight months in a psychiatric home to rid him of his

      *Do you know, Commandant, that the same thing happened to me? After the
      1971 conflict with Pakistan, which ended in thirteen days and I took 93000
      prisoners, my fans, the ‘yes-men’ around me, the sycophants, kept on
      comparing me to Rommel, to Field Marshal Alexander, to Field Marshal
      Auchinleck, and just as I was beginning to believe it, the Prime Minister
      created me a Field Marshal and sent me packing to the Nilgiris. A
      hard-headed, non-nonsense wife deprived a psychiatric home (what we in
      India call a lunatic asylum), of one more inmate. *

      *I thank you very much indeed. Thank you.*

      *Question: In 1962 war, what was your appointment, were you in a position
      to do something about the situation?*

      *FM: In the 1962 war, I was disgrace. I was a Commandant of this

      *Mr. Krishna Menon, the Defence Minister, disliked me intensely.
      General Kaul, who was Chief of General Staff at the time, and the budding
      man for the next higher appointment, disliked me intensely. So, I was in
      disgrace at the Staff College. There were charges against me – I will
      enumerate some of them – all engineered by Mr. Krishna Menon.*

      *I do not know if you remember that in 1961 or 1960, General Thimayya
      was the Army Chief. He had fallen out with Mr. Krishna Menon and had sent
      him his resignation. The Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, persuaded General
      Thimayya to withdraw his resignation. The members of Parliament also
      disliked Mr. Krishna Menon, and they went hammer and tongs for the Prime
      Minister in Parliament.*

      *The Prime Minister made the following statement, “I cannot understand why
      General Thimayya is saying that the Defence Ministry interferes with the
      working of the Army. Take the case of General Manekshaw. The Selection
      Board has approved his promotion to Lieutenant General, over the heads of
      23 other officers. The Government has accepted that.”*

      *I was the Commandant of the Staff College. I had been approved for
      promotion to Lieutenant General. Instead of making me the Lieutenant
      General, Mr. Krishna Menon levied charges against me. There were ten
      charges, I will enumerate only one or two of them – that I am more loyal to
      the Queen of England than to the President of India, that I am more British
      than Indian. That I have been alleged to have said that I will have no
      instructor in the Staff College whose wife looks like an ayah. These were
      the sort of charges against me.*

      *For eighteen months my promotion was held back. An enquiry was made. Three
      Lieutenant Generals, including an Army Commander, sat at the enquiry. I was
      exonerated on every charge. The file went up to the Prime Minister who sent
      it up to the Cabinet Secretary, who wrote on the file, ‘if anything happens
      to General Manekshaw, this case will go will down as the Dreyfus case.’ So
      the file came back to the Prime Minister. He wrote on it, “Orders may now
      issue”, meaning I will now become a Lieutenant General. Instead of that,
      Ladies and Gentleman, I received a letter from the Adjutant General saying
      that the Defence Minister, Mr. Krishna Menon, has sent his severe
      displeasure to General Manekshaw, to be recorded. I had it in the office
      where the Commandant now sits. I sent that letter back to the Adjutant
      General saying what Mr. Krishna Menon could do with his displeasure, very
      vulgarly stated. It is still in my dossier.*

      *Then the Chinese came to my help. Krishna Menon was sacked, Kaul was
      sacked and Nehru sent for me. He said, “General, I have a vigorous enemy. I
      find out that you are a vigorous General. Will you go and take over?”*

      *I said, “I have been waiting eighteen months for this opportunity,”
      and I went and took over.*

      *So, your question was 1962, and what part did I play, none whatsoever,
      none whatsoever.*

      *I was here for eighteen months, persecuted, inquisitions against me
      but we survive….I rather like the Chinese.*

      *Question: The Army has changed and progressed. Do you find any difference
      in the mental makeup of the young officers compared to your time?*

      *FM: Over the years, things have changed…… there is a lot of
      difference, dear. In my time, my father used to support me until I became a
      Lieutenant Colonel. I used to get an allowance to be able to live. Today,
      the young officer has not only to keep himself but has to send money home.*

      *In my time, we did not have all these courses. The only course I ever
      did, (of course, we had the four rounds of courses that every officer had
      to do), but we had mules there so I had to do a course in training mountain
      mules. Today the young officer hardly stays in his regiment. He is sent
      from one place to another to do this course and that course, and he does
      not get a chance of knowing his men.We knew our men. Also there wasn't so
      much work in those days. We got up in the mornings, did Physical Training
      for half an hour, came back, dressed, had breakfast , then went to our
      company lines and spent all our time avoiding the Commanding Officer.*

      *Those Commanding Officers were nasty chaps. They did not give a damn for
      anybody. I will give an example of the Commanding Officer. I was made
      quartermaster of my battalion. The Commanding Officer sent for the Adjutant
      and myself. He said, I want to take the battalion out tomorrow morning for
      an exercise. “We did not have motor cars, we had to indent for mules, so, I
      as quartermaster intended for a company of mules. He said we were going to
      leave for the exercise at 6:30, so I ordered the company of mules to arrive
      at six. At eleven o’clock at night, the commanding officer changed his
      mind. He said, “I will not go at 6:30, we will go at nine o’clock. “There
      was nothing I could do. I got on my bicycle, went off to the lines, where
      the mules had arrived. I told them to unsaddle, and go into the shade, when
      who should arrive on a horse but the Cavalry Officer with his daughter!*

      *I touched my hat. He said, “What are those animals doing here, young man?”
      I said that we were going out on an exercise.*

      *“When are you going?”*

      * “Nine o’clock.”*

      *He tore strips off me – “going at nine o’clock and you have the
      animals waiting here at six o’clock”. He was riding with his daughter on a
      horse. What could I say to a General officer, I had two pips on my
      shoulder. Suddenly, who should be coming on a bicycle, but the Commanding
      Officer! He touched his hat, said, “Morning, General.”*

      *Turning to me, he said, “What is the matter, Sam?”*

      *I said, “Sir, the General is angry with me because we are going out at
      nine o’clock and the mules are here at six.”*

      *He turned round to face the General, and said, I will thank you
      General to know who commands this regiment. Me, and not this young man. I
      will not have you ticketing him off in front of your daughter.”*

      *He turned back to me and said, “Have you had your breakfast, Sam?”*

      * “No.”*

      * “Go along. Have your breakfast.”*

      *I was delighted to go off. But when we came back from the exercise, at
      about eight o’clock in the evening, in my letter rack, was a letter from
      the General’s wife, inviting me to tea the next day. Now, I did not want to
      have tea with the General’s wife! But that’s the sort of thing that happens.

      * When I became the field Marshal, I was the guest of her majesty in
      England. I had given a reception at India House, where the Commanding
      Officer with his wife were also invited. He came in, shook hands with my
      wife, shook hands with me, and walked off. Everybody was drinking. After
      about half an hour, when everybody had arrived, I walked up to him with a
      glass of whisky in my hand, and he turned round to me, “May I call you Sam?”

      *“Please do, Sir. You used to call me ‘bloody fool’ before. I thought
      that was my Christian name!”*

      *The difference between the officer now and then – my first
      confidential report written by him. Before you went in to sign your
      confidential report, you had to go in front of the Adjutant, beautifully
      turned out. We did not have any medals in those days. We had to have a
      sword to go into the CO’s office then. I walked in there, saluted the
      Adjutant, he looked me up and down and said, “You are going to see the
      Colonel, now? Look at you! Your bloody strap is filthy dirty, look at your
      belt, it is disgusting. Go on, go and get dressed.” I walked out, waited
      for five minutes and came back.*

      *He looked me up and down, “Much better.”*

      *Then he said, “You are going in there. Do you have a fountain pen?”*

      *I said, “Yes.”*

      *“The CO will read your report. You will initial on the left hand
      corner. Is that understood?”*


      *I walked in there, saluted the Colonel, “Mr. Manekshaw reporting, Sir.”

      *He looked me up and down, thrust the report on me online- “This
      officer, I beg his pardon, this man, may someday become an officer.”*

      *I initialed it and walked out.*

      *Khalid Sheikh, another officer from my regiment, who became the
      Foreign Minister of Pakistan and a Governor there, came out. “Khaled, what
      report have you got?” I said. He said “Online- this officer tends to be
      irresponsible”. I said, “That’s a bad report, Khalid.” He said, Uh! Last
      year the bugger said I was irresponsible.”*

      *But we did not mind. Today, if the commanding Officer writes and says
      this officer is irresponsible, the officer wants to appeal to the President
      of India saying he is more responsible than the Commanding Officer.*

      *That was the difference, dear. We simply did not give a cuss.*

      *Anything else?*

      *Thank you Gentlemen, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your
      patience and your discipline. I am delighted to see you all here*
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