India on Wednesday has paid tribute to our first Field Marshal - the late Sam Manekshaw - on his 105th birth anniversary.
A Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Military cross Awardee and the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to Field Marshal in 1973, Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw led the Indian Army in five different wars. But he is most notably remembered for the military victory in East Pakistan (1971), leading to the creation of Bangladesh.
Manekshaw was appointed as the eighth Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on June 8, 1969, and then Field Marshal in 1973. After his retirement from active military service on January 15, 1973, Field Marshal Manekshaw made Coonor in the Niligiri Hills as his home with his wife Seelu, where he spent the last three decades of his life.
In 2006-07 then President APJ Abdul Kalam honoured Field Marshal Manekshaw, including awarding the pending benefits that had been unexplainably denied to him.
Manekshaw breathed his last on Jun 27, 2008, after fighting complications from pneumonia at the Military Hospital in Wellington, Tamil Nadu.
Later, on December 16, 2008 - ‘Vijay Diwas’, which has been celebrated in memory of the Sam Manekshaw-led 1971 victory against Pakistan, leading to the creation of Bangladesh, then President Pratibha Patil had released a postage stamp depicting Sam Manekshaw in his Field Marshal’s uniform.
Remembering this titan of India, the President of India and the Indian Army have sent in their tributes:
President Ram Nath Kovind has written:
The Indian Army, via its official Twitter account, has posted the following: