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On His 105th Birth Anniversary, Here Are 10 Top Inspirational Quotes By India's First Field Marshal - Sam Manekshaw

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:


  • India on Wednesday is paying tribute to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his 105th birth anniversary
  • Sam Manekshaw was appointed as the eighth Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) on June 8, 1969, and then became India's first Field Marshal in 1973
  • Field Marshal Manekshaw is most notably remembered for the military victory in East Pakistan (1971), leading to the creation of Bangladesh and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and the Military cross for the feat

India on Wednesday paid tribute to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his 105th birth anniversary. While Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, who led the Indian Army in five wars, is most notably remembered for the military victory in East Pakistan (1971) leading to the creation of Bangladesh, he was also credited for some truly inspirational quotes. 

READ |Indian Army, President Kovind pay tribute to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw on his birth anniversary

Here are the top-10 most inspirational quotes of one of India's most iconic heroes:

1. When he was sent to command retreating Indian forces during the Indo-China war (1962), he said:

“Gentlemen, I have arrived and there will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued.” 

2. While talking to an injured Indian soldier during the 1971 war, he said:

“You received three (bullets) at this age. When I was of your age, I received nine bullets and look today, I am the Commander in Chief of the Indian Army.”

3. Field Marshal Manekshaw, a native of Punjab, on being asked 'what if you had opted for Pakistan during the partition of 1947', had confidently said:

“Then I guess Pakistan would have won (the 1971 war).”

4. In his address as a part of the Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures, he said:

“A 'Yes man' is a dangerous man. He is a menace. He will go very far. He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the Yes man”.

5. In the same address, on the attributes of a leader, he said:

"If leaders are not born, can we make leaders? And my answer is yes. Give me a man or a woman with common sense and who is not an idiot and I assure you, you can make a leader out of him or her."

6. In the same lectures, on the pitfalls of technological advancement he warned:

"The problem in India is that as soon as one of us is put in a position of power, he feels that he has the monopoly of the entire knowledge." 

7. On factors of decision-making, in the Kariappa lectures, he said:

"An act of omission can be corrected but an act of commission cannot be corrected. To do nothing is to do something, which is definitely wrong."

8. Speaking on professional knowledge in the Kariappa lectures, he said:

"Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader."

9. In a speech to cadets at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun he said:

"One thing remains the same. That is your task and your duty. You are required to ensure the security of this country against any aggressor. What does that mean for you? It means that you should have to fight and fight to win. There is no room for the loser. If you lose, don't come back."

10. In the pre-Independence era, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was staffed with General Yahya Khan in the Indian Army. Post the 1971 Indo-Pak war, commenting on the purchase of his motorbike by then Pakistani President- General Yahya Khan, he said:

“Yahya never paid me the 1000 rupees for my motorbike, but now he has paid with half his country.”