Tuesday, 24 August, 2010
Indian Generals of Character
After getting freedom, a meeting was organized to select the first General of the Indian Army. Jawahar Lal Nehru was heading that meeting. Leaders and Army officers were discussing to whom this responsibility should be given. In between the discussion Nehru said, "I think we should appoint a British officer as a General of Indian Army as we don't have enough experience to lead the same."
Everybody supported Nehru because if the PM was suggesting something, how could they not agree.
But one of the army officers abruptly said, "I have a point, sir."
Nehru said, "Yes, gentleman. You are free to speak."
He said, "You see, sir, we don't have enough experience to lead a nation too, so shouldn't we appoint a British person as first PM of India?"
The meeting hall suddenly went quiet.
Then, Nehru said, "Are you ready to be the first General of the Indian Army." He got a golden chance to accept the offer but he refused the same and said, "Sir, we have a very talented army officer, my senior, Lt Gen Cariappa, who is the most deserving among us".
The army officer who raised his voice against the PM was Lt Gen Nathu Singh Rathore, the 1st Lt Gen of the Indian Army.
That is the professionalism and character the Indian Military "was" made of...