New Delhi: Today is the 100th birth anniversary of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, one of the greatest commanders in the history of Indian military. Born on April 3, 1914, he passed away on June 27, 2008 at the age of 94.
Popularly known as Sam Bahadur, his distinguished military career spanned four decades and five wars.
Credited for Indian victory in the 1971 war, he is remembered for his courage, humour and commanding skills. If military records are to be believed, it was his advice to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi which decimated Pakistani forces in 1971 Indo-Pak war and led to the formation of Bangladesh.
Born to a Parsi family in Amritsar, a young Sam Manekshaw wanted to become a gynecologists. At the age of 15, after achieving a distinction in the School Certificate examination of the Cambridge Board, he requested his father to send him to London. But his requested was rejected by his father due his young age to be sent alone.
Then as an act of rebellion, Manekshaw applied for entrance examination of the Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun. He was selected for the training on October 1, 1932 and was part of the batch of 40 cadets.
Thus, his father's refusal to send him to pursue gynecology, gave India its one of the most celebrated military officer.