Sam Bahadhur, as Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was fondly known among his friends, was a motivating force for the many soldiers who worked with him while he was the Chief of the Indian Army.
I have had the privilege of knowing Sam Bahadhur since the 1950s. I will always cherish his friendship. I had the opportunity to work with him during the Bangladesh war.
Two weeks before his retirement, the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government decided to honour him with the rank of Field Marshal. He was the first Indian general to receive this honour.
He dedicated his life to the Indian Army. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his extraordinary act of bravery, when he carried on fighting in spite of being badly injured by bullets from a Japanese machine gun during World War II.
Sam was duly credited for championing the cause of men serving the Indian army and restoring the izzat of the army. He ensured that the weapons supplied to the army were of of a high standard and were capable of fighting a war.
As told to Onkar Singh