President Pratibha Patil [Images] on Friday condoled the death of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw and said the nation had lost a "true patriot" who will continue to remain an inspiration for the entire nation.
In her condolence message, the President said the Field Marshal was a "legendary soldier who as the commander of our army played a critical role at a very important and crucial juncture in our history during the 1971 war."
"Throughout his long and distinguished career, he always led by example and therefore was able to inspire his men and get the best out of them. In his passing away, the nation has lost a true patriot who shall always remain an inspiration for our armed forces as well as for the nation," the President said.
Patil who is in Indore in Madhya Pradesh also sent a condolence letter to Manekshaw's daughter.
Describing Sam Manekshaw as one of India's greatest soldiers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] said military historians will forever record the strategic brilliance and the inpirational leadership of the Field Marshal, who died early Friday.
Ninety four-year-old Manekshaw was "without doubt one of India's greatest soldiers and a truly inspiring leader", he said in his condolence message.
Pay your tribute to Sam Manekshaw
Dr Singh said Manekshaw, popularly called Sam Bahadur, had served the army with great distinction for over four decades beginning with the very first military engagement free India was dragged into in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir [Images].
"Sam Bahadur was the architect and the inspiring leader of the operation and the consequent military victory in what is now Bangladesh," he said.
The prime minister said, "Military historians will forever record the strategic brilliance and the inspirational leadership of Sam Bahadur".
Have you met the Field Marshal?
Dr Singh said the people and the government expressed their deepest admiration and their profound gratitude for Manekshaw's leadership as Chief of Army Staff by conferring on him the prestigious title of Field Marshal.
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