ibnlive » India

Jun 27, 2008 at 12:02pm IST

Family, army colleagues remember Sam Bahadur

New Delhi: India’s first Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who is credited with crafting the campaign that led to the creation of Bangladesh after the 1971 war with Pakistan, died early on Friday morning in Wellington, Tamil Nadu. Manekshaw, 94, had been battling a series of old age-related ailments.

His daughter and army colleagues share their memories about Sam.

Field Marshal Manekshaw's daughter Maja Daruwala recalled his fun-loving and caring side.

"The country has been very kind to him. The love and affection we have got during this time has been very touching. We don't remember him as a legend except as a legendary father. He was very affectionate, generous full of fun. That's how we remember him. He taught us how to communicate with all sorts of people. He never made us feel that we are special because of his rank. He taught us to be generous and open hearted," Maja said.

Former army chief General VP Malik said, "I consider Field Marshal Manekshaw to be the greatest military leader that we have had ever since India became independent."

Retired Major General Shubhi Sood was the ADC to Sam Manekshaw and shared some interesting anecdotes about the man.

"I remember him as a very humane and a sprightly commander who took interest in everything. He was well read well informed and his greatest asset wad that he was willing to listen to people. I remember we went to Bhutan in 1968 and the foreign secretary was offered a cushioned seat. It was Sam's clever repartee about the difference between the army and the bureaucrats. Army has always been consulting him on various issues," Major General Sood said.