Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw
[April 3, 1914 – June 27, 2008]
I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but growing up in a post-Independence India devoid of heroes, he was one of the few our elders taught us to adulate.
I studied for a few years at the Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) at Happy Valley, Shillong, which is set amidst the 58 Gorkha Training Centre (58 here stands for 5 and 8). And there dedicated to the now departed Field Marshall and honorary Gorkha is a museum. The next time I visit home will make it a point to say hi to Sam Bahadur memorabilia.
But, the political leadership and the top military brass do not seem to share similar sentiments.
Right down from President Pratibha Patil, also the supreme commander of the armed forces, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to defence minister A K Antony and the three Service chiefs, none attended the “state funeral” of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw at Wellington on Friday.