Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw is the one of the most distinguished names in Indian war history, his legacy spanned from World War II to the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War during the Bangladesh Liberation War where India won against Pakistan, captured 93,000 soldiers, liberated Bangladesh, and released all those 93,000 captured soldiers back to Pakistan. The country honored him with the Padma Vibhushan and he was the first army officer who received the title of a field marshal.
There is a story about when he was in a hospital in Coonoor, near Ooty. It was when Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the president of India and visited Coonoor. He came to know that Manekshaw was in the military hospital there and he decided to meet the legend. The president’s visit to the hospital was unscheduled, so things were hurried but Dr. Kalam badly wanted to meet Manekshaw.
Dr. Kalam spent some time with the hero who was in bed, and they discussed many things. Just before leaving the hospital Dr. Kalam asked Manekshaw, “Are you comfortable here, is there anything I could do to make your situation better? Do you have any grievances or any requirements that will make you comfortable?” After a long pause, Manekshaw told President Kalam, “Your excellency, I have one grievance.” Dr. Kalam was shocked and asked what it was, Manekshaw replied, “Sir, my grievance is that I am not able to get up from this bed and salute the respected President of my beloved country, that is the only grievance I have on this bed.”
Dr. Kalam held Sam’s hand and they both were in tears. This shows how Manekshaw was inclined to do his duty even in his final days on his death bed
Legends like Manekshaw made our country the one that we experience now and today with gratitude let’s remember Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw.
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