Dearest Darling Friends,
Kodandera Madappa Cariappa is to Indian army what Sachin Tendulkar is to world cricket. He is revered by members of the armed forces, not only in India but, all over the world. Affectionately known as Kipper, he is a figure of resilience and eternal patriotism.
“I don’t give a damn if the man is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi, or Christian as long as he plays the game to serve our country well. This is all that matters to me.”
It is said that Cariappa never feared to face the enemy and met them eye to eye. He was fearless and fierce. He remained hugely popular, loved, and respected among his seniors and juniors. He said, “I an Indian first and to the last breath would remain an Indian. To me there is only two Stans – Hindustan (India) and Foujistan (the Army).”
He was bestowed with the honour of Field Marshal, the highest rank in the army. Besides him, the only other Indian recipient of that award ever is, Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw.
He abhorred midway compromises and believed in performing his duties whole heartedly. During the 1965 war, his son, an Indian Air Force pilot, flew an aircraft that was shot down by Pakistan. He was captured and imprisoned as a Prisoner of War (POW). When Ayub Khan, the Pakistani General, learned about this, he informed Cariappa his son would not be kept in a POW Camp like other Indian POWs, since they had worked together in the British army, before independence. But Cariappa politely declined the offer, saying every soldier in the Indian Army was his son, so he could not request special privileges for only one.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.
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