If you have to die, can you please do so in Delhi?

The passing away of the only Indian to be appointed Field Marshal when in active service has been remarkable for the warmth of the ordinary men and women who queued up to say meebeenamet to the adorable dikra who put his life on the line for them.

It has also been remarkable for the complete lack of grace and gratitude, civility and courtesy, decency and decorum on the part of the bold-faced names rapaciously grazing the lawns of power in Delhi and elsewhere, for the brain behind India’s only decisive military victory.

Sam, the Bahadur, had been unwell for a while now. From about 1000 hours on June 26, reports of his being “critically ill” had appeared in the media. Yet, when the “expected tocsin” sounded at 0030 hours till the guns were fired in salute around 1500 hours on June 27, “civil society” chose to show its uncivility.

Pratibha Patil, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces with all the time in the world: Absent

Hamid Ansari: Vice-president releasing books and writing reviews of books by fellow-travellers: Absent

Manmohan Singh, the prime minister who could do with a bit of the field marshal’s charisma and heroism: Absent

Sonia Gandhi: daughter-in-law of the woman the field marshal called “sweetie”: Absent

L.K. Advani: prime minister in waiting of the party which would like to do to Pakistan what Manekshaw did: Absent

M. Karunanidhi and Surjit Singh Barnala: chief minister and governor of the state which Manekshaw had made his home for 35 years: Absent

Politicians may have their reasons. They always do. Maybe, there are issues like protocol. Maybe, this is one way in which “civil India” shows the armed forces its place. Maybe, this is why we are not as militaristic as Pakistan. Maybe, the knees are just too old to climb the hills.

But what about the armed forces itself?

A.K. Antony: the defence minister “now behaving like the chairman of the confederation of the armed forces’ trade unions“: absent “due to prior political engagements”

The chief of army staff: absent (away in Russia)

The chief of navy staff: absent

The chief of air staff: absent

The fact that the defence minister was represented by his deputy Pallam Raju, the fact that the navy and air staff sent two-star general rank officers, shows that however high or mighty, however rich or powerful, civilian or military, if you should die as you must, you should do so somewhere in the victinity of New Delhi—or Bombay. Or else, they must have some use for you.

Or else, too bad.

As he rightly surmised once: “I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor; a gun from a howitzer; a guerrilla from a gorilla — although a great many of them in the past have resembled the latter.”

The contrast couldn’t be starker:

# When Amitabh Bachchan was ill after being socked in the stomach during the shooting of Coolie, Indira Gandhi flew down to Bombay to show her concern.

# When Dhirubhai Ambani died, L.K. Advani cut short his Gujarat tour to pay his respects to an “embodiment of initiative, enterprise and determination”.

# When Pramod Mahajan was shot dead by his brother, vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekawat had the time to attend the funeral.

Our VIPs and VVIPs have time for dead and dying celebrities, crooks, charlatans, fixers. Not for a field marshal?


In his biography of K.M. Cariappa, the only other field marshal India has had (and who too died at age 94), air marshal K.C. Cariappa writes of his father’s cremation in May 1993:

“Honouring him in death as they did in life were Field Marshal Manekshaw, the three service chiefs all of whom belonged to the same course and at whose passing out parade from the joint services wing father had presided, the gracious chief minister M. Veerappa Moily and C.K. Jaffer Sharief, Minister for Railways representing the President as the supreme commander of the armed forces.”

Somebody should have told the geniuses in Delhi that Sam, the Bahadur, passed away in Wellington, Ooty, not Wellington, New Zealand. The nearest civil airport is Coimbatore, just 80 km away.

If this is how we say goodbye to our only Field Marshal, any wonder why Rang de Basanti could successfully tap into the angst of an entire generation?

In picture: (left to right) Admiral L. Ramdas, General S.F. Rodrigues, and Air Chief Marshal N.C. Suri in their final farewell, 43 years later, to the reviewing officer who took the salute at their passing out parade in December 1950 (From the book Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, by Air Marshal K.C. Cariappa, published by Niyogi books).

This piece also appeared on rediff.com

Also read: 93 seconds to knock 93 years of a hero’s life

Sam Manekshaw: hero or villain?

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117 Responses to “If you have to die, can you please do so in Delhi?”

  1. Chet Says:

    For the political class to attend a ceremony, they need two reasons: he/she should have been one of them, meaning a politician or attending the ceremony should be seen ‘popular’ and fetch them votes. Hero or villain does not matter to them.

    In this case, Manekshaw was not a politician. He belonged to the parsi community which is a very small minority group in India. That is the sad truth.

  2. Not A Witty Nick Says:

    It is good that they did not foul the ceremony by their presence.

    They understood that they did not deserve to be there.

  3. Balaji Says:

    Blime, the defense minister and the service chiefs didn’t attend the funeral of the Field Marshal?

    And to think that one shameful family occupies lots of real estate in Delhi even in their deaths …

  4. TheOnlyOne! Says:

    “Sam, the Bahadur”, did not expect anything from politicians in his lifetime. I am sure he might not have expected anything from politicians even after his lifetime…. The whole nation salutes him with the pride, thats enough… Long live Sam Bahadur!

  5. T Azeez Luthfullah Says:

    This is shocking. Disgusting.
    God alone could save this nation!

  6. oochara Says:


  7. bakedgrainappa Says:

    Shame. Sad. I do not have words to aptly describe the state of affairs of this nation….

  8. S.T. Mani Says:

    Wonderful article. I share your feelings. This is a great shame! Even I was wondering about this after reading the news about his funeral in the newspaper. He was a wonderful person and did contribute to the nation in a great way and did bring nation the honor of victory, etc. When I was reading about his life in newspaper, I questioned myself, “Will I be able to live this kind of respectful and honest life?”

  9. Kishor Cariappa Says:

    Very well articulated post, Churumuri. I hope this will inspire many more to ‘join’ Indian Army!

    If you were not aware, the house where KM Cariappa was born at Shanivasanthe in Kodagu is in a dilapidated condition, amidst fake talks of a memorial now and then.

    With due regards to our Kargil heroes, the achievements/sacrifices of people like KM Cariappa and Manekshaw went unnoticed. Sad!

  10. mekhala Says:

    Timely article, Churumuri! Such shameless and hypocritical people at the helm!

  11. vbv ramesh Says:

    the socalled field marshal ransacked andhra investors of their hard earned monies in a big way as Chairman of Nagarjuna Finance, Nagarjuna Fertiisers, Nagarjuna investment trust and helped the looters (respective company managements) posing as if he is aTrustee of the deposits in paper ads with big photos in 90s. By these nefarious activities, the company deosits remained history afterwards and the investors lost confidence in even bigwig cos.. Is this Manekshaw fit to get respect from civilians/politicians on his death?

  12. jack Says:

    shocked to read government apathy towards Cariappa’s birthplace who is the real hero of India and Karnataka. On the other hand releasing 10 crores and giving out 2 acres of prime land to reel hero’s grave.

    Bloody politicians.

  13. Armoredfish Says:

    “Kargil heroes” — well that was a small battle. Sam has commanded and fought in many wars. That was a different India then. We have a India now which we deserve. No further comments. There will be a solution but all that will take time.

  14. jai Says:

    thanks for this wonderful post. i am appalled. i had read a headline on bbc that he was laid to rest with “full state honors”. well, it seemed to have fallen well short of that – with none of the top brass from the government or military showing up!

    first time here. keep up the good work.

  15. truth revealed Says:

    No surprise frankly. When our politicians dont respect the lives and living of millions of our countrymen who are alive, why expect them to pay respects to someone dead – hero or non hero. but for for further introspection – our politicians are handpicked by our soceity. they are merely our representatives and this is our soceity. unless each one of us do our share of good for soceity, merely posting comments is unproductive and makes no difference to the situation. this is my realization… i am off to do some social service, what about you?

  16. Bhamy V Shenoy Says:

    This well articulated article should get greater exposure.

    I am sure most will conclude that our nets cannot do any better. Former President A P J Kalam had been saying that India should try to apprecaite their heroes. Well here we had one such genuine hero and nation at least as represented by our netas have failed and failed miserably.

    This is the time not to be critical of our netas. It is to do introspection and find out what each of us have contributed (either through dierct action or indirectly through supreme indifference) to this sorry state of affairs.

  17. Vitlan Potli Says:

    sad, very sad but surely Sam Bahadur would not have cared a hoot about the blithering buffoons in Delhi paying him respects after he was gone

    There are officers, there are gentlemen and there are officers & gentlemen but some one who is an officer & gentlemen with a great sense of humour is a rarity and Sam Bahadur was that.

    shall reproduce here(not verbatim but from memory) a snippet of the interview that Sam gave some time back.

    Interviewer : At the time of partition pakistan also invited you to lead their forces why didnt you accept it?
    Sam: It did not interest me.

    Interviewer : What would have happened if you had gone over to pakistan to lead their army.
    Sam : then India would have lost the war miserably.

    Sam you were the last of the breed. Your will surely be missed. Here’s to you. RIP.

  18. Sathya Says:

    Mr A P J Abdul Kalam was in Mysore which was very close to the place where the cremation took place. He was busy laying the foundation stone of a Ayurvedic College.
    SAM didn’t expect any of these persons to be there. He is a true soldier. Salute him and Him.

  19. Doddi Buddi Says:

    Not surprising at all. See my comments within “//” marks.

    Pratibha Patil, the commander-in-chief of the armed forces with all the time in the world: Absent //Yeah sure; this reluctant C-in-C should be allowed to spend the rest of her natural life elsewhere. Preferably in a place where people of feeble mind rest and recuperate!//

    Hamid Ansari: Vice-president releasing books and writing reviews of books by fellow-travellers: Absent //Doesn’t want to be seen mourning the General who dismembered Pakistan//

    Manmohan Singh, the prime minister who could do with a bit of the field marshal’s charisma and heroism: Absent //Yes absent in spirit and body//

    Sonia Gandhi: daughter-in-law of the woman the field marshal called “sweetie”: Absent //Sonia would ask who is Sam?//

    L.K. Advani: prime minister in waiting of the party which would like to do to Pakistan what Manekshaw did: Absent //Oddvani has no capacity to think straight. He is busy preparing a long list of lies!//

    M. Karunanidhi and Surjit Singh Barnala: chief minister and governor of the state which Manekshaw had made his home for 35 years: Absent //ThiruKa thinks he is the head of a Sovereign State called Konganadu. SSB is preserved in Ether//

  20. ERR Says:

    When Kalam visited Sam last year he told the doctors and nurses, ‘he’s India’s gem.Take good care of him’. Even at that time,Kalam himself didn’t expect much from the Government.
    If they had done this to one of his soldiers, Sam would have joked ‘ Afterall What can you expect from the jokers, sweetie’!

  21. Anon Says:

    alpa buddhi… you are considered one when u shine in gossip and ridicule… only trivial things attract u…. KP claims the crown

  22. Vinay Says:

    Read this : http://www.deccanherald.com/DeccanHerald.com/Content/Jun282008/scroll2008062875864.asp?section=updatenews

    Such a shame…….

  23. Hindustani Singh Says:

    They are busy signing away nuke capability.

  24. Tejas Says:

    Great post! Its really disgusting the way our state heroes are treated by people who just cannot do anything good for the country – not even show respect.

  25. Gouri Satya Says:

    Disgraceful the way Sam Bahadur was ignored even after his death. Gen, Cariappa and Sam Bahadur are two great icons of the Indian defence forces.

  26. Amit Chaube Says:

    This is not something very unexpected or shocking. Kind of insensible and opportunist people around us can be hardly better than this.

  27. Amrit Yegnanarayan Says:

    Such a well written article. I hand my head in shame at the conduct of our leaders and service chiefs. I was so disturbed by this article that I called my close friend (I had to talk to someone), a retired Brigadier of the Indian army and a close friend of the Sam the Bahadur. One more thing I learnt from him is that the Generals who did attend the funeral were the ones who were in the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington. Indians – when will we learn to honour our true heroes?

  28. Ranga Says:

    Sam personified heroism and all others including the politicians and
    their yes men like Kalam personify what is rotten in that once great country. Enough said

  29. dharma Says:


  30. dharma Says:

    With the fuel price hike, our “Delhiit’s” must have thought of saving aviation fuel by not attending the funeral. In Public interest!
    One good thing is that, by their absence, they did not dirty the final path that he took!
    May Sam’s soul rest in peace!

  31. T.Shetty Says:

    Great post, Churumuri. My salutes….!
    May his soul rest in peace!

  32. Nishath Says:

    thanks for sharing.. I felt very bad and absolutely shocked even as I read the papers that this hero died “unsung” – very unfortunate.. After all his efforts and his stature in Indian History is unparallelld. I was so surprised that the Politicians and the bureacracy found no time for such a super being who walked this earth with a stealth no one can surpass..
    They cannot match up to him by any standards – his intelligence, his wit, his stature – oh I could go on..
    Well I suppose rewards on this earth are for those who palaver the powers that be – not men who are forthright and abide by value systems..

  33. tarlesubba Says:

    it would have been nice if churumuri had a positive story for sam bahadur, rather than this negative story, in which the focus is all on who did not turn up, rather than the hero himself.

  34. M.R.Sampath Says:

    The article sure exposes the insensitivity and indifference so glaringly displayed by the men who matter in the higher echelons of contemporary politicians, bureaucrats and public dignitaries. Thanks for bringing in to focus the shameless attitude of these ungrateful species who have no time for paying a fitting homage to the departed soul of a Field Marshall – a renowned son of India. .

    The saying ‘Out of sight; Out of mind’ or for that matter ‘Memory is short’ have been in usage from time immemorial on the behavior of mankind not without merits. So there is room for excuse.

    May be, there should be set legislations- rules and regulations for protocols to honour personages of National importance/pride and surely passing away of a man of Sam Manekshaw’s stature cannot be trifled the way it had been.

  35. Harshad Joshi Says:

    He is in our hearts, nasty politicos have got no business in that department, politicos arent meant to be brave, they are nuts..the media are other apes

    Sam Bahadur will be remembered by the people of India, they will thank him for setting an example of courage and bravery among our society devoid of true heros.

  36. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    Thankfully, Maneckshaw’s real popularity was with the people. He has been embraced like no other military man in India.

    On a similar note, a great Mysorean also died recently. G.T.Narayana Rao belonged to the generation where it seems one found upstanding, principled men by the battalion. Cheesy as it may sound, his track record as a teacher, astronomy popularizer, music critic, newspaper columnist, radio contributor etc. was as spotless as the white shirt and pants that he always wore. I have a few great personal memories of him.

    It is surprising that there hasn’t been an obit on this blog for GTN.

  37. T.Shetty Says:

    Even I was surprised by the ‘silence’ on GTN story! Well…

  38. Atty Says:

    A very apt and hardhitting analysis.In Sam,we had our own Horahito Nelson(the British Admiral who won the of the Battle of Trafalgar – the most decisive sea battle for Pax Britannica).As the then COAS,Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw presided over the most decisive military victories our country has seen ever.Just compare the way the British acknowledge Nelson even today see http://www.nelson1805.com and compare it with how we have started after the departure of Sam.

  39. Mahesh Desh Says:

    Afterall what more can you expect from a bunch of jokers, cheaters, charlatans, crooks,corrupt and unscrupulous entities who dwell in the corridors of power! No wonder, our defence forces in the present times are struggling to attract the right talent for enrollment, in defence of the nation. The article is superb, and simply put is a scathing attack on those who are supposed to lead by example… Late Sam the Bahadur will not at all be surprised at this attitude, watching from his abode high up there. However, I salute the media eg. the Times OF india, publishing the news very fittingly on their front page, with a Superb Photograph of Sam in uniform, on a visit to the war front during the ’71 war.

  40. shanoi Says:

    A well articulated write up expressing general feeling of the masses. Whatevr that has been written is true. He was bold and witty. Also very generous in ihis disposition and that led to some people/organisations taking advantage of him/his name. What Mr V.B.V. Ramesh says is also correct. He should not have accepted Director ship of so many companies without verifying their credibility
    His wit also lande dhim in trouble. I was there in youngster in Ambal a when A court of Inquiry was going on, on a silly point which had become bone of contention between Krishna Menon and him (as reported). Most of the officers were silent supporters of him. But the general feeling wa she would never make to higher grade (he was Major General there)

    What is great about him was his ability to say NO and EMPHATIC NO when it is actually required. His saying that in May/June 1971 to March in to East Bengal is to appreciated by all of us as it was appreciated by most of the officers then. The time was inappropriate
    Compare this with Gen Thapar (at the time of Chinese war). Our men had to go without good equipment, nt even clothing!I have myself seen so many soldiers with frost bite, pneumonia, etc

  41. Narayana Says:

    Those who are in self doubt may read the text of Instrument of surrender signed by Pakistani Military at http://nadunudi.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/those-who-cannot-remember-the-past-are-condemned-to-repeat-it/

  42. BB Mistry Says:

    The ultimate proof that the Leaders of the Defence Forces are no longer saviors of the Nation but mere paper tigers if tigers at all.
    An absolute shame for all those in uniform. What pay and perks, what izzat and iqbal are these peons of politicians asking for?
    Phooey 2 all. It is the last nail in the coffin of once illustrious institution.
    Good by Sam Bahadur the last of the Mohicans. I salute u. In death u have revealed the truth of what we are.
    Commodore Biman Bihari Mistry (Retd)

  43. sunny Says:

    hats off to u.

  44. PS Gujral Says:

    It is so sad — disgusting in fact that our politicians have no respect for a soldier who devoted his entire life to the nation, stayed away from politics, and solved one of major problems of India by creating BanglaDesh. He was one of the greatest Indians and should have been given the highest honours.
    i wonder if our babus and netas will ever learn!


  45. Janasamanya Says:

    A well-written article and for once, almost all the Churumuri readers are united in expressing their feelings.

  46. M. Basavaraj Says:

    Sam Manekshaw’s soul must be heaving a sigh of relief that the (un)worthies spared the Field Marshal’s funeral from getting desecrated by their ugly and unholy presence! So far so good!! What if they show disrespect to you. Sam Bahadur the whole nation sincerely respects you and deeply mourns your death. Your passing away has certainly created a void which cannot be filled.

  47. Samir Says:

    Very well said Sir….Pratibha Patil would attend Marathi Conferences in the remotest village of maharashtra.She is here to just earn some quick money for her old age…rahul gandhi can roam without security in Amethi and can host village T-20 matches but cannot attend the funeral of such a HUGE personality who worked so closely with the Gandhi Family..RIP Sam..You are in a far better place than India

  48. Suresh Sharma Says:

    Soldiers never die they queitly fade away. I for one am happy that non of the so called elite of our nation the politians who would have turned this sober event into a ugly political spectacle, the babus who would use this occasion to ingratiate themselves with their mentors and the media which goes hyper over mere farting of a celebrity were there for they would have soiled the occasion. Yes it is sad that the services were not well represented and the three chiefs should bear the moral responsibilty for they were all in service and must have participated in the historic 71 WAR.
    This reminds me of an old addage

    God and soldiers we all adore
    In times of crises and not before
    Crise passed and every thing righted
    God is forgotten and soldier SLIGHTED

    As a community we Soldiers are above all this and dont give a damn

  49. chooser120 Says:

    Fragrance of flowers and reputation of Braves can not be contained. I feel so happy the way ordinary people have reacted on treatment metted out to Sam Bahadur. Isnt it creditable that Sam Bahadur being remmembered because of apathy of ruling class and adulation by masses for his qualities which is rare even in breeds of forces. I am sure soul of Sam must be peaceful and happy to see that he has the place in hearts of the people. He was naive enough to know class of this so called classes of Politicians and Babudom. Sure enough his soul must have ached to find Air and Naval Chief missing from saying final bye bye to him. Army representation by offg Chief has been saving grace.

    Sam Sir pardon these little hearts who have not known bravery, compassion, ettiquates and comraderie as u knew coz schemy things taking lot of their time to spare few moments to be near a noble soul to hear goodness in life.

  50. Arun Says:

    the Supreme commander of the armed forces!!! what a disgrace we have such a person as our President….she is busy attending poojas…a thorough misfit to the chair…the chair should be immersed in the Ganges after she retires…

  51. G Singh Says:

    Site – Excellent
    State of affairs – Despicable
    What’s needed – Rang de basanti II (not in theaters – in streets)

    Yes! Sam would not have cared… but, we need to continue to care for the one’s Sam cared for. Men and women in uniform.

    SAM – RIP. Your efforts will not go to waste.

  52. H.R.Bapu Satyanarayana Says:

    It is as well they did not defile the place with their presence

  53. Subhash Naik Says:

    sad, very sad !

  54. aw Says:

    doddi buddi made it to the funeral, dressed as a man!!

  55. Copcop Says:

    Somehow… I’m not the least bit surprised that no one turned up to honor a great man.. After all he wasn’t a well known movie star, cricketer or politician. He was just a Soldier who did his duty for his Motherland and like the rest of our forces was forgotten once his use was up. I have always wondered when people would wake up to the fact that we ourself are to blame for idiots who run our government…

  56. KUBENDRAN Says:

    MEN OF MEN !
    All those people who missed out the funeral, have missed out HISTORY !

  57. mustang Says:

    It is irony of our nation that we require a “KARGIL” to remember our unsung
    It is not just for politicians but for a nation as whole.
    Time is not far when our future generations will not be knowing anything abt

  58. bhau Says:

    well Sam’s got better friends in Uncle Sam’s land.

    Obama condoles Sam Manekshaw’s death.


    Its time Indians realise that their politicians and officers are assholes who do not read history or current affairs – they only know how to corrupt their way to the parliament and important offical posts.

  59. Raj Says:

    Well , we have witnessed ,RETALIATION, since Sam spoke openly and boldly ….! Also proves a point that COC’s toe the lines of the Pols !!!!!!!!
    Let;s earmark a day to Mourn a 2 mins silence for the departed soul .

    Those of you who have connections with the FM broadcasters please ask them to give broad publicity.
    Lets join and do this for Sam !
    Jai Hind

  60. Aline Dobbie Says:

    I was so sad to hear of Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw’s passing. God will bless a courageous and special old man and we mourn him and recognise that his like in India may not be seen again. However, please remember that each and everyone of us and our countries reap as we sew and India is going ‘great guns’ currently but is sadly losing a lot of good values and when something sad or bad happens that is when Indians will start to reconsider and rediscover what really matters in life. That is happening here in UK because of the economic downturn. Tragedy and natural disasters also have that effect of course. The Indian Army has many fine men in it to this day but when times are good politicians feel they do not need the military or indeed patronise soldiers. That happened here and now the shallow superficial arrogant people running UK are suddenly trying to be seen and be associated with heroes. The people will vote them out in two years time. Indians have what Sam Maneckshaw and his peers fought to preserve for you ALL – a fine thinking living democracy – honour a great soldier by respecting what he helped to preserve for you ALL.
    Best Wishes from a daughter of the Indian Army herself!
    Aline Dobbie

  61. Nikhil Narayanan Says:

    Is there a way to seek an explanation from the President,PM,Defense Minister and the service chiefs on this issue?

    As a citizen, I would like to hear what they have to say.
    Would RTI help in this case? Is the Prez answerable under RTI?

  62. Kiwi Indian Says:

    Its no great loss. I saw the picture of the 3 Service Chiefs saluting at the Memorial Service for Sam Bahadur in New Delhi.

    I thougt for a moment that the man standing in open neck shirt & rolled up shirt sleeves in front of them may have been Sam Bahadur’s man servant.

    Then I remembered that his man servant is a Gurkha, & no Gurkha would be that shabbily dressed.

    Imagine my surprise when I realised the grubby little dhobi walla type was Defence Minister Antony!

    How can India expect to be taken seriously when its senior most politicans seem not to have even learnt to wear trousers?

    Leave the dhoti & homespun at home bhai sahib & learn to dress like a gentleman.

  63. tony Says:

    all these ministers will come only if they have money to make..they have sqeezed the countrys tax payers and now want to kill them too…may they all die a dogs death where the birds feed on them

  64. tony Says:

    honesty never pays in this country…..that is why most of us indians wished that the parliament attack should have fetched results to set all the others who survived right! GOD BLESS MR.MANEKSHAWS SOUL and may we have more leaders like him who dont succumb to political pressure JAI HIND

  65. NRI Says:

    The third rate beneath contempt triumvirate of Pratibha Patil, Manmohan Singh, and A K Anthony by their deliberate act of omission have managed to disgrace themselves and India itself by their appalling display of disrespect to India’s greatest soldier & patriot. Because of such people Indian citizenship is something to be ashamed about. What was wrong with Manmohan Singh who is supposed to be educated which the other two, as a matter of fact, are not? Did he not learn what it is to be a gentleman with his sojourn in England? The nation is ashamed of him even more so now given that he is appointed by the Italian lady and not even elected.

  66. Quizman Says:

    The veteran Pakistani editor Mr. Ardeshir Cowasjee has quoted this blog in Dawn.


  67. dilip desai Says:

    The polity of our ‘great’ country places such great emphasis on chair-warming that it is virtually impossible for them to even contemplate the essential civil courtesy of pall-bearing unless there is some benefit to be extracted from it. Small men become even smaller in the presence of tall men, such as Sam Bahadur, and hence keep away from them even in death.

  68. asha dutia Says:

    What a shame the political big wigs did not bother to attend the funeral of Field Marshal Maneckshaw. The Field Marshal was not one to serve as a sycophant-he was a gentleman officer who valued loyalty, integrity and raw courage. Do our politicians have these qualities? Well, the vibes simply do not synchronize, so it is an honor that the Field Marshal was surrounded by folk who had the very qualities that Sam Bahadur fought for. Quality mattered to Sam Bahadur and he went with grace, thank goodness there was no Pratibha Patil holding on to the edge of her saree in an untenable way.

  69. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw passes away - Page 3 - World Affairs Board Says:

    […] and one website is devoted to the comments of Indian citizens on the reaction of their politicians: If you have to die, can you please do so in Delhi? churumuri. As the editor writes, �The death of the only Indian to be appointed field marshal when in […]

  70. Mandeep Singh Bajwa Says:

    What else can you expect from our political class ? I bet they never realised how popular the Field Marshal was.

  71. Zarir Choksy Says:

    Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, left this world on his own, the same way that he came. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with him twice, I hold that memory as one of the highest privileges that a young man would from a man of Field Marshal Manekshaw stature.
    I am sure that he passed away with great dignity and RESTS IN PEACE with the knowledge that his funeral was not marred by “politicians” of NO REPUTE. Thank you “all these politicians”, for keeping away and not DISRESPECTING A GREAT MAN’s FUNERAL by your presence.
    May Ahura Mazda Keep Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, near HIS side always.

  72. Kedar Says:

    It’s easy to point fingers. But has anyone thought about what is going on currently in the capital? The Left is making a big deal about Nuclear deal and government is about to fall.

    I am not saying politicians don’t deserve to be questioned, but I can understand in this case if at least the top brass (President and prime minister) were distracted.

    How about taking a week off from finger pointing and blame game by all of us Indians? We don’t go anywhere by pointing what’s wrong with others.

    Hundreds of people blowing their steam off here, which is useless at the end of the day. Why don’t we all go to a website like http://www.freerice.org and donate time to feed the poor?

    Sam Manekshaw was a real soldier, who focused on real problems, not blame games. That will be the best way to pay him respect.

    After all said,
    Rest in Peace Field Marshal Manekshaw,
    You will always have a special place in every Indian’s heart.
    Our prayers were with you on the battleground and our prayers will be with you in the heaven.

  73. K Sridharan Says:

    Rest in Peace Sam Manekshaw. I am honored to know of you. It is possible to be a gentleman soldier even in these days – thanks for showing that.

    The current day politicians and officials do lack class and would know class if it stood before them.

    It matters not to you that they did not attend but it is a matter of shame for all us Indians that they did not.

    But I know you’re up there willing and wising for peace and prosperity for India.

    Thank you

  74. Malik Abdur Rehman Says:

    Sam was really a Bahadur and was a skillfull soldier as well. I really love to salute such soldier without distinguishing him as an Indian or a Pakistani man. It really doesnt matter for me even. If you are unable to show the grace and gratitute to the services of a brave soldier like him then you have not any right to be called as the countryman. Politicians weather they are Indian or Pakistani have always been making the people fool be their fool – pfoor plannings. that is awfully terrible. I am a Pakistani national but i would be regreting to the soul of that brave soldier in the end on such behaviour paid to him on his sad demise by you the Indians.
    Thank you….
    I salute you The Brave…

  75. John Feltham Says:

    What a Disgrace.

    As an old boy of India, I was dismayed to read of the disgraceful behaviour of the Government of India.

    In a rare gesture, the Government of India took a decision to give a State Funeral to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw. It was richly deserved.

    But after bestowing this rare honour on one of its most illustrious sons, the Government of India could only manage to send one Minister to represent the The Republic of India, at the Field Marshal’s funeral.


    I am reminded of Kipling’s lines which says it all….

    For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
    But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
    An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
    An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

    Contrast this shameful behaviour of the Government of India with that of Australia.

    700 soldiers, recently returned from service in Iraq, today were welcomed home today by thousands, as they marched through the streets of the city of Brisbane today.

    The Prime Minister of Australia took the salute.

    Also on the official podium were the Federal Opposition Leader, Brendan Nelson, the Defence Minister, Joel Fitzgibbon, the Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, the Australian Army Chief, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy and the Lord Mayor of the city of Brisbane, Campbell Newman.

    John Feltham
    North Queensland

  76. Javed Chandio Says:

    With an amaze we all in Pakistan read the news that Sam the Bhadur was ignore by TOP GUNS of India Army. I think – Pakistan could have done a lot, if he was to buried in Lahore or Pindi, Pakistan. There are many ex service men in Pakistan who were trained by him – later defeated by him too. Once you salute, always follow it – friend or foe.

  77. rasa Says:

    It was with infinite sadness I read about Sam bahadur’s death. As a young girl I had always admired the soldier and when I had the pleasure of meeting him once felt honored. It is no great loss if people who did not honour him came to the funreal, that would have been the bigger dishonour. Sam will always live in the hearts of all he touched. If only the politicians think for a minute they will realise that it’s coz of people liks Sam they are where they are, but lets allow our hero to RIP and not be sullied by a bunch of hypocrites shedding a few crocodile tears in a further attempt to glorify themselves

  78. Khushru Says:

    Its really a shame, how we forget our hereos so soon!!!! Giod bless them all

  79. G Singh Says:

    This article is slightly old now but we as a nation should never let our politicians (the current chiefs included) think, even for a moment, that they are not dispensable. Heroes are Indispensable. Sam IS and always will be a HERO.

  80. s kumar Says:

    I am really touched by the good words spoken by some of our Pakistani friends about Sam. It is a clear indicator that as a society Pakistan has developed a good ‘strategic sense’ wherein they understand the role of soldiers in the development of a nation or a civilisation. Indian dhoti-prasad netas are still hostage to the nehruvian mindset which feels insecure in face of charismatic military leadership.
    That is the reason why the country has been saddled with a string of mediocre Army generals. India needs another Sam to revive the leadership crisis in the armed forces.

  81. neeharika naidu Says:

    Once, after one of my concerts (I am a performing artiste), where Sam was the Guest of Honour, he actually called out to me as I was circulating and meeting friends. He sat on a bench in the open lawns. He called out” Come here beautiful. Come and sit with this old man, you woman with the most enchanting voice”. Ofcourse, as I went and sat with him, bursting with pride to be sitting next to the man everyone just adored,the photographers rushed to take pictures of him holding my hand in his. I said to him, “well they now have a good opportunity of you sitting while they photograph you. Please let go of my hand so that they can shoot you to their hearts content.” Sam, being the utter charmer that he was, said “Sweetie, they are only taking my photos because a lovely woman is sitting next to me. They are not interested in an old man”!!!How far from the truth!!!!
    Sam you were the greatest, the best.I am glad my husband, Lt Gen Milan Naidu, could get to Wellington to pay our last respects to you.RIP

  82. Cyrus Bhagwadia Says:

    We have all become victims of politicians and dirty politics.
    Only an all peoplewalk to the nearest goverment office in cities, toens, village, talukas on one single day to protest and give a clear message that enough is enough.
    Sam was our last real hero. Salamat!

  83. jyou Says:

    the last of the stalwarts, probably. sam was truly a bahadur.

    what are we left with now? just putrid, rotting scum that is doing its best to lead this god-forsaken country to complete anarchy.
    if there is a hell, may they all rot in it -the sooner they all reach there, the better.

  84. Dinesh Saroha Says:

    This is India, ” IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA “.

    Here everyone is bussy in paying homage to TEJI BACHHAN, Confused about AFZL ANSARI and NALINI SINGH.

    So dont worry Army personals don’t expect anything from POLITICAL WILLPOWER so better dont expect,

    Army will be remembereed only in case of WAR,


  85. sumkrla in english Says:

    Dinesh Saroha

    tamma samasyeanna chutukaagi vivarshteera:)

  86. sylwester Says:

    leave alone politicians. that is not what worries todays soldier. it is actually the worthy GENERALS who are selling us off and RIGHTLY didnt have any respect for a true soldier. no regards for true professionals because this is a RAT RACE to be won by hook or crook and no more a PROFESSION. Why blame dhotiwalas as he called them,where were these great commanders? staying away to please the political bigwigs?????

  87. Umesh Kumar Yadav Says:

    बहुत ही बढ़िया आलेख। सैम बहादुर के अंतिम संस्कार में भ्रष्ट नेताओं का न आना अच्छा ही रहा। इनके आने से उनकी आत्मा को भी कष्ट होता। पर सेनाध्यक्षों का ना आना अपने आप में बेहद कष्कारक रहा है। इन्हें भी इनके अंतिम संस्कार में ऐसा ही कुछ देखने को मिले, ये दुआ है ऊपर वाले से।

  88. satyam Says:

    It is sad was sad and continue to be sad or sadder and then will eventually become sadest……………but who cares……Sam sir did his part lived a good life and died peacefully…….He was lucky not to have these chor babus and netas for his funeral……..He was the best and he will be so always………KYA PHARAK PADTA HAI >>> AND MOST IMPORTANTLY ITS NOT THE NETAS AND THE BABUS BUT HUMARE YAHA KI JANTA HI ITNI BEKAAR HAI KI KUCH BHI NAHI HO SAKTA……SAM SA’AB TO APNA TIME KARKE CHALE GAYE APNI SOCHO SAALON……SAALE BHANGI LOGON SUDHAR JAO WHILE THERES STILL SOME TIME….

  89. અખિલ સુતરીઆ Says:

    .. heavy heart .. no words to express my sadness..

  90. Colonel Kuldeep Raj Sama (Retired) Says:

    Please do not regret absence of dignitaries at the funeral of Sam Bahadur. In this country, attendance at the funeral is inversely proportional to the honesty, dignity, capability and achievements of the departed soul. Funeral of decoit Phoolan was attended by 2 lac persons, including PM Atal Behari; that of a goonda in my locality, by 6000 persons; And that of a honest, upright high court judge of 40 years of distinguished carreer, father of one of my Air Force colleague, by just 20 persons. Poor attendence at your funeral has only reiterated your capabilites and achievements in life, Sir Sam Bahadur.

  91. Augustine Kuriapilly Says:

    Greatness lies in being honoured by millions, not necessarily by being invested with titles by the Kings and President. These men and women who call themselves representatives of the people have ceased to be our representatives long, long ago. I would rather not write about their absence, because they are not worth anyone’s effort. However, I rejoice at the smallest of the small people and the lowest of the low ranked jawan in the armed forces salute the bravest of all. It pained me to hear of the passing away of Sam Bahadur. Somewhere in my heart’s deepest recess, there was a desire that he remain with us forever. It was not possible. We may do in our own way what is possible: to visit the shrine city of Ootty sometime and sigh with the millions who loved the Field Marshall.

  92. Wg Cdr (Retd) Ravi Bedi Says:

    I like to quote what the Field Marshal said in one of his many lighter moments:

    ‘I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla – although a great many of them in the past have resembled the latter’.

    Sam , I’m sure, wouldn’t have liked the presence of these gorillas at his funeral. He would have hated the tamasha. He died where he wanted to, near his dear and loved ones, and burried next to his soulmate.

    This nation doesn’t deserve the likes of Cariappas or Manekshaws, and many others who laid down their lives in the service of the nation. A nation ruled by corrupt politicians and rogue elements, some of which languishing in jails!

    Need I say more?

  93. Vimal Sarin Says:

    The politicians and the sycophantic serv ing officers of todays defense forces did well to stay away from the funeral of Sam Bahadur. Their very presence would have horified him and his many million civilian admirers.
    he has not passed away He has merely passed on to a place where he richly deserves to be and where He will be much better treated.
    God Bless Him and grant peace to the family.
    After Lal Bahadur Shastri the only Indian who loved his country.
    CHEERS SAM BAHADUR. May your tribe increase.

  94. G Singh Says:

    93 responses in three weeks… these dhotiwallas can all die the same day and still not be able to get a single word from this audience. Except for ‘good riddance’.

    My question is (per my knowledge) a Field Marshal is active/does not retire, and is thereby the senior most officer in uniform, so technically in the defense hierarchy Field Marshal should be right below the Commander-in chief, and she didn’t have time to go for the funeral of her immediate subordinate?

    I’m certain they have a protocol set in place for her funeral and the three chiefs have their uniforms starched and their boots polished – for the photo op.

  95. S Talwar Says:

    Sad, India will never be able to say “Play it again Sam”.

  96. Dr. Sudhir N. Pujari, Laurel, MS. USA. Says:

    As a young boy in 1971 and for most Indians of my generation, FM Sam Maneckshaw’s pictures atop a tank riding into Lahore(or close to it) symbolized Indian pride. The whole nation today pays tribute to it’s immortal hero, regardless of the absence of a bunch of third rate politicians(President of India included) at his funeral.

  97. Ratan Sharma Says:

    Sam Manekshaw was indeed the Greatest Person India produced. It is no point crying over spilt milk on the cowardly act by the Government. He will be remembered by all and all who matter. The world has recognised him as a true soldier. In todays’ time, smart people are joining everywhere else except the Defence Forces and this is primarily because of the way politicians prioritize stability and growth of our Country. It is mails like this which will turn things the other way and have more Sam Manekshaw’s arise. I Salute you, Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw!!!!! God please bless your soul!

  98. tanay Says:

    question:how many children actually know about sam manekshaw?
    answer:hardly any.aks any child does he/she know about any bollywood idiot?.quick comes the reply:my hero.the fault is with the system.we dont respect the people who matter the most.if one goes by the current scenario the word “cool” is in vouge.obviously when someone generally speaking is working on the frontline or serving in villages for rural upliftment life cannot be “cool”.everyone wants to go abroad and settle down.no one wants to serve/build the nation.everyone wants to eat a baked pie ie a readymade comfotable lifestyle in a foreign country(partly politicians are to be blamed).talk about baking the pie?.no i cant do it sir.period.the problem is the youth get inspired by wrong people.politicians(read quick buck/corruption) in case of rural youth and actors(again quick buck) in case of urban youth.what people dont hear on the news channel is about those people who lay down their lives on the frontline or fighting the internal security threat.they never hear about a certain indivisual going by the surname of mr.bharadwaj who is helping build low cost bridges in rural karnataka.vargehese kurien.how many kids know about him?.shahrukh khan is called badshah khan.khan abdul ghaffar khan has been given the title.mr khan is in limelight.while ghaffar khan?.oblivion.
    about our politicians?.the only way they can be taken out is the bullet.a young india needs to take away the realms from them and play a more decisive role. the only way our nation can come up is when we indians think of our nation as one.unless we forget our internal divisions and leave the superiority of ceratin states or race over the other behind it is never going to happen.
    field marshall would only be happy politicians not attending.he wont have been able to see parasites eating up his beloved nation.india needs a real hero like him who can play a dynamic role in getting a divided nation together same as what field marshall did on the frontline. and so the question?.how many know field marshall sam manekshaw?.

  99. Brahmanyan Says:

    “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself. It requires talent to recognize genius”. says Sherlock Homes to Dr.Watson. How true indeed.

  100. n c katrak Says:

    i had the honor & the privilege of meeting the “young” field marshal whilst on my honeymoon to coonoor. his presence, his personality, his joie de vivre made a long lasting impact & i consider it one of the highlights of my life having taken a photograph of HIM with us. thank you Dear Sam Bahadur. you were a great man and India was lucky we had you on our side. as for our current crop of politicians, they lack the ethics, the courage,the intelligence & the foresight you had. may you return to our country once again, loved leader of our worthy soldiers !!!

  101. sohny Says:

    Why is an worthless guy like ismeet singh getting a state funeral when Sam manekshaw didnt get?

  102. Andy Says:

    @ Sonhy

    Sam Manekshaw did get the state funeral…

    And, Ishmeet is not worthless guy..an amazingly talented young man to whom fate was cruel

  103. tushar jaiswal Says:

    Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was a great man. I learnt about him as a 9 year old during the 1971 war and since then have always admired this gem of a man, and an illustrious General.

    His kind are in real short supply in India. Today all we see are venal politicians, scurrilous journalists, and avarice smitten people.

    But then the likes of Prathiba Patil and L.K. Advani and the nobodies who now “head” Indian ministries surely did not deserve to bask in his glory.

    The deepest cut is that the Air Chief Marshal, Chief of Staff of the Indian Army and Naval Chief did not see it fit to attend his funeral.

    May he rest in peace.

  104. Cyrus Says:

    A Real hero does not require saluation from unrealistic person. Great Sautation to SAM BAHADUR from the bottom of my heart.

  105. Avadhoot V.Sumant Says:

    By reading this article we should not only seat silent while expressing only pain but we should find time to take out print out and send it to these irresponsible politicians who love everything except The Rashtra. The flame of complaint and concern should be largely communicated at and in every front and place. I know that this may not change the situation very fast but during this process at least like minded people will come together, which may prevent further deterioration of national conscience. Wish we have Many Manekshaws.


  106. Bhawani Singh Nirwan Says:

    Its midnight and am immeresed in thinking about Sam…… when I saw him when I was a high school kid and fostered desires to be standing up to meet him face to face even once…………….. WE MISS YOU SAM……

  107. Vijay Baiyya Says:

    very Shameful…..

  108. Shyam Malick Says:

    It is indeed matter of great shame that we did not honor the only real hero that India has produced in nearly past 100 years!
    It is further disgusting to admit that I got to know about this message board from an old Pakistani newspaper. I however thank The Dawn and Mr. Cowasji for it.
    Field marshal was a prescient, saying about pakistani and Indian politicians, that has so shamefully proven true ‘Your politicians are as bad as ours’.
    We must start a campaign to undo the blunder of the politicians, we must start with a demand a main arterial road in the New Delhi to be named after him; name Aurangzeb Road as Field Marshal Sam manekshaw Road!!!!!!!!!!
    Join me please. Mail me your support on yahoo, at my full name.

  109. Salauddin Kazi Says:

    As an Ex- Indian Navy person I pray and expect a good hope is better
    than a bad possession from our so called Ministers !

  110. Naushad Patel Says:

    Patriots are remembered only in a war-like crisis. And our venal establishment has always betrayed and downplayed the good work done by our men in uniform. If you think they will have the decency to honour Sam Bahadur even at this late stage, you are living in a dream world. They forget our heroes once they are no longer needed

    Why are more youngsters not drawn to the armed forces? Its because its now looked upon as a dead-end job with no prospects, not the honourable profession like it used to be (“if you are good for nothing, join the army”). And the governments disrespectful treatment of our armed forces only re-inforces this view. And this is why we are so short in the officer cadre

    God save our country under our pols and bureaucrats. People like Sam come rarely, but our blind fools wouldnt be able to see it!

  111. Arun Says:

    So shameful..

  112. Biju Ashok Says:

    Entirely irresponsible…..
    Leave Manmohan singh because he has been a puppet with flexible backbone with 360 degree bend and leave alone A.K Antony who has not contested election to Lok Sabha for a decade (FEARS AN UTTER DEFEAT IF HE DO SO); Leave new finance minister who wants to hide or fight the allegations on his son and wants to be known as the ever remaining intellectual in central government… and leave all those petty commander in chiefs of Navy and air force because they have nothing to say about this glorious man (because when Sam was in army these commander chiefs might not have reached puberty)… but let me tell you this… it was a serious case of irreverence… and all these persons will die one day and I swear, I won’t attend their funerals… because they have not done any thing as Sam did…….

  113. Sanjeev Dogra Says:

    Dear Ministers,

    You not be any more dear if you behave in the same manner. Say Thanks to the Indian Army or The Armed Forces who didn’t you to get out as usually happens in Pak. Public is already against you now don’t realize forces that they will also against you. Be Loyal & Work for the country because we are paying heavy taxes to pay you high salaries and royal life style. Hope you understand this.

  114. Hem Shailabh Says:

    I being a 16-year Aware Indian,Wish The Country would See The Same Golden Days of Swarnim Bharat, With Respectful Politicians,Respectful JAWAN Guarding The Frontiers, People Praising the Respectful Position of the country in the world…. JAI HIND !!!!!!

  115. Minoo Avari Says:

    Sam Bhadur was not corrupt. He never took advantage of the weak and the poor. He was not a bull-shitter! how can a person like that hope to have any respect in India?

  116. Kaizad Manecksha Says:

    Well, he did what he had to do for his country. These self serving politician or Defense Chiefs cant match the caliber of such a great man. Thank them for keeping their distance, which maintained the purity of the ceremony…..

  117. Saurabh Says:

    hats off to you sir….
    No worries if nobody turned up,we are,we were and we will always remember you..
    Jai Hind

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