Tributes to a Titan

Defence Minister, Mr AK Antony and the three Service Chiefs paid homage to Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw at Amar Jawan Jyoti on June 30. In an unprecedented gesture, Army placed homage-cum-condolence book to honour their beloved hero. Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh was the first to pay tributes to the late Field Marshal. He was followed by the three serving Chiefs.

After penning down effusive remarks in the condolence book Army Chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor announced that he was dedicating the state-of-the-art multi-facility project for higher military learning, under construction at the entrance to Delhi Cantonment, to the inspiring memory of the late Field Marshal.

Talking to mediapersons at India Gate, Army Chief stated that the facility, now being christened as Manekshaw Centre, would house a convention centre for higher military learning, conduct of seminars, workshops and conferences on strategic and operational security issues. It would comprise of an auditorium, conference rooms and an exhibition hall. The centre would be aesthetically landscaped and boast of a unique architectural style with imposing facade and design of most contemporary specifications. The centre would also house the Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), the premier think-tank of the Army. Besides, the infrastructure of Centre for UN Peacekeeping, coming up on the adjoining site, would also use the high-end facilities of the Manekshaw Centre and, thus, cater to an international clientele. The Chief added, "It is most apt to name the centre after the late Field Marshal as it would draw inspiration from the most eminent military leader who symbolised brilliance and excellence in all spheres".

The architect of India's convincing victory in 1971 war, the Field Marshal has indeed left a lasting legacy of not only a generalship of highest order but also of deep strategic insight and indomitable spirit. Through this state-of-the-art facility, a greatful nation would be able to carry forward his vision through higher military learning and, thus, contribute to national security. The project is likely to be completed by November next year.



Atribute-cum-homage ceremony was organised in memory of Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw at Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) Auditorium under the aegis of Bison Division, Hyderabad on July 5.

The ceremony started with memorial services by various religious teachers. The tribute was paid by Gen (Retd) KV Krishna Rao. Lt Gen ZU Shah, Deputy Chief of Army Staff and other senior Defence and civil dignitaries along with school-children were present at the ceremony. A movie clipping on the departed Field Marshal was also screened. A two-minute silence was observed in the memory of this brave soldier of India. Condolence book was also signed by all present after the function.

Field Marshal Manekshaw was a legendary soldier who, as the commander of our Army, played a critical role at a very important and crucial juncture in our history, during the 1971 war. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Field Marshal Manekshaw always led by example and, therefore, was able to inspire his men and get the best out of them. In his passing away the nation has lost a true patriot, who shall always remain an inspiration for our Armed Forces as well as for the nation.

-President, Mrs Pratibha Devisingh Patil

It is with profound sorrow that I received the news of passing away of Field Marshal S. H. F. J. Manekshaw, MC, the country's first Field Marshal.

Field Marshal Manekshaw in his long and distinguished career in the armed forces of the country has made lasting contributions for defending the country against all odds. His leadership and courage was evident during the 1971 war. As a soldier and Field Marshal, he will always remain an inspirational figure for the members of the defence forces and every citizen. His services to the country will always be remembered.

I convey my sincere heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family, admirers and the wide circle of his friends and pray that they receive the strength and fortitude to bear with the loss.

-Vice President, Mr M Hamid Ansari

I join the people of India in expressing my deepest and heartfelt condolences on the passing away of Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, popularly and with great affection called Sam Bahadur. Field Marshal Manekshaw was without doubt one of India's greatest soldiers and a truly inspiring leader. He served the Indian Army with great distinction for over four decades beginning with the very first military engagement when free India was dragged into in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. Sam Bahadur was the architect and the inspiring leader of the operations and the consequent military victory in what is now Bangladesh. Military historians will forever record the strategic brilliance and the inspirational leadership of Sam Bahadur. The people and the Government of India expressed their deepest admiration and their profound gratitude for his inspiring leadership as Chief of the Army Staff by conferring on him the prestigious title of Field Marshal. Field Marshal Manekshaw has inspired several generations of Indian soldiers and officers over the past half a century. I am sure, his legacy will continue to live with us for years to come.

-Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh

I express our heartfelt condolence on the sad demise of one of India's greatest soldiers and India's first Field Marshal Manekshaw. Not only he was one of the greatest soldiers of all times, but he was also a true patriot who contributed everything to protect the integrity of India and also safeguard the prestige of our nation. The country will not forget his heroic leadership during the Bangladesh war and I am sure he will always inspire the soldiers of our country.

In a way of rare gesture Government took a decision to give state funeral and also deputed Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Pallam Raju to represent the Government on his funeral. I once again condole the death of our greatest soldier. I have already conveyed Government's as well as my condolence to the family members of Manekshaw.

-Defence Minister, Mr A K Antony

Though we saw it coming, it was with a sense of disbelief that I received the news of the sad demise of the legendary Field Marshal. An iconic leader, Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw, or 'Sam' as he is fondly called, will be remembered as a revered leader of the Indian Armed Force, and indeed of the nation, who exemplified the true spirit and ethos of a military leader and inspired generations of Indians to stand up and confront adversity in all its forms. Sharp and witty till the end and imbued with an indomitable fighting spirit, he will continue to live on in the minds of committed citizens and will inspire them to take the nation forward. The Indian Air Force mourns his demise and hopes that the family members he leaves behind be given the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss. May his soul rest in peace."

-Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal FH Major

On behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh and all members of Bangladesh Armed Forces, I expess deep condolence on the death of the Great Warrior FM Manekshaw. With deep gratitude we remember his great contribution during our War of Liberation and independence of Bangladesh. We pray for the salvation of his soul.

-Brig Gen Mohamad Maksud,
Bangladesh Army,

Field Marshal Manekshaw got the credit he deserved. He was a hard-working person with plenty of charisma and was very popular with his colleagues and the troops. He was a very brave man. The nation has lost a brilliant soldier and a great human being.

- Chief of Staff, Eastern Command during 1971 war,
Lt Gen (Retd) JFR Jacob

The people and the Government of Bangladesh deeply mourn the sad passing away of Field Marshal Manekshaw. A great soldier, legendary strategist and formidable leader of men and women, FM Manekshaw made a singular contribution to our liberation in 1971. For his contribution he will always be remembered by us with deep gratitude.

-High Commissioner of Bangladesh Mr Liaquat Ali Chaudhury

It was with a sense of great loss that I heard the sad news of the demise of Field Marshal Manekshaw. In his passing away, the nation has indeed lost a valiant soldier, and words can hardly be any consolation for this irreparable loss.

His military career spanned nearly four decades, encompassing the British era and World War II, and the three wars after India's independence. At the very start of his career, during World War II, Sam Manekshaw saw action in the Burma campaign and had the rare distinction of being honoured with the Military Cross for his conspicuous bravery on the battle-front. Regarded as the prime architect of India's great military victory for the liberation of Bangladesh, the personality of Manekshaw was formidable combination required for success-a prodigious capacity for work, a great strategic vision, a fascinating raconteur with wit, charm and persistence, an iron determination, an eye for detail, plus a strategic mind that embraced all, yet imbibed the essence. And to top these was his charismatic charm, born out of strong qualities of head and heart. His sympathetic and sincere approach towards man management, that came naturally , endeared him to one and all.

Sam Bahadur, as he is affectionately called, steered the ship of military leadership and ethos through his vision and experience. He was a man of great insight and personality, and his passing away is a great loss for the Indian Armed Forces. Sporting his trademark handlebar moustache and a ram-rod straight military bearing, the Field Marshal will remain a role model for the uniformed fraternity, and would be remembered as a military legend.

We realise that his passing away has not only left a void in our lives, but also in the hearts of all those who knew him especially his family members. I, on behalf of all ranks of the Indian Navy, extend condolences to the bereaved family, and hope that time and memories will help lessen the burden of our combined sorrow. May the almighty give his soul peaceful rest eternally. And let us be guided by the strength of an old quotation-Those who live in the hearts of others never die.

-Chief of Navy Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta