- How to choose a General
How to choose a General?
Soon after getting freedom from British rule in 1947, the de-facto prime minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru called a meeting of army officers to select the first General of the Indian army.
Nehru proposed, "I think we should appoint a British officer as a General of The Indian Army as we don't have enough experience to lead the same."
Having learned under the British, only to serve and rarely to lead, all the civilians and men in uniform present nodded their heads in agreement
However one officer Nathu Singh Rathore asked for permission to speak.
Nehru was a bit taken aback by the independent streak of the officer, he asked him to speak freely.
Rathore said, "You see, sir, we don't have enough experience to lead a nation too, so shouldn't we appoint a British person as the first Prime Minister of India?"
You could hear a pin drop.
After a pregnant pause, Nehru asked Rathore, "Are you ready to be the first General of The Indian Army?"
Rathore declined the offer saying, "Sir, we have a very talented army officer, my senior, Lt. Gen. Cariappa, who is the most deserving among us."
This is how the brilliant Gen. Cariappa became the first General and Rathore the first ever Lt. General of the Indian Army.
My thanks to Lt. Gen (retd) Niranjan Malik (PVSM) for this article.
The characteristic of courage with a sense of duty and honour displayed by Lt. Gen. Rathore, unfortunately is increasingly rare to find, even in our armed forces.
It appears that most people in present day society suffer from bone problem, too much in the head and too little in the spine.
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