Sam Manekshaw

First Field marshal of the Indian Army
Sam Manekshaw

Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw MC (3 April 1914 – 27 June 2008), also known as Sam Bahadur ("Sam the Brave"), was the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. His distinguished military career spanned four decades and five wars, beginning with service in the British Indian Army in World War II.


A statue of Sam Manekshaw in Pune Cantonment
  • You know I have no political ambitions. My job is to command my army and see that it is kept as a first rate instrument. Your job is to look after the country.
    • This was a reply he gave when Indira Gandhi called him to her chamber and confronted him with the question "are you trying to take over from me?".[1]
  • The status of the field marshal of the country or the equivalent has to be unique for the nation.
  • If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha.[3]
  • 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 resemble the latter.[4]
  • There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued.
  • Then I guess Pakistan would have won (the 1971 war).
    • His quip when asked, if he had opted for Pakistan at the time of the partition in 1947.[6]
  • It's nonsense that people join the army to serve the country, like the politicians do it only for the sake of the country.[7]
  • Give me a man or a woman with common sense and who is not an idiot and I assure you can make a leader out of him or her.
    • His lecture on leadership as part of the Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures.[8]
  • A ‘yes man’ is a dangerous man. He is a menace. He will go very far. He can become a minister, a secretary or a Field Marshal but he can never become a leader nor, ever be respected. He will be used by his superiors, disliked by his colleagues and despised by his subordinates. So discard the ‘yes man’.
    • His lecture on leadership as part of the Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures.[8]
  • The primary, the cardinal attribute of leadership is professional knowledge and professional competence. And you will agree with me... that you cannot be born with professional knowledge and professional competence. Not even if you are the son of the Prime Minister, an industrialist, or a Field Marshal. Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way. It is continuous study and you never acquire it in today’s fast-moving technological world that you are living in. You have to keep up with your profession whatever you are in.
    • His lecture on leadership as part of the Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures.[8]
  • Professional knowledge and professional competence are the main attributes of leadership. Unless you know, and the men you command know that you know your job, you will never be a leader.
    • His lecture on leadership as part of the Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures.[8]
  • One thing remains the same. That is, your task and your duty. You are required to ensure the security of this country against any aggressor. What does that mean for you? It means that you should have to fight, and fight to win. There is no room for the loser. If you lose, don't come back.

External linksEdit

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  1. Jayakar, Pupul Jayakar (27 November 1997). Indira Gandhi: A Biography. Penguin Books India. ISBN 978-0-14-011462-1. 
  2. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Turning Points. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-93-5029-543-4. 
  3. PREMJI. A Nomad Repaints the Globe. PartridgeIndia. pp. 70–. ISBN 978-1-4828-1337-1. 
  4. "NRIs irked by poor Manekshaw farewell". Diligent Media Corporation Ltd.. 7 July 2008. Retrieved on 2 December 2013. 
  5. "Sam Manekshaw, soldier, died on June 27th, aged 94". The Economist. 3 July 2008. Retrieved on 2 December 2013. 
  6. "A soldier's general". Mumbai Mirror. 28 June 2008. Retrieved on 2 December 2013. 
  7. Quotations by 60 Greatest Indians. Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology.
  8. a b c d Field Marshal KM Kariappa Memorial Lectures, 1995-2000. Lancer Publishers. 2001. pp. 21–. ISBN 978-81-7062-119-5. 
  9. A Soldier's Duty