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Maj.Gen. Cariappa

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  • Maj.Gen. Cariappa

    Maj.Gen. Cariappa

    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 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 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.