The late Ex-Chief of the Indian Army staff, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw also known as Sam Bahadur is remembered for leading India in the 13 days war against Pakistan in 1971. Known as a master strategist he was equally known for his sharp wit and unique style.
At the time of India’s independence in 1947, Sam Manekshaw and Yahya Khan, the future Army Chief and Military dictator of Pakistan, served together in the British Army.
Sam Manekshaw owned a red James motorcycle which Yahya Khan fancied. At the time of partition, Yahya offered Sam to buy the motorcycle for Rs 1,000. He took the bike with him and promised to send the amount from Pakistan. However, Yahya never did what he had promised – the money never came.
After 24 years in 1971, Sam and Yahya led their respective countries’ armies in the fiercest battle ever between India and Pakistan. India won the war and Pakistan suffered heavy losses along with the break up of East Pakistan. Sam who led Indian side against President Yahya Khan’s Pakistan said:
“YAHYA NEVER PAID ME THE RS 1,000 FOR MY MOTORBIKE, BUT NOW HE HAS PAID WITH HALF HIS COUNTRY”
Respects to Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw – the legend.