Some Generals they were and more...
This fwd may be of interest to readers of the blog
My Dear Col Dayakar
1. Thanks for the informative write up sir. There is a revival of interest in Gen Nathu Singh on the net and I am contributing my bit towards the cause of this great soldier as well as others from this part of the country.
2. The name of Lt Gen Thakur Nathu Singh Rathore is a legend in Udaipur. He is not remembered much in Defense fraternity who is more inclined towards westernized and anglicized Cariappas and like but I am sure the losses which the Indian Defense Forces suffered (Post independence) would not have occurred had Taker Sahib taken over the reins of the forces post independence.
3. I remember the upright Retired General in late sixties when he used to cross our Medical college campus for his daily walk and we used to stop and salute him. He used to respond smartly and then engage us in talks on nationalistic and other matters.
4. I had met him in BH Delhi when I was at Medical Directorate and we created an appropriate facility for his stay at Hospital. He was very well understood and appreciated by his British seniors who commissioned him in 1920 and promoted him till the rank of Brigadier in spite of his open pro- Nationalistic and anti- British attitude and fiery temperament. They appreciated his genius as a Military strategist while Nehru down played him and condemned him as a reactionary? He was of course a maverick and the stories about his rebellion against the authority abound. There are people like him who bristle with energy and are ready to take danger head-on. The org/ auth which recognize their potential can only reap the benefit. Britishers did it and independent India under Nehru shunned him. What a pity? He advocated and advised in writing (in 1948) the capture of Lahore and then bargain for area of Kashmir captured by Pakistan. Nehru rejected the plan. Ironically it was the diminutive successor of tall Nehru, Lal Bahadur shastry who adopted the same strategy in 1965 when he gave go ahead to capture Lahore which only deterred Pakistan and made it sue for peace!
5. The Area of old Rajpootana (now Rajasthan) produced some eminent and brilliant Military officers who were known for their straight forward and no - non sense approach. It was a pleasure to meet them when they were alive and interact with them. They shaped the history of armed forces without compromising on honor and integrity. Given below are some names which come to mind with whom or their families we had the honor and opportunity to interact:
I had the opportunity to hear mouthfuls from him in his rustic rajasthani. He was a difficult patient since people of his caliber in their nineties do not succumb to help or advice by the attendants. A fiercely independent minded individual whom I persuaded and convinced to follow a medical routine while getting him admitted to Mil Hosp Jaipur repeatedly for age related ailments. It was a pleasure and honor to look after a great but simple soul during his troubled times
It was a fantastic experience to know and interact with Mrs Anar Zorawar Singh and their family and learn about the exploits of late Gen in Italy and Kashmir.
It was a tribute and honor for the Alma Mater(St Xavier’s) and the native city of their residence Jaipur, Rajasthan to have given two successive Chief of Naval Staff as mentioned above. Both soldiers, born and brought up in the land locked deserts of Rajpootana, got their sea foots in Indian Navy and proved that you don’t have to be a sea faring tribe from coastal belt to cut your teeth on the high seas.
I had the opportunity to get them as my captive audience during their routine visits to Mil Hosp under my command. They patiently listened to my woes. It was while waiting for a cup of tea and their medicines that I learned about their inherent great capabilities and down to earth approach. It was unfortunate that I could not convince them to go along for a larger re-hauling of MILITARY MEDICAL SYSTEM FOR ENTIRE ARMED FORCES FRATERNITY (A De novo approach) rather than a Jugad in the form of ECHS which was just then coming up.
The first Indian Commission Officer from IMA in 1934 with Personal Number as IC 1. Admiral Madhvendra singh is his son.
The scion of the house of Kachwahas of Amber (now Jaipur) served the Indian Army and earned MVC. It was a pity that the Indian Govt victimized this decorated soldier and he was forced to put up his papers. The doors of his palatial residence were always open for serving and retired soldiers. I enjoyed his hospitality and sumptuous table spread. He had special affinity for all paratroopers being one of them. He had the great courage and conviction to marry his only daughter’s into a family from a different caste background then his lineage and then to let his daughters son inherit his name and property against the established Hindu practice of male succession and against the will and desire of his Rajpoot clan.
Brig (Dr) CP Joshi
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