Kodandera Madappa Cariappa - Personality

Personality

During the 1965 and 1971 wars, he visited the front lines to talk to the troops and keep their morale up.

Apart from being a military man, Cariappa had insight about the status of the country. He is quoted as saying, "In modern warfare, a large army is not sufficient, it needs industrial potential behind it. If the army is the first line of defence, the industry is the second." Cariappa had even said that "soldiers know the facility of wars to solve the internal problems. We ought to be ashamed that today they had more peace in war than peace in peace." Such insight has placed him above many in this field. "Army is there to serve the Government of the day, and we should make sure that it does not get mixed up with party politics. A soldier is above politics and should not believe in caste or creed," was another insight of this soldier.

He lived and remained, as he said, "an Indian and to the last breath would remain an Indian. To me there is only two Stans - Hindustan (India) and Foujistan (the Army)."

During the 1965 war, his son, an Indian Air Force pilot, was shot down over Pakistan. He was captured and imprisoned as a POW. When Ayub Khan learned about this, he informed Cariappa he would not be kept in a POW Camp like other Indian POWs, since they had worked together before independence. But Cariappa politely declined the offer, saying every soldier in the Indian Army was his son, so he could not request special privileges for only one.

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