(Last Updated on : 10-05-2014)
Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, the legendary Indian Field Marshal had declared after partition, "I don't care a damn if a man is a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsi or Christian as long as he plays the game to serve our country well. This is all that matters to me." He also said that he is "an Indian and to the last breath would remain an Indian. To me there is only two Sthans - Hindustani (India) and Foujisthan (the Army)." These precisely sum up the whirlwind personality of K.M. Cariappa, who was affectionately nicknamed as 'Kipper' by his fellow army mates. In fact, from the British Raj itself Cariappa had established himself on solid ground in the British Indian Army. His unusual amicable, down to earth, disciplined, determined, faithful and responsible personality made him stand out from every other Indian from his times. Cariappa had chalked out for himself a clever life for his future years, which even more reveals his intelligent and strategic mind-set. Zealous to his country both prior to and post independence, Cariappa performed every task he was given with complete understanding and mindfulness. He was never proud of his qualities and bore every kind of sniggers from British officers and later was also hugely popular and loving to his juniors.
K.M. Cariappa never feared to face his enemy and dared bullets and ammunition shower by standing at the forefront. His mission to perilous places like Afghanistan, China or later the Nepal or Pakistan wars made his seniors wonder as to how much Cariappa could stretch his limits. In between, he was constantly promoted to higher positions, which can perhaps be associated with his supreme faith in the Almighty, never shunning his belief for once. The gradual rise of Cariappa amidst ups and downs in Indian administrative and political scenario made him a man of the world, who was extremely adhered to discipline and was a sharp speaker towards people unfaithful to their duty or job. Indian Army
was not a wing of task, which afforded compromises or slack in duty. As such, Cariappa intensely looked into every matter, not for once becoming tired of multi-tasking. In fact, he was a strict taskmaster. A Field Marshal is not born in one day and K.M. Cariappa's career was also started with efforts just like any other common man.
Early Life of K.M. Cariappa, Indian Field Marshal
Early life of K.M. Cariappa was not much of a sweet affair of a rich boy. Since an early age, he had to come face-to-face with harsh realities of life. His parents had died at an early age and he was left to fend for his own. However, with zeal and extreme will force, Cariappa became a fond boy amongst his relative and was admitted to school for education.
K.M. Cariappa in British Indian Army, Indian Field Marshal
K.M. Cariappa had found a fulfilling career with British Indian Army and it was precisely here that he witnessed his rise and further rise. Soon after being selected, Cariappa was sent for a number of hazardous attempts to battle in places like Afghanistan, Waziristan in the foreign places and other Indian outposts. He excelled in each of his work, a fact which had sometimes turned a big botheration for British high-rankers. However, Cariappa's sense of sound judgement won over one and all.
Ascension of K.M. Cariappa, Indian Field Marshal
Ascension of K.M. Cariappa towards achieving his Field Marshal rank was marked with several hair-raising instances of combat in tumultuous places like Baghdad or Iraq. Every task was lapped up by Cariappa in his path to shining. British government could not just sit back after seeing such a man and ascended him to even higher ranks by the day. Although Cariappa was not a man to become swelled with vanity. He was just that same officer ordering strategies and charting out plans to make his country safe. In between his road to ascension happened the historic Partition of India, post 1947.
K.M. Cariappa in Indian Army, Indian Field Marshal
K.M. Cariappa was hugely responsible for keeping and organising and overhauling the Indian Army in post independence years. The country was divided into two and several other problems had cropped up. Governmental and administrative issues were still in their budding stages, free from British. Hence, several strategic and logistic disturbances had to be taken into account. And Cariappa was only that one man, who could make things straight in assured time. His soldiers had become weary after 1947, when political unrest with Pakistan had started to foment up.
Last Phase of K.M. Cariappa, Indian Field Marshal
By the time K.M. Cariappa had reached a position from where he could afford to call himself middle-aged, he was way too established in Indian Army
as a top-notch officer. No one dared to contradict him in his decisions, as he was considered the man who knew it all and knew it well. Cariappa was at first handed to take on decisions of primary importance within the armed forces set-up. His last-phase as Indian Army 'soldier' was however not much of turbulence, in which he was to face combats and acid-tests again. He looked into every other related matter of helping and aiding, with his arduous included. After handing over his Commander-in-Chief position to his junior upcoming officer, he had just planned to settle for a peaceful life. Although he was called back to serve once more as India's High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand. Cariappa's last phase in his army career once again took a dramatic turn, with the final awe kept for his old days.