The Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat today strongly pitched for the Bharat Ratna award for Field Marshal KM Cariappa. Rawat said, “Its time to recommend Field Marshal KM Cariappa for the Bharat Ratna.” KM Cariappa was the first Army chief of Independent India who assumed the office in 1949 succeeding Gen. Sir Roy Bucher, the last British officer to hold that position. Recommending Cariappa for Bharat Ratna, Rawat said “If others can get it (Bharat Ratna), I see no reason why he (Field Marshal KM Cariappa) shouldn’t be the deserving personality for same. ” Here are the five interesting things to know about Field Marshal KM Cariappa:-
1. Field Marshal KM Cariappa was one of the two Indian Army officers to hold the five-star rank of field marshal. Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was the other officer.
2. Born on 28 January 1899, Marshal KM Cariappa had a career with the Indian army for three decades.
3. KM Cariappa joined the Indian Army shortly after the end of World War I. After he joined the army Cariappa was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant in the 2/88 Carnatic Infantry.
4. KM Cariappa was the first Indian military officer to attend the Staff College, Quetta. He was also one of the first two Indians selected to undergo training at the Imperial Defence College, Camberley, UK. He is also a recipient of the Order of the British Empire for his role in the Burma campaign against the Japanese during the Second World War.
5. Cariappa was married to Muthu Machia, a forest officer’s daughter. Later due to ideological differences, and Cariappa’s professional commitments, their marriage broke down in 1945. He breathed his last at the age of 94 in 1993.