08 July, 2008

Field Marshals and something else...

Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw passed away a few days ago. I read about it in the TOI (see below) and also was pleased to note that the economist wrote an endearing eulogy for him. I had read a bit about his temperament and was not too surprised to read about his retorts to Madam Gandhi (about whom I have a lot to say, but will not, given the recent case of Gandhi versus Vaid, I will keep my opinions to myself)

It also gave me the opportunity to read a bit more about him and about the only other Field Marshall the Indian army has had - Field Marshall Cariappa - who was at the helm of the armed forces during 1947. Reading about him, I felt that he was quite important in the mindset with which the Indian army was born with (in 1947) and developed it. The army prides itself (again very little data) for its secular credentials and a little part of it flows down directly from Cariappa.

Cariappa, after retiring from the Army, was made the Indian high commissioner to Australia. He was not very keen about this, but Nehruji insisted. As a result, he found his way into Canberra's high society. I do not think anyone could really handle him - a war veteran who had fought for the British and had been instrumental in stalling the Japanese (Which in turn helped keep Australia safe), highly learned and well versed in poetry and philosophy, while at the same time, with a tendency to speak his mind (a somewhat unnecessary skill for a diplomat). He travelled all over Australia and soon knew a lot more about Australia than many native(?) Australians. Australia had a white only immigration policy at that time (which is quite a laugh now, given that the Aussie government now is prepared to spend Australian tax payer dollars into attracting indians into settling there - highly skilled ofcourse). What angered him as a soldier was that with a white only policy, Italians and Germans (countries which Australia fought against in WWII) were welcome to settle in Australia, while Indians, who had fought on the same side as the Australians were not.
I am not sure why I am talking about him - have meandered from Maneckshaw but reading about this time and some stories about Maneckshaw and Cariappa were fascinating.
I dream of a day when the demand for Indian work permits outstrips its supply.
Or you could just walk in into the country via Bangladesh!
Topic change.
Dramatic topic change.
I noted some very interesting things on Google analytics.
It made me happy.
Because of that, I need to bring this up as well - I might have talked about this earlier on this blog - that for me, a large part of companionship is about having a witness to my life and for me to bear witness to someone else's.


Anonymous said...

Googlebot witnesses everything. You're right. No romantic angle. At least, not until the bot becomes self-aware.

Saurabh said...

Had a somewhat less recursive entity in mind... :)

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