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Dear PM Modi, You got India’s Military History Completely Wrong!

PM Modi said KS Thimayya and Field Marshall Cariappa were humiliated by Nehru government. But let’s fact check!

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While campaigning for his party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a rally in Karnataka on 3 May, claimed that the Congress government under the prime ministership of Jawaharlal Nehru had humiliated two of the military icons hailing from the state – Field Marshal Cariappa and General Thimayya.

However, he got his facts terribly wrong, as per an article by Deccan Chronicle.

First, speaking about General KS Thimayya, PM Modi said:

In 1948, it was under Gen Thimayya’s leadership that the war against Pakistan was won. But after that victory, the saviour of Kashmir, Gen Thimayya, was repeatedly insulted by the then prime minister Nehru and the then defence minister Krishna Menon. And it was for this reason, his honour, that Gen Thimayya had to resign from his post.
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Now let’s fact check!

FIRST. In 1948, General Thimayya was NOT the Chief of the Indian Army. It was General Roy Bucher. Thimayya became Chief ONLY in 1957, and held that post till 1961.

SECOND. Thimayya did not resign or even offer to resign in 1948, nor did he have differences with Nehru at the time. There was no constant humiliation as PM Modi claims. In fact, Nehru recognised Thimayya’s role in driving back Pakistani raiders in 1948 and got him to head the prestigious United Nations’ Repatriation Commission in Korea. He even made sure Thimayya was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his service to the nation!

THIRD. In 1948, Krishna Menon was not the defence minister. It was Sardar Baldev Singh who held the post.

Well, to be fair, even Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala, in his counter, made a big fat factual error. He tweeted: “In 1947, Karnataka pride General Thimayya was the High Commissioner to UK between 1947-52 and not Army Chief”.

Dear PM Modi, You got India’s Military History Completely Wrong!

However, the first Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom was VK Krishna and not Thimayya. After realising his mistake, Surjewala deleted his tweet and posted a corrected version.

But the prime minister did not stop at that. He further said:

Field Marshal Cariappa and 1962 India-China war is in the annals of history. How he was treated should always be remembered.

Yes, there were reports of differences between Nehru and Cariappa in 1951 but there are also evidences to show that he was never disregarded for his contribution to the country.

In 1949, he had been made the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Indian Army by the Nehru government.

And more importantly, after 33 years of his retirement, Rajiv Gandhi had broken army norms to bestow the huge honour of Field Marshall on Cariappa.

Most importantly, General Cariappa retired 9 years before the 1962 India-China war.

With such glaring gaps between facts and the prime minister’s speech, it is difficult to ascertain if it was the BJP’s speechwriter who messed up again or it was a deliberate attempt to drive home a political point.

Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

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