The reference to two of India's greatest military heroes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Karnataka led to a storm on Twitter. The Congress was quick to put out a fact checker on Field Marshal, K M Cariappa and General K S Thimayya, but the party did not get it entirely right either.
The PM in his speech went on to describe how both the heroes were insulted by the Congress government. Cariappa and Thimayya were both insulted by the Congress and this is a historic fact, Modi said. He said that India won the 1948 war under General Thimaya, but after the war, the man who saved Kashmir was insulted by Nehru and the then defence minister, Krishna Menon.
Incidentally, the first war India fought after Independence in 1947-48 was under General Francis Bucher. General Thimayya led the Army in the operations in Kashmir and went on to become the Army Chief in 1957.
Congress leader, Randeep Singh Surjewala decided to take on the PM and said, "Modi ji, Better start reading from a paper to brush up your knowledge of history. From 'Nalanda' to 'MRS Srisena, From 'Mohanlal' to today's stark gaffe about Gen Thimayya. In 1947, K'ntaka pride, Gen Thimayya was the High Commissioner to U.K. between 1947-52 & not Army Chief."
After realising that he had jumbled the facts, Surjewala deleted his tweet and put up a new one. He said, "Modi ji, Better start reading from a paper to brush up your knowledge of history. Gen Thimayya became Army Chief only on 8th May 1957 and not 1947 as you alleged. V K Krishna Menon was ambassador to the UK between 1947-52 & not Defence Minister as you alleged."
Who was Field Marshal Cariappa?
Field Marshal Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief. He along with Sam Manekshaw is one of the two Army officers to hold the five-star rank of Field Marshal. He took over as the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army on January 15, 1949, and that day is celebrated as Army Day. Post-retirement he served as the Indian High Commissioner to Australia and New Zealand.
Who was General KS Thimayya?
General KS Thimayya was the chief of Army staff between 1957 and 1961. He also headed a UN unit dealing with repatriation after Korean War and was Commander of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus from July 1964 to December 1965 and died in Cyprus while on active duty on 18th Dec 1965. Contrary to claims, he was never the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Who was Krishna Menon?
VK Krishna Menon was Indian High Commissioner to the UK from 1947 to 1952. He became Defence Minister in 1957. He resigned as the Defence Minister in 1962 after being severely criticised for the loss in the Indo-China, 1962 war.