The time has come to recommend the name of late Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa for the Bharat Ratna award, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat believes.
Speaking at an event to unveil the statutes of Field Marshal KM Cariappa, and Padma Bhushan and Distinguished Service Order (DSO) awardee General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya, General Rawat said, “It’s time to recommend Field Marshal K M Cariappa for the Bharat Ratna.”
“If others can get it (Bharat Ratna), I see no reason why he (Field Marshal KM Cariappa) shouldn’t be a deserving personality for the same,” the Army chief added.
Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award and is awarded in any “field of human endeavour”.
K M Cariappa, the first Indian commander-in-chief of the Army, is only one of two field marshals, an honourary five-star rank, of the Indian Army, the other being Sam Manekshaw.
According to an ANI profile of FM Cariappa, he led the Indian forces on the Western Front during the 1947 Indo-Pakistani War and was appointed commander-in-chief of the Indian Army in 1949.
He died on 15 May 1993, at the age of 94, at the Bangalore Command Hospital where he had been receiving treatment for a few years.
Field Marshal KM Cariappa is survived by son Air Marshal KC Cariappa, who was a Squadron Leader during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.
Air Marshal KC Cariappa was shot, while carrying out air attacks during the 1965 war, with Pakistan and was taken prisoner.