What is the significance of Indian Army Day?

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Field Marshal Kodandera M Cariappa succeeded General Sir Francis Butcher as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army on January 15, 1949. To recognise this, and to appreciate the successes and dangers done by Indian army soldiers, the day has been designated as Army Day.

During the 1947 Indo-Pakistani War, Field Marshal Cariappa led the Indian forces on the Western Front and is one of only two Indian leaders to hold the five-star rank of field marshal (an honorary rank).

Man of the day

Cariappa, often known as “Kipper,” was born in Karnataka on January 28, 1900. Cariappa obtained military training but did not serve throughout the First World War (1914-18). With the first set of Indian cadets, he acquired the King’s Commission in 1919, and in 1933, he was also the first Indian officer to attend staff college in Quetta.

Cariappa formed the seventh Rajput Machine Gun Battalion, which is currently known as the 17th Rajput regiment, in 1942.

Cariappa was one of the first Indian officers to be selected and sent to Indore for training after Independence, when politicians began asking that Indian officers be absorbed into the British military in India.


Brigadier CM Khanduri mentions Major General AA Rudra’s reminiscence of Cariappa from their days at the Cadet School in Indore in his book “Field Marshal KM Cariappa: His Life and Times.” “Cariappa was a shy person. He didn’t say much. He was, nevertheless, meticulous and meticulous to the smallest detail. The boys that attended the school were the offspring of Maharajas, Rajas, and wealthy persons.

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Jamnagar, Kapurthala, Jind, and Baroda princes had all enrolled in the same course. In the face of the extravagant affluence enjoyed by the others, the non-princely kinds were cowed down by complexes. Cariappa, on the other hand, was unaffected, ready to defeat everyone and grab the lead.”

Cariappa served in the Middle East and Burma for the British (now Myanmar). He entered the Imperial Defence College in the UK as a Brigadier in 1946 and was recalled from there after the Partition to serve on the Army Sub Committee of the Forces Reconstitution Committee, where he oversaw the work of partitioning the military between India and Pakistan.

Around 260,000 men, predominantly Hindus and Sikhs, fled to India, while over 140,000 men, mostly Muslims, went to Pakistan, according to the National Army Museum. Furthermore, the Gurkha Brigade, which was formed in Nepal, was split between India and the United Kingdom.


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