For me today, G is for Generals because of my deep interest in military history. I am often asked how I developed such an interest despite never having served in the defence services. It’s not that I came from a family with a military background either though my grandfather went to Mesopotamia (as it was then known) during the First World War as a doctor with the old IMS in the British Indian Army. His son became a doctor like him and maintained the tradition, this time serving in the jungles of Burma during the Second World War. His brother served for many years in the Indian Navy being one of the earliest fliers in the Fleet Air Arm.
“Little Man From The East: Marching Through Tumultuous Decades” is , in my view, a “must read” for anyone interested in 20 th century Indian history. It also happens to be the story of a soldier engineer commissioned into one of the oldest Regiments in the Indian Army, the famous Madras Engineer Group. This outfit, more commonly called The Madras Sappers, and more fondly as ‘The Thambis’ was raised in 1780. Major General M K Paul (retd), the author, served with distinction in the Indian Army for nearly 37 years before retiring in 1991.
In a recent conversation, one of my readers asked: “What has been the reaction of Army officers to your book, especially the part about Belliappa’s career and life in the Indian Army ?” My honest answer: I would love to hear from them. Haven’t got any comment so far.
It’s unfortunate but many of us civilians do not have much idea of ranks in the Defence Services. This leads to awkward – and often amusing – situations. Many years ago, someone from our organisation wrote to a retired Major General of the Indian Army who was the Chief Executive of a large industrial undertaking. Unfortunately, the letter was addressed to ” Major B…” Continue reading “” Call me General, dammit!””