Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said it is time to recommend late Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, who was the first Indian commander-in-chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army, for Bharat Ratna.
"It's time to recommend Field Marshal K M. Cariappa for the Bharat Ratna," asserted General Bipin Rawat, who was in Kodagu, Karnataka, to unveil the statues of Field Marshal KM Cariappa, and Padma Bhushan and Distinguished Service Order (DSO) awardee General Kodendera Subayya Thimayya, at Cauvery College in Karnataka's Kodagu District.
"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," he added.
Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, Order of the British Empire (OBE), was the first Indian commander-in-chief (C-in-C) of the Indian Army. He led Indian forces on the Western Front during the 1947 Indo-Pakistani War.
He is one of the two Indian Army officers to hold the five-star rank of field marshal 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 K. M. Cariappa is survived by son Air Marshal K C Cariappa, who was a Squadron Leader during the 1965 Indo-Pakistan War.
Air Marshal K C Cariappa was shot, while carrying out air attacks during the 1965 war, with Pakistan and was taken prisoner.