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Leadership Lecture Sam Manekshaw

51 minutes 55 seconds

Speaker 1

00:01:24 - 00:01:43

Father de Souza, General D'Souza, ladies and gentlemen, I am here under false pretenses. I must be the only 1 here who has never been into a college. General D'Souza has told

Speaker 2

00:01:43 - 00:02:03

you all about me. I am most appreciative of his kind words. My only regret is that my wife wasn't here to hear them. She would have treated me with greater respect. And when I say I'm uneducated, I really mean it.

Speaker 2

00:02:04 - 00:02:27

I must be the only member of my family who isn't a graduate. I managed to do my inter-science, I got a third division mushkil se. Anyway it's nice being in this hall with all the academics and all the educated people. I take this opportunity

Speaker 3

00:02:28 - 00:02:36

of inaugurating your Silver Jubilee series on leadership.

Speaker 2

00:02:37 - 00:02:42

I don't know what 1 does for inauguration, but may I say that

Speaker 3

00:02:42 - 00:02:44

I have inaugurated the thing.

Speaker 2

00:02:57 - 00:03:06

For a long time, I've been watching the scene in India very carefully.

Speaker 3

00:03:11 - 00:03:53

Whenever I go, whenever I pick up a newspaper, I find there are shortages. There's a shortage of fuel, there's a shortage of food, there is a shortage of foreign exchange, there is shortage of housing, shortage of schools, colleges, everywhere. And everybody talks about these shortages. But the 1 shortage Which is responsible for all these shortages is generally glossed over which is the shortage of leadership

Speaker 2

00:03:58 - 00:04:35

Father Don't misunderstand me and gentlemen of the press, please don't misquote me, which you are always capable of doing and which you continue doing. When I talk of shortage of leadership, I do not mean just political leadership. I mean leadership in every walk of life Whether it's political administrative in educational institutions in our sports organizations, in our industry,

Speaker 3

00:04:36 - 00:05:06

amongst labour, amongst the law and order contingents, there is a shortage of leadership. I do not know whether leaders are born or leaders are made. There is a school of thought which says leaders are born. Father We have a population of 780 million people and we procreate at

Speaker 2

00:05:06 - 00:05:08

the rate of 1 Australia every year.

Speaker 3

00:05:10 - 00:05:30

And yet there is a shortage of leadership. So if those of you who think that leaders are born and who contribute to that theory may I suggest you throw away all planned parenthood and really let yourselves go.

Speaker 2

00:05:33 - 00:05:39

If leaders are not born can leaders be made? It is my view

Speaker 3

00:05:40 - 00:05:48

that give me a man with reasonable common sense and decency you can make a leader out of him.

Speaker 2

00:05:50 - 00:05:53

What are the attributes of leadership?

Speaker 3

00:05:55 - 00:06:37

There are many attributes. The cardinal Attribute for leadership is professional knowledge and professional competence. Now you will agree with me that you cannot be born with professional knowledge even if you are the child of a minister, the son of a member of parliament or the progeny of a field marshal. Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way. It is a constant study.

Speaker 2

00:06:39 - 00:07:01

Professors, engineers, architects, lawyers, solicitors, doctors, they all study their professions continuously. They all contribute to magazines, to news prints, to all sorts of things. But we in India, as soon as we reach positions of power, whether it

Speaker 3

00:07:01 - 00:07:31

is ministerial, secretarial, armed forces or anywhere else, we think we are the repository of all knowledge. Professional knowledge has to be acquired the hard way and without professional knowledge you can never have professional competence and if you haven't got professional competence you cannot be a leader.

Speaker 2

00:07:31 - 00:07:34

You cannot be a leader. I wonder

Speaker 3

00:07:38 - 00:07:59

those civilian gentlemen who have been charged with the security of this country, whether they have ever read a book on the military profession. I wonder if they know the difference between a gun or a howitzer.

Speaker 2

00:08:02 - 00:08:07

I remember a minister 1 day coming to me

Speaker 3

00:08:09 - 00:08:23

I'd left being the army chieftain and said and I will talk to you in his own language zara batao ye hovitzer kya cheez hoti hai and I said what are you talking about hovitzer

Speaker 2

00:08:24 - 00:08:32

Then I discovered that he meant howitzer. And I said, why are you asking me? Why don't you ask the army chief and others?

Speaker 3

00:08:32 - 00:08:39

He said, kaise pooche unse? Main minister hoon. Tere se toh pooch leta hoon. Tu jaanta hai ke main beo koof hoon.

Speaker 2

00:08:43 - 00:08:48

I wonder if they can distinguish a mortar from a mortar.

Speaker 3

00:08:51 - 00:08:54

Or a gorilla from a gorilla, although a

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00:08:54 - 00:09:03

great many resemble the latter. Ladies and gentlemen, professional knowledge is a sine

Speaker 3

00:09:03 - 00:09:07

qua non of leadership. You have

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00:09:07 - 00:09:13

to have professional competence if you are expected to lead anything. It doesn't matter whether you

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00:09:13 - 00:09:18

are in the army, Whether you are in the teaching profession, whether you are

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00:09:18 - 00:09:20

in industry, unless

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00:09:21 - 00:09:31

you have professional competence and professional knowledge, you cannot be a leader. And it has to be acquired the hard way. You got to study all your life.

Speaker 2

00:09:33 - 00:09:40

What takes me to the next attribute? The ability to make up your mind

Speaker 3

00:09:42 - 00:09:50

and take a decision. And having taken that decision, accepting full responsibility for it.

Speaker 2

00:09:54 - 00:09:55

Those of us

Speaker 3

00:09:56 - 00:10:13

who have suffered at the hands of superiors who cannot take a decision know what it's like. An act of omission is much worse than an act of commission.

Speaker 2

00:10:16 - 00:10:19

An act of commission can be put right even if

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00:10:19 - 00:10:42

the decision is wrong by colleagues, by subordinates, by somebody, but an act of omission cannot be put right. Why does a person not take a decision? Because he lacks confidence. Why does he lack confidence? Because he lacks professional knowledge and competence.

Speaker 2

00:10:47 - 00:10:47

Eustace

Speaker 3

00:10:49 - 00:11:25

will tell you that when I was the army chief I'd go around ask my generals what are you doing about this and he said sir I've been thinking I've been considering and then I produced for myself a manic shoyism and father will you forgive my language. I used to say if you must be a bloody fool, be 1 quickly. Take a decision and then accept full responsibility for it.

Speaker 2

00:11:29 - 00:11:37

Do you know how much money is lost in the country because somebody won't take a decision.

Speaker 3

00:11:39 - 00:12:06

Costs escalate, papers lie in somebody's place for days, for months, for years and when they finally take a decision, the cost of a project, the cost of something has gone up tenfold. Who suffers? We, the people of India suffer. So that's the second requisite for leadership.

Speaker 2

00:12:08 - 00:12:15

The ability to make up one's mind, take a decision and then stand by it. Don't pass the buck on

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00:12:15 - 00:12:18

to your subordinate. It's your decision.

Speaker 2

00:12:21 - 00:12:36

What comes next absolute justice and impartiality those of us who have dealt with masses of men and I have dealt with over a million men in my time,

Speaker 3

00:12:39 - 00:12:43

know the value of this absolute justice and impartiality.

Speaker 2

00:12:46 - 00:12:53

No man likes being punished and yet men will accept punishment if they know

Speaker 3

00:12:55 - 00:13:09

that everybody who commits that sort of a crime gets the same sort of punishment. They will take it stoically. They may not like it. They may not like you but they will respect you. No

Speaker 2

00:13:13 - 00:13:17

man likes being superseded and

Speaker 3

00:13:17 - 00:13:30

yet people will accept supersession if they know that it's been done fairly and they've been superseded by somebody who is better than them. But not because he happens to be a minister's son

Speaker 2

00:13:35 - 00:13:36

or related to father de

Speaker 3

00:13:36 - 00:13:41

Souza or the fieldmaster's wife's current boyfriend.

Speaker 2

00:13:45 - 00:13:57

Men will accept supercession. They may not like it, but they will do it. Now ladies and gentlemen, this is very very important in our country. We

Speaker 3

00:13:57 - 00:14:00

have tremendous pressures. We have large families.

Speaker 2

00:14:00 - 00:14:12

We have fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, their fathers, mothers, etc. We have pressures from them, we have pressures from members of Parliament, we have pressures from all sorts of people

Speaker 3

00:14:14 - 00:14:44

and we lack the courage to withstand that pressure. This is very important for us in India and that takes me to the next attribute moral and physical courage. I do not know which is more important moral courage or physical courage. When I am talking to a lot of soldiers I would lay emphasis on physical courage

Speaker 2

00:14:45 - 00:14:45

but since I

Speaker 3

00:14:45 - 00:14:55

am only talking to a handful of soldiers and mostly civilians, I will lay emphasis on moral courage. What is moral courage?

Speaker 2

00:14:57 - 00:15:00

Moral courage is the ability to distinguish

Speaker 3

00:15:00 - 00:15:24

right from wrong. Distinguish right from wrong. And having distinguished that you must have the courage to stand up and say your piece. Irrespective of what your superior thinks irrespective of your colleagues, irrespective of your subordinates. You must have the courage to say so.

Speaker 2

00:15:27 - 00:15:27

A yes

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00:15:27 - 00:15:31

man is a horrible man.

Speaker 2

00:15:32 - 00:15:37

He must be shunned. He is a disgrace.

Speaker 3

00:15:39 - 00:15:57

He may rise very high. He may become a minister. He may become a field marshal. But he will never, never become a leader. He will be used by his superiors,

Speaker 2

00:16:00 - 00:16:04

He will be disliked by his colleagues

Speaker 3

00:16:06 - 00:16:29

and his subordinates have no respect for them. Moral courage is essential. Now since you wanted to know some examples of moral courage from my past, I will give you a little story. In

Speaker 1

00:16:29 - 00:16:29

1970,

Speaker 3

00:16:33 - 00:16:39

when General Yahya Khan put all the pressure on East Pakistan as it was then

Speaker 2

00:16:42 - 00:16:44

and refugees started coming to India,

Speaker 3

00:16:44 - 00:16:52

there was a cabinet meeting. I remember the date very well 28th of April. I was summoned.

Speaker 2

00:16:54 - 00:16:57

I had a very strong Prime Minister and Mrs.

Speaker 3

00:16:57 - 00:17:04

Gandhi who ranted and raved at me, said what are you doing about it? I've got so many refugees.

Speaker 2

00:17:05 - 00:17:12

The chief minister of Bengal has just sent me a telegram. The chief minister of Tripura has done this. The chief minister of Assam is writing

Speaker 3

00:17:12 - 00:17:30

that there are more Bengalis there than their own population. What are you doing about it? And I said nothing, nothing to do with me. And she said I want you to go in and take action. And I said do you know what that means Prime Minister?

Speaker 3

00:17:30 - 00:18:02

And she said no. I said it means war and she said I don't mind if there's war. So I said may I please quote from the Bible the first book, the first chapter, the first verse, God said let there be light and there was light and you say let there be war, there be war. Are you ready? I'm not ready, I'm not prepared.

Speaker 3

00:18:03 - 00:18:19

It is not the right time to go in. The monsoon will break very shortly and the whole of East Pakistan will be a swamp. I will not be able to operate. The Air Force will not be able to operate.

Speaker 2

00:18:21 - 00:18:24

April is a month when we gather, glean the

Speaker 3

00:18:26 - 00:19:05

harvest. And the Agricultural Minister was Mr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. And I said, I will require every railway wagon, I will require every train, I will require all the road space to move my troops and you will not be able to move your harvest and then if there is a famine don't blame me and I said the passes in the Himalayas start opening now the snow melts and then if the Chinese give us an ultimatum I will have to fight on 2 fronts.

Speaker 2

00:19:07 - 00:19:15

Then the external affairs minister, a Khalsa, Sardar Swaran Singh said, do you think China will give ultimatum?

Speaker 3

00:19:18 - 00:19:22

And I said, you are the foreign minister you tell me

Speaker 2

00:19:25 - 00:19:33

and then my own minister Jagjivan Ram who couldn't call me Sam, he

Speaker 3

00:19:33 - 00:19:34

used to call me Shyam.

Speaker 2

00:19:39 - 00:19:51

He said Shyam man jao na. I said you ka manne ki baat hai, I am telling you what the facts are. And I said, if you want me to do this, Prime Minister, I guarantee you

Speaker 1

00:19:52 - 00:19:52

100%

Speaker 3

00:19:53 - 00:20:28

defeat. Now, Prime Minister, give me your orders. And there was dead silence. And she turned around and said, the cabinet will meet at 04:00 This happened at 1030 in the morning so as The cabinet ministers walked out I being the junior most man there Was the last to go she said Chief will you stay behind? So I shut the door and I said Prime Minister before you speak Do you wish me to send in my resignation on grounds of health mental or physical?

Speaker 3

00:20:30 - 00:20:31

And so sit down

Speaker 2

00:20:33 - 00:20:40

Everything you told me correct. I said it's my job to fight. It's my job to tell you if your father in

Speaker 1

00:20:40 - 00:20:41

1962

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00:20:41 - 00:20:45

had me as his commander-in-chief The

Speaker 3

00:20:45 - 00:21:05

country would not have been disgraced, the army would not have been beaten. But the army chief did not have moral courage of turning around and telling him he wasn't ready. So, she said, all right, you know what I want? And I said, yes, I know what you want. And I must be allowed to do it my own way.

Speaker 3

00:21:06 - 00:21:08

And she said, all right, you know what I want.

Speaker 2

00:21:08 - 00:21:21

So ladies and gentlemen, there is a very thin line between becoming a field marshal and being dismissed. I just gave you an illustration of moral courage.

Speaker 3

00:21:24 - 00:21:53

Of course I didn't worry very much because my wife had money if I'd gone. She would have looked after me. So much for moral courage, now I come to physical courage. Fear is a natural phenomenon like hunger and sex. Anyone who says he is not frightened is a liar, except perhaps the Gurkha.

Speaker 3

00:21:57 - 00:21:58

Everyone is frightened.

Speaker 2

00:22:00 - 00:22:43

It is 1 thing to be frightened and quite another to show fear. It's when your knees are knocking and your teeth are chattering and you're about to make your own geography. That's when the real leader comes out. If once you show fear in front of men that you may be commanding, it doesn't matter whether they are soldiers, they are clerks, they are labor, they are students, once you show fear you should quit. Now again General Jaisura said I must give some examples from my own life.

Speaker 2

00:22:45 - 00:22:47

This was in Burma in

Speaker 1

00:22:47 - 00:22:48

1942.

Speaker 3

00:22:49 - 00:23:00

I was commanding a Sikh company, big tough chaps, very fond of them. I had a man called Soan Singh,

Speaker 2

00:23:01 - 00:23:03

big man, stood about 6 foot

Speaker 1

00:23:03 - 00:23:03

4.

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00:23:05 - 00:23:11

He had been promoted many times to Lance Knight, to Knight and every time because he was a

Speaker 3

00:23:11 - 00:23:38

badmarsh he was broken. We'd had lots of casualties and we had to make promotions. So we had a promotion conference with the commanding officer and Soan Singh's name came up and I said no no use making him he'll be broken tomorrow. So he was passed over. The conference finished, names were published, I came back to my Basha where my company was in the jungle.

Speaker 3

00:23:39 - 00:23:39

And I

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00:23:39 - 00:23:45

found my senior subedar Balwant Singh terribly worried.

Speaker 3

00:23:46 - 00:24:06

And he said, Saab, Soan Singh ko kaid kar diya. I said, kyun kya hua? Usne bola ke aaj aap ko saab boli maarega. I said, oh, achcha, peshi hogi. So a stool was put in, a table was put there and Soan Singh was marched up in front of me.

Speaker 3

00:24:07 - 00:24:40

Soan Singh was at that time a light machine gunner and light machine gunners carried pistols and his pistol was taken away from him. So he was marched up in front of me, the usual charge was read out and I said So, Singh kya baat hai? Sahab, galti ho gaya. So I said, tumne bola ka tu humko goli maarega. So I picked up the pistol, loaded it, walked up to

Speaker 2

00:24:40 - 00:24:41

him, handed the pistol to him.

Speaker 3

00:24:41 - 00:25:09

I said tera dil hai maarne ka maaro. And he said nahi sahab galti ho gaya. So I gave him a tight slap and case dismissed. Jao bharo. I went off to the mess, had my dinner, came back and everybody in the company was very worried and the Subedar sir Balwant Singh said nahi sahib aaj raat aapko goli maarega.

Speaker 3

00:25:11 - 00:25:26

So I shout out, Sohan Singh, kidhar hai? Sohan Singh came along. I said Sohan Singh, aaj raat mera baasha par tum sentry hoga. Aur kal subah, paanch baje, ek mugga chaah aur ek mugga garam paani daadi banane ke liye. Koi shak?

Speaker 3

00:25:27 - 00:25:40

Beshak. Bhaka. And I went in there. I was woken up in the morning by Soan Singh with a mug of tea and a mug of hot water and he followed me like a lamb throughout the conflict.

Speaker 2

00:25:42 - 00:25:44

Now ladies and gentlemen if you think

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00:25:44 - 00:26:00

I wasn't frightened you're mistaken I was terrified but if I hadn't done that if I hadn't done that and put something in the clink or something like that everybody would have said, dekha hamara sahib darta hai.

Speaker 2

00:26:02 - 00:26:11

Just an example of this How often during riots and all that, some young sergeant with nothing but

Speaker 3

00:26:11 - 00:26:23

a little stick in his hand and walked in and quelled everything by showing courage. So physical courage is essential to leadership.

Speaker 2

00:26:25 - 00:26:27

You needn't be foolhardy like I was.

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00:26:27 - 00:26:31

I was very young. I don't know whether I do it today. But

Speaker 2

00:26:33 - 00:26:34

physical courage is essential.

Speaker 3

00:26:36 - 00:26:39

That takes me to the other attribute loyalty.

Speaker 2

00:26:41 - 00:26:44

Now does loyalty require very much explanation?

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00:26:47 - 00:26:49

We all expect loyalty from our subordinates.

Speaker 2

00:26:51 - 00:27:11

Do we give loyalty to them? Loyalty is a two-way thing. We expect loyalty, we have to give loyalty. Do we give loyalty to our colleagues? So remember that for leadership you have to expect loyalty, you've got to give loyalty.

Speaker 3

00:27:16 - 00:27:19

Time is running short. There are other attributes.

Speaker 2

00:27:21 - 00:27:29

Remember leadership is nothing else but management of men and resources.

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00:27:32 - 00:27:38

Management of men. Men have Management of men. Men have problems.

Speaker 2

00:27:42 - 00:28:01

Men in numbers can be very nasty and a leader must be able to deal with them very firmly. When people misbehave, like they are misbehaving in Bombay these days, it's no use saying Jai Hind to them.

Speaker 3

00:28:01 - 00:28:26

You got to deal with them very very firmly. But you must never forget that men have problems. They have human problems. They have problems of debt, of debt, of debt, of family problems, they get easily despondent and therefore the leader must have a human touch.

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00:28:28 - 00:28:31

He must have a sense of humor to get them out of their

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00:28:31 - 00:28:41

despondency. He must have the gift of the gab. Unfortunately our leaders have the gift of the gab but they have no sense of

Speaker 2

00:28:45 - 00:29:07

humor. Further, men and women generally speaking like the leader to be a bit of a man, a bit of a lad. Take example from history, Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar, you will agree he was a great leader.

Speaker 3

00:29:09 - 00:29:17

When he came to Rome the senators used to lock up their wives. Take Napoleon

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00:29:19 - 00:29:25

he had his Josephine and Marie Antoinette and Georgette and Paulette and any number of things

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00:29:26 - 00:29:27

and you will agree he

Speaker 2

00:29:27 - 00:29:36

was a great leader. Take the Duke of Wellington, The night before the Battle of Waterloo, in his chambers there

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00:29:36 - 00:29:40

were more women of luscious proportions than staff officers.

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00:29:42 - 00:29:44

And he was a great leader.

Speaker 3

00:29:46 - 00:29:48

Do you know, sir, a thought

Speaker 2

00:29:48 - 00:29:51

has just struck me. All these 3 people that I

Speaker 3

00:29:51 - 00:30:09

have talked about had 1 thing in common. They all had long noses. If my time is not up, can

Speaker 2

00:30:09 - 00:30:12

I crave your indulgence and talk for another 10 minutes?

Speaker 3

00:30:14 - 00:30:43

Ladies and gentlemen, no amount of leadership will put things right. There are 2 other aspects that we Indians must know and we lack badly. 1 is discipline and the second is character. What is discipline? Discipline is a code of conduct for decent living in society 1 with the other.

Speaker 3

00:30:44 - 00:30:56

Who lays down this code of conduct? Not the Prime Minister, not Parliament. Of course, it's laid down in the Army, in the Army Act, but I'm not trying to impose the Army Act on you. This code of

Speaker 2

00:30:56 - 00:31:28

conduct has come to us from father to son, from mother to daughter, from times immemorial. It's in the Bible, it's in the Gita, it's in the words of Nanak, in the sayings of Muhammad and Buddha. It's all come down. It's been refined as cultures have changed. Again let me illustrate this by example.

Speaker 3

00:31:32 - 00:31:32

Non-punctuality

Speaker 2

00:31:34 - 00:31:48

is an act of ill-discipline which is injurious to the state, injurious to its people. Some time ago sir, I was invited to a university

Speaker 3

00:31:50 - 00:31:53

as also my wife, unlike today.

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I was called there at a convocation

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at 05:00 in the evening and having been in the army for 50 years, telling the driver go slow, go fast, arrive there at 5 o'clock in the evening. I was received by the Vice-Chancellor and his lady, the Union Secretary, escorted to the dais. My wife too was asked to sit on the dais and she politely refused saying that she'd much rather sit down as

Speaker 2

00:32:40 - 00:32:51

this is the only opportunity she has to look up to me. And as usual I was garlanded.

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The Vice-Chancellor sang my praises and asked me to talk to these people.

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There were about 5, 000 boys and girls there,

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00:33:07 - 00:33:40

plus deans, plus professors, plus lecturers, everyone. And as I got up to get to the desk, to the lectern, the Vice Chancellor says to me, Soto Oboche, Field Marshal, a fortnight ago we had invited a VIP to the same function. He was allowed to stand at the lectern for exactly 15 seconds. I wish you good luck. I said to myself, had the Vice-Chancellor said this in his letter of invitation, I wonder whether I would have come.

Speaker 3

00:33:41 - 00:33:49

Anyway, I got up to the lectern and I addressed the gathering for

Speaker 2

00:33:49 - 00:33:56

the amount of time that I was allowed. I was heard in pin drop silence and at the

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00:33:56 - 00:33:59

end of it I got a thunderous applause.

Speaker 2

00:34:01 - 00:34:13

The Vice Chancellor and his lady, the deans, professors, lecturers, the student body and even my wife stood up and gave me a standing ovation.

Speaker 3

00:34:17 - 00:34:50

I was most relieved, although my wife told me afterwards that I looked pale. After the usual vote of thanks, etc., we went out into the gardens where refreshments were given and I having an eye for a pretty girl walked up to a pert little thing wearing lovely jeans, tight fitting And I started the conversation which ran as follows.

Speaker 2

00:34:50 - 00:34:54

I said my dear Why were you so kind to

Speaker 3

00:34:54 - 00:35:34

me today all of you? I not having the looks of Rajesh Khanna or Amitabh Bachchan or speaker like M.G. Ramachandran when only the other day you were so rude to a VIP and she said, I quote, Oh Field Marshal, that dreadful man, we had invited him at 5 oíclock. He turned up at 6. He brought with him a bevy of security people who pushed us aside and took their places where we should be sitting.

Speaker 3

00:35:36 - 00:35:47

He brought with him 2 of his brats, grandchildren probably. He was too old to have those kids that side, but you never know. But you never know.

Speaker 2

00:35:53 - 00:35:56

He was received by the Vice-Chancellor and Lady.

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00:36:00 - 00:36:04

He was the Union President, garlanded him and

Speaker 2

00:36:04 - 00:36:09

he demanded garlands for his 2 brats. The Union President

Speaker 3

00:36:11 - 00:36:15

being very flexible diverted the garlands for

Speaker 2

00:36:15 - 00:36:17

the Vice-Chancellor and his lady to these brats and

Speaker 3

00:36:20 - 00:36:36

then the Vice-Chancellor sang his praises saying how fortunate we were that he had come here that he has done so much for the country. And all the while, this man sat there. He had

Speaker 2

00:36:36 - 00:37:06

come unwashed, unshaven, wearing a dhoti, exposing 4 fifths of his legs, scratching away, scratching away. And the vice chancellor said that the worthy had been to jail. When he said that the girl said I almost shouted he should be there now. Then the Vice Chancellor asked him to go

Speaker 3

00:37:06 - 00:37:49

to the lectern and to talk to us. So he picked up the lemonade or limca or whatever was there, which belonged to his female offspring and took a sip which started a howl. When that subsided, the wordy came to the lectern and said, Friends and well-wishers, I have not had time to prepare my speech but my secretary has written something for me and he produced a whole heap of paper. He said without any premeditation, without any thought, we made this stay very short.

Speaker 2

00:37:51 - 00:37:58

I unquote, Sir I thank my lucky stars that 50 years in

Speaker 3

00:37:58 - 00:38:16

the army had made me come on time, that I had been brought up to shave in the morning and shave in the evening if there was a function. That I had a lounge suit on and although I have very nice legs I didn't expose them.

Speaker 2

00:38:18 - 00:39:00

That I didn't suffer from itch or eczema to indulge in the scratching of the unmentionable. Now do you see what I mean by ill-discipline? Had the worthy come on time, according to the programme, talked to the people and given them advice, can you imagine what a lot of good it would have done? Instead of that, his act of ill-discipline produced more ill-discipline. Now this is not a matter to be laughed at and forgotten.

Speaker 2

00:39:00 - 00:39:06

We people in India are terribly ill-disciplined. We think because we have got freedom

Speaker 3

00:39:08 - 00:39:14

that we can do what we like. I do not stop you from criticizing,

Speaker 2

00:39:16 - 00:39:18

to standing up for your rights.

Speaker 3

00:39:20 - 00:39:30

I think it's your duty to do it. But what I abhor are the acts that we have gone into because we've got freedom.

Speaker 2

00:39:32 - 00:39:38

Why do we have to spit pan all over? Why do we have to write on doors

Speaker 3

00:39:38 - 00:39:40

and things? Why do we have to

Speaker 2

00:39:40 - 00:39:44

keep staircases dirty and filthy? Why do

Speaker 3

00:39:44 - 00:39:59

we have to throw garbage in somebody else's compound? These are all acts of ill-discipline. It is because of these acts of ill-discipline that you have corruption, you have smuggling, you have all sorts of things.

Speaker 2

00:40:00 - 00:40:01

Even animals

Speaker 3

00:40:03 - 00:40:19

in Tanzania are better disciplined. I went there 4 years ago and I saw lions, lionesses, zebras etc. They were all so disciplined.

Speaker 2

00:40:21 - 00:40:34

If the lion wanted to do his stuff, he went behind cover. He didn't spit. I came back from Tanzania. I arrived at Bombay airport. I cleared my baggage.

Speaker 2

00:40:35 - 00:40:53

And as I was walking out, there was a big fat slob of a man who squirted dampan on my trousers and when I gave him a tight kick he was most indignant he didn't think he'd done any wrong Why

Speaker 3

00:40:56 - 00:41:01

Why do we tolerate it so much for discipline

Speaker 2

00:41:04 - 00:41:11

So everybody's been extremely well disciplined so far. Will you give me your indulgence for just another few minutes?

Speaker 3

00:41:12 - 00:41:29

I said character. By character I don't mean the sort of thing which the father will preach to you. Of course you must be honest, of course you

Speaker 2

00:41:29 - 00:41:33

must be truthful, Of course you mustn't covet thy neighbor's wife.

Speaker 3

00:41:36 - 00:41:37

Not when father is listening.

Speaker 2

00:41:39 - 00:41:48

Of course you mustn't. All that is part of character. But I mean something bigger. It's knowing yourself, knowing

Speaker 3

00:41:48 - 00:41:56

what you really are. Unfortunately, we lack that sort of character. And what little we have

Speaker 2

00:41:57 - 00:41:59

is denuded by our fans,

Speaker 3

00:42:00 - 00:42:05

by the sycophants around us, by the hangers-on. Again, let

Speaker 2

00:42:05 - 00:42:15

me illustrate this by an example. Some years ago, Hollywood produced a picture of the great violinist and composer

Speaker 3

00:42:16 - 00:42:32

Paganini. And they got a very handsome actor, tall, good actor who had some knowledge of the violin to take the part of Paganini And he was drilled to

Speaker 2

00:42:32 - 00:42:43

perfection so that when that little cadenza was played and screened, the critics raved over it,

Speaker 3

00:42:44 - 00:42:49

raved at the movement of his fingers and of his bow.

Speaker 2

00:42:51 - 00:43:01

And this man's fans, sycophants, hangers-on went on telling him that he was greater than Menuhin, greater than Heifetz,

Speaker 3

00:43:03 - 00:43:08

greater than Kreisler and the man started believing it and

Speaker 2

00:43:08 - 00:43:19

it took 8 months in a psychiatric home to rid him of this delusion. Do you know sir, after the 1971 conflict,

Speaker 3

00:43:22 - 00:43:36

my fans, my hangers-on, the sycophants around me kept telling me, sir you are the greatest general the century has produced. You are better than Rommel. You are better than Guderian.

Speaker 2

00:43:37 - 00:43:43

Auchinleck was nothing. And just as I was beginning to believe it, the Prime Minister created me

Speaker 3

00:43:43 - 00:43:57

a field marshal and sent me off to the Nilgiris. And a hard-headed, no-nonsense wife deprived 1 more inmate of a psychiatric home. I thank you, sir.

Speaker 2

00:44:12 - 00:44:24

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm at your mercy. You can ask me any question you like, personal, pertinent or impertinent. I am getting deaf, so you

Speaker 3

00:44:24 - 00:44:26

will have to come nearer me.

Speaker 2

00:44:36 - 00:44:43

You are quite right, sir. I was told I was going to be picked up at 6 o'clock. I was ready, waiting.

Speaker 3

00:44:45 - 00:44:45

In fact,

Speaker 2

00:44:47 - 00:44:56

the people who organized the function came up to me, I was just came out of my bath and said, General D'Souza says, please do not come before

Speaker 1

00:44:56 - 00:44:57

6.45.

Speaker 2

00:44:58 - 00:45:21

So will you hang around till 6.30 and then we'll bring you here. Not my fault, I was there absolutely on time. Please blame General D'Souza. And he had a reason that everybody works till 6 o'clock, Traffic is also there and therefore he decided it was going to be

Speaker 1

00:45:21 - 00:45:21

6.45.

Speaker 2

00:45:23 - 00:45:25

I would like to add that

Speaker 3

00:45:25 - 00:45:36

we got to go into East Pakistan. None. Militarily you cannot go into anybody's country. But we had 9 million refugees.

Speaker 2

00:45:40 - 00:45:52

We in our own country are starving. We don't have enough clothes, we don't have enough medical attention, we don't have enough food, we don't have enough schooling, but we had 9 million people

Speaker 3

00:45:53 - 00:45:54

through no fault of our own.

Speaker 2

00:45:56 - 00:46:27

We, the Prime Minister of India, went around the whole world telling everybody that I have nothing against Pakistan. In fact I want Pakistan to be strong. What crime have we committed that we should have 9 million people of somebody else's country in my country. You Americans if 2 Indians go there you kick up a row. You the French won't accept any anybody coming in.

Speaker 2

00:46:27 - 00:46:40

The British don't. Why are you asking me to keep 9000000 men? Yahya Khan is your friend not mine. Please persuade him to take these people back or create conditions so that

Speaker 3

00:46:40 - 00:46:45

they go back. If you don't Then

Speaker 2

00:46:45 - 00:46:51

I shall have no recourse but to ask, I was a general then, General Manekshaw to create those conditions.

Speaker 3

00:46:53 - 00:47:12

Now, we had no intention, no desire to go there. All we wanted was these people to go back. And they would never go back so long as the Pakistan army was doing what it was in East Pakistan. I certainly spoke about it I understood the problem

Speaker 2

00:47:12 - 00:47:25

as a soldier and also as an Indian. Now you asked me about Sri Lanka. The number of refugees that have come in very small.

Speaker 3

00:47:27 - 00:47:31

In fact, they don't want to go back. They're being pushed back.

Speaker 2

00:47:35 - 00:47:37

If 2000000 Tamils had come in, perhaps you would

Speaker 3

00:47:37 - 00:47:39

have had to take some action.

Speaker 2

00:47:41 - 00:47:55

Have I answered that question? Would the young lady stand up? Let me look at her. Don't be shy. Thank you dear.

Speaker 2

00:47:56 - 00:48:34

What steps are taken from the moment this is Leadership has been our profession for thousands of years, for thousands of years. The army has provided the leadership. From the moment the man joins, he comes into an environment of discipline and somebody who is his leader there and he learns. We don't have courses for leadership. It is by example.

Speaker 2

00:48:36 - 00:49:03

If the general officer commanding in chief comes unshaven, you don't expect the others to be shaven, to come to shave. But because he is shaven, properly washed, properly clothed, everybody else is. If the general officer or the colonel takes bribes, then you don't expect his people not to take bribes but he doesn't take bribes.

Speaker 3

00:49:03 - 00:49:10

Now you ask me why doesn't he take bribes? Everybody else in India does. And the answer is very simple.

Speaker 1

00:49:12 - 00:49:13

It's environment

Speaker 2

00:49:15 - 00:49:42

and also fear. If I gave an order and 1 man disobeyed it, he could be tried by court-martial and given 2 years imprisonment. If 2 men disobeyed my orders, it is considered as mutiny. He's tried by General Court Marshal, Attea, and given 14 years imprisonment. But in civil life, who cares?

Speaker 2

00:49:42 - 00:50:07

The policeman takes a bribe. The inspector takes a bribe. Somebody disobeys orders, what happens? You suspend him, he gets a writ petition by paying 25 rupees to any vakil, his case drags on, Eventually he is reinstated, probably gets promotion. But in the case of the army, there is

Speaker 3

00:50:07 - 00:50:13

an environment from the moment he joins, plus fear. There is great fear.

Speaker 2

00:50:19 - 00:50:52

We Indians are alleged or supposed to be very religious people. If you read your own religious book, whether it be the Bible or the Gita or the Granth Sahib or the Quran, you automatically have discipline, self-discipline. From your childhood, If your parents are doing their duty, you get discipline into you. If you

Speaker 3

00:50:52 - 00:50:58

have any pride in yourself, you have discipline in you.

Speaker 2

00:51:00 - 00:51:32

So talking of self-discipline, there it is. The Roman Catholic Church has done a great deal, has done a great deal for bringing discipline into the world. It has erred at times, but it has done a great deal for bringing self-discipline. 1 of the things is the confession. That has brought a great deal of self-discipline

Speaker 3

00:51:32 - 00:51:37

in people. You can confess to yourself. When you go to

Speaker 2

00:51:37 - 00:51:41

bed at night, when you say your prayers, confess

Speaker 3

00:51:41 - 00:51:44

to yourself what wrong you have done.

Speaker 2

00:51:48 - 00:51:44

Otherwise I can't give you any answer for self discipline.