Indian Army chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat on Saturday in Gonikoppal, Karnataka, said it was time to recommend Field Marshal KM Cariappa's name for the highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.
"We stand proud because of his leadership and I think very aptly brought out the time has also come to recommend Field Marshal Cariappa for Bharat Ratna," the Army Chief said as he unveiled statues of his predecessors, Field Marshal Cariappa and Gen. KS Thimayya at this hill town in Karnataka's Kodagu district, about 240 km from Bengaluru.
"If others can get it I feel no reason why he should not be a deserving personality for the same. We will certainly address this issue on priority," he said.
The statues were unveiled at Cauvery College.
"No amount of words can describe the leadership of a great leader like Field Marshal Cariappa. He may have gone, but he has left behind an indelible mark on each and every soldier who serves the Indian Army today," Rawat said.
The bronze statues were installed in the vicinity of the 'Lyn House', the ancestral house of Kodavdira family, to which both the Generals belonged to.
Cariappa was the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Army and was conferred the Field Marshal rank on April 1986. He is also a recipient of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his role in the Burma campaign against the Japanese during the Second World War (1939-1945).
Thimayya headed the army from 1957 to 1961. He was the only Indian to command an infantry brigade in World War II.
Cariappa was born on January 28, 1899 and died May 15, 1993 in Bangalore. Thimayya was born on March 30, 1906 and died in harness on December 17, 1965 in Cyprus, where he was commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force.