Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam
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1 July 1913|
Kumaramangalam, Madras Presidency, British Raj
|Died||13 March 2000
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
|Buried at||Chennai, Tamil Nadu|
|Allegiance|| British India (till 1947)
India (after 1947)
|Years of service||1933–1969|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
Indo-Pakistan War of 1965
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
|Relations||Mohan Kumaramangalam (brother)|
General Paramasiva Prabhakar Kumaramangalam, PV, DSO, MBE (Tamil: பரமசிவ பிரபாகர் குமாரமங்கலம்) (July 1, 1913 – March 13, 2000) was the 7th Chief of Staff of the Indian Army in the period (1967–1970). He was the last of the King's Commissioned Indian Officers trained at Sandhurst in the Indian Army.
Early life and education
P.P. Kumaramangalam was born to the Former Chief Minister of Madras Presidency Dr. P. Subbarayan in the zamindari family of Kumaramangalam in Tamil Nadu. He had his secondary education at Eton College and graduated from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in England. He was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery in 1933. He was the second Indian Officer to be commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1935.
World War II
During World War II, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) as a Major for action in Libya on 27 May 1942. He was taken Prisoner of War (PoW) in Italy in 1942. He escaped; however he was captured again and imprisoned, this time in Germany, where he was transferred to Stalag Luft III a high security camp for PoWs. At the end of the war in 1945, he returned to India. In 1946, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire. He became a Brigadier in 1948.
General Kumaramangalam took over as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command in May 1963. In November 1964 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Army Staff and on 15 January 1965 he became Vice Chief of the Army Staff. General Kumaramangalam took over as the Chief of the Army Staff on 8 June 1966, the first Indian gunner officer and a paratrooper to reach this coveted appointment. The tenure of General Kumaramangalam as Chief of the Army Staff was marked by an unpublicised but exhaustive re-organisation of the service, up-gradation of weapons, training and tactics based on the lessons learned from the 1965 War. He served in the Indian Army with distinction for 36 years until his retirement on 7 June 1969. He received the Padma Vibushan in 1970.
Views on America
General Kumaramangalam trained at the artillery school in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. From his letters it is evident he wasn't very impressed with the Americans. He saw them as suffering from an "aggressive inferiority complex" and cautioned a newly independent India against coming under American influence. The following is an excerpt from a letter written by him to C. Rajagopalachari in 1947:
- "This country is not one that I will ever get fond of. I have not got a very high opinion of them. The people that I have to deal with are very kind, hospitable and have been very good to the two of us. But somehow I feel there is a trace of artificiality in that and also it is the result of trying to impress one. They I think are very jealous of the old world and its background and culture and this results in an aggressive inferiority complex. As for their state of morality, there is none. People seem to delight in trying to outwit each other by any means, mainly crooked. The politicians are racketeers and big business has a tight grip on everything in the country. The small country trader and the farmer I think have their hands securely tied by the big men. I do hope that our country proceeds with caution and doesn't get entirely under the influence of the States."
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He was also a polo player, horseman, show jumper, and cricketer. He was a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club, a fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, and president of Indian Polo Association and Equestrian Federation of India. On retirement as army chief, he was elected President of the World Wildlife Fund - India (WWF-India) during its formative stages.
His brother was the renowned politician Mohan Kumaramangalam.
He died following a heart attack on 13 March 2000.
- P.P. Kumaramangalam to C. Rajagopalachari, 22 December 1947, in File 82, Fifth Installment, C. Rajagopalachari Papers, NMML.
Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri
|Chief of Army Staff
Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw