Chief of Army Staff General M.M. Naravane is an outstanding choice for the job. His professionalism and knowledge of warfare made him the most suitable candidate for the very consequential responsibility that has been placed on his shoulders by the Government of India. The Indian Army, which he has the honour to lead, is a formidable fighting force. The Indian soldier has been steeled in a battle for over a century. Neither the First nor the Second World War would have been won by the Allies but for the bravery and sacrifices of millions of volunteers from India who ensured success against the enemy. It is a shadow on their impartiality that some countries whose troops participated in these ways arrange anniversary celebrations of the close of both these conflicts without inviting the participation of the Indian armed forces in such events. Instead, countries that deployed far fewer numbers of troops and auxiliary staff than the millions who came from India have not merely hosted such events but excluded India from the list of countries that have contributed to the victory of allied forces over those of despotism. An exception has been the Russian Federation, which has given India an amply deserved pride of place in such commemorations. Of course, it must be remembered that at the same time as some of these countries were battling Germany and Japan in the name of freedom and democracy, both were denied to hundreds of millions of those who lived in Asia and Africa, not to mention South America. There have been dozens of military explanations trotted out as to why Japanese forces were able to slice through the resistance put up by colonial powers in Southeast Asia, even while they found themselves in a quagmire in China. The explanation was that in almost all those parts of Southeast Asia that were overrun by the Japanese, the local people had been enslaved and could not be expected to exert themselves on behalf of their European oppressors. In contrast, apart from the concessions given to foreign countries on the east coast, China was free of colonial occupation and put up a resistance stiff enough to tire out Japanese forces sufficiently to ensure that their overreach into India proved a disaster. In those battles as well, once again it was troops from India who made the difference, aware (as was becoming evident in the 1914-18 war as well) that it was only a matter of years before the British flag got lowered from what since 1947 is Rashtrapati Bhavan. During the 1939-45 war, Subhas Chandra Bose ignited the imagination of the people of the subcontinent with a call to arms against colonial rule. A call that refused to accept the ridiculous thesis put forward by M.A. Jinnah and his mentor Winston Churchill that Hindus and Muslims were separate nations. The passing of Bose in circumstances yet to be made public removed the only individual who would have ensured a united subcontinent. It was only when Whitehall understood that the Indian soldier, sailor, and air force officer was no longer willing to wait for the freedoms promised in the Atlantic Charter that preparations were made to “Divide and Quit” India.