Wednesday, January 13, 2016

General Jacob, Bangladesh war hero, dies (updated)

 With thanks: Maurice and Shaul
Update: Sam Marshall, an industrialist and President of the Indian Jewish Heritage Center, attended General Jacob’s funeral, together with some 700 others who gathered to pay their last respects. All three Chiefs of Staff,  the Minister of Defence, the former President of India, ambassadors and fellow officers ‘who recounted many anecdotes of Jack’s past history’, the Gurkha regiment, and about 12 other regiments, were represented. Marshall, a friend of General Jacob for the past 25 years, delivered a eulogy:
 Jack Jacob:'a straight arrow'

 “Here lies a man who has served his country with distinction. 

 “A man who devoted his life to his beloved India with dedication, commitment and integrity.

 “A man who spoke his mind fearlessly even though it got him into trouble at times with the Politicians and his superiors.  Jack did not care.  He was what you call a ‘straight arrow’.

 “Many a time he would counsel or admonish me.  We had an unspoken almost spiritual bond.

 “We shall miss you dearly Jack.  You were a wonderful human, an inspiration to us all.  Recognized wherever – Bharat India, Bangladesh, Israel and amongst your many friends worldwide.

 You were a unique human being.  You have done enough dear friend. Now is the time to sleep.”

Here is Sam Marshall’s description of the funeral:

“Jack’s body was placed on a Gun Carriage with full Military honours traversing the streets of Delhi and ending up at the Military Centre at ‘BRAR’ Square.

His body was put in full view and accorded the highest honour which only Heads of State or Royalty would normally receive.

Israel Danny Carmon and the Military Attaché Zeev Mivtzari were also in attendance and remarked that this was an extraordinary felicitation and very gratifying for Israel and India-Israel relations.

“It was indeed a privilege for me to be an integral part of the whole process with interviews, assisting the Rabbi, the Kaddish, made one feel truly humble to have played even a small part - very emotional the whole affair.

We can all be proud of the heritage we have of this Legend who is no more.  I am in discussion with Israel at various levels to see how we can perpetuate his Name and his Legacy.”

Retired Indian Army Lieutenant General JFR Jacob passed away this morningin his 93rd year. The descendant of Baghdadi Jews who came to India in the 18th century, he is best remembered for his role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War, and the liberation of Bangladesh, reports India Today.

Born in Kolkata (then Calcutta) in 1923, Jack Farj Rafael Jacob grew up in a conservative Baghdadi Jews household under the British rule. His family had originally come from Iraq and settled in Bengal in the mid-18th century.

Jacob did his schooling from Victoria School in Kurseong, West Bengal. Living in the boarding school, he visited home only during school holidays as a boy.
As a teenager, Jacob was strongly influenced by wartime poetry. In his interview to The Times of Israel, he said that his family had taken in a family of Jewish refugees from Hitler's Europe.

Unmarried and childless, Jacob wrote a moving open letter to the youth of Delhi at 93, addressing them as his "sons and daughters".

Read article in full

Indian PM pays tribute to General Jack Jacob (Times of Israel)

More about General Jacob

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