Sam Bahadur True Story: Who was 'real-life' Lt. Gen B M Kaul, alleged plotter of sedition case against Manekshaw?

Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Sam Bahadur is the true story of India's first-ever Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who drove India to victory and played a crucial role in the independence of Bangladesh.

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After a successful run at the box office, Sam Bahadur was released digitally on Zee5 on January 26, 2024. Directed by Meghna Gulzar, Sam Bahadur is the true story of India's first-ever Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw who drove India to victory and played a crucial role in the independence of Bangladesh. Sam Bahadur features Bollywood actors like Vicky Kaushal who plays Manekshaw,  Fatima Sana Sheikh as Indira Gandhi, Sanya Malhotra as Siloo, Manekshaw's wife, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as  Gen. Yahya Khan, the 3rd President of Pakistan and more in the leading roles. Since you have landed on this page, True Scoop News assumes that you have already watched Sam Bahadur on Zee5 and are wondering about 'real'  Lieutenant General Brij Mohan Kaul who allegedly plotted to oust Manekshaw from the Indian Army along with then Defense Minister VK Krishna Menon. Below is everything you need to know about 'real-life' Brij Mohan Kaul or B M Kaul- 


Who was Brij Mohan Kaul?


Born in Lahore, Punjab (British India) Brij Mohan Kaul or BM Kaul was a Lieutenant General in the Indian Army. Kaul served as the Chief of General Staff from 1961–1962 and was regarded as a key architect of the Indian military response to the Chinese challenge (Indo-China war). In October 1962, he was given the command of a newly raised IV Corps to counter the impending Chinese invasion of NEFA (modern-day Arunachal Pradesh), but it was routed by the Chinese. After Indian Army only defeat ever in the history, BM Kaul resigned. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in 1960.


However, what has raised everyone's eyebrows is that Sam Bahadur movie has showcased how BM Kaul plotted against Manekshaw along with then-Defense Minister VK Krishna Menon. In the Sam Bahadur movie, it has shown that Manekshaw refused to give soldiers to make buildings saying that constructing buildings is not the job of soldiers or the Indian Army. Also, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw refused to make his hands dirty in power politics. Manekshaw was asked about the shortcomings of Kaul and other Generals and he refused to co-operate saying that the Indian Army is known for discipline and therefore, it won't be in good taste to siphon off inside information to political leaders and civil servants. Notably, this irked the Defense Minister and other Generals, especially General Kaul. 


As a result, a Court of Inquiry was launched against Sam Manekshaw in 1962 to investigate several trumped-up charges against him. Among the many charges, one included that he made derogatory remarks against the Government of India and the leadership of Jawahar Lal Nehru. At the time Sam was serving as Commandant of Defence Services Staff College in Wellington in the rank of Major General. Many believed at the time that these charges were instigated at the instance of the then Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon, and certain Generals who were close to the political establishment of the time. The then GOC-in-C Western Command Lt Gen Daulet Singh presided over the inquiry. Many serving Army officers deposed in that inquiry and most spoke in Sam’s favour while some testified against him. Lt Gen Daulet Singh cleared Sam of all charges.


Ironically, when Lt Gen B M Kaul was sacked as commander of the 4 Corps, he was replaced by Manekshaw, promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General just days after the war ended on 1 December. His first task was to stabilize the defenses of Assam, in case the war was resumed. 


(NOTE: Sam Manekshaw's sedition chapter has been shown in the movie Sam Bahadur, hence True Scoop News cannot confirm it whether Kaul or then Defense Minister plotted against India's First Field Marshal.)