Cartoos Saab : A Soldier’s Story of Resilience in Adversity
Maj Gen Ian Cardozo
Cartoos Saab is the story of how a young boy becomes an officer of the Indian Army, how he experiences a life of responsibility, adventure and challenges and how he handles the disability of losing a leg in battle.
It reveals the feelings of a soldier who is left behind after the army emerged victorious in a savage war that focused on speed of operations with decisive outcomes before external powers could come to the rescue of the enemy.
Although this is his journey through more than three decades of life in the military and his own experiences of three wars, his story could well be the story of many other officers of the Indian Army who lived through those challenging times.
This true story of grit and commitment takes the reader through the myriad twists and turns that soldiers face in their lives and how they take the most testing situations in their stride. It is a life of courage, effort and determination that embodies the spirit of never giving up, which is ultimately the message of this book.
Ian Cardozo was born in Mumbai on 7 August 1937 and studied at St. Xavier’s School and College. After a year at college, he joined the National Defence Academy in July 1954 where he was awarded the gold medal for being the best all-round cadet, and the silver medal for being first in order of merit. On being commissioned from the Indian Military Academy he joined the 1st Battalion the 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) and moved to the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) with his battalion where he was the first officer of the Indian Army to be awarded the Sena Medal for gallantry on a patrol on the Sino-Indian border in 1959.
He took part in the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and was part of the team that re-raised the Fourth Battalion of his regiment in the aftermath of that war. As part of ‘Four Five’ he fought the Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971. Disabled during the 1971 war at Sylhet, in Bangladesh, he overcame the disability of losing a leg and changed the mindset at Army Headquarters by proving that losing a leg did not take away his ability to
command troops in the army.
Gen Cardozo was the first war-disabled officer to be approved for command of a battalion and a brigade. He thereafter commanded an Infantry Division on the Line of Control and retired as Chief of Staff of a Corps in the East. After retirement, he worked with an NGO taking care of persons with disability and was chosen by the Government of India to head the Rehabilitation Council of India.