Captain Tunku Ismail to lead the Indian Army
Finally, something we can all be very proud of coming from the southern state royal family of Malaysia:-
Malaysian prince to lead Indian Army unit in parade
KhaleejTimes, 25 January 2007
JAIPUR — Captain Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, grandson of the Sultan of Johor in Malaysia, will become the first foreigner in the history of Indian Army to command an army unit during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Friday. Captain Tunku was commissioned in the Indian Army two years ago after passing out from the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun.
The young Malaysian prince is a popular figure in Jaipur polo circles. Captain Tunku, a polo player, is very popular with the Jaipur polo aficionados as he loves equestrian games. The main reason for joining the 61st Cavalry was that it has the best polo team in India. The prince says Jaipur is one of the great polo centres. “I love Jaipur. I am particularly thankful to the Commandant of the 61st Cavalry Col. J.S. Virk for all the cooperation that he has extended to me,” Captain Tunku says.
Captain Tunku’s love for the polo can be gauged from the fact that his father gifted 28 thoroughbred horses from Argentina to 61st Cavalry’s polo team because Captain Tunku had suggested to him that the performance of his team would be better if it had better horses.
The Indian Defence Ministry, on the request of the Ministry of External Affairs, has allowed Captain Tunku to serve in the Indian Army as a gesture of goodwill. In July 2003, the polo-enthusiast was enrolled as a cadet officer in the Indian Military Academy. “I am proud to represent and being part of the Indian Army, it is a great experience,” he added. “My grandfather Sultan Iskandar thought India would be the best place for military training. He was against the idea of me joining the Sandhurst College in Britain as he thought I would be pampered there,” says Captain Tunku. “I hope to serve the Indian Army for some time and then return to my country and become an officer in the Johor army,” the Malaysian prince says. “It is our family tradition to get trained in the military. My grandfather did his training in Malaysia, my father went to the United States and I came to India. It is really tough being in IMA, as they are known for their discipline. I have learnt a lot from there,” he says. PTI adds: Captain Tunku Ismail will lead the mounted column of the Jaipur-based 61st cavalry which will form part of the Army contingent at the 105-minute-long parade.