India’s Strategic Outlook: Glimpses from History & Way Ahead

Brig E. Govind .


India’s history has largely been perceived as a story of conquest, subjugation & oppression by external invaders. It is perceived that the primary reason for the same is lack of strategic culture. It is however clear that this perception has been built by undue focus on one millennium of suffering & subjugation over three millennia of growth & prosperity. More than one millennia of the latter period is recorded & the remainder inferences emerge from excavations & literature. The Golden Age of Cholas, their strategic seaward vision, military conquests & multidimensional influence over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) & SE Asia is elucidated as one of the lesser known yet arguably the best examples of our strategic vision & expeditionary capabilities. The millennium of subjugation was the result of complacency, misplaced priorities & lack of synergy between local rulers when not under a powerful central rule. This facet needs to address in today’s context. India needs to assume larger obligations & responsibilities with its increasing stature in the world order. Expeditionary capability to influence events & activities in India’s strategic space is therefore a mandatory requirement. This kind of capability is not indicative of hegemonistic or expansionist intent, but demonstrative of a power of deterrence & gives multiple options between complacency & total war. The second largest Armed Force in the world has the capability to meet its aspirations but these would have be harnessed, integrated & synergized from existing resources & those being inducted as part of the Long Term Perspective Plans. The world will welcome India’s willingness & propensity to assume its rightful place as guardians of IOR, bastion against terror in South Asia & have a sobering impact on a belligerent China.


India, Strategic Culture, vision, outlook, history, obligations, expeditionary capability

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