Defence Minister Rajnath Singh formally launched the Army's new initiative, "Project Udbhav," on Saturday (Oct 21).
This undertaking seeks to harmonise India's time-honored strategic knowledge with contemporary military methodologies, aimed at addressing modern security challenges and preparing for future conflicts.
The project is a manifestation of the government's directive to "Indianise" the armed forces and discard colonial-era vestiges.
Udbhav, meaning "origin" or "genesis," has drawn criticism from some quarters, including certain serving military officers and veterans.
They question its relevance in today's digitally-driven battlefields characterised by drones, smart bombs, space and cyber warfare, ballistic missiles, and supersonic/hypersonic weaponry.
According to a report from TOI, an anonymous senior officer asserted that, given the clear and present strategic threat posed by China, the Army's primary focus should center on modernisation and training.
However, the Defense Ministry and the Army have enthusiastically embraced Project Udbhav.
During the inauguration of the Military Heritage Festival, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with General Manoj Pande, expressed their enthusiasm for the project. Lieutenant General Tarun Kumar Aich, Deputy Chief (Strategy), described it as an earnest effort by the Indian Army to revisit India's military heritage.
The project's aim is to amalgamate ancient wisdom with contemporary military practices, forging a comprehensive approach to address modern security challenges.
For instance, the Arthashastra underscores the significance of strategic alliances and diplomacy, which align with modern military practices such as international cooperation and soft power projection.
Similarly, the wisdom of Thirukkural, the classical Tamil text authored by Thiruvalluvar, promotes ethical conduct in all endeavors, including warfare, aligning with modern military codes of ethics and principles of the Geneva Convention.
The study of prominent leaders and battles from India's history, from Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka to the Cholas and the Ahom Kingdom, is deemed essential.
The Ministry of Defense posited that Project Udbhav would serve as the linchpin for indigenous strategic developments and facilitate the development of a strategic vocabulary and conceptual framework rooted in India's philosophy and culture.
It aims to shape a forward-looking Indian Army that aligns with the nation's historical military wisdom while being attuned to the demands and dynamics of contemporary warfare and diplomacy.
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