But I am asking to think also at the same time that expansion, reclamation all must be balanced at the same time with an inner realization that land might be lost due to circumstances/wars/betrayals or even natural catastrophes. If you insist on making land the core of identity - then that loss damages "identity". If you lose identity, you are like a radar-less ship in the ocean.
I do not make Land the core of the identity, but the primary strategic goal in today's times. Were I living under Nadirshahi rule, I'd have made preservation of Culture the primary strategic goal. Strategy has to evolve with time.
I hope you expand on what are the current
threats to the "identity" and what steps are needed to overcome them. I mentioned Adi Shankara, because he did indeed succeed in reclaiming our identity when it was under a conceived threat.
I'll evaluate the impact of historical "identity" reclamation movements v/s "land" reclamation movements in terms of strategic impact on today's India. I'm open enough if conclusions lead to either way. Eg. top-of-my-head, compare the 3 progressively graded from purely "identity" to purely "land" reclamation ...
1. Shankaracharya's movement - Gave us Advaita Vedanta philosophy, re-introduced ancient knowledge of vedas to the populace which had drifted away. Promulgated that everyone has the right to knowledge. I'd have expected such identity reclamation to have been a foundation or inspired some of us when dealing with the swarms of Islamic invaders, but did it ?
2. Shivaji Maharaj's Hindu Swarajya movement - no doubt inspired by preservation of identity, less by land. His fight was against Despotic Muslim rule, not against their religion. Taught us how larger armies can be defeated by smart tactics.
3. Ranjit Singh's movement - West Punjab+Frontier was an ephemeral win, but we still have Kashmir. Culturally, it spread the message of Gurus, reinvigorated the fighting spirit. I wouldn't call the era of Sikh Misls a radar-less drifting ship, even though, their culture was an innovation, not in-toto preservation of their older identity.
If you see any bias in me picking up these examples, it's only my ignorance. But I think the next bit leap for India will largely be in the lines 2+3, not 1+2.
Devesh-ji: I'm all for promoting popular use of exonyms for the areas you have outlined - eg. Gandhar, Takshashila, Kubha etc.