Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby abhischekcc » 28 Feb 2011 21:58

Would this have overlap with the two streams of Indian spiritual thought - Shramaniks and Shravaniks?

Shramaniks (from: Shram - effort) are those who said that spiritual knowledge could be gained by hard work, while Shravankis (from: shravan - to hear) believed that knowledge could only be gained from a teacher. The former gave birth to various sanyasi groups, while the latter gave birth to Brahminism.

I would believe that Shramanik thought would be more amenable to democratic thought because they both believe in merit (over birth), and vice versa.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SwamyG » 28 Feb 2011 22:52

I do not know enough to answer that question. Hopefully some guru steps in to answer your question from that interesting line of thought. When authors and historians categorize and enumerate India and Indians, we must bear in mind, the country was so large and diverse that almost anything that is said about India can be made to appear true or false.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 01 Mar 2011 01:56

OK here is my outline written in 2008 but typed up now:


India a tumultuous century (1905-2005)

These one hundred years are very significant- emergence of India as a nation-state- recovery of Indian civilization from the turmoil and chaos due to the invasions at the beginning if the last millennium and the plunder of the colonial period.

From Bharatvarsha mainly Hindu to -> India Republic a composite nation state


Indian world view at beginning of the 20th century
Europe- region of imperial powers benefiting from industrialization- Great Britain, France, Holland were also colonial powers- challenged by Wilhemine Germany, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Turkey- Tsarist Russia was an unknown entity. US was an extension of Anglo Saxon Europe and slowly emerging as an industrial nation form its agricultural roots.

Further afield Imperial Japan had defeated Tsarist Russia and made its presence on world stage- Imperial China was in decay- Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination provided the spark for remaking modern Europe- Germany seized the moment to bid for power- The main effect of World War I was the end of monarchies in Europe and thus was a logical conclusion of the French Revolution a century before


Roots of Indian National Movement

In Indian sub-continent the partition of Bengal – Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj (1908) laid the foundation of the main stream of the modern Indian freedom movement- the struggle for Independence built on the events of 1857- gradual build-up of the idea through : Bengal intellectual renaissance, Tilak and other thinkers- The various phases were: Enlightenment ->Revolutionary -> mass movement

In addition the Boer War which saw the Imperial Britain tied up by a handful of farmers and settlers showed the limits of military power- participation of Indian troops in WWI led to them being on victorious side against European powers while under Imperial flag and boosted the national consciousness

Did the Independence Movement have a Grand Strategy?

No direct evidence is to be seen. No single document that describes the endeavor. However the it can be inferred from the speeches, writings and actions of a pantheon of national leaders like Tilak, Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi, V.D. Savarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhash Chandra Bose and M.L. Jinnah.

The primary goal was to end colonial rule and get rid of British. The secondary goal was to create a modern Indian state and reclaim its status prior to the colonial era. The tertiary goal was to keep the unity of Indian sub-continent

End Colonial Rule

The actions of the moderates, revolutionaries, and the general freedom movement led by Mahatma Gandhi were directed to this end- Swadesh movement->Non Co-operation -> Quit India to final Independence. The compromises of partition to achieve this goal have to be seen in this light- It is significant that the Constitution has many compromises to ensure no more divisions

Creation of Modern India

The secondary goal was to create a modern India. A nation state based on Westphalian construct- Codified citizens rights in the constitution- earlier Raja dharma was codified as Praja dharma.
Patel’s states accession undid rajas and maharajas form epic times- was fairly bloodless in contrast to Europe- England went thru: Cromwell’s Reformation, Glorious Revolution, Battle of Culloden, France went thru French Revolution, Napoleonic Wars- Russia went thru Russian Revolution and Imperial Germany went thru World War I and Nazi era.

Largest India since hisotric times despite losing areas due to Partition.

Add maps of India during the various empires here.

Codified Hindu Law and created a majority that defined Hindus in the broadest sense in history

Linguistic re-organization provided stability and created a quick new identity after Independence while the idea of India was taking shape – removed points of conflict/contention between states by providing representative government of fellow linguists.

Emphasis on education- primary, secondary and higher education- new universities and institutes of higher learning- the fruits of this emphasis on education created a large middle class committed to the idea of India. Work still in progress.

Economic Development- Build a just society- process still in work- based on economic nationalists- J.N. Tata-G. D. Birla etc- Taking cue from apparent success of FSU on command economy built -1990 economic reforms begin privatized PSUs and mark withdrawl of state from economy.

Prevent Fragmentation of Sub-continent

The third goal was to prevent the fragmentation of the sub-continent- basis of two nation theory- British role- Indian leadership agreed in order to attain the primary goal of ending colonial rule- The Two nation theory and creation fo Paksitan was due to convergence of interests of West Punjab feudals, Indian Muslim elites and East Bengal Muslim peasantry under absentee landlords- British Interests- Blunt Project- Creation of a Muslim state as new beginning for a pan -Islamic nation for the new century in order to control West Asian energy resources- Jinnah earlier worked to end British rule- however when he saw the prospects for creation of Pakistan he made this his primary goal. –otherwise he would have become irrelevant

India accepts Partition but works to erase the lines drawn in blood- SAARC- SAPTA- Economic integration- Gujral Doctrine of non-reciprocity- BMIST etc.

Military action to integrate states to prevent further break-up:Hyderabad :Operation Polo- Goa : Operation Vijay- Intervention in Bangladesh- Sri Lanka crisis all are steps to further this goal by preventing beachheads for further fragmentation

Geopolitics of Cold War on India

In the early part of the century US had no geopolitical role- however due to size, economic development and military power US dominated the latter half -US grand strategy in WWI and WWI – Remove imperial rule in Europe and colonies to obtain markets: WWI led to removal of monarchies in Europe- WWII led to end of colonial rule by British, France and Dutch etc.

The groupings: US led and FSU led- India sought middle way as it saw a triangular tussle- Non-alignment - US roped in Pakistan into alliances- CENTO-SEATO etc- Pakistan wanted alliances against India- US wanted allies against FSU- And denied similar arms to India.

India had to counter arms acquisition by Pakistan which obtained competitive advantage in certain areas-Russian arms were obtained only post 1962 Indo-China war- 1965 Pakistan attacked India with US arms- Russian mediation-Tashkent - 1971 war- Creation of Bangladesh- USS Enterprise- Russian uncertainty – 1974 POKI tests. Russia invades Afghanistan leading to a crux of history

US forged a Sino-Islamic alliance as secondary line of defense to counter the FSU in Afghanistan- Afghan Imbroglio- KSA oil- Collapse of FSU- Economic reforms by India- Sino-Pakistan alliance secondary goal is to contain India- PRC Transfer of nukes and missiles to Pakistan- Appeasement of PRC by Clinton Admin- ignoring PRC proliferation- impacting Indian security- while reducing strategic space for India by means of treaties(NPT extension, CTBT Entry into force clause) led to Indian tests in 1998.

Kargil gamble by Pakistan- US changes its tilt- 9/11 and Indian offer of bases to US- Pakistani terrorists attack J&K assembly and Indian Lok Sabha- Operation Parakram- Mobilization despite nuclearization- PRC changes its stance- Zhang’s visit- Hu Jin Tao’s visit

Projections of Economic development

2001 RAND & NIC reports- Goldman Sachs BRIC report- in 60 years building on 40 years of earlier colonial industrialization, India restored its economic status and is well on its way to restore itself to pre-colonial eminence.

India and Western scholars

Add here Tanaham’s conclusion that India has no strategy- leads from Hegel’s comment that India has no history- Mahatma Gandhi’s counter : No history of kings and rulers but history of people and their stories.

Is there a history of Europe? No it is the history of the various people like history of Britain, France and Germany and Russia and so on and so forth. Europe is both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian. India is both Hindu and Muslim.

Similarly history of India is the history of its regions and its people- The frontiers of the various regimes expanded and contracted with waxing and waning of the fortunes of the dynasties that ruled the region- History of Indian is the history of its people- like the history of the Mauryas, Guptas, Muslims (Slaves, Turks, Mughals), Rajputs, the Marathas, the Christians and the Left. The history of India is a living breathing history and yet to be finished….

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RamaY » 01 Mar 2011 02:48

[youtube]a894SQLd3lc&feature=related[/youtube]

Very touching. Reminded me a speech by Sri Malladi Chandrasekhara Sastry, a famous Vedas/Purana scholar. In his speech on Mahabharata (Ramanaji, I sent you this link) he mentioned that whenever India went to war, he would do a speech/reading of Mahabharata as he believed that reading Mahabharat makes devatas happy and they would ensure India's victory.

B-ji's Purusha Sukta in action 8)

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 01 Mar 2011 03:15

Leading by Example

Leading by example
A lot rides on India to make the world a better place, says N.V.Subramanian.

28 February 2011: Even as India enjoys a new season of acceptance as the world's largest democracy intimately wedded to a peaceful rise, it brings with it huge responsibilities that the country must shoulder with care and caution.

Most fundamentally, India must have to strike a balance between the pursuit of legitimate national and national-security interests and what the world expects of it.

The world itself broadly may be divided into the existing order which may seek to perpetuate itself and the new-order-in-the-making that expects India to be just to its aspirations as a decolonized country.

India's national and national-security interests are the easiest to quantify although they may be the hardest to address. Internally, India must be at peace and the ruling classes must be accountable to the people without which the benefits of growth won't spread equitably.

Without equitable growth, internal peace cannot be won (paramilitary action won't vanquish Maoism, for example), and India's national and national-security interests will be horribly compromised. India is lurching in this direction, and timely corrections have to be made on the basis of political consensus.

India's external security threats come from Pakistan-Afghanistan and from China. India has put its best foot forward in Afghanistan, investing massively in infrastructure, healthcare and other areas. But all this may be nullified if the Taliban/ Al-Qaeda return to power forcing India and like-minded powers to back an opposition alliance.

The point to emphasize is that while India remains committed to a "peaceful rise", it has to protect its national interests. If localizing the war to Afghanistan is the only means available to prevent Talibanization from affecting vulnerable states like Jammu and Kashmir, India has to do what's to be done.

Threats from Pakistan and China are of another kind. A dialogue with Pakistan won't even gain time. It is sinking and should be allowed to. But it is of utmost importance that Indian territories are protected from Pakistani terrorism and -- this may seem alarmist -- even nuclear terrorism.

With China, relations will worsen in direct proportion to India's peaceful rise. The Middle East's troubles are slowly but surely impacting on the country, and the authorities are typically overreacting. Rising prices are worsening internal troubles and regional and class imbalances. Like all authoritarian states, China will try to deflect attention with an external aggression. India in the Indian Ocean presents a juicy target that would fulfill multiple objectives, including warning the United States.

India, therefore, must be prepared to counter Chinese aggression anytime. And as noted before, this will not discolour India's "peaceful rise". :cry:

But in areas beyond core national and national-security interests, India must do everything to burnish its image of a peacefully rising democratic giant. In doing so, India may run at odds sometimes with the existing order, lead in the main by the United States. But the country must remain firm in purpose and vision.

For example, with his bloodthirstiness, the Libyan tyrant made the UN Security Council sanctions and the referral to the International Criminal Court inevitable. India had to go with this decision. But in its two years as a non-permanent UNSC member, India will see the Middle East and some other parts of the world transform. If it must come out winner at term-end, India must be seen to have always acted judiciously while remaining true to its dharma of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

This is the special responsibility for India mentioned in the first paragraph. The existing order and particularly Pax Americana have outlived their time and utility. Absolute military power has lost its capacity to shock and awe.

While protecting and advancing its legitimate interests, India must maximize the attractions of its peaceful rise and the charm of its democracy without becoming evangelical. It's good that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has requested a role for the Indian election commission at a suitable time. But all important constituents of Egyptian polity (including the military) should come on board before India agrees.

Truly, circumstances have arrived to advance India's interests without the necessity, for instance, of becoming a permanent UN Security Council member. The most conceivably honourable role for India in the UNSC now and in future is to correct the distortions coming from the near-monopolization of power by the US and the West. The bamboozling of the UN, among other things, to legitimize the Iraq War remains a matter of enduring shame.

A lot rides on India to bring a new just order, and its significant peaceful rise makes this eminently possible.

N.V.Subramanian is Editor, http://www.NewsInsight.net, and writes internationally on strategic affairs. He has authored two novels, University of Love (Writers Workshop, Calcutta) and Courtesan of Storms (Har-Anand, Delhi). Email: envysub@gmail.com.



Folks haven't yet understood how we came here and he wants to advance more interests!

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Pranav » 01 Mar 2011 06:42

Quotation from Sri Aurobindo:

"Politics is the work of the kshatriya. It is the qualities of the
kshatriya we India needs to cultivate if we are to be fit for freedom...

"What India needs especially at this moment is aggressive virtues, the
spirit of soaring idealism, bold creation, fearless resistance, courageous
attack; of the passive tamasic inertia, we already have too much.

"We should be absolutely unsparing in whatever obstructs our the growth
of the nation, and never be afraid to call a spade a spade. Excessive good
nature will never do ...in serious politics. Respect of persons must always
give way to truth and conscience."

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Airavat » 01 Mar 2011 06:49

From the UP history thread:

The intellectual force in this era is represented by Medhatithi who is dated between 825 and 900 CE. His extensive writings are quoted by other authors and provide data on legal and social rules, and the polity and administration. Medhatithi could well be called the Chanakya of the early medieval era, and a summary of his writings will dispel many assumptions made about that period in North India by modern historians:

1) Aryavarta is so called because the mlechchas, though they frequently invade it, are unable to abide in it. And Aryavarta is neither defined by geography, nor confined to the borders of India. Aryavarta is extended wherever Dharma is enforced and maintained.

2) A king's paramount duty is to maintain Dharma and resist foreign invasion. If an invader captures his realm and massacres his people, the king must bravely die fighting.

3) The best time for attack is when the king feels confident of his strength, when the morale of his forces is high, when the crop is plentiful, and when the subjects of the enemy state are alienated.

4) In a conquered country the king must destroy his enemies, but spare the general inhabitants. He should honour the learned and pious of the enemy state and treat the poor and ailing with kindness.

5) In internal administration the king must keep the portfolios of home and finance with himself. In declaring war and making peace, his should be the final voice.

6) A kshatriya is to live by bearing weapons, but other groups are permitted to also bear arms for self protection. As a justification he says the king's arms cannot reach all men, and that there are some wicked men who attack the most valiant of the king's officers, but are afraid of persons bearing arms.

THE PEOPLE OF UP and the neighboring areas:

The poet Rajasekhara who lived at the court of the Pratiharas said that people living to the east of Varanasi spoke Sanskrit very well but Prakrit badly. The inhabitants of south Gujarat (Lata) on the other hand hated Sanskrit but spoke elegant Prakrit. In the west the Apabhramsa language was emerging, and the people of Saurashtra mixed Apabhramsa with Sanskrit to add beauty to their speech.

The people of Kannauj and the region between the Ganga and Yamuna were the ornaments of the land. They like new and elegant literary works. The city was the center of the universe and a sacred place, being the ancient home of the Ikshvakus (descendants of Shri Rama). A place from which radiated power, fashion, and culture.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 01 Mar 2011 09:36

A kshatriya is to live by bearing weapons, but other groups are permitted to also bear arms for self protection. As a justification he says the king's arms cannot reach all men, and that there are some wicked men who attack the most valiant of the king's officers, but are afraid of persons bearing arms.


by God, that's very close to the American Second Amendment: Right to bear arms! that is very dynamic thinking. 1000 years ago we have a thinker who believed that civilians should be able to have weapons to defend themselves!!! an idea like that was evident no where in the Western World except in America and that was only starting in the 16th century.

the above rule is very interesting. it seems to say that citizens should be alert and bear responsibility for their welfare and the general welfare of their communities, clearly refuting the defeatist thinking of modern day.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SwamyG » 01 Mar 2011 10:36

^^^
You are reading too much; different varnas had different duties and rights in the society. So the "bearing of weapons" is just for one particular varna; and Kshatriyas would not be typically the civilians either. There is danger in projecting modern concepts straight into our or others past.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Pranav » 01 Mar 2011 10:42

SwamyG wrote:^^^
You are reading too much; different varnas had different duties and rights in the society. So the "bearing of weapons" is just for one particular varna; and Kshatriyas would not be typically the civilians either. There is danger in projecting modern concepts straight into our or others past.


Medhatithi was specifically talking about arms for non-Kshatriyas.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 01 Mar 2011 11:27

^^^Pranav, thank you.

personal responsibility and active citizenship are essential qualities in modern democracy. it is very significant that there were Indian thinkers who were arguing that civilians need to be alert and active in assertion of their freedoms more than a 1000 years ago.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Atri » 01 Mar 2011 14:45

X-posting from J&K dhaga...


I guess, ManishH ji is referring to remembering and restating our original motto - "कृण्वन्तो विश्वं आर्यं " - Krinvanto Vishvam Aaryam - Civilize the world..

or should it be aryanize the world.. :P

Indics need a serious reform to re-inculcate this tendency.

I was reading valmiki Ramayana previous week.. along with that, i read sinhasan battisi and vetaal pachchisi.. the emphasis of the latter two stories in on "Daan". King is coaxed time and again to distribute his wealth. the recipients of that wealth are typically brahmins and shudras.

in Ramayana, kings do not require to coaxing to indulge in daan-satra. It refers to an ideal which society should strive for.

i was thinking, what made society so secure that kings could afford giving up power (read money) so easily. while money is power today, it does not appear to be so in ramayana or stories of vikramaditya.

both kings (raam and vikramaditya) possessed mythical weapons (or at least so was the propagandu amongst aam janta). This is again in sync with chanakya's advise to kings regarding spreading rumours about king's mythical prowesses. the kings in this narrative frequently venture out for ashwamedha conquests. apart from vikramaditya, other kings are not described venturing in CAR realistically (descriptions matching facts and geography). but it appears that somehow, kings maintained a "sanitized" region around Dharmik India. The geography around India might have made this easier.

furthermore, there requires a certain pool of young people for effective functioning of varnashrama. if that ratio is disrupted, the varnashrama system breaks down to suffer various fates like conversion to birth based caste system (as happened with "Hindus) OR en masse abandoning of the dharma (as happened with buddhists and other dharmiks in Sindh and Bengal) OR migration (as happened in many places and times, including partition and KP problem). What that ratio should be, what are thoughts of various sages on ratios of different times and places need to be seen. 2.5% seems to be a small proportion for intellectuals. IMO, at least 8% of society should be intellectual class (scientists, policy makers, professors, philosophers, poets, writers, thinkers). 16% kshatriyas (military, paramilitary, police force, spies, sportsmen, politicians, ministers) 24% Vaishyas (self employed people) and 50% of society should be workers (People who take salary, from public OR private sector). Men and Women included.

2% should be roaming saints, sanyasis, sadhu baba, bhikkhu, tantriks, fakirs and similar people.

It is extremely essential to have a large pool of self employed people (small, medium, big businesses, farms etc) to maintain multipolar society inherent in concept of dharma. I am not claiming my figures in above paragraph are from standard texts, they are simply my thoughts. There were sages who were far more accomplished and who have written treatises on this problem. The problem arose, as said earlier, when this ratio is disturbed.

If India today had 8% intellectuals, then that figure would be approximately 10 crore. 1 intellectual per 10-15 people is a healthy teacher-student ratio.
there would be about 20 crore kshatriyas. 1 crore of armed men are essential for protecting subcontinent (afg to myanmar, tibet included) internally and externally. rest can be politicians, police, ministers 2-3 crore more). If there are 15 crore professional sportsmen in country, it will tremendously boost the fitness level and health of entire dharmik community. This is seen by presence of gymnasiums in all small villages since ancient times. these sportsmen are also part time warriors with some occupation thus form second line of defence in case first one falls.

40 crore independent businessmen in various fields and occupations. each of them taxed only 16% by govt, thus providing incentive to find new ways of getting rich. these people pay 60-70 crore people their salary. They patronize various sportsmen, events and intellectuals. they are coaxed to donate money again and again, plus they are the ones who usually built lakes, dharma-shalas, roads which facilitated their trade in country and abroad.

1 intellectual per 15 people ensures highly educated and cultured pool of men from all 4 classes.

Now, what happens if this ratio is disturbed. If intellectuals decrease, knowledge level of society goes down, if kshatriyas decrease then fitness and sovereignty goes down, if vaishyas decrease economy goes down and if Shudras decrease then first technical expertise prevalent in society goes down and then entire system goes down. Shudras form the basis, the foundation of this bottoms up system. vice´-versa if any of them increase too much, then too we have similar destabilizing problems. the epics and medieval period from guptas to ghori shows efficacy of this fully functioning system at its optimum. This needs to be understood. History shows this is what happened. islamic narratives are filled with mountains of "Shikha" and "Yajnopavitams" after massacres of inhabitants of many cities. kshatriya women folk going in purdah and committing johar, remaining intellectuals becoming rigid and hence "pseudo-intellectuals" thereby gradually converting gunakarma based varnashrama system into birth based caste system. this led to gradual increases in atrocities on lower castes which rendered them soft targets for ideologies seeking forcible converts. This led to instilling fear in minds of people who prided themselves as "Amritasya Putra" and hence siege mentality. In other words, total anarchy and hence adharma. But these sons of amrita cannot beet the jealous God who is master of fearmongering in his own game. The terms of the game need to change.

How? history again answers -

Furthermore, there was a fearless indic society which did not bind itself by taboos and 7 social prohibitions. to make world arya, one has to be fearless. one has to understand completely in his mind-body-intellect his superiority (nothing racial in this connotation). Vivekananda too emphasized on this "Fearlessness". One who has sorted out his own issues, is fearless and liberal towards other opinions.

to understand this, one has to again check the actual verse from Rigveda..

इन्द्रं वर्धन्तो अप्तुरः कृण्वन्तो विश्वं आर्यं अपघ्नन्तो अराव्णः (Indram vardhanto apturah krinvanto vishwam aaryam apaghnanto araavNah) - RV 9:63:5

Here the key word is "AraavNah (अराव्णः) which categorically means "one who isn't liberal, hence of jealous and hostile ideology"..

Augmented by Indra's strength, civilize the world by destroying the non-liberal and jealous ones (ideologies).

This automatically says that arya are those who are broad minded and hence dharmik. I think, in current times, (past 1000 years), it has never been more easier to identify the jealous and non-liberal ideologies. The books of these schools proudly proclaim that they are jealous and conservative ideologies. How much more easier can it be for a dharmik to segregate and then clean.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 01 Mar 2011 21:05

Atri might be off-topic but the double culling of Kshatriyas during Parasuram avatar and the Mahabaharata war led to the change in the distribution. Especially the latter, for subsequent to that we find the rise of janapadas (democratically run states not requiring Kings) and the rise of reform religions Jainism and Buddhism emphasising non-violence.

That is why we need to do our duty to not force another avatar to manifest!

BTW for others, Kshatriyas are not any Spartan (Greek) group or Praetorians(Roman). They are unique to Indian social order.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SwamyG » 01 Mar 2011 21:22

Borderlines more on tactics than on strategy.

Chapter 77: Merits of the Army

Kural 761
Foremost among a monarch's possessions stands
a conquering army, complete and fearless.
Kural 762 {trainning}
Only seasoned soldiers remain bravely determined
when onslaughts decimate them and threaten defeat.
Kural 763
So what if a legion of rats roars like the raging sea?
The mere hiss of a cobra will deaden their din.
Kural 764
Commanding a long tradition of valor, acquainted
with neither defeat nor desertion--that defines an army.
Kural 765
That indeed is an army which stands together,
even when faced with death's grim fury.
Kural 766
Valor, honor, trustworthiness and a tradition nobly upheld--
these four are an army's protective armor.
Kural 767
Well-trained armed forces will withstand every attack,
then outflank and storm the foe.
Kural 768 {appearances and perceptions}
Even without a winning offense and defense,
an army of splendid appearance may still win acclaim.
Kural 769
An army will prevail as long as there is
no desertion, no privation and no contention.
Kural 770 {leadership}
Though courageous troops abound,
there can be no army without commanders.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Atri » 01 Mar 2011 21:38

ramana wrote:Atri might be off-topic but the double culling of Kshtariyas during Parasuram avatar and the Mahabaharata war led to the change in the distribution. Especially the latter, for subsequent to that we find the rise of janapadas (democratically run states not requiring Kings) and the rise of reform religions Jainism and Buddhism emphasising non-violence.

That is why we need to do our duty to not force another avatar to manifest!


Million Dollar statement, Ramana ji. This is one of the drawbacks and deracinations introduced by Bhakti saints since 4th century AD. The Avatar of Ishwara is something not worth anticipating. In fact, as far as possible, they are worth avoiding..

Ishwara is only good as long as he is in abstraction, minds and temples and yagna-kundas... Moment his complete human manifestation happens, more often than not he tends to screw things up in long run.. For nirishwarvaadi people who do not need Ishwara, Ishwariya avatar refers to human heroes whom public and intellectuals of all economic, social, spiritual dimensions attest as Swayam Bhagwaan walking on earth. His acts (however selfless) are not questioned. Thus too much of power concentrates in one pair of hands. Although avataras are called so because they know when to give up and leave the world, still why give such heroes a chance? i am talking about purna avataras like parashuram, sri raam, sri krishna, kalki etc.. Buddha is comparatively benign form (yet he indirectly did cause long term debacle of Dharma)...

Interestingly, this is what happened in middle east and west. Judaism was one of the many views of ancient times and like others, it was not proselytizing. Yes, they believed in "one true god" and said that roman, greek, egyptian, germanic, arab, persian and other gods are false gods. But after genocide of hittites, this remained more or less an ideological stance only. Yes, the God in Old testament is one of the most barbaric character ever created, but still he was less harmful to other cultures. Emergence of Christ started an avalanche which destroyed everything that west had gained and achieved. I can only imagine what pain the scientists and thinkers of greece, egypt, rome and other parts of west must be feeling when all of them were either converted and forced to obey christ OR were burnt at stake for blasphemy. for example, philosophers were talking about heliocentric model and laws of planetary motion in egypt and greece. If that trajectory was continued, it would not have delayed industrial revolution. Emergence of these avataras of abrahmic god plunged the world into dark age of 1200 years. India already had technology to coat iron with zinc nano-layer to avoid rusting. this requires parallel progress in many other fields of engineering and science.

I would recommend the movie "Agora" based on burning of library of alexandria and persecution of philosopher-astronomer Hypatia by Christians. It is for people to judge how different they were from taliban?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 04 Mar 2011 19:55

i would add that there are some parts of Mahabharata that you guys are not focusing on. one particular event is when Duryodhana is captured by the tribal villagers during an excursion. there is no doubt that the Bharata war utterly destroyed the established Kshatriya clans and families of the age-old. but there is also no doubt that the established order had started to decay long before the war.

imvho, for the Heir apparent of the mighty clan of Kurus to be captured by a small tribal group is a sign of the decline of the old order. the Kurus were a poweful family, and their name earned respect from one and all. the respect was due to their power/might and also b/c of their character. for an ordinary tribe to not care for the consequences and attack the heir of the kingdom which was protected by the likes of Bhishma and Drona, is a sign that the old order either had lost respect or was weakening, or a combination of both. in the MB, you see this numerous times. men belonging to powerful Kshatriya clans are seemingly powerless against people with vastly less resources and power.

imo, to let the old clans continue to cling to power and putting them on a path to slow but inevitable decay could have been a disastrous consequence. as their power declined, they would have become increasingly draconic in their efforts to retain their power and in the process could have done more damage to sanatana dharma than if they were completely removed from the picture.

as such, another interpretation is that the old clans held too much information on ancient weapons/techniques for them to hold on to power when they were in decline. Ashvatthama is a good example. he releases the brahmastra without knowing how to withdraw it. imo, the old order started losing the discipline and Dharma-consciousness which were instrumental in their success in all the previous yugas and maha-yugas of this manvantara.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Atri » 09 Mar 2011 21:39

This is letter written by Samartha Ramdas Swami to Shivaji's son Sambhaji after he succeeded his great father. this is fantastic strategic message given to Indics (sambhaji is nimitta) by the sage at the wake of Aurangzeb's invasion on deccan. I have inserted few other quote of Ramdas in this advise which are coherent and used by swami in similar context, but elsewhere..

अखंड सावधान असावे| दुश्चित कदापि नसावे|
तजविजा करीत बसावे| एकांत स्थळी||१||

One should always be cautious.. Never be malevolent... Always keep thinking and preparing.. alone..

काही उग्रस्थिती सांडावी| काही सौम्यता धरावी|
चिंता लागावी परावी अंतर्यामी||२||

One should shed anger and impatience and imbibe patience.. Or else, concern starts nibbing the inner mind..

मागील अपराध क्षमावे| कारभारी हाती धरावे|
सुखी करुनि सोडावे| कामाकडे||३||

Forgive few misgivings of old employees, but take the control in your hands... Make them attentive and satisfied towards their work

पाटवणी तुंब निघेना| तरी मग पाणी चालेना|
तैसे सज्जनांच्या मना| कळले पाहिजे||४||

Once a mental block develops, the water (thoughts) stop flowing freely in minds of a Sajjana.. One should understand this..

जनांचा प्रवाहों चालिला| म्हणजे कार्यभाग आटोपला|
जन ठायी ठायी तुंबला| म्हाणिजे खोटे||५||

One works as per all the wishes of subjects, his regime is shortlived. same happens to one who objects to all the wishes of subjects.

श्रेष्ठी जे जे मेळविले| त्यासाठी भांडत बैसले|
मग जाणावे फावले| गनिमासी||६||

When various factions in court/society start fighting for credit of glory and property achieved in past together, know that enemy is utmost happy..

ऐसे सहसा करू नये| दोघे भांडता तिसय्रासी जाए|
धीर धरून महत्कार्य| समजून करावे||७||

Thus, be a careful interlocutor and bring in peace, or else, the third party benefits in the quarrel of first two.

आधीच पडला धस्ती| म्हणजे कार्यभाग होय नास्ती|
याकारणे समस्ती| बुद्धि शोधावी||८||

If subordinates and people start fearing you, understand that you have lost.. Think quickly of measures that would restore trust and eliminate fear..

राजी राखता जग| मग कार्यभागाची लगबग|
ऐसे जाणोनिया सांग | समाधान राखावे||९||

सकळ लोक एक करावे| गनीम निपटुन काढावे|
ऐसे करीता कीर्ति धावे| दिगंतरी||१०||

Unite all the people and eliminate the enemy.. Then the fame and glory reaches beyond all directions..

आधी गाजवावे तडाके| मग भूमंडळ धाके|
ऐसे न होता धक्के| राज्यास होती||११||

Enemy will fear only when you do something to him.. Or else, your empire will start collapsing..

समय प्रसंग वोळखावा| राग निपटुन काढावा|
आला तरी कळो नेदावा| जनांमध्ये||१२||

Understand the situation you are in and control your anger.. even if you are angry, don't let others know..

राज्यामध्ये सकळ लोक| सलगी देवून करावे सेवक|
लोकांचे मनामध्ये धाक| उपजोचि नये||१३||

Be friendly towards all subjects, friends and servants.. Make sure that fear does not arise in their minds (since it breeds mistrust)

बहुत लोक मेळवावे| एक विचारे भरावे|
कष्टे करोनी घसरावे| म्लेंच्छांवरी||१४||

Gather many such men.. Motivate them with the idea (of Hindavi swaraj)... prepare and fall on the Mlenchhas (Mughals) with vengeance..

मतामतांचा गलबला। कोणी पुसेना कोणाला।
जो जे मतीं सांपडलां। तयास तेंचि थोर।

Millions of opinions flying around makes it difficult because each starts believing in the superiority of his opinion (which makes uniting men for one cause difficult)..

मुलाचे चालीने चालावे। मुलांचे मनोगत बोलावे।
तैसे जनास शिकवावे। हळूहळू।

One should teach them (masses) like we teach children in their language (referring to patience of the teacher)...

महंतें महंत करावे। युक्तिबुद्धीने भरावे।
जाणते करून विखरावे। नाना देसी।

One should teach them the cause and associated philosophies.. Once wise, one should spread them across entire country..

सामर्थ्य आहे चळवळीचे । जो जो करील तयाचे।
परंतु तेथे भगवंताचे । अधिष्ठान पाहिजे।।

The true strength lies only in mass-movement.. But there should be backing of Ishwara to such movement..

आहे तितुके जतन करावे| पुढे आणिक मेळवावे|
महाराष्ट्र राज्य करावे |जिकडे तिकडे||१५||

Preserve what you already possess.. Get more.. Make Maratha Rajya (Hindavi swaraj) everywhere..

लोकी हिम्मत धरावी| शर्तीची तरवार करावी|
चढ़ती वाढती पदवी| पावाल येणे||१६||

give people courage.. lead them from front.. promote and felicitate deserving achievers at every step..

देव मस्तकी धरावा। अवघा हलकल्लोळ करावा।
मुलुख बुडवावा की बडवावा। स्वराज्या कारणे।

Bow to Raama and create a storm all over.. beat and drown the enemy provinces and assimilate them...

देशद्रोही तितुके कुत्ते । मारोन घालावे परते।
देवदास पावती फत्ते। यदर्थी संशयो नाही।

The traitors are the real rabid dogs and should be slain similarly.. Any servant of sri Raama who does this, wins for sure..

##धर्मासाठी झुंजावे|झुंझोनी अवघ्यासी मारावे ||
मारिता मारिता घ्यावे|राज्य आपुले

Prepare to fight for Dharma... While fighting, kill as many as you can.. Keep on working towards finishing the task (of establishing dharma and hindavi swaraj), even while fighting and killing...

शिवरायास आठवावे| जीवित्व तृणवत मानावे|
इहलोकी परलोकी राहावे| कीर्तीरुपे||१७||

Remember your father, Shivaji.. Compare yourselves with him and do not think of yourselves too highly .. Learn from him how to live forever...

शिवरायांचे आठवावे स्वरूप| शिवरायांचा आठवावा साक्षेप|
शिवरायांचा आठवावा प्रताप| भुमंडळी||१८||

Remember how he looked... Remember what he achieved.. Remember how he thought.. while on this earth..

शिवरायांचे कैसे चालणे| शिवरायांचे कैसे बोलणे|
शिवरायांची सलगी देणे| कैसे असे||१९||

Remember how he walked.. Remember how he talked.. Remember how he loved his people...

सकळ सुखांचा त्याग| करुनी साधिजे तो योग|
राज्यसाधनाची लगबग| ऐसी असे||२०||

Renunciating all pleasures, he achieved the Raaja-Yoga.. Study how he did it..

त्याहुनी करावे विशेष| तरीच म्हणावे पुरूष|
या उपरी आता विशेष| काय लिहावे||२१

If you manage to achieve something like this, only then shall I consider you a man.. What more to write now?

समर्थाचिया सेवका वक्र पाहे। असा सर्व भूमंडळी कोण आहे।
जयाची लीला वर्णिती लोक तीन्ही। नुपेक्षी कदा रामदासाभिमानी।।

Know that, there is no one in this world who is strong enough to harm the servant of Sri Raama whose Leelas are sung by all three worlds..

## edited - i checked the original sources.. swami asks to fight for dharma and nor die for dharma in first line.. fight, while fighting kill, while killing gain, while gaining, win OR die.... This is the Paathabheda in different editions.. This is in sync with Maratha style of warfare.. In victory, destruction of enemy... in defeat, run away and restrict your losses to regroup and fight again...
Last edited by Atri on 09 Mar 2011 22:38, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 09 Mar 2011 21:56

^^^inspirational and moving. he is saying that Dharma (Indian freedom) is not won with peace. one must be prepared to violently exercise the right to freedom. to fight and to die is better than to live and be a slave....

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Sushupti » 09 Mar 2011 22:00

^^^
देशद्रोही तितुके कुत्ते । मारोन घालावे परते।
देवदास पावती फत्ते। यदर्थी संशयो नाही।

The traitors are the real rabid dogs and should be slain similarly.. Any servant of sri Raama who does this, wins for sure..

:D

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Klaus » 10 Mar 2011 09:25

ramana wrote:Atri might be off-topic but the double culling of Kshatriyas during Parasuram avatar and the Mahabaharata war led to the change in the distribution. Especially the latter, for subsequent to that we find the rise of janapadas (democratically run states not requiring Kings) and the rise of reform religions Jainism and Buddhism emphasising non-violence.

That is why we need to do our duty to not force another avatar to manifest


Also important is the fact that Indics need to get the date of Mahabharata fixed as soon as possible. The process of annihilation of Kshatriyas would have been a quick double salvo wherein Parasurama fired the first round and Vyasa-Krishna-Arjuna fired the second.

Since Parasurama preceded Sri Rama, with the latest dating of Ramayana in the ~7300-7200 BC range, I feel that Mahabharata is closer to the ~6700-6550 BC range as proposed by Kota Venkatachalam guru. Dates such as 3102, 1200 BC etc should be done away with as they are unneccessarily doubt casting.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 10 Mar 2011 10:29

the Indian epics and Puranas and Vedas are too vast, too complicated, to intricate, to have been made up. it is impossible for anyone to have the imagination required to come up with all this stuff. when you eliminate, therefore, the idea that they are just stories with some truths added in, you are left with only one choice: that the timeline as recorded by the texts is the right one.

the way i see it, i have absolutely no reason to discard the textual timeline b/c it is no way a contradiction of science. whereas other religions face that conundrum, Sanatana Dharma of Hindu thought does not face it. when we don't face that problem, why travel down that path, I ask?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Klaus » 10 Mar 2011 10:52

^^^ Point noted and I fully agree, the only reason why I felt that the date should be fixed soon is that we come to know when there was a mindset developed in Indic society that believed in keeping Kshatriya numbers and quality down to the bare minimum, this mindset and change in societal structure as imposed by the 2 Avatars that has led to present day inertia of ahimsa becoming predominant. Gives us an idea of how deep the phenomenon has taken root, so that steps could be taken to change, or to move towards another desirable state.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2011 02:06

abhischekcc wrote:^ Acharya, then how do you explain Prithviraj Chauhan?


He thought Ghori was just another warrior like himself and let him go. He didn't understand the impact of Ghori's upbrinigng would preclude simialr reciprocity.


Any way lets discuss this in Evolution of Strategic thought thread....

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SwamyG » 18 Mar 2011 04:26

S.C. Banerji in his "A Companion To Dharma Sastra" cites Manu (VII.65) and says the following:
Manu states that on the ambassador depend peace and war. It is he who brings about peace between two kings inimically disposed toward each other and rift between two kings living in animity, and engenders disaffection among the people.

An ambassdor should be as follows: favorably disposed towards people (so that, even to the rival king, he may not be an object of hatred), pure in matters relating to money and women (so that he many not be won over by these two), clever, possessed of good memory, experienced about countries and proper and improper time, good-looking, fearless and capable of oratory.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Airavat » 18 Mar 2011 05:13

ramana wrote:
abhischekcc wrote:^ Acharya, then how do you explain Prithviraj Chauhan?


He thought Ghori was just another warrior like himself and let him go.

Prithviraj never captured Ghori so there was no question of letting him go.

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Flawed Indian education fosters lack of Strategic Thought

Postby shiv » 09 May 2011 08:14

The rather provocative title conveys my summary of the matter. Title creation on this forum with its restriction of length demands some creativity.

The idea that strategic thought is thin on the ground among Indians has been lamented from time to time on this forum. Modern thinkers like (late) Gen. Krishna Rao, K. Subramanyam (late) and Jasjit Singh and others are few and far between for a nation that tom-toms its ability to flood the world with technically educated people and at last count has added another 200 million literate people to its population in the last decade.

There was a much discussed article from the US (I can't recall the name of the publication or the author) pointing out India's lack of strategic thought which drew the attention of the high and mighty in the GoI. It was discussed here as well. But the real inspiration for starting this thread came from thoughts I had in three separate discussions/post on this forum.

One was a post by someone quoting Christine Fair as saying that "India does not have a vision for a stable South Asia". Whether Fair is being fair or not is moot - but clearly nothing she has read or discussed has managed to give her any idea that India has a vision. If India has a vision for "South Asia" I am yet to hear about it. But I don;t want to get bogged down on this point.

The second time the same thought was sparked was in relation to a report that drew parallels between the inability to find the wreckage of the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister's helicopter and a future inability to find enemies. In this case I believe the ignorance of the media is merely a reflection of the overall ignorance of the Indian population of anything to do with the military.

The third occasion when the same thought occurred to me was a discussion I had in the Pakistan thread about education in India. The fact that education in India leaves much to be desired is "sort of" well known to most. It becomes starkly apparent to any educated Indian parent who has to put a child through the grind. It is only educated parents who figure this out IMO. Uneducated parents think that this is what education really is meant to be. The Indian education system starts preparing children from the age of 11 or 12 years to study engineering or medicine. The curricula are heavily weighted in this direction and the availability of post-school education in India is also weighted in this direction. It is not even an emphasis on pure science or math. We need more children doing pure science or math, but the education system turns applied science graduates. But I digress.

All this is tunnel vision, as I will explain. There is another related fact that has been mentioned on and off on this forum - and that is "distorted history". Unlike science, which starts with the study of all that is around us history is a subject that has been written by humans. A knowledge of history and geography are fundamental tools in the study of geopolitics and international relations. But history, geography and political science become "boring subjects" that children are waiting to discard by the time they are 16 years old. If you live in a place like Bangalore - you will find that by age 12 or 13 your child will know from his peers that doing well in an exam is essential and that the subjects that are going to need extra attention are math and science. Most children in their high school years opt to do "tuitions" and extra classes in math and science. few need help in languages. History? Geeography? Nothing. No extra classes exist. These are seen as dead end subjects. The math and science are required for sitting the entrance exams for engineering and medicine.

For strategic thought history and geography are core subjects. For most competitive Indians they are also seen as "also ran" subjects which were discarded long ago as one successfully passed exams to get into IIT, or the AIEEE or other post -school entrance exams. As a result - those who do study history as a subject after school are those who either did not manage to score the marks required in science or those who realised early on that they did not want to do science. But for these people there is very little "career counselling".

There is a vicious cycle that India may have got into, I may be wrong but I will state what it looks like to me.

The government of India has few strategic thinkers - so the government itself is unaware of the raw material that is required to foster generations of strategic thinkers. The government needs to spend money on academic bodies (Universities, think tanks) that recruit and employ graduates who have studied the humanities, but because of sheer institutional ignorance the government does not do that. Because the government does not do that the only kids who do the necessary subjects are made to feel like also-rans who do not have openings.

Unless there is a realization within India that a world exists outside India and India poverty, Bollywood and lack of toilets the importance of geopolitics will not become apparent. And in the absence of that realization the raw material to create strategic thinkers in India goes waste, year in and year out. The probleem has to be addressed from school level.

Denial and a belief that India has great strategic thinkers with vision is like Paki army while Osama was being given his houris. Strategic thought in India is accidental, not deliberate. It is the karma of fate, not that of action.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 09 May 2011 08:23

X-posted....
shiv wrote:The rather provocative title conveys my summary of the matter. Title creation on this forum with its restriction of length demands some creativity.

The idea that strategic thought is thin on the ground among Indians has been lamented from time to time on this forum. Modern thinkers like (late) Gen. Krishna Rao, K. Subramanyam (late) and Jasjit Singh and others are few and far between for a nation that tom-toms its ability to flood the world with technically educated people and at last count has added another 200 million literate people to its population in the last decade.

There was a much discussed article from the US (I can't recall the name of the publication or the author) pointing out India's lack of strategic thought which drew the attention of the high and mighty in the GoI. It was discussed here as well. But the real inspiration for starting this thread came from thoughts I had in three separate discussions/post on this forum.

One was a post by someone quoting Christine Fair as saying that "India does not have a vision for a stable South Asia". Whether Fair is being fair or not is moot - but clearly nothing she has read or discussed has managed to give her any idea that India has a vision. If India has a vision for "South Asia" I am yet to hear about it. But I don;t want to get bogged down on this point.

The second time the same thought was sparked was in relation to a report that drew parallels between the inability to find the wreckage of the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister's helicopter and a future inability to find enemies. In this case I believe the ignorance of the media is merely a reflection of the overall ignorance of the Indian population of anything to do with the military.

The third occasion when the same thought occurred to me was a discussion I had in the Pakistan thread about education in India. The fact that education in India leaves much to be desired is "sort of" well known to most. It becomes starkly apparent to any educated Indian parent who has to put a child through the grind. It is only educated parents who figure this out IMO. Uneducated parents think that this is what education really is meant to be. The Indian education system starts preparing children from the age of 11 or 12 years to study engineering or medicine. The curricula are heavily weighted in this direction and the availability of post-school education in India is also weighted in this direction. It is not even an emphasis on pure science or math. We need more children doing pure science or math, but the education system turns applied science graduates. But I digress.

All this is tunnel vision, as I will explain. There is another related fact that has been mentioned on and off on this forum - and that is "distorted history". Unlike science, which starts with the study of all that is around us history is a subject that has been written by humans. A knowledge of history and geography are fundamental tools in the study of geopolitics and international relations. But history, geography and political science become "boring subjects" that children are waiting to discard by the time they are 16 years old. If you live in a place like Bangalore - you will find that by age 12 or 13 your child will know from his peers that doing well in an exam is essential and that the subjects that are going to need extra attention are math and science. Most children in their high school years opt to do "tuitions" and extra classes in math and science. few need help in languages. History? Geeography? Nothing. No extra classes exist. These are seen as dead end subjects. The math and science are required for sitting the entrance exams for engineering and medicine.

For strategic thought history and geography are core subjects. For most competitive Indians they are also seen as "also ran" subjects which were discarded long ago as one successfully passed exams to get into IIT, or the AIEEE or other post -school entrance exams. As a result - those who do study history as a subject after school are those who either did not manage to score the marks required in science or those who realised early on that they did not want to do science. But for these people there is very little "career counselling".

There is a vicious cycle that India may have got into, I may be wrong but I will state what it looks like to me.

The government of India has few strategic thinkers - so the government itself is unaware of the raw material that is required to foster generations of strategic thinkers. The government needs to spend money on academic bodies (Universities, think tanks) that recruit and employ graduates who have studied the humanities, but because of sheer institutional ignorance the government does not do that. Because the government does not do that the only kids who do the necessary subjects are made to feel like also-rans who do not have openings.

Unless there is a realization within India that a world exists outside India and India poverty, Bollywood and lack of toilets the importance of geopolitics will not become apparent. And in the absence of that realization the raw material to create strategic thinkers in India goes waste, year in and year out. The probleem has to be addressed from school level.

Denial and a belief that India has great strategic thinkers with vision is like Paki army while Osama was being given his houris. Strategic thought in India is accidental, not deliberate. It is the karma of fate, not that of action.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 09 May 2011 08:29

^^^
in my humble opinion, there needs to be a systematic revamping of History taught in India. of course, this will raise huge ruckus with the Marxists and DIE's who will start clamoring about "Hindu radicalism." but my experience is that modern Indian history is taught as a series of dates of invasions and defeats at the hands of Islamic invaders. and then we are made to memorize the birth days and lives of every British viceroy of India. and of course some rubber stamped Indians like Gandhi and Nehru.....entire Indian history as taught, at least up to 8th class, is basically a regurgitation of invasion dates, defeats, and rote memorization of invaders and usurpers and looters.

when kids spend years learning about invasion/defeat/looters, how can we expect there to be any kind of awareness about India's geopolitical necessities or strategic imperatives???

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 09 May 2011 08:54

Devesh, One cant get to strategy until one knows what are Indian interests*?

I would define them in political, economic, social, and military. Note the order.

In order to avoid dissensions# the broad contours of what increases, improves Indian interests in those areas are what we should pursue and those that decrease, decline them we should shun and negate them.

Once we understand the above one can come up with strategy to increase, improve and build Indian interests.

And how we get there is tactics.

* It has been a decade long quest on BRF to define Indian interests and with many ups and downs I came up with the above formulation.

#Defining them narrowly brings in dissensions. We are a multi-ethnic, multi-religious civilizational state. A similar dilemma will come to Europe once they get more integrated.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ManishH » 09 May 2011 08:56

If one resides in *politan Bangalore or Delhi, the schooling environment might mislead one into thinking that science and engineering are over-emphasized, whereas if you stay in a state like Odisha, where I found many parents and students emphasize the core subjects of the administrative services (IAS) - debates and essay writing events abound in schools.

So I disagree that there's lack of emphasis on History/Geography/Civics. But I do agree that the teaching fails to impress upon students what were our national achievements and what are our national aims. If the national aims are unclear, strategic thought to achieve those aims will naturally be absent.

PS: it may be my personal experience, but I always found teachers of "Social Studies" to be invariably marxist leaning in 80s - be it KVs or Xtian schools. So instead of interpreting historic events as basically struggles between national aims, they'd end up interpreting events as class struggle, or clashes for materiel.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 09 May 2011 08:58

another more fundamental problem is that there is a huge stigma against "social sciences." it is considered an "unmanly" subject. being from Hyderabad, although not living in India presently, I have almost become attuned to hearing that "so-and-so person has passed 12th and gone on to so-and so engineering" : mostly electrical or computers or mechanical......to even think about the "Arts" is considered pusillanimous. on a personal note, I have become frustrated at the same kind of reaction that I get in my own family. any talk of such issues is immediately discarded as "Western thinking." "where are your Indian roots?" I am frequently asked this when I start talking about courses or subjects related to social sciences...apparently being interested in that subject is "un-Indian." this is actually a very deep seated social engineering. mass media has so thoroughly convinced us that we are a bunch of nerds who need to be a technical labor of the world that we've started believing it ourselves.

recently my brother was trying to take Persian course in a community college to learn it. well, when he said that to my mother, there was a fight for about an hour or so, which my mother won. I tried pointing out that an Indian guy from an Indian family which is not anti-Indian should expand horizons and learn more about India's surroundings.....they would have none of it. it was a "waste of money," useless "adventurism." much better to learn German or French b/c that would add to "professional value." unfortunately, being successful in terms of money and career seems to be the only focus of education or at least, it seems to be only parameter which measures "education value."

strategic thought as a requirement for countries needs, geopolitical necessities of the country, etc : these are grand ideas which require that a population be much more receptive to thinking that is based on "expanded horizons."

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Sanku » 09 May 2011 13:50

Shiv wrote:The government of India has few strategic thinkers - so the government itself is unaware of the raw material that is required to foster generations of strategic thinkers. The government needs to spend money on academic bodies (Universities, think tanks) that recruit and employ graduates who have studied the humanities, but because of sheer institutional ignorance the government does not do that.


Shiv, while I agree with a lot of what you said in the post, I have a different take on the above section. It is NOT accidental that Indian teaching of history, geography and languages has become dry and insipid. This is not because of a lack of strategic thinking on GoI but it is THE STRATEGY of GoI.

Nehru strongly believed that the New India of his dreams would be disconnected from past. All that it would need would be science et al. History in the limited sense was to be a tool to be used to foster a particular mindset, and that mindset was to mold Indians to have a sense of Indian-ness which was not based on their past. A clean break a fresh start. A slightly less bloody version of great leap forward and the standard Marxian tripe in great currency at that time.

This is well documented and can be looked up if people are intrested.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Pranav » 09 May 2011 15:26

Education, or rather, mis-education has long been an important tool for keeping people disoriented and disarmed.

x-posted from India and the NWO thread (viewtopic.php?p=976678#p976678):

Here is a nice article from former Scientific American editor Madhusree Mukerjee, who is the author of "Churchill's Secret War: The British Empire and Ravaging of India During World War II".
-------------------------------------------------------------

"The Most Powerful Scientist Ever: Winston Churchill's Personal Technocrat"

A physicist ended up wielding a great deal of power during Churchill's political career, affecting policy on matters well outside the purview of science

by Madhusree Mukerjee

August 6th, 2010

Scientific American

To watch over the care and feeding of Britons, Winston Churchill recruited a trusted old friend, the physicist Frederick Alexander Lindemann (later known as Lord Cherwell). Known as the Prof to admirers (because of his academic credentials and his brilliance) and as Baron Berlin to detractors (thanks to his German accent and aristocratic tastes), Lindeman was responsible for the government's scientific decisions. He also headed a Statistics Division, or S branch, with whose help he scrutinized the performance of the regular ministries and prioritized the logistical machinery of warfare. Lindemann attended meetings of the War Cabinet, accompanied the prime minister on conferences abroad, and sent him an average of one missive a day. He saw Churchill almost daily for the duration of the war and wielded more influence than any other civilian adviser.
......

Eugenic ideas feature in a lecture that Professor Lindemann had delivered more than once, probably in the early 1930s. He had detailed a science-based solution to a challenge that occupied many an intellect of the time: preserving for eternity the hegemony of the superior classes.

Any attempt "to force upon Nature an equality she has never admitted" was bound to lead to bloody strife, the scientist asserted in a draft of this talk.

Instead of subscribing to what he called "the fetish of equality," he recommended that human differences be accepted and indeed enhanced by means of science. It was no longer necessary, he wrote, to wait for "the haphazard process of natural selection to ensure that the slow and heavy mind gravitates to the lowest form of activity."

New technologies such as surgery, mind control, and drug and hormone manipulations would one day allow humans to be fine-tuned for specific tasks. Society could create "gladiators or philosophers, athletes or artists, satyrs or monks" at will--indeed, it could manufacture "men with a passion and perhaps even aptitude for any desired vocation." At the lower end of the race and class spectrum, one could remove from "helots" (the Greek word for slaves) the ability to suffer or to feel ambition.

"Somebody must perform dull, dreary tasks, tend machines, count units in repetition work; is it not incumbent on us, if we have the means, to produce individuals without a distaste for such work, types that are as happy in their monotonous occupation as a cow chewing the cud?" Lindemann asked.

Science could yield a race of humans blessed with "the mental make-up of the worker bee." This subclass would do all the unpleasant work and not once think of revolution or of voting rights: "Placid content rules in the bee-hive or ant-heap." The outcome would be a perfectly peaceable and stable society, "led by supermen and served by helots."

Because many people would evince an "illogical disgust" of such alterations to the nature of the human species, one might have to make do with great apes for such tasks instead of humans, the Prof conceded. It would of course be "somewhat more difficult to make an efficient bricklayer out of a gorilla than out of a bushman," but at least no one would demand votes on behalf of an ape.

As for the "unlimited number of half-witted children born of mentally defective parents," sterilization could and should ensure that society be freed of that burden.

"Philosophers have failed to agree on any definition of what is good and what should be our aim is a matter of individual opinion," the professor summarized.

"But unless we desire to see our civilization perish, to see it disappear as the great eastern cultures of the Nile and Mesopotamia did, unless we wish to prepare [for] new dark ages such as followed the crumbling of the Roman empire, the fundamental cause of present day unrest will have to be removed."

To consolidate the rule of supermen--to perpetuate the British Empire--one need only remove the ability of slaves to see themselves as slaves.

------------------------------------


Here is an interesting study of how these ideas have been implemented in the United States, drawing mostly from John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001)

The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

It's no secret that the US educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was.

Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system—overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.

Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools—the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system.

In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."

By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:

Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.


In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."

The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:

In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.


At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:

Ninety-nine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.


In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.


Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:

We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:

I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world…that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."



John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.

The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).


Source: LINK

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Pratyush » 09 May 2011 16:25

It is an interesting and thought provoking thread. Nearly all posters has made good points from their vantage point. However, at a fundamental level I disagree with the view point that the Indian education system does not allow for the formation of the strategic thought. This IMO is an extremely superficial reading of the situation. The lack of current strategic thought if any has more to do with the domestic social realities of the nation. Rather then the education system and the emphasis on certain subjects.

Now, we may think that the nation lacks strategic thinkers. Maybe this POV is valid. But is it because of the emphasis on a certain type of thinking and its propagation through the education system. Or simply because we Indians are a free society and every one is interested in improving himself through education. Even today education is one of the few ways of improving one self in a country like India.

Moreover, if one is to study the hierarchy of needs and transplant the same to a society, one will see that the needs are fundamentally identical. Ie,

1 Physiological needs
2 Safety needs
3 Love and belonging
4 Esteem
5 Self-actualization
6 Self-transcendence.

My case is as the nation reaches a stage where it has met its first 4 needs, it will by it self start to develop the capability, so that it is able to meet the bottom 2 needs.

Some may say that the nation is being surrounded by its enemies and is loosing influence to them. To them, I will say that there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends only permanent interests. Today, is Indian external environment so poor that the Indian room for growth reduced? The answer to that question is, no it is not. Today, India is not a super power, but is it so weak that its core interest's can be trampled with impunity by external powers? The answer to this is no as well.


From the above it is a given that ATM, it is in our interest to complete the social development cycle and reach the stage where the weakest of the weak are taken care off and people no longer have to be worried where the next meal is coming from. At that moment, the nation will start to take care of its external Interests in a manner fitting of its strength and stature. Until then the lament that the Indian nation lacks strategic thought and process is premature. To me the earliest examples of modern Indian strategic thought include the ISRO and the NUKE program. These have been followed with great vision purpose in order to preserve strategic autonomy of the nation. It is also the example of our strategic thought process that the Internal development and an equitable distribution of wealth is seen as a priority.

The non Indians who say that India lacks strategic thought process don't understand the unique and fragile (Not to be mistaken for week) nature of the Indian state. The Strategic choices today are a natural end result of the current level of Indian national development. You change that and the strategic choices / circumstances will begin to change.

JMT

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby Sanku » 09 May 2011 16:33

Pratyush wrote:Moreover, if one is to study the hierarchy of needs and transplant the same to a society, one will see that the needs are fundamentally identical. Ie,


Even in field of psychology the hierarchy of needs is a old concept which have been superseded by newer ones which state that multiple drivers can exist in the same time.

Refer to for example.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clayton_Alderfer

So India can and must pursue startegic goals even while the basic goals are not met.

From a different perspective, historically, nations which are stronger now, were indeed pursuing both development and strategic needs while they had trouble facing up to existential needs.

Our problem stems from the foundation where wrong choices were made with regard to these issues due to ideological matters.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ManishH » 09 May 2011 17:16

Pratyush wrote:Moreover, if one is to study the hierarchy of needs and transplant the same to a society, one will see that the needs are fundamentally identical. Ie,

1 Physiological needs
2 Safety needs
3 Love and belonging
4 Esteem
5 Self-actualization
6 Self-transcendence.
...
From the above it is a given that ATM, it is in our interest to complete the social development cycle and reach the stage where the weakest of the weak are taken care off and people no longer have to be worried where the next meal is coming from.


I think social development is tied to national aspirations. IOW, with the small landmass we have right now, we can never provide a developed standard of life to our entire population (weakest of the weak). I think gaining territory commensurate to our vast population should be the primary strategic goal of our nation. I'm not sure which of the above six map to that.

PS:I've never seen or heard a social studies teacher or a strategist ever root-cause our problems to lack of territory. I've heard marxists blame our problems on colonialism+social injustices, and hindutva exponents blame it on adharma and centrist on everyone else etc etc.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby UBanerjee » 09 May 2011 18:15

We don't lack territory, the Indian subcontinent is probably the most fertile and load-bearing landmass on the planet. (hence it has the highest population concentration in the world; rivaled only by China's coastline). We do have an overpopulation problem that is caused by poor education, women's rights and social malaise. We don't have vast tracts of energy/mineral rich lands like Russia or Canada, but we never had that and it's not an absolute obstacle to national development.

What we lack is a stable geostrategic position, like the US enjoys.

However in terms of acquisition of new lands, in subtle ways our diaspora will work towards this, especially in population light vast landmasses like Canada and Australia in particular.

There will be a struggle for the Australian landmass a few decades from now, it has already begun in a small way.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ManishH » 09 May 2011 18:51

We have territory but it isn't commensurate to the population. Overpopulation wouldn't be a problem, if territorial growth was kept up with it. It's not a matter of raw materials alone; constriction creates narrow thinking and bickering.

Definitely, I was thinking of Australia+Canada too. But with it, river Oxus and Myanmar.

PS: US created a stable geostrategic position, wasn't born that way.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby devesh » 09 May 2011 19:25

in geographical terms, we are thinking in terms of the American model of suburban development. for America that is fine. For India, we will need something completely different. a radical reshaping of human living in the vertical direction, and less in the horizontal direction. in fact, in the future, having 50+ floors apartment complexes should become a common scene in Indian megacities. this is only the first step though. there are plans in Japan to construct future Tokyo that is a pyramid structure!!! what path human habitation will take in the future is not known yet. this is one place, where India needs more innovative thinkers. these ideas might sound crazy, but for a country like India, it is inevitable, if we want to preserve or maintain some kind of ambiance.

but we should focus more the education part for now. i'm not yet convinced that our History education is not heavily polluted by Marxists.

or so i believe and JMTP's etc.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby shiv » 09 May 2011 20:15

Pratyush wrote:
Moreover, if one is to study the hierarchy of needs and transplant the same to a society, one will see that the needs are fundamentally identical. Ie,

1 Physiological needs
2 Safety needs
3 Love and belonging
4 Esteem
5 Self-actualization
6 Self-transcendence.

My case is as the nation reaches a stage where it has met its first 4 needs, it will by it self start to develop the capability, so that it is able to meet the bottom 2 needs.
<snip>
From the above it is a given that ATM, it is in our interest to complete the social development cycle and reach the stage where the weakest of the weak are taken care off and people no longer have to be worried where the next meal is coming from. At that moment, the nation will start to take care of its external Interests in a manner fitting of its strength and stature. Until then the lament that the Indian nation lacks strategic thought and process is premature.


Pratyush it is difficult to refute the facts/observations you have made, but I do have a seirious point od disagreemnet in the following sentence (which is not wrong) but I will explain why I disagree

the weakest of the weak are taken care off and people no longer have to be worried where the next meal is coming from. At that moment, the nation will start to take care of its external Interests in a manner fitting


While the sentence is correct - it depends upon randomenss and an uncertain time frame for the development of strategic thought. Things need not be so. Strategic thought can be fostered in a society that has some fully developed areas and some underdeveloped areas. Just use the human resources of the fully developed areas and don't wait for the development of underdeveloped areas before fostering the think tanks and study cells for history, international law , security studies and geopolitics

Strategic thought needs to be fostered by encouraging the core studies and groups and funding them and not waiting for it to come up on its own. Somalia may not be ready to do this. India certainly is.


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