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Army exploring India's military heritage under project Udbhav

Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Army has explored the epic battles of the Mahabharata, heroic exploits of eminent military figures and India's rich heritage in statecraft under a project that aims to enrich the nation's outlook in the defence domain, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande has said.

The project 'Udbhav', launched last year, delved deep into ancient texts such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Arthashastra, and it has revealed substantial intellectual convergences between eminent Indian and Western scholars, he said.

The Army chief made the remarks at a conference titled 'Historical Patterns in Indian Strategic Culture' on Tuesday.

The project 'Udbhav' aims to promote indigenous discourse in the Army by integrating India's ancient strategic acumen into contemporary military domain with a focus on making the force "future-ready".

"The project has delved deep into ancient texts such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Arthashastra, which are rooted in inter-connectedness, righteousness and ethical values," the Army chief said.

"Furthermore, it has explored the epic battles of the Mahabharata and the strategic brilliance during the reigns of Mauryas, Guptas and Marathas, which has shaped India's rich military heritage," he said.

The defence ministry last year said project Udbhav is designed to weave a strategic vocabulary and conceptual framework that is deeply embedded in India's philosophical and cultural heritage.

"It is worth mentioning that project Udbhav has revealed substantial intellectual convergences between eminent Indian and Western scholars, highlighting the resonance between their thoughts, philosophies and perspectives," the Army chief said.

He said it has catalysed exploration into new areas, by unveiling India's tribal traditions, the Maratha naval legacy, and the individual heroic exploits of military figures, particularly women.

"The project strengthens the whole-of-nation approach, by fostering civil-military collaboration among academia, scholars, practitioners and military experts," Gen Pande said.

Such collective efforts broaden the scope of study of ancient India's defence and governance, and enrich the nation's strategic outlook, he said.

"As we explore more into our military heritage, we understand that undertaking such projects remains a continuous endeavour. The vast experiences, sacrifices and triumphs of battle-hardened Indian armed forces, will continue to shape our strategic culture," the Army chief said.

"I am confident that the project's findings in the form of 'Udbhav Compendium' shall benefit the Indian Armed Forces to remain progressive and future-ready, by drawing insights from the nation's historical military wisdom," he added.

The Army chief also hailed the celebration of the history and heritage of the Indian armed forces.

"It is heartening to see that the history and heritage of the armed forces is being celebrated as an integral part of our national culture and identity," he said.

The Army also put up an exhibition, 'Evolution of Indian Military Systems, Warfighting, and Strategic Thought - from Antiquity to Independence'.

It showcases the evolution of India's military systems and strategy under various themes.

"I am sure this will help create a deeper understanding of our past, as also the Indian Army's position in the global arena," the Army chief said on the exhibition.

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