Project Udbhav: Indian Army to learn war tactics from vedas, puranas, and Mahabharata

The Indian Army, under its initiative Project Udbhav, is delving into the epic battles of the Mahabharata and the strategic brilliance of past Indian dynasties, shaping India’s rich military heritage, Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande revealed.

Launched last year, this project aims to enrich the nation’s outlook in the defence domain by integrating India’s ancient strategic acumen into contemporary military practices, making the force “future-ready”.

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Military

Speaking at a conference titled ‘Historical Patterns in Indian Strategic Culture’, Gen Pande highlighted that Project Udbhav has explored ancient texts such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and Arthashastra.

These texts reveal substantial intellectual convergences between eminent Indian and Western scholars, showing resonance between their thoughts, philosophies, and perspectives.

“The project 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,” Gen Pande said.

Rich Heritage and Intellectual Convergences

He noted that the project has not only explored epic battles and strategic brilliance but also catalyzed exploration into new areas, unveiling India’s tribal traditions, the Maratha naval legacy, and the individual heroic exploits of military figures, particularly women.

Fostering Civil-Military Collaboration

Gen Pande emphasized that such collective efforts broaden the scope of study of ancient India’s defence and governance, enriching the nation’s strategic outlook.

The project has fostered civil-military collaboration among academia, scholars, practitioners, and military experts, strengthening the whole-of-nation approach.

Continued Endeavour

“As we explore more into our military heritage, we understand that undertaking such projects remains a continuous endeavour,” Gen Pande said.

He expressed confidence 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.

Celebration of History and Heritage

Gen Pande also hailed the celebration of the history and heritage of the Indian armed forces, noting that it is being celebrated as an integral part of the national culture and identity.

Encouraging ‘Indianisation’

The move to delve into India’s ancient texts and traditions comes against the backdrop of efforts by the government to encourage “Indianisation” in various areas, including education, health, science, and military practices.

Project Udbhav reflects India’s commitment to integrating its rich historical and cultural heritage into modern practices, ensuring that the nation’s strategic outlook remains rooted in its ancient wisdom.

This initiative is not just about learning from the past but also about shaping a future-ready military force that draws strength from India’s millennia-old military wisdom.

Exhibition on Military Evolution

Alongside this initiative, the Indian Army also put up an exhibition titled ‘Evolution of Indian Military Systems, Warfighting, and Strategic Thought – from Antiquity to Independence’.

This exhibition showcases the evolution of India’s military systems and strategy under various themes, aiming to create a deeper understanding of India’s past and its position in the global arena.

Indigenisation and Erasure of Colonial Traditions

The Indian armed forces are also focusing on the indigenisation of military customs, erasing colonial traditions.

This includes renaming British-era cantonments as military stations and adopting new symbols that draw inspiration from India’s rich historical and cultural heritage.

Continued Exploration

With initiatives like Project Udbhav, India is not just looking back at its past but also looking, ensuring that its military remains adaptive, innovative, and deeply rooted in its ancient wisdom.

The insights gained from these projects are expected to shape India’s military practices and strategic outlook for years to come.