India has always had a defensive mind-set when it has come handling external threats of invasion. The historians and military analysts have called this the Panipat syndrome.
This term comes from the three Battles of Paniapt. In the first battle, the dynasty ruling India, that is Lodi’s, lost to the invading Mughals. In the second, the Indian forces under Hemu lost to the Mughals who had been thrown out of India. In the third, Marathas defending India got into a hopeless position strategically and lost to the invading Afghans under Abdali.
In each of these case, the forces defending India lost to an invading force allowing it to come into the heart of India and defending from a position of weakness. This tradition traces itself from the time Alexander brought his Greek army into Punjab; Arabs broke into Sindh; Turks into Thanesar; British into Indian territories and Chinese into NEFA.
We have never attacked other countries but always waited for them to attack us. This has resulted in our defeat whenever the invading forces have found us week. The Turks defeated a divided Rajput confederacy. The British defeated a divided Maratha confederacy. Nadir Shah defeated a weak Mughal emperor.
The Americans and Israelis have believed in proactive defence. They have never waited but believed in eliminating threats while these were developing. Witness the massive American response to 9/11. The Israeli response to threats in its neighbourhood. Even the Russians did not hesitate to move into Crimea. India must develop a policy of proactive defence according to its size. How can a nation of 1300 million people be terrorized by a nation of 200 million people? How can a nation of 1400 million people defeat a nation of 1300 million? The issue lies in our mind-set.
Our capabilities – diplomatic, political, military, espionage, economic and covert should believe in proactive defence.
The Book “Battles for Delhi – Dilli Kareeb Ast “ talks about preserving and strengthening the unity and integrity of India. It looks at India through the eyes of its Capital city Delhi and the Battles in history around Delhi over 600 years that shaped the destiny of both the Nation and the City itself.
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