View Full Version : India's military (catch all)

03-29-2012, 08:38 PM
Moderator's Note

This thread has been renamed India's military (catch all) and a small number of threads have been merged in (ends).

But not for the best of reasons.


"...Optimists must have hoped that Indian civilian traditions will improve faster than British-Indian military traditions decay and one day the trends will meet happily in the positive region of the graph. So how is that going?
...I would say the odds are in favor of the fuss blowing over and settling down. And life (and India) will go on. But for the sake of argument, let us assume this is a symptom of serious internal decay and not just one chief and one defense minister who don’t know what an unholy mess they are making here (and one weak PM who cannot seem to get it under control). What if this gets worse?
Indians can comment on what it means for them, but for Pakistanis, it will not be good news...

03-30-2012, 07:01 AM
Governance, please

With the Hon’ble PM and the Hon’ble RM, both very good men, I share Lord Halifax’s sneeringly patrician remark: “State craft is a cruel business, good nature is a bungler at it”.

Believe me, my good sirs, the nation is weary of your “good nature,” we crave for “good governance.” Can you now, please, for a change do just that?


03-31-2012, 12:07 PM
A detailed background essay by SWC contributor Hamid Hussain is attached.

03-31-2012, 05:45 PM
Quite a find!


03-31-2012, 05:51 PM

As one of our Indian members I hope you can add your comments!

Reading Hamid's essay I was reminded of how the British Army conducted itself in the early years of Queen Victoria.

04-01-2012, 10:21 PM
In response to comments - made by others visiting SWC - a short amendment is attached.

04-02-2012, 05:23 AM
On the other hand to my knowledge the army has promoted all officers to both command and staff positions essentially discarding the previous policy of having two separate cadres.

The separation of the cadres is still in vogue as I know.

Further, one joins the Army to command and not to push files.

Therefore, it is a silly policy to segregate officers in a Command stream and a Staff Only stream.

This was originally enforced by Gen Rodriguez. A most unimaginative policy.

Rodriguez and Deepak Kappor are both Artillery Officers and this policy assists in ensuring the promotion path of favourites cleared of those who could be a challenge if there was only one stream to select from.

04-02-2012, 05:32 AM
The real story starts with two previous Chiefs of Army Staff attempting to clear the line of succession. In 2006, VK Singh was the Chief of Staff (COS) of a Corps in Northern Command and was ready to take over the command of Ambala based II Corps. Then COAS General Jogindar Jaswant Singh (9 Marhatta Light Infantry) insisted that V K Singh accept 1950 as his year of birth. The reason was that JJ Singh wanted a shortened tenure of VK Singh ending in 2012 thus ensuring elevation of a fellow Sikh Lieutenant General Bikram Singh as next COAS.

If this is true, it is a sad commentary.

It is possible that such a thing may have occurred. JJ Singh has always been a bit of dodgy character.

JJ Singh has been rewarded with a Governorship by the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

JJ is such a 'effective' chap that he did not even know, inspite of being a Governor, if the State's Chief Minister's (CM) helicopter had crashed or not! His waffling embarrassed the Govt when it was realised that not only the helicopter had crashed but also that the CM had died in that crash!

04-03-2012, 12:00 AM
addendum now added to our site: http://www.brownpundits.com/update-indian-army-chief-affair/

04-04-2012, 02:40 PM
The Indian Express has added some more farcical elements.


04-04-2012, 05:20 PM
It has been debunked as sensationalism.

During annual inspection, mobilisation is checked and that is what happened.

If the Army had any ideas out of the loop, there was two brigades in Delhi, the 26,000 troops for the Republic Day Parade with every single equipment, and one Division just one hour or less from Delhi.

It is the desire of the arms lobby to discredit the Chief and the Army since he has gone hard on the nexus.

May read:


The Indian Army is too wedded to the concept of Democracy to replicate neighbours and then be blamed for ruining the country!

04-04-2012, 06:17 PM
I am not worried about the Indian army doing a coup. I am worried about what this sad business tells us about the Indian ruling elite. If they go down, we probably go down with them..see my comments in the link above.

04-04-2012, 06:48 PM
It is indeed sad the way the Indian Govt is meandering like a rudderless boat.

However, the solid democratic foundations will carry it through as it has always done in every crisis!

We have survived Nehru and 1962. A near similar thing happened with Gen Thimayya.

I have faith in the Indian democratic ideals and so nothing worries me!

04-08-2012, 10:59 AM
A BBC commentary by an Indian defence analyst which makes interesting reading and comes with some surprises, notably this:
The influential Indian Express newspaper on Wednesday reported that in mid-January two army units, including a Special Forces battalion, had marched on New Delhi without telling the proper authorities. For 18 hours it reportedly panicked the government...Gen Singh rejected the news report as an "absolutely stupid" reaction to a regular manoeuvre - for which no prior intimation to the federal authorities was necessary - to test the readiness of key units to mobilise swiftly for emergency deployment in foggy conditions, usually prevalent in northern India during winter.


04-10-2012, 06:51 PM
This has been rubbished by the Govt, Defence Minister, Defence Secretary and the Chief.

It was a routine exercise of two battalions.

If any coup was to be conducted, there is one Brigade already in Delhi, apart from AD Brigade and one Div at Meerut (15,000 men) just 45 minutes away.

In addition, the Army Day was 15 Jan and Republic Day on 26 Jan. There were units and all important weapons that were to take part. They were present in Delhi.

Therefore, why should a coup be engineered with two battalions when a large element is already present in Delhi and one huge one 45 minutes away from Delhi?

The arms lobby is up in arms against the Defence Minister, who is said to be a clean man, and who has blacklisted many firms for attempting to bribe officials. Apart from that, there are those who wish to drive a rift between the Army and the Govt since they want the Defence Minister out as he is a stumbling block to their agenda.

06-11-2012, 07:47 AM
Indian Army’s unpaid spy dies in oblivion
British-born Sydney Wignall discovered the secrets of China’s expansion across Tibet to the borders of India and Nepal


We salute these bravehearts!

06-01-2014, 05:24 PM
Hamid Hussain, a US-based analyst and historian, who contributes sometimes here and on SWJ, has written a long review paper on this operation. I had forgotten how divisive this action was within the Indian Army and the slim bios of some will surprise you.

He opens with:
The 5th June is the thirty year anniversary of the Indian army operation to clear militants from the Sikh religion’s holiest temple in Amritsar. This was the culmination of chain of events simmering for several years. In late 1970s, conflict between center and Punjab, internal power struggle among Sikh political elite, poor economic conditions of rural Punjab and assertion of Nirankaris (a sect of Sikhism considered heretic by orthodox Sikhs) resulted in rapid escalation of violence in Punjab. In early 1980s, Sikh agitation took an ugly turn and a group of militant Sikhs under the leadership of a charismatic leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale upped the ante. In December 1983, fearing arrest, Bhindranwala with few hundred armed supporters moved into the Golden Temple complex. Armed militants occupied many buildings of the Golden temple complex. Many wanted militants found refuge in the temple and in April 1983, in an audacious move militants shot dead a police Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Avtar Singh Atwal inside the temple. Several police officers including Inspector Bicchu Ram and Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Gurbachan Singh were also assassinated by militants. In June 1984, Indian government decided to send troops to the Golden Temple complex to clear it out of militants. After a bloody fight, temple was cleared resulting in heavy casualties.

The attachment is available via PM, being fourteen pages it is too large to add here.

For those who prefer the visual image:
Kanwar Sandhu’s documentary about Operation Blue Star released in 2013 is a detailed analysis of the operation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhO5BRsTfl8

06-02-2014, 04:22 PM
The full text is also posted on our blog (brownpundits.com)


06-05-2014, 08:41 AM
As reported in 'The Indian Express' on May 8 by Consulting Editor Seema Chishti, the book goes on to say: "It is inconceiveable that they could have done so without Indira Gandhi's consent. Sanjay and Zail Singh believed that by advocating extremist causes the young preacher would embarrass the Akali Dal. Precisely, the reverse happened. Bhindranwale soon turned into a classic Frankenstein's monster and embarked upon devouring his creators."

"Dirty politics and the use of religion for political ends clearly boomeranged on the Akali and Congress leadership with disastrous consequences for the Sikh community and the Indian state" the book says commenting on the situation in the aftermath of the Operation Blue Star.

Noting that Congress emerged as the single largest party in the state assembly in the 1972 elections and formed a government headed by Zail Singh, the book says, "by introducing a religious tone to Punjab politics, Giani succeeded to a great extent in weakening the Akalis. But the result--growing communalisation of provincial politics—was disastrous."

The book notes that Zail Singh organised one of the biggest religious processions "in order to secure Sikh votes for Congress".

The whole mess of Punjab was the result of political oneupmanship that went out of control.

May also see this for a more detailed summary of the issues that led to Op Bluestar:


06-06-2014, 05:04 PM
The widely respcted, former BBC India correspondent, Mark Tully gives his own memories of the time and reflects on what has happened since:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10881115/Operation-Blue-Star-How-an-Indian-army-raid-on-the-Golden-Temple-ended-in-disaster.html

06-06-2014, 07:31 PM
Several people have been injured after Sikh groups brandishing swords clashed at India's Golden Temple as special prayers were held to mark the deadly military offensive there in 1984.

Reports said the fight at Sikhism's holiest shrine was over who would speak first at the ceremony and that a scuffle broke out over a microphone.

Footage showed men running down temple steps lashing out with their swords.

Reports said at least three people had been taken to hospital with injuries.


06-07-2014, 11:08 AM
The widely respcted, former BBC India correspondent, Mark Tully gives his own memories of the time and reflects on what has happened since:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/10881115/Operation-Blue-Star-How-an-Indian-army-raid-on-the-Golden-Temple-ended-in-disaster.html

Ah Sir Mark!

Lord Haw Haw.

06-07-2014, 11:10 AM

Good to see you here.

It is all politics and quest for supremacy.

06-07-2014, 02:23 PM
Good to see you here.

It is all politics and quest for supremacy.

Swords are not allowed in the US Senate, but there was a time canes were allowed. :eek:


06-07-2014, 03:02 PM
Many, many years ago on a MP-guided tour of the UK Parliament we were shown a coat rack for MPs, complete with tassles to hang swords on. In the House of Commons the front benches are just out of immediate sword range.

See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toe_the_line and http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2013/10/30/700th-anniversary-of-the-king-banning-weapons-from-parliament/

06-08-2014, 10:01 AM
Swords are not allowed in the US Senate, but there was a time canes were allowed. :eek:


Sikhs by religion are allowed to carry kirpans (small swords) and now they wear representative miniature swords.

But then, some feel that they are a law unto themselves.

Like you chaps are politically sensitive to racial terminology like the N word, in India, as you must have realised we have the same squeamishness when it comes to 'minorities'.

Check this out

- Social attitudes and their changing vocabularies
http://www.telegraphindia.com/archives/archive.html (Link may not work, see next post)

Note that in India one can speak out without fear or favour.

I am sure this article will get some angry and some placating responses in India.

06-08-2014, 07:26 PM
I could not use the link provided by BG Ray. This one worked for me.


05-10-2015, 08:44 PM
NEW DELHI — Most of India's homemade Arjun Mark-1 battle tank fleet has been grounded because of technical snags and lack of imported components, an Indian Army official said.

"Nearly 75 percent of the 124 tanks with the Army are grounded," the official added.

The Army has inducted 124 Arjun Mark-1 tanks developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and produced by state-owned Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi in southern India. Nearly 55 percent of the value of the tank is imported components and those supplies have dried up, the official said.

The Army official did not give details of the technical snags but said there are more than 90 issues.


05-20-2015, 07:16 PM

Nothing surprising here. This is army doing whatever it can to scuttle further orders, to the extent that DRDO installed a black box to prevent army from sabotaging trials.

Arjun for all it's notoriety is not a bad machine. Comparative trails with T-90 showed Arjun can soundly beat T-90 in most performance parameters despite the odds stacked against it.

Below is a report by Comptroller and Auditor-General of India
(http://en.wikipedia.org wiki/Comptroller_and_Auditor_General_of_India).


06-16-2015, 12:30 PM
Last week in an unusual move Indian para-commandos attacked at least one Indian rebel camp, India rarely uses "hot pursuit". One wonders how Islamabad views this, especially if it considers using LeT again to attack India (shades of Mumbai).

The main thread on Indian insurgencies details recent heavy losses from rebel attacks:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2248

Link to a BBC news report:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-33074773

Ret'd Major-General Singh said:
India has the capability for surgical strikes across our borders. The political will was missing so far...That may not be the case any more.From a BBC analyst's commentary:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-33074776

06-16-2015, 04:08 PM
Pakistani leaders and social media did get the message, and went ballistic in response. The general theme was "Pakistan is not Myanmar". That useless windbag and Bush's old friend, Pervez Musharraf, led the way as usual with bombastic statements about being willing to use nuclear weapons if India tried any "adventurism" (he actually said "we do not have these weapons for use as fireworks on Shab e barat", a night when some illumination and fireworks may happen in Pakistan).

I do not keep up with them, but it is possible that some members of the Anatol Lieven school of Pakistan-analysis may also have stepped in to warn about the dangers posed by Modi's newfound aggressiveness.

Personally, I dont think any clash is imminent. The army has India-specific terrrorists on a short leash (otherwise they would have struck again since Mumbai) and "good GHQ" is not in the mood for any real confrontation with India. "Bad GHQ" may try something if they feel the good guys are about to make a serious dent in the Jihadi apparatus, but apparently that red line has not been crossed...yet.

06-16-2015, 07:28 PM
Christine Fair (who was once labeled Christine Unfair by Hindutva fanatics because she said something that Pakistani PR people used against India) has an article on this topic:


Her conclusion:

In the wake of India’s hot pursuit of militants into Myanmar, Pakistan has raised numerous alarms about Indian aggression. It has issued various warnings that no such Indian incursion into Pakistan will be tolerated. As often happens in such circumstances, the international media has raised the tocsin of the potential for yet another “Indo-Pakistan” clash. Unfortunately, much of this coverage of the so-called India-Pakistan conflict is deeply problematic in that writers, perhaps with good intentions, seek to impose a false equivalence on both nations’ conduct, giving the impression that India and Pakistan contribute equally to the fraught situation that currently exists.
This is dangerously untrue and feeds into a policy-process that has failed to come to terms with the most serious problem in South Asia: Pakistan. Such coverage also rewards Pakistan for its malfeasance by attributing blame to India in equal share and thus legitimizing Pakistan’s ill-found grievances. The only parties who benefit from such an understanding of the “Indo-Pakistan” dispute are the Pakistan military and its terrorist proxies. One such article was published by the Washington Post on June 11 by Tim Craig and Annie Gowen. In this essay, I seek to provide the necessary historical and empirical background that is required to make sense of the current situation. In doing so I directly challenge such writers as Craig and Gowen, among others, to devote more time to understanding the conflict dynamics before they inadvertently obfuscate the situation more than they illuminate it.

Needless to say, this will "stoke tension" in South Asia..or at least in the Anatol Lieven school of analytics. I look forward to a healthy sparring match :)

06-17-2015, 09:42 PM
A commentary 'Was India's special-forces raid into Myanmar a signal to China and Pakistan?' by Shashank Joshi, of RUSI (London), via the Australian Lowy Institute:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2015/06/11/Was-Indias-special-forces-raid-into-Myanmar-a-signal-to-China-and-Pakistan.aspx?

With my emphasis:
In their book (http://www.amazon.com/Indias-Special-Forces-History-Future/dp/9384464058)on the subject, retired Lieutenant General PC Katoch and journalist Saikat Datta note that India has over 20,000 special forces but 'one tenth' of US capabilities, as a result of inadequate officer numbers, training, intelligence, language skills, air support, and a lack of centralised command. In another recent paper (https://twq.elliott.gwu.edu/sites/twq.elliott.gwu.edu/files/downloads/TWQ_Spring2015_Perkovich-Dalton.pdf), George Perkovich and Toby Dalton cite Indian experts, including retired officials, who acknowledge that 'India does not now have the capability to combine special operations in Pakistan with precision air support', notwithstanding highly localised raids (http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/locked-in-un-files-15-years-of-bloodletting-at-loc/article4358199.ece)across the Line of Control.

06-17-2015, 11:19 PM
Christine Fair (who was once labeled Christine Unfair by Hindutva fanatics because she said something that Pakistani PR people used against India) has an article on this topic:Hindutvawadis are nice that way. If only you knew them better.:rolleyes:

Frankly, most Pakistani commenters would have had slept better at night had Dr. Fair mentioned Mukti Bahini, RAW and 1971. So while I agree with it almost completely I also think this was a biased piece.

Clubbing India together with Pakistan does give a lot of leverage to "belligerent" elements. Mr. Ali, I have a few queries if you care to answer.

1) Why did Pakistani media consistently missed the part where firing on LOC from their side "coincidentally" matched with Kashmir elections and Samba and Kathua attacks but kept repeating the ISPR line of India creating distractions wrt Zarb-e-azb. This includes journalists like Najam Sethi who do not tow the Army's official line in general.

2) What part do you think army has played in the rise of Imran Khan and his future? While some say that Imran Khan is army's Plan B, Imran on record keeps or at least kept harping about the dangers that army bring by military operations across the country.



Something, most of us on this side of the border were thinking. You may find this person amusing, maybe.

As for Mushy, I think people are being too hard on him. From once the only world leader who carried a personal side arm, Mushy has turned into a senile old man whose every rants begins with the ritualistic "We are not ________. We are a nuclear power. India cannot do that to us"

Do Pakistanis ponder over the fact that would have happened had it been Nawaz as PM post 9/11?

06-17-2015, 11:41 PM
@davidbfpo, while I am fan of Gen. P.C. Katoch, I am also struggling hard to reach a common ground with him lately. Over the years he has made some pretty unwarranted and some times just lame comments.

Having a tenth of US capability is not a bad thing if you realize that you are not US. Tenth of US capability means 1 Supercarrier and 7 nuclear submarines. It can also mean 18 F-22s, 2 B-2s and 20 C-17s. Not bad!!

But most of all it means a 20% increase against the current Indian defence budget. You can have 100% of US SOF capabilities when you can afford to spend as much as US.

For the paper (yet to read) that mentioned Indian SOFs inability to conduct ops in Pak is a very dated outlook. Let me get back to you on this one.

06-23-2015, 01:19 PM
A useful guide to studying India's military by Shashank Joshi (RUSI) via WoTR, with a plethora oif links and recommendations:http://warontherocks.com/2015/06/so-you-want-to-be-an-indian-armed-forces-expert/?singlepage=1

Formal study of India’s military isn’t at the same stage of maturity as that of the PLA. The most useful Indian sources — which vary greatly in quality — tend to be a small cluster of retired officers rather than scholars with academic training, and much of the Western literature still needs to be grounded in better military understanding. Western military research institutes — parts of RAND, the NDU, the Army War College — that dominate Peter Mattis’ reading list aren’t as interested in India, and Indian research institutes don’t yet have the capacity. But a wave of insightful and important articles and books, many by young scholars, is laying a solid foundation on which to build.

06-23-2015, 01:22 PM
There are two smaller relevant threads: Indian Intelligence at (with 6.5k views and 6 post - unlike that on ISI):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=19898 and Understanding India's Insurgencies (33k views and 173 posts) at:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2248

03-18-2016, 06:04 PM
Well I knew India was moving along, but I'd missed much of the detail. Notably having ICBMs.

This article poses three challenging questions:
1.What role should India’s nuclear force play in deterring new threats in the land domain?

2. How should India manage regional seaborne nuclear deterrence?

3. How should a nuclear doctrinal review be conducted?

06-04-2018, 02:29 PM
India “successfully flight tested” its nuclear-capable Agni-5 missile on Sunday morning, according to the office of the country’s defense minister.


10-01-2018, 11:59 PM
Alibi shot from January 2017

India is preparing to deploy more than 460 main battle tanks along its border with Pakistan, substantially increasing its already sizable tank force in the area.
Senior defense officials confirmed to IHS Jane 360, the Indian army’s plans to deploy the newly ordered T-90MS MBTs along India’s western and northern borders with Pakistan.

From August 2017, talk of supplantin' the INVAR missile.

To enhance its strike capability, the Army is now working on a project to add more teeth to its T-90 main battle tanks by arming them with a third generation missile system. The sources said the third generation missile should achieve a DoP of 800-850 mm and will be capable of hitting targets up to a range of 8 KM in day as well as night.
Currently, the T-90 tanks are equipped with a laser guided INVAR missile system and the Army has decided to replace them with a third generation gun-launched missile. "As the design of the existing INVAR missile has been maximised, both in terms of range and depth of penetration (DoP), it is imperative to upgrade it to next generation missiles with enhanced capability," according to a document related to the project.

Note - unless you need the photos for a powerpoint slide, this link is sticky with advertising.

12-14-2018, 01:08 PM
Given the need to counter sanctions, Russia seeks to support its economy not only through oil and gas exports, but also through increased defense cooperation with other countries. The Thursday meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation, held in New Delhi, proves that again, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

Russia’s Defense Ministry will share its combat experience with India of using not just conventional but strategic weapons. According to media reports, New Delhi will soon lease another Project-971I nuclear submarine from Russia. The Indian media reported earlier that the country’s Air Force was interested in purchasing or leasing the Tupolev Tu-22M3 long-range bombers (NATO reporting name: Backfire).