On 18 March ret. Colonel General Bikram Singh held a lecture with the title “Security Policy in India” in the Zrínyi hall of the Faculty of Military Science and Officer Training. The former leader of the Indian army told the audience that the diversity which characterizes his country affects its security issues as well. The military is basically an accepting institution whose life is regulated by strict protocols. It does not prioritize based on religious, political or ethnic backgrounds: the professional soldiers are bound together by notions of patriotism, progress and public service.
Without acting as a military superpower, India seeks to find its place in the international diplomacy and political interactions – said the Colonel General. Although the number of young people will count almost 75 million within a few years, defence has nothing to do with show of force. The buzzword is rightsizing: it is important to demonstrate that if needed, the country is able to protect its population of 1.2 billion, but the nation has no extraterritorial aspirations. “Our military service is about capability-creating, not combative intentions” – added the former leader of military. The 1993 and 1996 peace treaties with China reflect this idea well, together with the Syrian document signed in 2005. The next in line is Pakistan, but terrorism is hard to battle over there as long as the population is held by radicals. Apart from the military methods, the Indian armed forces attach a great importance to economic sanctioning. After all, the general summarized, our times are about geo-economics, not geopolitics.
“The Indian army is a way of life” – concluded his speech gen. Singh. “Soldiers often feel a stronger connection with their comrades than with their own children, and though religion is on display, it rather counts as a taboo subject. The Indian army is apolitical, while our goal is to understand and maintain diversity.”
Text: Dorottya Pétery
Photos: Dénes Szilágyi