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Celebration of India's rich military culture: Defence Minister inaugurates first Military Heritage Festival in New Delhi

The two-day event will inspire the country's youth, says Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister launches 'Project Udbhav' to promote indigenous discourse through integration of ancient strategic acumen into military domain

October 21, 2023 Photo(s): By PIB
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the launch of "Project Udbhav" during the inauguration of 1st Indian Military Heritage Festival, in New Delhi on October 21, 2023.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the first edition of Indian Military Heritage Festival in New Delhi on October 21, 2023. The two-day festival aims to celebrate India's rich military culture and heritage that has evolved over the centuries, through conversations, art, dance, drama, story-telling and exhibitions. It will primarily bring forward different understandings and perspectives through panel discussions by eminent scholars, practitioners and serving as well as retired officers.

During the event, the Defence Minister also launched 'Project Udbhav', a joint collaboration of Indian Army and United Service Institution of India, to promote indigenous discourse through exploration and integration of the country's ancient strategic acumen into contemporary military domain. Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Lt General J.P. Mathew and Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh were among the dignitaries present at the event.

Talking to reporters on the occasion, Rajnath Singh stated that the Indian Military Heritage Festival, which showcases the unmatched bravery and invaluable role of the Armed Forces in the security of the country in the last few decades, will inspire the youth of the nation. It will also make them enthusiastic to know more about the Indian military and their gallant deeds, he said.

Military Heritage Festival

Despite a long and glorious military history and strategic culture going back many centuries, people are largely unaware of its different facets. The festival seeks to create a benchmark in the domain of public engagement with military history and heritage through interaction while adhering to the goals for developing the Armed Forces in the 21st century.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the launch of "Project Udbhav" during the inauguration of 1st Indian Military Heritage Festival, in New Delhi on October 21, 2023.

The festival aims to give a new thrust to the study of Indian military culture, traditions & history and add tangible value to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' and 'Make in India' initiative. It also provides a platform for discussing various contemporary issues relating to India and the world pertaining to security, strategy and international relations.

The festival will showcase military culture through military band performances, including the Army Symphony Band presentation and Brass band displays and a Cultural Gala Evening. An exhibition to highlight and celebrate select milestones and achievements in the nation's long and illustrious military history is being organised in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Heritage, Ministry of Culture.

Project Udbhav

The necessity of this project is underscored by a critical understanding: while present-day military concepts, prevalent globally, have been largely shaped by the research and doctrines of western armies, they do not wholly suffice the unique, localised requirements and the rich cultural-strategic legacy of the Indian Army. Through the project, the Indian Army acknowledges that the nation is a treasure trove of ancient texts & manuscripts that delineate sophisticated, varied and contextually rich strategies in statecraft, warfare & diplomacy. This project is a significant leap towards evolving new, indigenously-resonant military concepts, building upon and enhancing existing strategies while intertwining them with the rich, diverse tactical and strategic wisdom encapsulated in historical documents.

'Project Udbhav' is set to emerge as the centre of indigenous strategic developments. The initiative is designed to weave a strategic vocabulary and conceptual framework that is deeply embedded in India's philosophical and cultural heritage. It sets the stage for a robust, progressive and future-ready Indian Army that not only resonates with the nation's historical military sagacity but is also attuned to the demands and dynamics of contemporary warfare and diplomacy. The project signals a series of in-depth research, discussions, studies, and engagements to delve into and disseminate the rich, varied and often under-explored treasures of India's strategic thought and military history.