Kautilya's Arthshashtra, Bhagavad Gita to be incorporated in Indian Armed Forces's training, Congress fumes

The College of Defence Management (CDM) recently conducted an internal study that suggested finding ways to include ‘relevant teachings’ from ancient Indian texts such as Kautilya’s Arthashastra and Bhagavat Gita into the current military training curriculum. The study also recommended establishing an ‘Indian Culture Study Forum’ and a dedicated facility to explore this possibility.

CDM, located at Secunderabad in Telangana, is a premier tri-services military training institution, where senior officers from the Army, Navy and the Indian Air Force are trained for higher defence management.

A project titled “Attributes of Ancient Indian Culture and Warfare Techniques and its incorporation in present-day strategic thinking and training” was sponsored by the Headquarter Integrated Defence Staff and which aimed to research select ancient Indian scriptures with the view of exploring the possibility of incorporating them in the context of strategic thinking and leadership in the Indian Armed Forces, the report said. The project also sought to set up a roadmap for deducing best practices and thoughts from them, which might be relevant in current times.

“This could be in the sphere of statecraft, military diplomacy, among others,” a top defence source was quoted as saying.

For instance, it calls Kautilya’s Arthashastra a “treasure trove” for the Armed Forces and states that it is relevant in the current context and contains lessons for a foot soldier to a general officer in the Armed Forces.

The three texts, it stated, is relevant in the current scenario with respect to leadership, warfare and strategic thinking.

The Congress party has objected to the proposal, stating that the inclusion of Bhagwat Gita and Kautilya Arthshastra’s in the Indian Army’s training amounts to the politicisation of the country’s Armed Forces. “At least the government should not do politics in military matters, we won the Kargil war with the help of Muslim soldiers,” said Congress spokesperson KK Mishra while accusing the Centre of politicising the Indian Military.