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Seminar-Cum-Exhibition on Indian Strategic Culture Held in New Delhi

New Delhi: On May 21, 2024, the National Museum in New Delhi hosted a seminar-cum-exhibition as part of ‘Project Udbhav,’ focusing on the historical patterns of Indian strategic culture. The event, graced by Raksha Rajya Mantri Ajay Bhatt as the Chief Guest, featured the inauguration of an exhibition titled ‘Evolution of Indian Military Systems, Warfighting, and Strategic Thoughts, from Antiquity to Independence,’ along with the release of the ‘Udbhav Compendium’ and a book titled ‘Alha Udal – Ballad Rendition of Western Uttar Pradesh.’

In his address, Ajay Bhatt praised the Indian Army and the United Service Institution of India (USI) for spearheading ‘Project Udbhav,’ which aims to explore ancient texts and oral traditions to uncover valuable insights into India’s strategic culture. “The geopolitical landscape is ever-evolving, and it is imperative for our Armed Forces to be adaptive and innovative in their approach. By delving into our ancient texts and traditions, projects like Udbhav not only enrich our understanding of strategic culture, but also provide valuable insights into unconventional warfare strategies, diplomatic practices, and ethical considerations in warfare,” he said.

Ajay Bhatt emphasized the significance of recognizing the nation’s defense strength, not just in military might but also in the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and leverage cultural heritage as a source of power. He described initiatives like ‘Project Udbhav’ as a guiding light for a future where India is self-reliant and deeply rooted in its cultural heritage. He highlighted that the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat extends beyond the production and consumption of Indian goods to embracing Indian thought and values in actions and decisions. He added that the goal of Viksit Bharat can only be realized when the nation as a whole grasps the invaluable wisdom of the ancient past and applies it to shape modern-day ambitions and policies.

Ajay Bhatt lauded ‘Project Udbhav’ for strengthening the ‘Whole of Nations’ approach by fostering civil-military collaboration at the intellectual level, bringing together academia, scholars, practitioners, and military experts. He emphasized that the project’s findings would not only enhance the Indian Army’s strategic capabilities but also serve as a testament to the timeless relevance of India’s ancient wisdom.

Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande spoke at the event, noting that ‘Project Udbhav’ had revealed substantial intellectual convergences between eminent Indian and Western scholars, highlighting the resonance between their thoughts, philosophies, and perspectives. He mentioned that the project had catalyzed exploration into new areas by unveiling India’s tribal traditions, the Maratha Naval legacy, and the heroic exploits of individual military figures, particularly women.

“The project has delved deep into ancient texts such as the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, and Arthashastra, which are rooted in interconnectedness, righteousness, and ethical values. Furthermore, it has explored the epic battles of the Mahabharata and the strategic brilliance practiced during the reigns of the Mauryas, Guptas, and Marathas, which has shaped India’s rich military heritage,” said General Manoj Pande.


The exhibition on ‘Evolution of Indian Military Systems, Warfighting, and Strategic Thoughts, from Antiquity to Independence’ visually portrayed the development of Indian military systems and the philosophical foundations of the nation’s military culture. Utilizing artifacts, prints, manuscripts, and miniature paintings from the National Museum’s rich collections, the exhibition will be open to the public for the next ten days.


The ‘Udbhav Compendium (2023-2024)’ serves as a record for future scholarship and education on India’s ancient wisdom in military affairs and statecraft. It comprises six chapters and multiple appendices, encompassing key findings and takeaways from activities and events organized as part of ‘Project Udbhav.’ It also outlines the way forward for future research and deliberations.

Panel Discussion

The event concluded with a panel discussion on ‘Ancient Indian Traditions of Military Ethics and Culture,’ aimed at reviving and reassessing the country’s ancient corpus of wisdom on state and war-craft.

Launched by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh during the Indian Military Heritage Festival on October 21, 2023, ‘Project Udbhav’ continues to bridge the gap between ancient strategic insights and modern military practices. The event was attended by Deputy Director General, USI Maj Gen PK Goswami (Retd), senior serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and scholars.

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