Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

India's oldest think tank USI to hold first Indian Military Heritage Festival

Military Heritage Festival, in association with Network18's television and digital platforms, will be held at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi on 21-22 October 2023

Published: Oct 10, 2023 02:26:12 PM IST
Updated: Oct 10, 2023 08:36:24 PM IST

India's oldest think tank USI to hold first Indian Military Heritage FestivalMilitary Heritage Festival intends to engage global as well as Indian think tanks, institutions, corporations, public and private sector undertakings, non-profit organisations, academicians, and research scholars who have been working on topics related to India’s national security, foreign policy, military history, as well as experts in the field of military heritage.

The United Service Institution (USI) of India, the country’s oldest think tank will be organising the first Indian Military Heritage Festival, in association with Network18’s television and digital platforms, at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, on 21-22 October 2023.

With 2022-2023 being the year of India's leadership of the G-20, the USI is proud to be working in tandem with the Government of India's strategic policies to affirm our position as a global powerhouse, a truly vibrant democracy, and a rising power that is working for the development of all countries in the global south.

Despite a long and glorious military history and strategic culture going back many centuries, the general public is largely unaware of the different facets of India’s military history, heritage, and security concerns.

The Indian Military Heritage Festival seeks to address this gap in our national discourse and cultural calendar. Its activities will be driven towards enhancing our understanding of the country’s rich military heritage and traditions; contemporary security and strategy concerns; and the push to achieve self-reliance in military capability through the Atmanirbhar Bharat programmes of the Government of India.

Through informed sessions, ranging from discussions on Indigenous Historical Knowledge systems, India and the World Wars, Post-Independence challenges and understandings of war and conflict, analysing war through the lens of fiction and media, the Indian Military Heritage Festival will definitely be the one of its kind, catering to audiences from all walks of life.

The festival intends to engage global as well as Indian think tanks, institutions, corporations, public and private sector undertakings, non-profit organisations, academicians, and research scholars who have been working on topics related to India’s national security, foreign policy, military history, as well as experts in the field of military heritage.  Over the course of two days, the festival will primarily bring forward different understandings and perspectives on issues involving our Armed Forces. Through panel sessions and discussions between eminent scholars, practitioners, and retired officers, the panels will cater to how we understand our military history, contemporary security and strategic concerns, social and welfare issues being faced by the armed forces, analysing the role of Atmanirbhar Bharat in the defence sector, India’s culture of gallantry, and how we can develop an indigenous strategic vocabulary rooted in our culture and history, moving into the future.   Participants of special sessions include the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, as well as Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa. A host of eminent scholars and authors will be gracing the occasion with their presence and their insights spread across different panels.

Some of the main highlights of the festival will be military band performances by Tri-Service Bands, including the Army, Navy and Indin Air Force Symphony Bands.  An exhibition to highlight and celebrate select milestones and achievements in our nation long and illustrious military history is being organized in collaboration with the National Museum as part of the event.

A Cultural Gala Evening will be held with a special dance performance by Trikayaa Dance Foundation, which will incorporate traditional and martial dance forms to narrate heroic stories of unheard sagas and valour.

Despite a newfound interest in Military History amongst a broad cross section of society in India today, there is a huge deficit in knowledge about Indian Military Systems, customs and history. The Indian Military Heritage Festival seeks to bridge these gaps in our understanding of the interplay between war, the armed forces and society.

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