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Title: Postcolonial Aporia in South Asia: A Case Study of Civil-Military Relations in Contemporary India
Other Titles: Karatoya, NBU J. Hist. Vol.13, March 2020, pp 33-46
Authors: Dutta, Manas
Keywords: South Asia
Military effectiveness
Issue Date: Mar-2020
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: In recent time, we have been witnessing that the postcolonial south Asian states have a problem with civilian control over their military while India, as one of the distinct countries in south Asia, proved to be initially successful in maintaining such control since its independence in 1947. The strong democratic institutions, free press, responsible political parties, and the professional military kept India out of the fear of a military coup in the contemporary times. Yet, India has strikingly witnessed an absent dialogue among its stakeholders in matter of civil-military relations that gives birth to several misleading situations recently. Besides, the structure and the nature of civil-military relations have had an adverse impact on the effectiveness of the Indian military. Several crucial features characterized the developing relationship between civilians and the military in postindependent India that remain at the heart of understanding civil-military relations even in contemporary period. Parenthetically India, after having series of external wars within the south Asian regions and internal unrest and resistance, sought to provide a tight bureaucratic control over the military. India’s inherent hierarchical mechanism in the military like Higher Defence Management (HDM), Defence Planning Committee (DPC), the Chief of Staff Committee (CSC) and most recently the Chief of Defence Staff in 2019 (CDS) further obfuscated the need for clear goals of policy implementation, frequently producing discord and tension in civil-military relations in India. Therefore, this essay tries to present thematic overview of Indian civil-military relations over more than seven decades by examining the key characteristics and describe how these characteristics in turn affect, the military’s effectiveness in India and subsequently civilian intervention in this field.
ISSN: 2229-4880
Appears in Collections:Karatoya Vol.13 (March 2020)

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