According to the great historian vincent smith , who wrote the OXFORD HISTORY OF INDIA nearly hundred years ago , the remarkable feature of indian civilization has been the cult of ahimsa !! this feature has persisted not just in gandhian times , but also since the times of buddha and mahavir . but this has also meant that india has very rarely invaded a foreign land...... foreign invaders , on the other hand have repeatedly invaded and conquered this land . vincent smith squarely holds ahimsa responsible for our military failures through the centuries. i feel a vegetarian person has way too much respect for life , to the extent that he cannot kill even when it is necessary to protect himself . this is further corroborated by the fact that the gujrati and jain community , which are vegetarians , dont send anybody into the armed forces .