Democracy And The Military - Hindrance or co-existence?


New Member
Feb 16, 2009
The indian military a highly civilized force has long withstood the whims of the political leaders with the passage of time politics has turned even worse with their policies encoaching into the independent functioning of the various aspects

1. how do you see the military and the political system as a whole?
2. can they co-exist independently in the future peacefully?
3. compare this to our neighbours what is their experince ?


Super Mod
Mar 24, 2009
Country flag
The IA has a strong culture. They will remain under civilian leadership. I remember reading Ray sirs post in some thread about how at various stages of post independence history, the army had the chance to take control but didnt. Now there is even lesser incentive for it to do anything like that. Democracy has grown in strength in India whatever being their downside.


Tihar Jail
Oct 2, 2009
India inherited British indian army , civil bureaucracy,and judiciary,with democracy and still continuing with same traditions and it is quite successful except for some glitches of indira gandhi's emergency days. Comparing to this with all south asian british ruled coutries we did well and now thriving and steaming ahead in top gear now.


Global Defence Moderator
Senior Member
Apr 20, 2009
in short to the IA the Credo given by Field Marshal Sir Philip Chetwode, Baronet GCB, OM, GCSI, KCMG, DSO has always stood true "The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time. The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next. Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time."


Senior Member
Feb 23, 2009
I think India has been a model for democratic-civilian coexistence. I mean, we have a big Army, with no political ambitions. If there were one institution, in theory, that could unite the fractiousness of Indian politics: it would be the Army. That said, the fact that the Army has never attempted to usurp civilian control, has chosen to abide by the Constitution in its mandates, has been tight-lipped on and has always shunned domestic politics speaks of something truly great. Particularly, when contrasted with the muslim-majority state that was carved out of independent India and has seen military-dictatorships nearly endemic of its rancorous politics.

I think the reasons for why independent India has never seen a military coup d'état, scarcely even the rumour of one, has to be attributed to the following:

- The fact that India's soldiers are recruited from a diversity of ethnic backgrounds, making it harder for coup plotters to secure backing by appealing to notional wrongs.
- Military education: the fact that, in their instruction, soldiers are taught that it is immoral and improvident to usurp political authority, and that they are guarantors of the Constitution, rather than of a party or the state.
- That in history, as ajtr said, the Indian Army inherited its political principles from the British, that held it just not done for soldiers to take over political authority
- The fact that social elite are often synonymous with political elite: in India, money talks, even on the political dais. And that there have rarely been countervailing factors or positions of support and authority to occasion a political coup.
- Political selection of higher ranked Army officers, and this may be a problem in and of itself, that selections to the rank of Army Brigadier or higher often have political basis or merit.
- The strength of democratic institutions: at the core values of Indian democracy, what holds us together is a fair, unbiased Constitution, a professional, even if gargantuan and labyrinthine, bureaucracy and elections that have focused popular choices on political seats of power.

In fact, in the 1960's, when mistrust between the civilian and the military had hit its nadir (the reason for the failure in the Indo-Sino war) China actually feared that the U.S. would instigate a military coup in India to further its own ends:

Some of you might also be interested in the following, titled:

The Economic Factors of Pakistan's Military Coups

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