The military history of India dates back several millennia. The first reference to armies is found in the Vedas and the epics Ramayana and Mahabaratha. From the ancient period through to the 19th century, a succession of powerful dynasties rose and fell in India as smaller rulers also struggled for power through war. The British colonised India during the 19th century.
The predecessors to the modern Army of India were the sepoy battalions, native cavalry, irregular horse and Indian sapper and miner companies raised by the three British presidencies. The Army of India was raised under the British Raj in the 19th century by taking the erstwhile presidency armies, merging them, and bringing them under the Crown. The British Indian Army fought in both World Wars.
The armed forces succeeded the military of British India following India's independence in 1947. After World War II, many of the wartime troops were discharged and units disbanded. The reduced armed forces were partitioned between India and Pakistan. The Indian armed forces fought in all three wars against Pakistan and a war with the People's Republic of China. India also fought in the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999, the highest altitude mountain warfare in history. The Indian Armed Forces have participated in several United Nations peacekeeping operations and are presently the second largest contributor of troops to the peacekeeping force.
Famous quotes containing the words military, history and/or india:
“Nothing changes my twenty-six years in the military. I continue to love it and everything it stands for and everything I was able to accomplish in it. To put up a wall against the military because of one regulation would be doing the same thing that the regulation does in terms of negating people.”
—Margarethe Cammermeyer (b. 1942)
“The basic idea which runs right through modern history and modern liberalism is that the public has got to be marginalized. The general public are viewed as no more than ignorant and meddlesome outsiders, a bewildered herd.”
—Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)
“India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.”
—Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (18351910)