First-of-its-kind Indian Military Heritage Festival to showcase glorious history and culture of the nation’s armed forces

First-of-its-kind Indian Military Heritage Festival to showcase glorious history and culture of the nation’s armed forces

New Delhi | 11 October 2023: The United Service Institution (USI) of India, the country’s oldest think tank has organised the first Indian Military Heritage Festival, in association with Network18, at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, on 21-22 October 2023.

Indian Military Heritage Festival

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 India’s Armed Forces. Through panel sessions and discussions between eminent scholars, practitioners, and retired officers, the sessions will provide understanding of the country’s military history, contemporary security and strategic concerns, social and welfare issues being faced by the armed forces, 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 Mr 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’s 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.