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India and World War IIWar, Armed Forces, and Society, 1939–45$
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Kaushik Roy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463534

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463534.001.0001

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The Indian Army and Internal Security

The Indian Army and Internal Security


(p.161) 4 The Indian Army and Internal Security
India and World War II

Kaushik Roy

Oxford University Press

Before 1939, one of the primary duties of the Army in India was internal security of the Indian subcontinent, which also comprised launching occasional punitive expeditions against the Indus tribes and frequently aiding in civil duties in order to shore up civil administration and the police against ‘seditious’ subjects of the Raj. However, with the Second World War a transformation occurred in the doctrine and policy of counter-insurgency (COIN) followed by the GOI. The Bengal famine of 1943 and the British defeat against the Japanese in South-East Asia shook the foundations of the British rule in India. The Indian Army’s theory and praxis regarding COIN also opens up questions regarding the nature of the colonial polity. It could be argued that during the Quit India Movement a paradigm shift occurred when the Indian Army jettisioned its minimum force principle due to critical war conditions. This, however, needs to be differentiated from, say, the Nazi Empire’s use of the Wehrmacht to keep occupied areas in Russia in line.

Keywords:   civil duties, counter-insurgency, internal security, Quit India Movement, Army in India, Bengal famine of 1943, Wehrmacht

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