India has one of the biggest armies, but doesn't use it — Why?

Neighboring war torn countries have engaged in three wars since 1947 – but while one attacks relentlessly, the other maintains diplomatic restraint.
Pakistan soldiers raided an Indian army base in Kashmir, killing 18 Indian soldiers.
One member of the governing Bharatiya Janata Party suggested India take a “jaw for a tooth,” but Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes patience and tact will win the war.
Another member of the Bharatiya Janata Party suggested India use a nuclear attack to “Wipe off Pakistan from the world’s map,” but their words fell on deaf ears.
Modi delivered a speech over the weekend to challenge Pakistan to fight poverty and unemployment, rather than India.
He spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, where he called the world to isolate Pakistan, as well as any other nation known to “export terrorists.”
Pakistan regularly crosses the border into India to attack but the Indian military remains carefully disciplined and refuses to launch random counterattacks.

An Indian Border Security Force soldier is silhouetted against the sun as he patrols the border between India and Pakistan.An Indian Border Security Force soldier is silhouetted against the sun as he patrols the border between India and Pakistan (EPA / Jaipal Singh)

Modi supports “strategic restraint,” in which the military will refuse to engage in battle, even if they are directly provoked.
Though restraint has served India well in the past, many believe India should retaliate now.
As explained in the LA Times, political scientist Sunil Dasgupta stated: “If India’s strategic restraint policy was to be amended, Narendra Modi would be the person to do it.
“He has the background, the ideology, the attitude…He would be the person to break through that. But even he has been restrained. It begs the question: What is underneath it?”
Vikram Sood, a former Indian spy chief, shared his country has “gotten the ‘good boy’ tag in the world, but that’s it. We Indians continually say war is not an option. We have to say war is an option, however ugly it is.”
Ajai Shukla, a Former army colonel, believes “Modi has the option to escalate the situation,” but admitted: “It is just that he chose the most prudent option, which is that this incident is not worth getting into a  possible military exchange. He chose the de-escalatory option.”

By Kenya Sinclair

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