6 Reasons Why India Could Never Be Invaded

In 1608, the British landed in Surat on the west coast of India. This marked the beginning of what ended up in Britain controlling the entirety of the Indian sub-continent for several centuries. India didn’t gain independence again until 1947. But what about today? Could the same thing happen? Could an invading army actually conquer India? …definitely not, and we’ll explain why…

1. India’s Huge Population Makes An Invasion Impossible

A first reason why India couldn’t be invaded is because of its huge population.

India is now the most populous country in the world – having over taken China in April 2023. The country has a total population of 1.4 billion people. The simple fact that India has the largest population in the world would make it essentially impossible to conquer.

Any force that tried to invade India would need to subdue the population. Huge numbers of people in India would be mobilized to resist an invasion. Therefore, any attacking army would need to use extreme brutality in order to subjugate India’s huge population. No force could realistically sustain this level of violence. The international community would also strongly condemn the extreme measures any invading force would need to take to conquer India. These are key factors in why the country could not be invaded.

2. India Is Too Big To Invade

A second reason why India can’t be invaded is because it is so big.

India covers a total landmass of 3.28 million square kilometers. This makes it the seventh largest country in the world. India is truly enormous, covering almost the entire sub-continent from the Himalayas in the north down to its tip in the Indian ocean. India’s huge size is actually a major reason for why the country wouldn’t be invaded.

If any army invaded India it would need to occupy the entire country in order to succeed. If it left any area unoccupied, resistance to the invasion would group there. As it is likely no invading force would be able to control all of India, due to its huge size, this would mean significant partisan and civil resistance would form to fight against the conquering force. This would make any invasion of India basically impossible.

3. The Country’s Geography Would Make Invading Difficult

A third reason why India couldn’t be invaded is because of the country’s geography.

India has incredibly varied geography. From mountains and jungles, to plains, rivers and deserts. Many of India’s geographic features would make it very difficult to invade. For example, the Himalayan mountains act as a natural defence for India to its north. The Indian Ocean and bay of Bengal provide natural defensive barriers to its south and mostly to the west and east. This means there are few avenues that India could realistically be invaded from.

Even modern armies struggle to traverse rough terrain. Jungles, deserts and mountains still pose a significant barrier to today’s militaries. As India’s geography is heavy in features such as these, it would make it incredibly difficult to invade.

India’s geography not only makes it difficult for attacking armies, but features such as mountains and jungles also provide significant advantages to defending forces. This further adds to why India isn’t going to be invaded.

4. India’s Strong Military Would Deter Any Invasion

Another reason why India could never be invaded is because of the strength of the Indian armed forces.

India has one of the largest armies in the world, with over 1.2 million active-duty soldiers, and 960,000 reservists. India also has nearly 6,000 main battle tanks, nearly 2,000 aircraft and over 150 warships and submarines. This makes the Indian army one of the most powerful globally – meaning very few countries have an armed forces strong enough to defeat it.

As well as having a large military, India has also dedicated significant sums to modernizing its armed forces. The Indian army is now well-equipped and well-trained. This is a further reason why it would be difficult to defeat for any nation trying to invade India.

If a country tried to conquer India, it would first need to defeat the Indian armed forces. This would be almost impossible, and it’s a major reason why the country isn’t going to be invaded.

5. India Allies Would Likely Provide Assistance

One reason why India could never be invaded is because of the country’s strong network of alliances.

India is not a member of a formal defensive alliance. However, the country does have strong ties with other powerful countries around the world. Relations between India and the United States have been growing stronger, as America sees India as a key ally against China in Asia. India also has strong bi-lateral ties with the UK, as well as with Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

If India was attacked, many of its allies would come to its aid. India has large and strong diaspora communities around the world who would strongly advocate for nations such as the US and UK to intervene to support India. The fact that India has good relations with many other countries, and is seen by major global powers as a vitally strategic nation in Asia, means that any invasion attempt is almost certainly doomed to fail.

6. No Country Has The Incentive To Invade India

A final reason why India would never be invaded is because no country has an incentive to try and conquer India.

As we’ve discussed, invading India would be a massive undertaking. Any country that wanted to try would need to dedicate enormous resources. This would also mean that they needed, essentially, a really good reason to want to try and conquer India. There just isn’t a country with such a justification.

India does have nations that could be considered its foe – Pakistan and China perhaps being the two main ones. However, neither of these countries have a good enough reason to try and invade India, especially considering the incredible amount of economic and military resources that would be needed and the international political isolation that would result.

…simply put, India isn’t going to be invaded because there isn’t a country that would want to.

Global Affairs Explained

Global Affairs Explained is an ongoing project aiming to provide concise guides to world events. Focusing on international relations, history, and geo-politics, Global Affairs Explained uses original research and data to answer questions often not covered by traditional media.

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