Long long back I had asked a really badly phrased question on whether India has ever invaded another country. It was really badly phrased because all the words in the question, i.e. “India”, “invaded”, “another” and “country” are ambiguous, as many of you correctly pointed out. Actually, the problem was that I had a specific answer in mind, so I framed the question in a way I thought would leave only the answer I wanted, but it turns out that it didn’t.
Yup Sikkim is a good answer (congrats Yazad and CCG). If I know history correctly, Indira Gandhi’s invasion of Sikkim was completely unprovoked. She was playing some kind of geopolitical game with China and Sikkim got caught in the process. Other answers are at least debatable. Remember that I was giving the maximum amount of leeway to a supporter of Akhand Bharat, so I wouldn’t consider our Bangladesh adventure to be a good answer (not because it was not an invasion, but because a believer in Akhand Bharat would consider it an internecine battle. Chola kings’ incursions into Sri Lanka was already mentioned in the article I linked to – I had asked for other examples. Our actions in modern day Sri Lanka and Maldives cannot really be considered invasions can they? We had gone there at the invitation of recognised governments of those countries.
Look I don’t want to argue on this okay? I know that there are ten sides to this issue and you can corner me by asking me to define all my terms. For example, I wouldn’t consider an attack on Nepal an “invasion” because Nepal is kind of culturally part of India (The only reason it isn’t politically a part of India is that the British left it a semi-independent monarchy rather than make it a dependency.) But I know that I have made a hash of my argument, so I won’t press it further.
Rather, I will ask you to guess which incident I am thinking of by narrowing it thus:
1) It took place in the 19th century.
2) The place invaded is outside undivided India.
3) The place has never been ruled by the British.
What am I talking of?
If you want a lateral hint, it is: