Europeans in India The Portuguese Part 5 Of Cruelty and Religion – The Indelible Connection

Canberra, 9 January 2023

The Arrogance of Ignorance

Vasco da Gama was the first European to reach the western coast of India by sea direct from Europe. He had expected to find a ‘backward’ country that had to be ‘civilised’, since the Europeans of the 15th and 16th centuries illogically and erroneously assumed that their civilisation was the most advanced in the world. They also felt an incorrect and self-imposed moral responsibility and duty to spread the Christian religion, Western concepts and ideas of right and wrong, Western understanding of morality, and to ‘educate’ the local people of what they, in their ignorance, considered to be backward and un- or under-developed communities. The European’s assumed the duty to search, find and ‘civilise’ the natives of the places that they colonised—the ‘White Mans’ Burden’. This European arrogance fanned by complete ignorance is really breath-taking.

The European ‘explorers’ who set out by sea to ‘find’ and occupy faraway lands for their own pecuniary benefits did not give even the slightest thought, let alone have an understanding of the fact that these people who the Europeans were trying ‘civilise’, in most cases, already had a highly developed social structure and were civilised in more ways than what the Europeans could even begin to imagine. The only reason for the European’s thinking otherwise was their (the White Caucasian’s) conceited belief that a non-Christian who did not speak a European language must be a ‘savage’. Therefore, it came as a complete surprise to Vasco da Gama when he reached the Indian Ocean that there already existed a centuries-old, vibrant international trade network in the region, the expanse and richness of which was beyond any European’s wildest dreams.

The fact remains that the Indian Ocean region was not unexplored territory as thought to be by the Europeans. The Ocean had been traded on for at least 2000 years before the seaborne arrival of the Portuguese in 1498. Records show trade mainly in pepper, but also in other spices, from before 1200 BCE to Egypt where it was used for embalming its rulers and elite. Their import by the Greeks and Romans is well documented, as mentioned briefly in Chapter 1. During the Dark Ages and into the Middle Ages, the demand for pepper in Europe was insatiable. During these periods the merchants from Italy controlled the distribution, trading from Constantinople, Beirut, Aleppo, Alexandria and Cairo. The Venetians controlled the spice trade in Europe but were beholden to the Arabs who controlled the sea routes to its source in Malabar. Vasco da Gama and the King backing his enterprise were naïve to believe that they were in unchartered territory when he sailed around the Cape of Good Hope—the arrogance of ignorance.

Politico–Geographic Reality

In the 15th and 16th centuries the Western Indian Ocean region, based around the Arabian Sea, was ringed by the three most powerful Muslim Empires of the world at that time—the Ottoman Empire to the west controlled the Red Sea route, which linked South-East Asia and Venice; the Safavid dynasty in the centre controlled the Persian Gulf through which the alternative route that traded with Europe flowed; and the Mughal Empire in the east that controlled North India and parts of the Gujarat coast from where trade emanated to the Middle-East.

The Mughals were essentially a land-centric dynasty, having originated in Central Asia in the Fergana hills. They did not control the seaborne trade out of the Peninsula from the Coromandel coast towards South-East Asia or from the Western coast towards the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. The Mughals were not interested in maritime trade for two reasons. First, they ruled over the land-locked region of North India and started to enter the Peninsula only half-way through their rule. Even then, they were in contest for the interior of the Peninsula rather than the coastal regions. The Mughal Empire was reliant on the trade that passed through the Khyber and Bolan Passes and never controlled any of the ports that traded with the Middle-East or South-East Asia.

Second, the maritime trade from the Peninsula was historically controlled by powerful Hindu kingdoms—the Cholas dominating the Coromandel coast and trade with South-East Asia and the Vijayanagara Empire commanding the length of the western coast and trade with the Middle-East. At the southern end of the West coast, the Zamorin, most powerful of the Malabar coastal rajas, controlled the trading activities. The Mughals would not have been able to make any inroads into these tightly held monopolies, even had they wanted to indulge in maritime commerce. They had no ports at their disposal.

The Gift of Vicious Violence

The coastal kingdoms of Calicut, Cannanore and Cochin with their open ports were havens of peaceful trade for the ships of all nations that came to purchase Indian spices and other commodities, till the end of the 15th century. This tranquillity was violently shattered by the arrival of the Portuguese ships at Calicut in May 1498. Just two years later, the Portuguese would capture peaceful trading ships, slaughter their crews, train their cannons on Calicut and unleash extremely violent terror as yet unknown in these shores.

‘We took a ship from Mecca in which were 380 men and many women and children, and we took from it fully 12,000 ducats, with goods worth at least another 10,000. And we burned the ship and all the people on board with gunpowder.’

—A Portuguese companion of Vasco da Gama, 1502,

as quoted in Roy Moxham, The Theft of India: European Conquests of India 1498–1765, p.1

The Portuguese had a long history of conflict with Islam. Portugal was a strongly Catholic country and in a simplistic, but bigoted, manner saw the battle between Christianity and Islam as one between good and evil. Portugal drove out the North African Muslims from their country in 1249, whereas adjacent Spain, richer and more powerful, managed to achieve this feat only in 1492, nearly two and a half centuries later.

The rise of the Turkish Empire in the Mediterranean and its conquest of Constantinople in 1453 alarmed Christian Europe and re-ignited anti-Islamic initiatives in all the Christian kingdoms. Vasco da Gama reached Indian shores, steeped in these biases and with a blind belief in the ‘greatness’ of the Catholic faith as the one and only true religious pursuit. From his first visit to the Zamorin, the Portugal–Calicut relations were fraught with underlying, and mostly unarticulated, tensions. In the first meeting Vasco claimed that he was the ambassador of a ‘great and wealthy’ king—a claim that was not substantiated by the meagre gifts that he proffered to the Zamorin.

Further, while Muslims resided in the country, Calicut was a Hindu kingdom although Vasco da Gama continued to believe that the people followed a deviant form of Christianity. The Muslims were mainly merchants who dominated the spice trade—some of them from Arabia. There were also a large number of ‘Moplas’, Indian Muslims who claimed descent from 13 Arab merchants who had settled down near River Beypur in the 9th century. (River Beypore originates as the Chaliyar River, the fourth longest river in the current State of Kerala and becomes known as Beypore River as it nears the sea.) It was only a matter of time before the inherent Portuguese antagonism to Islam came to the fore and influenced all their decisions.

As explained in Chapter 2, Vasco da Gama sailed away from the Malabar coast with some local hostages still on board, having kept the Zamorin’s boats at bay with cannon fire. The Portuguese violence had vitiated the tranquillity of Calicut. Calicut did not have a natural harbour—its harbour was not in itself particularly good—but its importance lay in the fact that the Zamorin guaranteed safe and cheap facilities to all traders, irrespective of nationality or religion. On their departure the Portuguese, in the person of Vasco da Gama, had violated this arrangement. 1502 marked the start of the decline of Calicut as the major port of the Malabar coast. Unfortunately, calculated violence, hitherto unknown in the region, would never again leave the West Coast of India, so long as the Europeans continued to arrive from the seas.

The next fleet from Portugal, under Alvares Cabral, vehemently opposed the Muslim merchants in Calicut and other Malabar ports, finally resulting in the death of 40 Portuguese in a riot, which itself ensued from the unprovoked Portuguese capture of some local vessels and their goods. In retaliation Cabral bombarded Calicut for two days causing many houses to be destroyed and many inhabitants to be killed. This action resulted in the complete rupture of relationship between the foreigners and Calicut. The Portuguese shifted their headquarters to Cochin and remained there till they captured Goa and established their own fort and ‘capital’.

Vasco da Gama’s Barbarities

Vasco da Gama returned to India in late 1502. By this time, he was aware that there were no Christian kingdoms in Malabar and that the Hindu religion was not compatible with Christian beliefs. Therefore, in his mind he had determined that they did not deserve any courtesy or decent treatment—they were after all ‘savages’. This voyage of Vasco da Gama was an exemplary demonstration of extreme and wanton cruelty. He intercepted the Miri, a pilgrim ship returning from Mecca, off the coast of Malabar. The ship was boarded, all valuables and goods off-loaded and then set on fire with all people, including women and children, still on board. When the fire was put out by the ship’s crew, the ship was boarded again and set afire a second time. All aboard perished. The famed ‘Christina mercy’ had no place in Vasco da Gama’s dealing with non-believers in India and his proposed scheme of action to control India and its trade.

On reaching Calicut, Gama demanded that the Zamorin expel all Muslims from his kingdom. This demand is just one example of the arrogance of the Portuguese hero, demanding a sovereign king to expel people from his kingdom because of their religious affiliations. He then demanded that the Zamorin compensate the Portuguese for the goods that Cabral had lost in his expedition. The Zamorin’s response was reasonable, even under extreme threat. He replied that it was Calicut that had suffered the most in the encounter with Cabral and that the treasure pillaged from the Miri was worth much more than what Cabral is supposed to have lost. However, Vasco da Gama declared that if these two conditions were not met, he would bombard Calicut the next day.

In the meantime, Gama had captured several small boats and imprisoned their crews. Since the Zamorin had not acceded to his demands, from 1st November 1502, he started to hang these prisoners one by one. Not only were the prisoners executed without any reason, but after their bodies were taken down, Vasco da Gama had their hands, feet and heads cut off and loaded on to a boat, which was then floated into the harbour. The truncated bodies were thrown into the sea at a time when the tide would move them ashore. Such wanton cruelty had not been witnessed in Indian waters previously. Gama then started to bombard Calicut and wrought great damage on the city, even though the Zamorin had erected palm tree stockades after Cabral’s bombardment earlier. The bombardment continued for two days without a break.

Vasco then sailed for Cochin. On the way, he received a message from the Raja of Cannanore that an Arab merchant had left the port without paying his dues. Vasco da Gama pursued and intercepted the ship, and the merchant paid his dues. However, he was still flogged till he became unconscious; then his mouth was stuffed with excrement and bacon before being sent back to his ship. The reason for the Raja of Cannanore approaching Vasco da Gama to apprehend a defaulter from his domain and the treatment meted out by Gama remains an enigma—the fundamental question remains as to what was Vasco da Gama’s authority to enforce the laws of Cannanore in the high seas? Further, the demeaning treatment of the merchant, who was a Muslim and hence the bacon, can be labelled nothing but a barbarity and a wanton display of uncouth and vicious behaviour, even by the standards of the time. From the time that they entered the Indian Ocean region, till their decline and eclipse a century later, the Portuguese were nothing better than bloodthirsty pirates. Honour, as a word and a concept, was alien to them.

Da Gama’s high handed and brutally cruel behaviour did not end even after he reached Cochin. Already aware of the way he had treated Muslims in Calicut, the Cochin Muslims were hostile to the Portuguese. Vasco da Gama played his cards very carefully, going out of his way to establish and maintain good relations with the Hindu Raja and attempting drive a wedge between the kingdom’s Hindus and the Muslims, who had so far remained amicable to each other. To achieve this nefarious purpose, he went to the extent of pretending that he had ‘rescued’ a cow that the Muslims had come to sell to the Portuguese for slaughter. The next time Muslims came to sell another cow to the Portuguese, he had them arrested and executed, in an attempt to please the Hindu Raja. It is however doubtful that these tactics had any cognisable effect on the Raja.

Vasco’s barbarous behaviour was not confined to his dealings with the Muslims alone. The Zamorin had sent a message for him in Cochin through a Hindu priest. The Priest, a Brahmin, was taken captive by Gama and tortured; on being burned with red-hot embers, he ‘confessed’ to being a spy. Since his religion had been desecrated during the torture, the priest offered to commit suicide. Vasco da Gama refused this offer, stating that he wanted the messenger to go back to Calicut as an example for others. The priest’s lips were cut off and his ears replaced with those of a dog and then he was sent back to Calicut.

The need or reason for such barbarous conduct remains unfathomable. However, some fundamental questions, which cannot but be asked, do arise:

  • Was such extreme cruelty an inherent streak in the Portuguese?
  • Did such conduct spring from an innate abhorrence for people of a different skin colour and culture?
  • Did the hatred and viciousness stem from an intense jealousy of the prosperous and peaceful world they came upon in the Indian Ocean region, in comparison to the poverty, destitution and ignorance that was rife in their own country?
  • Did the Portuguese believe that such actions would ‘scare’ the ‘savages’ into submission?

There are possibly other equally important and nuanced questions that need to be asked and their answers sought. The result of such behaviour was that it forever left a wholly deserved and unsavoury reputation of the Portuguese in India. The distaste percolated to all levels of the Indian population and gradually coloured the psyche of the people against the Portuguese.

Vasco da Gama’s successors were not far from the depraved standards of cruelty that he established. These Portuguese, whose belief in Catholic Christianity superseded everything else, including any achievements or developments in the ‘outside’ world, could never fathom the advanced culture that they encountered, irrespective of the greatness of the developments that was readily visible. While blaming the followers of Islam for being bigoted, the Portuguese displayed a bigoted arrogance, based more on ignorance than anything else, that surpassed the bigotry that any other group could offer in the same time period. The Portuguese treatment of local people and opponents showed a ‘consistent and systemic cruelty and barbarity that was lower even than the standards of a viciously cruel age.’

Religion – The Church and the Inquisition

In 1503, having obtained land and permission from the Raja of Cochin, the Portuguese completed the construction of a square fort. On 1st October, the first European fort in the Indian sub-continent was christened by a Franciscan monk—naming it Fort Manuel in honour of the then King of Portugal. In mid-1510, Albuquerque had captured Goa, which was part of the Adil Shahi kingdom with its capital at Bijapur. Two months later Yusuf Adil Shah besieged the fortress town of Old Goa. Within the fort, some Muslims who were sympathetic to the Adil Shah harassed the Portuguese.

Within a week of the start of the siege, Albuquerque realised that he would not be able hold on against the superior forces of the Adil Shah and prepared to leave. Before departing, Albuquerque rounded up all the Muslims in Old Goa, commencing the persecution of non-Christians which was to become a hallmark of the Portuguese in the Indian sub-continent. He kept aside a few children who were to be converted to Christianity later, few rich men who would be used as hostages and subsequently executed and a few women to be made into wives or concubines. The rest of the Muslim population, men, women and children were mercilessly killed. Then the Portuguese sailed out, almost on the verge of starvation.

Albuquerque returned with a large fleet in November 1510 and recaptured Old Goa on 25th November. Immediately on taking control, hundreds of defenders, mostly Muslims, were put to the sword, without being given quarter or treated as prisoners of war. The victory was celebrated with a thanksgiving ceremony. After the service Albuquerque gave orders to his soldiers to kill all the remaining Muslims in the town—in the next three days, Muslims were hunted down; men woman and children burned alive in the mosques where they had taken refuge. The final death toll, according to Portuguese records, was 40 Portuguese killed for the murder of slightly over 6,000 Muslims.

In the next few months Albuquerque established Portuguese administration in Goa, building an inner fort, hospital, mint and a chapel with most of the buildings being constructed with stones taken from Muslim cemeteries. The Portuguese were staunchly Catholic in their faith. The King had assured the Pope that converting the heathen and eliminating Muslims were the primary aims of the Eastern/Indian expeditions. The Catholic Church reciprocated by providing all the aid at its disposal to facilitate Portuguese conquests, although the aid came mostly in the form of spiritual succour. Catholic priests accompanied most of the ships, providing communion to soldiers before they went into battle and assuring them of attaining a swift passage to heaven if they were to die in battle.

The reality of the situation was somewhat contrary to the promise made to the Pope and it was few decades before the propagation of Christianity was given any priority—the first bishop arrived in Goa only in 1538. His arrival is an important landmark in Portuguese history in India. It marked the end of the easy and cordial relationship that had been established between Portuguese Christians and the local Hindus in Goa.

Concerted Conversions

During his administration Albuquerque had instituted conversions through marriage, which had seen only desultory progress till the arrival of the bishop. His arrival introduced an element of crusading enthusiasm to the process of proselytization. The initial clean enthusiasm to convert the willing degenerated very rapidly, within two years, to an unnatural, unreasoning and fanatical desire to convert all, and any, local people to Christianity, even at the point of a sword. In 1540, the Portuguese started to demolish Hindu temples and the following year all Hindu temples and their lands within Portuguese jurisdiction were expropriated by the Governor.

In May 1542, Francis Xavier became the first Jesuit to arrive in India. He was a man of extraordinary charisma and spent 10 years in India and South-East Asia, converting many local people to Christianity. It is claimed that in one month he converted 10,000 villagers to Christianity in Malabar and that he would conduct mass conversions of hundreds every day in Goa. Xavier attempted to reform the religious administration in Goa and to restructure the education system. The revised process was based on discrimination against the Hindus and rewarding the converts, a process that was aided wholeheartedly by the local Portuguese officials. He also initiated a huge programme of construction of religious buildings in Goa, some fresh constructions and mainly enlargement of existing churches, monasteries and convents. Francis Xavier died off the coast of China in 1552.

Francis Xavier (7th April 1506–3rd December 1552)

Francis Xavier was a Spanish catholic missionary who was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus, whose members were known as Jesuits.

He was initially buried in Malacca and rumours mention that his body was miraculously preserved without decomposition. The body was shipped to Goa in 1554 and interred in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Xavier was canonised on 12th March 1622, after which his body became an object of great veneration.

The body has been displayed many times, with increasing frequency in modern times, and no longer defies decomposition. Over a period of time, many parts of the body have been removed: a toe was bitten off and taken away after the first modern exposition; on the Pope’s orders, the right arm was sent to Rome; parts of a shoulder blade are in Cochin, Malacca and Macao; an upper arm is in Japan and internal organs have been distributed variously as relics.

Before he died, Francis Xavier had asked the Pope to establish the process of Inquisition in Goa, which was done in 1560, one year after five men were publicly burned at the stake on alleged charges of sodomy.

The Inquisition

From the time the Inquisition was established in Goa, the Portuguese government in India was markedly dominated by Christian priests—Dominicans, Franciscans and Jesuits—who openly displayed an intolerant bigotry against all non-Christians and introduced the horrors of the Inquisition to India. The Goa Inquisition is regarded by most contemporary historians as having been the most violent process ever executed by the Portuguese Catholic Church. Officially the Inquisition had authority only over Christians, although in Goa it took on an omnipotent presence.

Conversions. Many Hindus had converted to Christianity for various reasons—some, from the lowers classes of Hindus, had done so voluntarily to be liberated from the oppression they suffered; since laws had been passed in Goa that land could only be inherited by a person who could prove that he/she was the offspring of a Christian marriage, some Hindu families encouraged few of their relatives to convert to keep the wealth in the family; and a great majority were converted by force. Mass baptisms, especially on the day of the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, became an annual feature of life in Goa. The records of the Portuguese Friars functioning in Goa give graphic details of the methods used to convert Hindus. A few days before the mass baptisms were to take place, the Jesuit priests accompanied by slave soldiers would go to the Hindu quarters, seize any Hindu they could find and smear their lips with beef thus making them ‘loose caste’. These unfortunate people would become ‘untouchables’, and the victims would have no recourse but to convert to Christianity to be able to lead a life with a modicum of normality. The converts also included Muslims and Jews.

‘Dr. Trasta Breganka Kunha, a Catholic citizen of Goa writes, “In spite of all the mutilations and concealment of history, it remains an undoubted fact that religious conversion of Goans is due to methods of force adopted by the Portuguese to establish their rule. As a result of this violence the character of our people was destroyed. The propagation of Christian sect in Goa came about not by religious preaching but through the methods of violence and pressure. If any evidence is needed for this fact, we can obtain it through law books, orders and reports of the local rulers of that time and also from the most dependable documents of the Christian sect.”

—as quoted in T.R. De Souza, The Goa Inquisition.

The Inquisition, established in the old palace of the Adil Shah and called the ‘Big House’, prohibited a horde of practices—mainly all forms of ‘irregular’ worship and retention of any non-Christian customs by the converts. The Hindu converts were prone to adopt and adapt some of their traditional customs such as, cooking rice without salt; refusing to eat pork; arranging feasts at funerals; strewing flowers at weddings and many others. These age-old rituals were prohibited by petty laws and mundane rules, crafted by the Christian priests and enforced by government officials. Law breakers, actual and imagined, were brought before the Inquisition and subjected to inhuman torture and in most cases, final death.

The Inquisition in Goa was abolished in 1774, by which time 16,172 cases had been investigated by the committee. It was revived four years later in 1778, in a less draconian form, before being finally abolished in 1812. Immediately after its stoppage, most of the records pertaining to the activities of the Inquisition were deliberately destroyed—proof, if it is required, that even the church feared the repercussions if the true nature and ruthlessness of the Inquisition was brought to light. Since only a very small part of the records exist, it impossible to determine with any accuracy the number of ‘heretics’ who were burned at the stake, or the greater numbers that died in the dungeons. However, it is an unquestionable fact that unaccounted thousands, both Christians and non-Christians alike, perished during the more than one century of cruel persecution and torture for real and imagined transgressions against the Church and Christianity.

The Story of Gabriel Dellon

Gabriel Dellon was a French doctor practising in Goa when he was asked by the Governor to bleed his son as the cure for some illness. To carry out the bleeding, a common enough treatment of the time, Dellon asked the boy to remove an amulet, an ivory figure of St Antony, which the boy refused to do saying that the amulet would protect him. Dr Gabriele Dellon unwisely upbraided the boy for believing in superstitions.

Dellon was captured by the Inquisition in 1674, in the fort of Daman and transported to Goa for trial. He spent the next two years being interrogated and regularly tortured, the conditions being so bad that he even attempted suicide. Eventually, he was sentenced to five years in the galleys and shipped as a prisoner to Portugal. He was released in 1677 at the intercession of one of his friends, who happened to be the French physician to the Portuguese Queen.

Gabriel Dellon then wrote an extensive account of the Inquisition in Goa, an extract of his book, as reproduced in Roy Moxham’s The Theft of India, is given below:

“During the months of November and December, I every morning heard the cries of those to whom torture was administered, and which was inflicted so severely, that I have seen many persons of both sexes who have been crippled by it and, among others, the first companion allotted to me in my prison.

No distinction of rank, age or sex are attended to in this tribunal. Every individual is treated with equal severity; and when the interest of the Inquisition requires it, all alike are tortured in almost perfect nudity.”  

The Portuguese priests went to extremes to suppress Hinduism and eradicate the ceremonies that signified its existence, even outside their territorial jurisdiction. Whenever and wherever possible they used soldiers and cavalry to demolish Hindu temples and desecrate Hindu holy places by sprinkling cow’s blood over those places. These actions made the affected place unclean for Hindus to worship at and could be annexed for other purposes. The audacity of a small and impoverished trading nation to carry out such atrocities against the majority population, without fear of retaliation raises some fundamental questions. The answers are not readily available and perhaps needs an introspection of great calibre by serious socio-religious thinkers, to arrive at a satisfactory explanation for this travesty of justice—how and why it was permitted to happen for centuries. The questions that readily come to the fore are:

  • Were the Hindus of the Western Coast already subdued to an extent that the Portuguese oppression was accepted as yet another process imposed on them, however cruel it might have been?
  • If the answer to the above is affirmative, then what was the great Vijayanagara Empire doing to uplift the Hindus of the region, as a champion of Hinduism against the onslaught of Islam? Or did they have their hands full defending their own country against the continuous battering of the Muslim Shahi kingdoms on their borders? If so, is the greatness of the Vijayanagara Empire being exaggerated in the modern recounting of Indian history?
  • Had the Muslim rulers and their harsh imposition of Islam on the local population subjugated them to an extent that the callous treatment meted out by the Portuguese did not seem to be ‘harsh’ as such?
  • Did the Portuguese atrocities affect only a relatively small region and small number of people, which was minor in nature and therefore was not of consequence in the broader sweep of Indian history?

Whatever the reasons for the docile reaction to Portuguese atrocities, the fact remains that the Inquisition unleashed in Goa and other places for nearly 150 years does not find serious mention in the broader historical narrative or recordings of India. With the deliberate destruction of the documents relating to this period by the Catholic church, the incident remains in the fringes of history, an almost forgotten appendage. However, the Inquisition imposed in Goa is a disturbing reminder of the history of persecution that the Hindus suffered in their own country and signifies the struggles that the Hindus had to go through to maintain their identity and culture. The Inquisition must be remembered as a marker of Portuguese bigotry, arrogance and wanton oppression of the Hindus.

© [Sanu Kainikara] [2023]
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No part of this website/Blog or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author. You may quote extracts from the website or forward the link to the website with attribution to http://www.sanukay.wordpress.com/. For any other mode of sharing, please contact the author @ (sanukay@hotmail.com)

About Sanu Kainikara

Sainik School Kazhakuttam (Kerala), National Defence Academy 39/A, 108 Pilot's Course IAF, fighter pilot, QFI, FCL, psc, HACC, Voluntary Retirement as Wing Commander. Canberra-based Political and Defence Analyst specialising in military strategy, national security, and international politics. PhD in International Politics from University of Adelaide Executive Masters in Public Adminsitration (ANZSOG) Adjunct Professor, University of New South Wales, Distinguished Fellow Institute For Regional Security (IFRS) Distinguished Fellow Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS)

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