Soon after Independence, the first commander-in-chief of the Indian armed forces, General Sir Robert Lockhart, presented a paper outlining a plan for the growth of the Indian Army to Prime Minister Nehru. Nehru’s reply:
‘We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. You can scrap the army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.’
Nehru didn’t waste much time. On September 16, 1947, he directed that the army’s then strength of 280,000 be brought down to 150,000. Even in fiscal 1950-51, when the Chinese threat had begun to loom large on the horizon, 50,000 army personnel were sent home as per his original plan to disband the armed forces.
He realized his folly (a bit too late) after the debacle of china war. In 1963, he said in Rajya Sabha
"I remember many a time when our senior generals came to us, and wrote to the defence ministry saying that they wanted certain things... If we had had foresight, known exactly what would happen, we would have done something else... what India has learnt from the Chinese invasion is that in the world of today there is no place for weak nations... We have been living in an unreal world of our own creation."
Unfortunately, even then he refused to personally take responsibility of the debacle, he took umbrage behind the collective decision (he used we instead of i)