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Foreign policy of india.
When India became independent on August 15, 1947, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became her first Prime Minister. For long seventeen years (1947-1964), he remained in power and during this long period he was the central figure of India’s foreign policy making. It was Nehruji who framed and guided the Foreign Policy of India.
To Pandit Nehru non-alignment was the corner stone of India’s foreign policy. He adopted this policy for various reasons, which may be divided into material and immaterial or spiritual reasons. The geographical and economic condition of India just after independence served as the material reasons for his favoring the policy of non-alignment. India’s next door neighbour on one side is People’s Republic of China and on the other is Pakistan, the arch enemy of India since her very emancipation from the British yoke. Nehru could easily realize that if India joins any of these two blocks, she would bring the rage of the other on her. It was indeed a crucial problem for the newly independent India and so he had chosen the path of non-alignment.
Moreover, in order to guard her saturated post-independent economic condition India seriously needed the co-operation of both the big powers, U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. and their satellites the developed countries of Europe. Her entry into one bloc would not only make the members of the other bloc hostile to her interest but also might jeopardize her very independence. For this economic consideration India was really interested to extend her trade relation with the other countries of the world irrespective of their ideological difference.
The spiritual cause was also there. Traditionally India was always against imperialism as because she had the bitter experience of colonial rule. That was why India shook off all pressure from within and without and remained non-aligned. Moreover, from the core of his heart Nehru believed that both the ideologies—capitalism and communism have some good qualities and merits and as such it would be unjust to accept one and discard the other. Hence through his policy of nonalignment he wanted to bring solidarity among the people of India who had different religious faith, language, culture and life style. His adherence to the policy of non-alignment thus served the purpose of national integration.
Nehru was against all military alliances balance of power and mad rush for exhibiting military strength. Hence he declared that the policy of non-alignment came to signify a refusal to be mere political and economic appendages of the centers of military, political and economic power. We are in no camp, he said, “and in no military alliance. The only camp we should like to be in is the camp of peace which should include as many countries as possible.”
Hence he stood against the principles of imperialism colonialism non-colonialism and the apartheid policy. At that time, the apartheid policy followed by the South African government run by the white people had created great commotion throughout the world. Instead he had dreamt of creating Asian unity and it was for him that the first Asian States Conference held in India. In order to make cordial relationship with China he had propagated jointly with China the ideology of Panchashila’ which categorically declared that it would be the duty of the Asian states to extend mutual respect for the geographical unity and sovereignty of the other state not to interfere into the internal affairs of the other state, to respect equality of all, to extend mutual advantages and to promote peaceful co-existence.
It was mainly on his initiative the Asian countries met in the Bandung Conference. His policy of non-alignment soon received so much appreciation from the newly emancipated Afro-Asian and Latin-American countries that joined it unhesitatingly. Soon it took the shape of a movement—the nonaligned movement (NAM) which even be two powerful blocks of capitalism and communism of USA and USSR respectively had to respect. The movement was headed by Nehru, Tito and Naser and it aimed at democratizing the international relation and to establish equality based state order of high standard. He established cordial relationship with USSR (the then) and the West European democratic countries and joined the Common-wealth, though he showed less attention towards India’s relationship with the South-East Asian countries yet he was a staunch advocate of international peace and co-operation and pleaded for disarmament. However during the fag end of his premiership in 1962, China attacked India.
During the reign of his successors Lal Bahadur Sastri and Mrs. Indira Gandhi India was twice attacked by Pakistan–once in 1965 and the other in 1971. Lal Bahadur Sastri followed Nehru’s foreign policy. Smt. Gandhi was more practical and gave stress on the preservation of National interest. She made India more self-reliant and dragged her into the atomic age. She helped Bangladesh to win her freedom in 1971 and at the same time improved India’s relation with China, Pakistan and the Arab countries.
After the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi the subsequent governments under the Premiership or Mr. Morarji Desai, Mr. Rajib Gandhi, Mr. Narasimha Rao, Mr. A. B. Vajpayee, Mr. Devagauda, Mr. I.K. Gujral or Mr. Monmohan Singh kept the basic objectives of Indian Foreign policy unaltered. The cold war situation no more exists and Communist Russia is also broken. Yet India’s Foreign policy still basically stands on the platform where Mr. Nehru left it. Only slight moderations have been made and they have made the policy sounder.

Objective of Indian Foreign Policy
The foreign policy of India has some basic aims and objectives.
These aims and objectives of Indian Foreign Policy can be divided into three broad heads— 1. the central objective, 2. the intermediary objectives and 3. the distant objectives.
The most important central objectives of the foreign policy of a state are always the maintenance of national interest, national independence and sovereignty. The important intermediary objectives are the up keeping of the economic interest of the state and also to increase its power and prestige in the international field. Likewise, the important distant objectives are to shape an international system befitting the state’s dream and ideology.
The central objective of Indian foreign policy is, as such, to maintain India’s national interest. The foreign policy of India also aims at maintaining international peace and security, to oppose imperialism, to stand against the apartheid policy, to propagate the peaceful and political settlement of international disputes, to foster peaceful coexistence, to remain non-aligned and non- committed, and to maintain the unity and solidarity of the third world.
Maintenance of national interest is thus the basic objectives of India’s foreign policy. The main purpose of the foreign policy is always to give priority to the question of ensuring security from external aggression and if the question of internal security is associated with it, then that too will come under the purview of the foreign policy. The question of national development is also associated with the issue of national interest. The principal aim of Indian Foreign policy is to ensure all pervasive national economic development and to expand the area of external trade as well as of accelerating the pace of development.
In fact, the idea of national interest has a close link with the international system. If the international system becomes complicated than that may have a bad impact on the security and developmental activities of different states. That is why one of the main objectives of Indian foreign policy is to create such a congenial and favorable and international system and environment which can help her national security and developmental activities ran unhindered.
Another objective of Indian foreign policy is to maintain international peace and security. India is always eager to maintain international peace and hence always propagate for disarmament. India has requested time and again the other states to stop arm competition and organize military groupings and alliances. India also stood in the past and always stands against imperialism and this is one of the main aims of India’s foreign policy. To highlight her motto India always supported the freedom movement of various states like the people’s war in Namibia and the liberation movement of Palestine.
Likewise, India is against the policy of apartheid and she always hated it. India always stood firmly against the policy of apartheid followed by the South African government run by the white people. For this reason, India even organized a fund for helping the Front Like States against South Africa. Ultimately the policy itself lost its base and force.
Another basic objective of India’s foreign policy is to settle all international disputes through peaceful means and politically. Hence India has expressed her complete faith and allegiance to the policy and ideology declared by the UNO. In all international conflicts that carried the possibility of the breach of peace and disturbances in the International system, India always endeavored for the pacific settlement of them.
Naturally another special objective of Indian foreign policy is her faith on the policy of peaceful coexistence. The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said that the only alternative to peaceful co-existence is co-destruction. That is why India declared the principle of Panchashila which spoke of 1. Mutual respect of the state for one another’s geographical solidarity and sovereignty, 2. mutual agreement for not to interfere each other’s internal affairs, 3. maintenance of equality, 4. providing mutual advantages to each other and 5. lastly maintenance of peaceful co-existence.
In modern complex world most of the states have began to keep faith on the policy of peaceful co-existence.
Another striking objective of Indian foreign policy is her faith and maintenance of the policy of non-alignment. After the Second World War the world was divided into two poles— one was the capitalist block headed by the United States of America and the other one was the Socialist block headed by the earlier USSR now dismantled. That was the period of cold war and the world was tensed enough to witness another global war the Third World War—between these two antagonist blocks which was sure to turn it into a nuclear war. Most of the countries sided with either this block or that. But India was unwilling to lose her identity so easily and hence maintained the policy of non-alignment—a policy which gave her both prestige and position. Later on many a states of the world began to follow the Indian policy of non-alignment and thus developed the non-aligned movement better known in its short name— NAM. This has also fostered the unity and integrity of the third world and to make this unity solid by extending co-operation of all sorts among the third world countries is another objective of India’s foreign policy.
Foreignpolicy of india
Foreign Policy of India
Foreign Policy refers to the principles and considerations that lie behind a country’s international relations. Since there is an intimate connection between world events and there is also constant action and reaction, the foreign policy of each country has to be molded in accordance with new situations. It cannot remain rigid or pegged to hard and fast rules. The basic aims and principles, however, generally remain the same; the guiding factor is to ensure ultimate benefit to the nation.
The foreign policies of all nations are broadly identical in three major respects: * Every nation is concerned primarily with securing its national interests, and the foreign policy pursued must be attuned to the securing of those interests, that is to say, the country has to act in accordance with her interests in the given set of circumstances; secondly, * The commitments that a nation enters into in foreign relations are related to its capacity for fulfilling them; and, thirdly, * Every nation is interested in securing the support of world opinion on its side.
India falls in line with the rest of the world in these three respects.
The importance and urgency of framing a sound foreign policy and keeping it flexible enough to cope with all developments is obvious. The modifications and the slight shifts in policy do not reflect any inconsistency but are the results of a realistic and pragmatic approach to world affairs. Indian policy is also governed by these considerations.
Mr. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the architect of India’s foreign policy, fully subscribed to these tenets and stressed their importance on many occasions. India’s foreign policy was, therefore, based on, and has been guided by, principles which the country had accepted since independence. The principles are: peace, independence, friendship and active co-operation with all countries. All of them were enshrined in the concept of non-alignment and peaceful coexistence.
The main aspects of India’s foreign policy may be briefly stated as follows: 1. The policy of non-alignment which really means the pursuit of an independent foreign policy and the avoidance of entanglements with power blocs; 2. The country’s desire to follow the Indian tradition that the right means must be adopted to achieve the desired ends; 3. Full support to the principle of freedom of dependent peoples and opposition to racial discrimination in any form or kind; and 4. Co-operation with all peace-loving nations and with the United Nations to promote international peace and prosperity without exploitation of one nation by another.
The essentials of India’s foreign policy, therefore, represent the attempt to adjust ourselves to the changing world situation in our national interest and in the interest of world peace. Since foreign policy is ultimately the outcome of economic policy, the evolution of a sound economic policy is indispensable if the foreign policy is not to be vague, imprecise and groping.
Early Phases
In the first phase the accent in India’s foreign policy was on noninterference. Having just won freedom and being primarily concerned with putting our own house in order we were anxious to avoid entanglements in world affairs. While we supported any movement in favour of independence, welcomed the emergence of new independent States and give them our full moral support, we tried not to get too deeply involved in world affairs. Circumstances did on certain occasions force us to get involved, as in Korea, but there our involvement was as a member of the United Nations at least in the beginning. It was only later that we were forced to play a more active role, but that was under pressure of circumstances. In this phase India’s foreign policy was sometimes accused of leaning towards the Anglo-American bloc. But it has to be realized that in this period the Soviet Union under Stalin’s leadership had not yet adopted a positive approach towards non-alignment and Indian foreign policy was constantly under attack by the Soviet press as being subservient to foreign imperialism.
India’s desire to avoid getting involved in conflicts did not however prevent her from taking a keen interest in the national liberation struggles that were going on in various parts of the world. As one of the largest among the dependent countries which had just won freedom, India made no secret of her intention to support those who were struggling for independence against colonial rule. Enlargement of human freedom thus became one of our policy objectives.
Ever since 1947 when India became independent, she has taken an active part in the work of the United Nations.
Bilateral Relations
Lately, greater emphasis is being laid on developing bilateral relations, especially with countries in South-East Asia, on the basis of equality and mutual co-operation. Fresh contacts have been made with the countries of this region and old contacts are being renewed so as to strengthen the diplomatic ties.
India is trying to be of assistance to the healthy trends that are now emerging in S.E. Asia. The forces of nationalism and genuine patriotism are being recognized and encouraged by extending to them all possible assistance. For instance, the Government of India has been discussing plans to help South-East Asian countries to reconstruct the economy.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India has paid goodwill visits to several neighboring countries. There is now a clear realization that the Indian strategy of self-reliance warrants closer ties with India’s neighbours in particular and with all countries of the Third World in general. Among these countries are the oil-rich nations of West Asia and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe which constitute part of the Soviet bloc.
The country’s interest lies in promoting confidence and mutuality of interests between Indo-China and the other S.E. Asian States. This region has thus become very important for India diplomatically.
India and Indonesia
India has lately strengthened its diplomatic relations with Indonesia also. It reflected the growth of cordial co-operation in recent years, with both New Delhi and Jakarta having an identity of outlook on many important regional and international issues. They share the interest in peace. The bilateral co-operation between India and Indonesia has now a broader basis. Both countries which had very close relations in the early Nehru-Sukarno decade are rediscovering each other. This is expected to benefit Asia and also the forces working for world peace.
Similarly, India has established friendly relations with Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Indo-Pak Relations
India’s ties with Pakistan are naturally of the utmost importance because the peace of the Indian sub-continent hinges upon them. Frequent tensions, misunderstandings and occasional conflicts have marred Indo-Pak relations since the partition of 1947.
Under the Simla Agreement there were to be exchanges for cultural and scientific purposes. The two countries have agreed to hold further discussions on these measures in due course.
On June 21, 1976, India and Pakistan announced the appointment of Ambassadors to each other’s country in implementation of the May 14 agreement.
With Afghanistan, Pakistan’s next door northern neighbour, India has maintained cordial relations throughout. There areas of conflicts of interests are marginal. The high-level visits have frequently been exchanged.
India and Bangladesh
India and Bangladesh have maintained the most cordial relations ever after the establishment of the new sovereign republic on December 16, 1971. The Prime Ministers of the two countries signed a number of agreements from time to time. They pledged the fullest co-operation and mutual accommodation befitting good neighborliness. India and Bangladesh had signed, on March 19, 1972, a 25-year treaty of friendship, co-operation and peace. The treaty provided that the two countries would remain in close touches on all matters of common interest and held regular consultations at least once every six months. Another clause provided that when either country is attacked or threatened with an attack, both will enter into consultations and take effective measures to eliminate the threat. India and Bangladesh signed a three-year trade agreement which came into force from September 28, 1973, and also signed (on May 16, 1974) three agreements for industrial development of Bangladesh. Under the Border Demarcation Agreement the Berubari enclave was to be retained in India; Bangladesh would get two enclaves and also a corridor to connect them. On April 18, 1975, the two countries signed the long-awaited agreement on Farakka. It provided an outstanding example of mutual understanding and co-operation in the development of international river waters.
India has not interfered in any way in Bangladesh’s internal affairs, but it cannot ignore the grave developments taking place there since these directly affect this country’s interests. India has expressed the fear that the instability developing in Bangladesh could have political, economic as well as security implications for India.
Another setback to New Delhi-Dacca relations resulted from Bangladesh’s successful move in getting the Farakka issue placed on U.N. Assembly agenda in October 1976. Bangladesh leaders ignored India’s repeated plea that the issue was a bilateral one and could best be settled by mutual talks. Evidently Bangladesh sought propaganda advantages by internationalizing the Farakka issue.
India and Nepal
India and Nepal are also bound by cultural and linguistic ties. Indo-Nepalese relations have, however, witnessed many vicissitudes. India has throughout extended its hand of friendship to Nepal which occupies a strategic position since it lies between India and China. High-level personal contacts have been maintained almost constantly and India has extended liberal economic aid to its close neighbour.
A number of agreements have been signed in the past by India and Nepal for mutual co-operation in many spheres, including the harnessing of hydro-electric potential of rivers.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has recently visited Nepal in the Month of August, 2014.
Ties with Sri Lanka
India also has ancient historical and cultural ties with Sri Lanka. The relations between the two countries have been generally cordial and both have acted as good neighbors at international forums, adopting a common stand on all major issues. A breakthrough in the problem of the people of Indian origin living in Ceylon was made by the Lal Bahadur Shastri-Mrs. Bandaranaike agreement of 1964. The Sri Lanka Prime Minister visited India in January 1974 and reached an understanding on the issue of granting citizenship rights to Indians.
The two Prime Ministers reviewed the implementation of the U.N. declaration of December 1971 on keeping the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and expressed concern at the big power rivalry in the region. Their close identity of views on international issues was again stressed. The dispute over the island of Kachchativu (Katchatheevu), which had remained unresolved for many years, was settled in 1974. On June 27, 1974, the Government of India announced that a comprehensive agreement had been reached on the problem “in a spirit of equality and mutual respect”. In effect, Sri Lanka was given control of the territory as a gesture of goodwill.
With Bhutan India has maintained close relations. Under the treaty of 1949, the foreign relations of Bhutan are managed by India. There has been complete identity of views between the two countries.
Indo-Russia Relations
From among the big powers, India has had an especially cordial relationship with the then Soviet Union (U.S.S.R) which is widely regarded as a trustworthy friend of the Indian people. The Soviet Union has come to India’s aid on many crucial occasions when the other powers seemed to be hostile.
INS Vikramaditya, the biggest warship of Indian Navy, is the result of high level deal between Russia and India.
Relations with China
India’s relations with China were quite cordial during the long years of Panch Sheel (peaceful co-existence) and “Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai”.
But India received a rude shock in 1962 when the Chinese suddenly invaded India and seized thousands of miles of Indian Territory in the northern Himalayas. For 14 years thereafter, the relations remained strained. Chinese hostility during those years was also due to India’s close friendship with the Soviet Union—a country which China regards as its biggest enemy.
On April 15, 1976, India announced the appointment of Mr. K.R. Narayanan, a top Indian diplomat, as Ambassador to China as part of an initiative to normalize relations with that country. External Affairs Minister Y.B. Chavan explained that the decision to restore the level of diplomatic representation with China was taken in pursuance of India’s policy to develop amicable relations with all countries, especially her neighbours.
Signs of a change in the attitude of China towards India became evident at the beginning of 1969 when China began sending its envoys to Indian diplomatic functions and inviting Indian diplomats to some of its own functions in world capitals.
India and China should have the same old friendship that they once had.
Another important event that took place in 1971 was the Chinese invitation for an Indian table-tennis team to participate in the Afro-Asian Friendship Table-Tennis championships. India sent a team which was well received.
A leading Chinese personality to pass through India was the then Vice-Premier Chen Hsi-lien on his way to Kathmandu in February 1975. He said then that China would reciprocate if the Government of India took the initiative for talks to normalize relations between the two countries. The announcement was seen in Peking as the first major sign of a thaw in Sino-Indian relations.
Both countries are trying to make “positive efforts” towards improving relations between India and China.
Indo-U.S. Ties
For several years after India’s independence, owing to a multiplicity of reasons, India’s relations with the U.S.A. had been strained, though there have been periods of cordiality also.
But since 1991, there has been increasing co-operation between India and U.S.A. Now, India and U.S.A are considered to be friendly countries.
During the last few years, efforts have been renewed to further improve Indo-U.S. ties. U.S. leaders have again held out assurances of friendship.
Relations with Iran and Arab countries
With Iran also, India has amended its fences after a longish spell of misunderstandings. In April 1974, Mrs. Gandhi visited Teheran, and the Shah and the Shahbano returned the courtesy visit. Fruitful negotiations had been held at the highest level and economic co-operation agreements were signed between the two countries.
With Arab countries India has always sought the best of relations and has supported them on every major issue at international forums.
India had also to build up her bilateral relations with all the countries in South-East Asia and the world.…...

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