As we all know that we got independence on 15th August 1947, but it was a long struggle which later shaped our foreign policy as well.
Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, who was our first P.M after independence has a major role in formulating our foreign policy. Although we can’t say the foreign policy of India was a reflection of just one person’s thought but still, we can safely say Pt. Nehru’s contribution was bigger as a P.M.
There are a number of factors which affects our foreign policy like Geography, History&Tradition, Social Structure, Political Organisation, International Milieu, Economic Position, Military Strength, Public Opinion&leadrership.
Due to the colonial pain, India has faced for so long time our leadership has learned some big lessons, which later helped them regarding the formulation of foreign policies of India as a sovereign state.
We all know we got independence after the second world war(1939-45). At that time the world was divided into two blocs- US bloc and USSR bloc. It is referred to in our history as an era of the cold war. It was an ideological war in which USSR was leading communist bloc and the capitalist bloc was headed by the USA.
At that time when all the countries were living in constant pressure of joining either bloc, India preferred NAM over joining any of them. Now you must be thinking- What is NAM?
NAM is a short form of NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT. It means we have chosen to not be a part of any camp at that time. Now you can think of the risks associated with that step. Our country just got freedom, have been divided into two, have little resources to support our big population but still, our leadership decided to not join any camp. Why it was so? Had we not needed them at that time of crisis, or were we confident enough to conquer any adversaries all alone? The answer is no, our leaders had known that very well that’s why in 1956, PM Nehru along with Yugoslavia’s President Josip Broz Tito, Egypt’s second president Gamal Abdel Naseer signed a declaration, for the formation of new world order in form of NAM. NAM was basically a group of independent nations who were not willing to be a part of either bloc.
India’s foreign policy has always been included-
- Promotion of World Peace
- Anti Colonialism
- Anti Racialism
PM Nehru also signed a treaty with China, which embodied the principles of Panchsheel. It was signed in 1954 and was regarding Tibet. It included:-
- Mutual Respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
- equality and mutual benefit, and
- peaceful co-existence
Here in this blog, we will only talk about the elements which affect our foreign policy we can’t go in detail about each and every policy but will tell you about the major doctrines of Indian Foreign policies which are considered as a milestone in nation’s growth and changed the course of international dynamics as well.
Our Foreign Policies has always been biased towards the Afro-Asian countries, mainly because of the shared history of exploitations. India played major role in the independence of Indonesia in 1955. India played an active role in the Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, Indonesia.
India always supported the international institutions which have advocated peace and prosperity in the world. India became a member of UNO in 1945 itself with its establishment. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit of India was elected President of UN General Assembly in 1953. India has also made a contribution in peacekeeping forces who works in peace and rehabilitation processes. Indian peacekeeping forces have taken part as peacekeeping forces in Korea, Congo, El Salvador, Cambodia, Angola, Somalia, and many more countries.
India has strongly favored the disarmament. India has always opposed the arms race, stockpiling of nuclear weapons, chemical, and biological weapons. India didn’t sign the NPT in 1968 and CTBT in 1996 due to the discriminatory and hegemonistic nature of these treaties.
If we are talking about Foreign Policy and didn’t discuss the Gujral Doctrine then how can it be completed? I.K Gujral was foreign minister during the tenure of H.D Devegowda in 1996. This policy was initiated/formulated by him in his tenure as FM/EAM. It strongly advocates the unilateral concessions to our small neighbors, on the basis of non-reciprocity. He suggested that as we face two hostile countries in our North as well as west, we have to be at total peace with the rest of the neighbors to contain China and Pakistan’s misadventures in the region.
Our Nuclear Policy, which was adopted in 2003 strongly supports “No First Use”. It says we will use them only in case of an attack on India and in retaliation.
India has also launched the “Connect Central Asia” Policy in 2012. Purpose of this initiative is to bring central asian countries closer. Countries like, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are part of it. The objective is to engage with them in strategic talks, defense partnership, P2P engagement, Infra Projects and other developmental co-operation to increase engagement in multiple domains.
In 2014, Modi government upgraded the “Look East Policy” and renamed it as “Act East Policy”. PM Modi has further focussed on accelerating the processes between India and East Asean Nations. It also has provisions to strenghten the NE region of our country, focusses on the extended neighborhood in the Asia-Pacific region. It has also provided it with the political, strategic and cultural dimensions to refresh our relationship with countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and Singapore. Connectivity of NE states with ASEAN countries is also a major priority of the government.
So, we have gone through the major foreign policy of India from Independence till now. Hope you must have got to learn lots of new things in this blog. For regular fresh contents, you can subscibe to our blog.
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