Before the 15th of August, 1947, India had no foreign policy, for she was under the domination of a foreign power. Indian politicians and public leaders, in an unofficial way, discussed the matter but the discussion was merely an intellectual exercise and had no impact on the policy of the country. With the achievement of independence, India has come in grip of foreign affairs. She has to maintain diplomatic relations with the other nations of the world and has to adopt a definite policy in the international sphere.
The world is changing fast, so foreign policy must change
In a fast-changing world, it is not possible to define exactly the foreign policy of a nation. Truly speaking, foreign policy is a constant at tempt to adjust and accommodate the changing conditions. Thus foreign policy is necessarily an ever changing and evolutionary process.
Basis principles of India’s foreign policy
In spite of the fast changing trend of the world politics every nation has to base her foreign policy on certain broad principles and general outlook in foreign affairs. In this respect, India has expressed her foreign policy in a clear cut way. There are three basic principles of India’s foreign policy. Firstly, India has to maintain peaceful and friendly relations; secondly India will oppose imperialism and racial discrimination and thirdly, India will remain neutral by means of non-alignment.
India’s opposition to imperialism and racial discrimination
India regards imperialism and racial discrimination, a potential threat to world peace and harmony. In her opinion, imperialism or colonial rule is radically wrong, a denial of human rights. That is why, she took a leading role in resolving the Indonesian dispute and always opposed the policy of racial discrimination ardently followed by the Malan Government in South Africa. India supported the cause Egypt at the time of the nationalization of the Suez canal. Many examples can be quoted to support this argument. Whenever the time has called upon India, she has vehemently but non-violently opposed imperialism and social discrimination. the of
India’s peaceful and friendly relations
India’s policy of main training peace and friendly relations with the other nations is theoretical more than it is practical. Outwardly, every nation of the world is professing the policy of peace and friendship but inwardly, all the countries find it necessary to live up with one group or the other in order to maintain a sort of political balance. India believes in and professes neutrality and refuses to be a camp-follower of either America or Russia, though she is willing to maintain friendly relations with both.
Neutrality or non-alignment
India’s policy of neutrality or non-alignment has been a point of great criticism. Each group America or Russia, thinks that though she is apparently neutral, she is secretly in league with the other. The result is that she has failed to win political allies and so she cannot cast her full weight in international deliberations. In the Kashmir dispute against Pakistan, we had to rely upon the support of Russia, otherwise we had lost the case in the United Nations. On the contrary, to tide over the food crisis, we have to knock at the door or America with an empty bag. How far is our policy of neutrality successful in view of this dual game ?
Our foreign policy put to test and failed
During the recent past our foreign policy has been put to test. Our policy of non-alignment is the legacy of Pandit Nehru which we have inherited as his political successors. We have failed to maintain, our neutrality in the conflict between U. A. R. and Israel. We, losing the balance of mind supported the case of U. A. R. and condemned Israel for no helps of ours. Though his policy of supporting one and opposing the other has pleased the Muslim population of India, yet it has as bad consequences. We could have expressed our views in a believed way. We have forgotten that Israel supported us in United Nations and U.A.R. keep quiet and Iran criticized us when Pakistan attacked us. By condemning Israel, we have stained our Nations with Britain and the U.S.A. In the present situation of the world, our foreign policy his miserably failed.
Though Pandit Nehru believed in the policy of non-alignment, yet he was towards the Russian block. When Russia crushed the movement in Hungry cruelly, Pt. Nehru maintained silence and did not condemn suppression and oppression as a true champion of human liberty, equality and fraternity. For this he was discussed and criticized in the world. The Western countries acted with wisdom and foresight when China made in unprovoked aggression on India by giving unconditional support to India. Our foreign policy, in the light of the present situation of the world needs complete reorientation. We have to think over whether we should be trumpeter of U. A. R. or not. Many politicians are of the opinion that we should join the Western block but the majority of them oppose it. However, with the present change in Government at Center we may be more inclined towards the Western block. Some are of the opinion that neutrality is a dream. In case a war breaks out on a large scale again on the soil of India, she will have to take step for her defense by active military alliance with some power. Besides, it is absurd to talk absolutely equal friendliness with every nation in the world. That is not practically possible. Geography, trade, economic considerations, cultural association – these and a number of other factors are bound to bring India closer to certain nations than to others.