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Lesson – 9

INDIA’S FOREIGN POLICY

Learning Objectives

1. Pupil understands the main features of India’s foreign policy.


2. Pupil acquires knowledge about Panch Sheel.
3. Pupil learns about Non-alignment policy.
4. Pupil understands the importance of Regional Co-operation.
5. Pupil knows India’s relationship with her neighbours and
other countries.

A country’s relation with the other countries of the world is


known as her External Relations. The External relation of a country is
based on certain principles and policies. They are collectively called as
External Policy or Foreign Policy. The involvement of a country on
the basis of such policy in world matters is known as the Role of that
country in World Affairs.
India’s foreign policy was evolved with the background of her
colonial sufferings. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India,
was the chief architect of India’s foreign policy. 1. Promotion of World
Peace, 2. Anti-Colonialism, 3. Anti-Imperialism, 4. Anti-Racialism,
5. Panch Sheel, 6. Non-Alignment, 7. Good Neighbourhood,
8. Regional Co-operation, 9. Role in the Common Wealth and
10. Anti-Terrorism became the main features of India’s foreign policy
since 1947.
1. Promotion of World Peace : India believes in the United Nations
Organisation’s principle of Peace and Development. Without
peace there is no progress of mankind. India is a member of the
U.N.O. from 1945. Nehru’s sister Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit
was the first woman President of the U.N. General Assembly
(1953 – 54). As a member of the U.N.O. India played an active
role in reducing world tension when there was a war between
North Korea and South Korea in 1950, during the Indo-China
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Crisis in 1954, the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Cango problem (1960
– 64) and the Angolan Crisis. India sent her military forces to help
the U.N. maintain peace in Congo, Angola, Gaza and Cyprus.
India lent her full support to the U.N. in resolving the Gulf Crisis in
1991.
2. Anti-Colonialism : India suffered a lot under the colonial rule of
the British. India knew the evils of economic exploitation under
colonialism. Therefore she did not want the continuation of
colonialism in any part of the world under any form. She was
interested particularly in the de-colonisation of the Asian, African
and Latin American countries. Hence anti-colonialism became
one of the main features of her foreign policy.
3. Anti-Imperialism : India was conscious of the serious
consequences of imperialism by the West. Conquest,
annexation and administration of a weak country by a
powerful nation is called imperialism. Imperialism was one of
the major causes for the First and Second World Wars (1914 – 18
and 1939 – 45). Since India was worst affected during these wars
and got independence immediately after the Second World War,
she was opposed to imperialism wherever it existed and in
whatever form. The Economic Imperialism of the advanced
countries is worst than the earlier form of imperialism. India is
always opposed to any form of imperialism.
4. Anti-Racialism : The Western countries practised racialism.
They treated the Asian and African people as inferior. They did
not accept the racial equality of the Asians when Japan fought for
it in 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference. However, the rise of
Japan and China put an end to their superior attitude. Gandhi
fought against it in South Africa before he involved in India’s
freedom movement. Inspite of it the South African White
Government followed the ‘Apartheid’ policy against the blacks.
India had raised this issue for the first time in the U.N.O. in 1946.
It was due to the continuous struggle of Nelson Mandela and
constant moral support of India that the ‘Apartheid’ policy has
been dismantled recently.
5. Panch Sheel : India and China are neighbours in Asia. There
existed historical and traditional relations between these two
countries for several centuries. After China became a Communist
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State in 1949, India moved closer
with her. There was the visit of
Nehru to China and China’s Prime
Minister Chou-En-Lai to India.
Both countries had entered into an
agreement in 1954 on the basis of
Five Principles, called the Panch
Sheel. They were : 1. Mutual
respect for each others’ territorial
integrity and sovereignty, 2. Mutual
non-aggression, 3. Mutual non-
interference in each others internal
matters, 4 Equality and mutual Nehru and Chou-En-Lai
benefits, and 5. Peaceful Co-
existence.
These principles were accepted by as many as 29 Afro-Asian
countries which took part in the Bandung Conference held in
Indonesia in 1955. Even now these principles are relevant in
good neighbourly relations.
6. Non-Alignment : The word ‘non-aligned’ was coined by
V.K. Krishna Menon. Jawaharlal Nehru made it the basic concept
of India’s foreign policy. After the Second World War, the United
States and the former Soviet Union (Russia) had been engaged
in Cold Wars, Arms-race, building of nuclear weapons and
forming military blocs. The Capitalist United States backed the
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the South
East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). Communist Russia
backed the Warsaw Pact countries in the West and Communist
China in the East. It created a great threat to world security and
peace. India did not want to join in any of the blocs. She did not
want to ally with any country. This is known as non-alignment. It
does not mean neutrality. It means independent course of
action in international issues. India wanted the newly
independent African and Asian countries to follow this policy.
There was good support for this policy in the Bandung
Conference. Countries which accepted this policy came closer. It
became a movement, called the Non-Alignment Movement
(NAM). India’s Nehru, Yugoslavia’s Tito, Indonesia’s Sukarno
and Egypt’s Nasser became the chief exponents of this policy.
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They conducted the first conference of NAM at Belgrade in
Yugoslavia in 1961. The second conference was held at Cairo in
Egypt in 1964. At this conference Lal Bahadur Shastri spelt out
this policy’s positive programme. They are (1) Nuclear
Disarmament, (2) Peaceful settlement of border disputes, (3)
Freedom from foreign domination, aggression, subversion and
racial discrimination, (4) Speeding up of economic development
through international co-operation and (5) Full support for the
United Nations and its programme for ‘peace and development.’
The non-aligned countries acted as a third bloc in the U.N.O. The
developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America which
supported the reasonable arguments of the non-aligned countries
came to be known as Third World Countries. About 12 summits
have been conducted by NAM in the 20th Century. There are
more than 112 countries as members of this movement. This
movement is still relevant in the multi-polarised world to protect
peace and security.
7. Good Neighbourhood Policy : India always wanted to have
good neighbourly relations with China, Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma) and Maldives. India
has entered into regional cooperation with these neighbours.
I.K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India, spelt out the Five
Principles of India’s ‘neighbourhood’ policy in 1996. They are :
(1) Non-Reciprocal treatment, (2) Respect for territorial integrity,
(3) Non-interference in the internal affairs, (4) No use of territory
by any State against the interests of another, and (5) Direct talks
to settle disputes. This is known as the Gujral Doctrine.
8. Regional Co-operation through SAARC : India believes in
regional co-operation. Bangladesh came forward to work with
India. The South Asian countries formed an associaltion called,
the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
(SAARC). Its first meeting was held at Dacca in Bangladesh in
December 1985. Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, became its
headquarters from 1986. (1) India, (2) Bangladesh, (3) Pakistan,
(4) Nepal, (5) Bhutan, (6) Sri Lanka, and (7) Maldives are the 7
members now. The aim of this Association is to help each other in
the social, economic and cultural fields. It has no political agenda.
The members have agreed to co-operate in areas such as water,
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energy, communication, transport, environment, transit, tourism,
trade, investment etc. They signed a trade agreement called the
South Asian Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA) in 1993.
So far 12 submit meetings have been held. India is keenly
interested in co-operating with her neighbours to maintain peace
and stability in the region.
9. Role in Commonwealth : The former colonies of England had
trade and cultural contacts. They formed the commonwealth.
India became a member of it. Commonwealth countries co-
operate in the fields of education, science, technology and
culture. India did not want to cut off her relations with these
countries.
10. Anti-Terrorism : Terrorist bodies and terrorism has become a
threat to peace now. India is opposed to terrorism. India is always
willing to cooperate with neighbours and other world countries in
the fight against terrorism at global level.
INDIA’S RELATIONS WITH HER
NEIGHBOURS AND OTHER COUNTRIES
Sino-Indian Relations : Sino-Indian relations got strained from 1957.
China picked up border quarrel with India in 1959. She sent her troops
to suppress a revolt in Tibet in that year. Tibet’s Dalai Lama fled to
India. China prepared for a war. She invaded India in 1962. India
suffered reverses in the war. There was no cordial relationship
between India and China till 1976. Former Prime Minister and Late
Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in 1988 brought normalcy in the relations.
India and China signed three Agreements in that year for Co-
operation in Science and Technology, Air Service and Cultural
Exchange. Another Agreement on Peace and Tranquility was signed
in 1993. The former Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited India in
1996. China and India signed four Agreements on Confidence
Building Measures on that occasion. There is steady improvement of
Sino-Indian relations.
Relations with Pakistan : The wounds of partition took a long time to
heal between India and Pakistan. Kashmir became the hotspot and
bone of contention. Its ruler and people joined with India. But the
Kashmiri aspirants in Pakistan made futile the peace process. Foreign
intriguers add fuel to their fire. There were wars in 1948, 1965, 1971
and the Kargil war in 1999. The Tashkant Agreement 1966 and the
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Simla Agreement 1972 provide for dialogue and settlement of issues
through peaceful negotiation. People of these countries have no illwill
except the Governments and the intriguers.
India and Sri Lanka : India and Sri Lanka are good neighbours. Sri
Lanka always supported India on just and reasonable grounds. Except
the ethnic Tamils problem which led to sending of the Indian Peace
Keeping Force in 1990 (IPKF), India Sri Lanka relations are smooth.
Relations with other Countries : Indo-U.S. relations was not
impressive till 1973. The U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
visited India in 1974. Since then co-operation in trade, science and
technology exist between these two countries. India maintained good
contacts with Russia from 1953. India got help from Russia, France,
Germany and England to build her steel plants. There has been
increasing co-operation between Japan, South Korea, Malaysia,
Singapore and other countries in Asia and India. India has also
maintained good contact with African, Middle East, Canada, Australia
and Latin American countries.
Learning Outcome

1. Pupil will explain the main features of India’s foreign policy.


2. Pupil will be able to describe the Panch Sheel and non-
alignment policy.
3. Pupil will be able to discuss Sino-Indian relations.
4. Pupil will define the Gujral Doctrine.
5. Pupil will outline India’s relation with other countries.

Self – Evaluation

I. Choose the correct answer


1. India became a member of the U.N.O. in
a. 1944 b. 1945
c. 1947 d. 1946
2. Apartheid was practiced in
a. South Africa b. Asia
c. China d. Africa
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3. The first non-aligned conference was held at
a. Cairo b. Dacca
c. Belgrade d. Jakarta
4. The headquarters of SAARC is
a. Dacca b. Kathmandu
c. Male d. New Delhi
II. Fill in the blanks
1. The Bandung Conference was held in the year ___________
2. Panch Sheel consists of ___________ Principles.
3. The expansion for SAARC is ________ _________ ________
4. Sino-Indian war took place in the year ___________
5. The Kargil war took place in the year ___________
III. Match the following
1. Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit -- 1985
2. SAARC -- 1996
3. SAPTA -- Yugoslavia
4. Tito -- 1996
5. Gujral Doctrine -- First Women President of
the U.N. General Assembly.
IV. Answer briefly
1. What is meant by imperialism?
2. Who were the chief exponents of the non-alignment
movement?
3. Name the member countries of the SAARC.
4. Expand SAPTA
5. When did Rajiv Gandhi Visit China?
V. Answer in detail
1. Explain India’s foreign policy.
2. Describe the relations of India with neighbours and other
countries.
VI. Practical exercise
1. Mark on the outline map India’s neighbour countries.
2. Ask pupil to collect pictures of Nehru, Chou-Enllai, Tito,
Nasser and other world leaders who visited India.
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