Chapter : 11
What Are India’s Foreign Policy ?
- The foreign policy of India is guided by the principles laid down in Article 51.
- The India State will make efforts towards maintaining international peace and security also make efforts to maintain just relations with the other nations. India will show its respect for the international law and will fulfil its obligations under the treaties signed by it.
Nehru And Non Alignment Policy
- Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India and apart from this he was also the first foreign minister of India.
- There were three major objectives of his foreign policy. His first objective was to preserve the sovereignty of India. The second objective of Nehru was to ensure the territorial integrity of India and the third was to bring rapid economic development in India. These three visions guided his foreign policies.
- For achieving these policies Nehru choose the path of Non-Alignment. He did not joined any of the capitalist (US) and communist blocs (USSR).
- In his policy of Non-Alignment Nehru received support from several other nations who have been sufferer of the imperial policies of the West. Some of the nations were Ghana, Egypt and Yugoslavia.
Panchsheel Accord And 1962 War
- In the Panchsheel accord of 1954 India and China decided to respect each other territorial integrity. India also accepted the claim of the China over the lands of Tibet.
- In the year 1956, the Chinese premier Zhou Enlai visited India. He was also accompanied by the spiritual guru of Tibet Dalai Lama. Dalai Lama informed Nehru about the worsening situation of the Tibet. But Nehru could not do anything as he has recognised the autonomy of China over Tibet.
- In the year 1958, there was armed uprising in Tibet against the occupation of the Chinese. This occupation was suppressed by the China. In 1959 the situation became worse and Dalai Lama had to seek asylum from India and he was granted that asylum. This led to the strain in the relationship between the China and India.
- The Chinese launched an offensive against India in October 1962:
- Chinese attacked both the disputed areas with India i.e. the Aksai Chin area and the region of Arunachal Pradesh.
- In the same month the Chinese made a unilateral declaration of the ceasefire and the Chinese troops return back to their original position before the beginning of the invasion.
- This brought to an end to the Indo-China war of 1962.
1965 & 1971 War
- Another important matter in the foreign policy of India is its relationship with the Pakistan.
- India and Pakistan came in direct conflict in the year 1965. Some of the events that took place during the war.
- The Pakistan launched an offensive in the area of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat in April 1965.
- Lal Bahadur Shastri made a smart choice of releasing the pressure from the Kashmir. He sent the India troops to the Punjab front. Here many fierce battles took place and ultimately Indian troops were successful in reaching near the Lahore border.
- The hostilities between the two nations came to an end after the intervention of the United Nations. In January 1966. The Indian premier Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistan’s General Ayub Khan signed the Tashkent agreement which was brokered by the Soviet Union.
- This peace did not last long as there was another confrontation between the two nations in 1971.
- After the influx of millions of Muslim Bengalis in the states of India, the situation became out of control.
- There was diplomatic efforts to avoid full scale war but that were not successful and ultimately the war started between the two nations in the month of December.
- There was strong retaliation from the Indians on the Western and Eastern front of the border. Indians make use of the army, navy and air force to counter the attacks of the Pakistan.
- There was 90,000 Pakistani soldiers that surrendered to the Indian army. East Pakistan was declared independent and it became the Bangladesh.
1999 Kargil War
- After this there was peace for several years however situation again started to deteriorate in 1999.
- The Kargil confrontation took place in the year 1999 in the months of May and June.
- The Indian army was suspecting that this occupation has the involvement of the Pakistan army. The Indian forces began its reaction to this occupation. Soon there was direct confrontation between the Indian and Pakistan army.
- The conflict carried on in the months of May, June and July. Ultimately India was successful in recovering all the territories by July 26, 1999.
- Kargil war was seen as a worldwide event as in the year 1998 both India and Pakistan successfully tested the nuclear weapons.
- This conflict also brought change in the politics of Pakistan and soon the civilian government in the country was overthrown by the military.
Some Of The Areas On Which There Is General Consensus Among All Parties
- There is main focus on ensuring the national integration of the nation. All the states should have a national identity despite having disputes among each other.
- The international boundaries of the nation should be ensured proper safety by deployment of forces.
- The national interest should guide the foreign policy of India. This is a general trend which is followed by almost every party in power.
- The unity of political parties can be seen during the situation of crisis in the wars of 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
- The national interest and protection of boundaries is the supreme priority of the ruling government in India.