Why did Nehru regard conduct of foreign relations as an essential indicator of independence? State any two reasons with examples to support your reading.

Nehru was a profound statesman. According to him, foreign relations were the essence of independence. He believed that foreign policy of a country forms its basic character in the world. It is distinct for every nation.

• For Nehru, independence basically consisted of foreign relations. Without autonomy over foreign relations, a nation could not be called independent. For him the sovereignty of a nation was supreme. Therefore, he also signed the Panchsheel treaty or the Treaty of non- interference and cooperation with China.

• India was born in the backdrop of cold war. USSR and USA had emerged as the two superpowers of the world. Nations of the world had joined one of the blocs. Under such circumstances, in his foreign relations, Nehru took up the policy of Non-alignment. He declared that India would not be a part of any of the two blocs. Under the Non-aligned Movement, Nehru also urged the newly independent countries of Africa and south-east Asia to not be aligned to any of the superpowers and function as a completely sovereign body.