India’s foreign policy was built around the principles of peace and cooperation. But India fought three wars in a space of ten years between 1962 and 1971. Would you say that this was a failure of the foreign policy? Or would you say that this was a result of international situation? Give reasons to support your answer.

The three wars fought by India in a span of 10 years between 1962 and 1971 do not reflect the failure of India's foreign policy as none of them was initiated by India. India had always adhered to the basic tenet of its foreign policy i.e. peace and cooperation. The wars were a reason for the international situation.

• Conflicts with China-

Tibet was a historical buffer state between India and China. In 1950, when China annexed Tibet, there was a massive inflow of Tibetan refugees. When the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama came to India to seek refuge, India provided it. This wasn’t well received by China who accused India of breaking the treaty of Panchsheel. A conflict ensued.

Another conflict with China occurred when China laid claim upon the Aksai chin region and some region of Arunachal Pradesh.

• Wars and conflicts with Pakistan-

Conflict with Pakistan started just after independence in 1947 when Pakistan laid claim over the Jammu and Kashmir region. In 1965, a full-fledged war between the two countries broke out for the same reason. Pakistan attacked India to which India retaliated. In the war of 1971, Pakistan attacked India while India was addressing the Bangladeshi refugees that sought its shelter. India retaliated again.

Thus, all the three wars fought by India from 1962 to 1971 were a result of the international situation and not India's foreign policy.