Politics In India Since Indepen

Book: Politics In India Since Indepen

Chapter: 4. India's External Relations

Subject: Social Science - Class 12th

Q. No. 8 of Exercises

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Does India’s foreign policy reflect her desire to be an important regional power? Argue your case with the Bangladesh war of 1971 as an example.

India has always been a nation with a rich history and culture. India holds an important place in Asia and is the biggest democracy in the world. India was rich in both demographic and natural resources. It was a large territory and had all the capabilities of becoming a leading nation. This aspiration was also reflected in the Bangladesh War of 1971.

When there was a split verdict in Pakistan with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto from West Pakistan and sheik Mujib ur Rahman winning the respective elections, Pakistan didn't support the win of Sheik Mujib and in an undemocratic move, it attacked East Pakistan. Reign of terror was unleashed. Hordes of refugees started inflowing to India and India had to extend help to the homeless and battle stricken refugees and had to provide them moral and material in their struggle for freedom. Pakistan accused India of conspiracy. While India was busy tackling refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan attacked India on the western borders. However, it could not catch the Indian army off guard. The Indian army, at its heels, gave an appropriate response, defeating the Pakistani army. The Pakistani army general surrendered in front of the Indian general and as many as 90,000 Pakistani soldiers were taken by India as prisoners of war. Bangladesh became a free nation.

Such exemplary courage and tactics of India were aspiring and showed the signs of a nation that wasn’t scared of any mishappenings occurring in its course. People saw this event as a moment of great glory and Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the then Indian prime minister, gained popular support.

Thus, it can be said that India’s foreign policy reflected her desire to be an important regional power in the region.


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