How does political leadership of a nation affect its foreign policy?
Explain this with the help of examples from India’s foreign policy.
Foreign policy of a nation reflects the political leadership of the nation.
• During the prime ministership of Nehru, nonalignment was the major policy of foreign affairs that was religiously followed. But slowly and gradually India started gaining a soviet inclination. When the Janata party was elected in 1977, they decided to follow nonalignment properly and this shift towards the soviet was to be corrected.
• Later in time, during the 1990s, after India opened its economy to foreign trade, it bettered its relations with the US. Slowly it became tilted towards the US. Russia had stopped being a global power and had lost its supremacy.
• Gradually, as the economy of India expanded, the rulers realized that to have a healthy and fulfilling empire it was necessary to have a healthy economy. Reforms were introduced and the economy was revived. Today, international situation is more influenced by economic interests than military interests.
Write ‘true’ or ‘false’ against each of these statements.
(a) Non-alignment allowed India to gain assistance both from USA and USSR.
(b) India’s relationship with her neighbours has been strained from the beginning.
(c) The cold war has affected the relationship between India and Pakistan.
(d) The Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1971 was the result of India’s closeness to the USA.
(a) The goal of India’s foreign policy in the period 1950-1964
i. Tibetan spiritual leader who crossed over to India
ii. Preservation of territorial integrity, sovereignty and economic development
(c) Bandung Conference
iii. Five principles of peaceful coexistence
(d) Dalai Lama
iv. Led to the establishment of NAM
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.
Read this passage and answer the questions below:
“Broadly, non-alignment means not tying yourself off with military blocs….It means trying to view things, as far as possible, not from the military point of view, though that has to come in sometimes, but independently, and trying to maintain friendly relations with all countries.” — Jawaharlal Nehru
(a) Why does Nehru want to keep off military blocs?
(b) Do you think that the Indo-Soviet friendship treaty violated the principle of non-alignment? Give reasons for your answer.
(c) If there were no military blocs, do you think non-alignment would have been unnecessary?