Politics In India Since Indepen

Book: Politics In India Since Indepen

Chapter: 4. India's External Relations

Subject: Social Science - Class 12th

Q. No. 10 of Exercises

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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?

a) Nehru wanted to keep off military blocs so as to be unbiased and nonaligned. At the time of the birth of India, the world war was bipolar amidst the environment of cold war. USSR and USA were the two major power blocs that emerged. While USSR propagated communism, USA preached for capitalism. Both wanted to attract the majority of the nations towards their respective ideologies. Taking the side of one superpower would’ve caused damage to relations with the other superpower which would not have worked in favor of India. Moreover, for Nehru, independence meant complete sovereignty in taking the decisions regarding the nation’s economy, politics and society. Had India aligned to any of the superpowers, it would’ve had to follow their ideology (capitalism or communism) in the economic, political and social sphere which meant a loss of complete sovereignty. Nehru did not wish to compromise India’s hard-earned independence and put it at stake, therefore he wanted to keep off military blocs.

b) No, the Indo-Soviet Friendship Treaty did not violate the principles of nonalignment because this treaty was signed to diplomatically counter the US-Pakistan-China axis in the background of rising tension between India and Pakistan. It was not a military treaty, rather it was a diplomatic move.

c) In a situation of no military blocs also, NAM would have been relevant as besides not aligning to one of the power blocs, it also emphasizes upon the importance and need of disarmament, decolonization and terrorism.


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