Reiterating India’s resolve to work for the establishment of a world moon wealth, he assured, “It is for this one world that free India will work, a old in which there is the free co-operation of free peoples and one in which class or group exploits another”.
The ideas of Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru took a concrete shape at the Bandung ndonesia) Conference in 1955 where like-minded Asian countries resolved to allow the policy of non-alignment based on “Panch Sheel” i.e., five golden nipples of peaceful co-existence. These principles are: (i) mutual respect for other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, (ii) mutual non-aggression, (iii) mutual non-interference in each other’s affairs, (IV) equality and mutual “befit, and (v) peaceful co-existence.
Thus, India’s foreign policy is based on the principles of: (a) non-alignment, ) support to freedom movements, (c) eradication of racial discrimination, (d) ‘romotion of peace and co-operation among all nations, and (e) establishment for world commonwealth.
In pursuance of its foreign policy, India extended her support and friendship of the people of Indonesia, in their struggle against colonial rule. At India’s initiative, an 18-Member conference held in New Delhi in January, 1949 called on the U.N.O. to take immediate steps towards the independence of Indonesia. hereafter, India lent similar support to freedom movements in other parts of the world.
In the fifties, India took a leading part in the resolution of conflicts amongst actions and preservation of peace. India was chosen the Chairman of the U.N. expatriation Commission to deal with the issue of Prisoners of War in the Korean War. Similarly, India worked behind the scenes and influenced the final decisions taken at the First Geneva Conference about the future of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. India also served as the Chairman for the three emotional Commissions for nearly two decades. In 1956, when Britain, France and Israel launched a combined attack on the Suez Canal, India condemned this attack on Egypt. India’s support to Egypt led to the recognition of Egypt’s sovereignty over the Suez Canal. Indian troops served with the U.N. in Congo, Lebanon and Cyprus, Bosnia, Somalia.
India took a leading part in strengthening the Commonwealth. In November 1983, a meeting of the Heads of Commonwealth countries was held in New Delhi in which 42 countries from five continents representing a cross-section of humanity from the developed as well as developing countries took part.
India has been an ardent supporter of non-alignment. It was elected the Chairperson of the Movement and hosted the Non-aligned Summit in 1983. In the New Delhi Summit of the 100 Non-aligned countries held in March, 1983 the Prime Minister of India in the keynote address to the Summit, reiterated the deep and abiding commitment of the member states to the principles of non- alignment directed towards consolidation of peace, justice and progress in the world, attainment of disarmament and the establishment of a new international economic order based on justice and equality.
India’s stature and role in the World Affairs stems from its principled foreign policy, India was elected to the U.N. Security Council in 1983-84 by an impressive margin for the fifth time. During 1983, India was also elected to the Population Commission, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation’s (UNIDO) Industrial Development Board, and the Committee for Programme and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
India’s foreign policy has not been static. It has been dynamic and flexible enough to take care of new challenges. For example, when way back in 1962, China, a close neighbour with whom we had centuries-old trade and cultural relations, mounted an attack on India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, sent an S.O.S. to President Kennedy of U.S.A. who readily came to India’s rescue. China had to declare a unilateral end to the war with India. Similarly, whenever Pakistan raised the Kashmir issue in the U.N.O., U.S.A. invariably supported Pakistan but U.S.S.R. always came to India’s help in the U.N.O. by vetoing resolutions on Kashmir.
In the Bangladesh War in the year 1971, U.S.A. had sent its Seventh Fleet into the Indian Ocean to help Pakistan and to deal a severe blow to the Indian forces by launching an attack from the sea. But India promptly entered into a 20-Year Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation with U.S.S.R… U.S.A.’s Seventh Fleet developed cold feet and withdrew from the Indian Ocean.
The year past witnessed several positive developments, some significant successes, and a few major fresh threats to India’s foreign policy. India shares a common destiny with its neighbours. Relations with Bhutan developed further in the year of His Majesty’s coronation and the introduction of democracy in Bhutan.
India has strongly supported Nepal’s transition to a democratic polity, and the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh. India has contributed to the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan apart from maintaining friendly and close blilateral relations with its neighbours. India has also worked for the evolution of SAARC into a result oriented organization that effectively promotes regional integration. Bilateral relations with China were further consolidated during 2008. China opened a new Consulate Kolkata in September
2008 and earlier in June 2008 India had opened its Consulate at Guangzhou. A major development was the signing of the India-US Civil Nuclear Agreement in October 2008. The Agreement marked the end of three decades of technology denial in the nuclear field. Following the signing of this bilateral agreement, agreements for civil nuclear cooperation have been signed with France, Russia and Kazakhstan. India’s traditional friendship and strategic links with Russia were consolidated during the period.
The year 2008 was observed in India as the ‘Year of Russia’.The year 2009 is being observed in Russia ‘Year of India’. India is committed to further carry forward its strategic relations with Russia. India intends to build on its strong historical and cultural links with the Central Asian countries, and to engage more closely with this region by ensuring that cooperation with Central Asia receives greater substance and diversification.
India has maintained and intensified its engagement with the EU, a strategic partner, as well as individual countries in Europe in diverse fields such as defence and security, nuclear and space, trade and investment, energy, climate change, science and technology, culture and education. The EU is today India’s largest trading partnar and one of our major sources of investment.
India continued to attach importance to its traditionally friendly and cooperative relations with African countries. A landmark event was the first ever India-Africa Forum Summit in April 2008 which adopted the Delhi Declaration and India-Africa Framework for Cooperation. India’s efforts to cultivate stronger bonds with countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region have borne impressive results in recent year.
‘India’s cooperation with the countries in West Asia and the Gulf region today reveal a contemporary nature and include the peaceful uses of outer space including the use of Indian launch vehicles. India views coopertion with ASEAN, and the countries in the Asia-Pacific,clS an important dimension of its diplomacy in the 21st century as reflected in India “Look East Policy-“.
In 2009, India significantly expanded its network of economic and technical cooperation. India is ready to playa significant role in recently established fomml such as IRC (India-Russia-China), BRIe (Brazil-Russia-India-China) and IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa). India continues to engage Mekong-Ganga Cooperahon, G-I5, and the G-8. With its strong commitment to multilateralism India has worked to strengthen the United Nations. India has supported proposals for the reform of the UNSCand revitalization of the UNGA.
India would like to see the global institutions reflecting the new realities of the world order, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of developing countries and emerging powers. Concurrent to these positive developments, India’s foreign policy in 2008-Q9 faced new threats to India’s security including the unsettled security situation in India’s terror infested periphery and cross-border terrorism.
Thus, save in exceptional circumstances, India has always stood by its foreign policy of peaceful co-existence. This policy is guided by Panch Sheel. This policy has stood the test of time. It has enabled India to safeguard its independence, improve its relations with its neighbours, judge international developments on merits and come out openly against apartheid in South Africa.