India's Foreign Policy Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1562 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: History - Asian

India is the second most populous country in the world after China and has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is located in a very strategic location as it borders several countries in South Asia such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and China. India used to have a policy of non-alignment with the rest of the world including the U.S.A. And the former Soviet Union during the cold war. However they have long since changed their stance once the cold war was over.

Non-Alignment Policy Post Independence

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India had always maintained a policy of nonalignment with the rest of the world for a number of years. India's foreign policy was formulated by Nehru during his tenure as prime minister (1947-64) as he was of the few rare people who had experience in making foreign policy. Nehru developed a foreign policy which would benefit India's national interests. He was also the architect of India's Foreign policy where the prime minister had a strong role in all affairs. He made all foreign policy decisions himself after consultation with his adviser as well as taking on the role of the foreign minister. This move was taken as he knew how to deal with other nations and could get negotiate with them really well. The Indian foreign policy was based on secular principles, allowing them to defend its security interests while allowing India to be independent through means of non-alignment. The basic idea was that the economic interests of India were important to them more than interfering in the affairs of other countries. This was a good step as it helped the economic interests of India without being too reliant on any country for assistance. These goals were initiated from 1947 to the late 80s and allowed it to make a place for itself in the global arena.

TOPIC: Term Paper on India's Foreign Policy Assignment

The foreign policy of India during the Nehru was unchallenged as there was a broad consensus on foreign affairs. This consensus was unanimous as no one opposed India's allegiance with the Soviet Union, support of the Palestine cause or the then anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The political scenario changed for a bit after Nehru's death as one of the nationalist parties preferred a U.S. stance. However it didn't last for long as the political scenario changed afterwards.


India kept a policy of maintaining friendly relations with all countries in the world, equality of all states, independence through non-alignment and equity in international relations. They believed that developing good terms with Nations would help its economy in the longer run. India played a huge role in founding the Non-Aligned Movement so that development, pace and stability could be promoted. The Indian foreign policy also took a stand against colonialism. One of the reasons why India was against colonialism was because it used to be a British colony before independence. This is one reason why India spurned all offers of help from America as they weren't ready to invite foreign investment and help in aid as they had just gotten rid of colonial rule. It was a not a good idea to invite foreigners to be involved in India as the nation's freedom fighters had spent most of their lives to free India from their British Rulers. There was a lot of nationalist pride in India as they were self-reliant and did not need any help from anyone.

The idea behind NAM was to create a third world bloc so that the under-developed countries could gain concessions from the superpowers. NAM was created so that countries would be able to stay out of the cold war conflicts and entanglements. However NAM lost its importance as India had double standards when it came to the cold war. This led to India being viewed with a great deal of suspicion in USA and the West.

Despite being a member of the Non-Aligned movement India did not follow an independent foreign policy. They leaned more towards the Soviet Union by overlooking all its flaws. Nehru was against the American system of Capitalism which was the preferred model of economic development in the newly decolonized world. However India pursued its own interests which were free from external interference. It was the mouthpiece for the newly decolonized world by promoting economic development and resolution of disputes. India continued to declare nonalignment while working with the Soviet Union on a number of global issues. They also approved the soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan without any hesitance.

India played a big role in the non-aligned movement by acting as a champion for the third world countries. They called upon the rich countries of the world to redistribute the world's wealth to the weaker nations. Furthermore India was isolated from the rest of the world as it discouraged foreign investments. They followed a strategy of import substituting industrialization.

However India did receive developmental assistance from Western and Eastern countries from time to help with its growth. They were however unable to prevent the Cold war from playing an important role in the South Asian region. The idea was for India to follow Gandhian ideals and socialist goals so that they could be in peace with the rest of the world. India had kept a respectable distance from the Cold war and did not need to spend much on its defense. There was no need for them to spend much as Indo-U.S. relations were at a peak. India's position changed after fighting a border war with China in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965 respectively. Pakistan received military assistance from the United States so that it could be a deterrent to India. India was a Non-Alignment signatory but did not adhere to it strictly as they developed ties with the Soviet Union in order to counter the U.S. Support to Pakistan. They formed an alliance with the Soviet Union so that they could also receive military assistance.

Soviet Union and Indian Cooperation

India lost its importance internationally due to wars with Pakistan and China during the 60s and 70s, disputes with other nations in the South Asian bloc. India's star in the world stage had begun to dim as they had very close ties with the Soviet Union, and had signed a treaty in different areas of cooperation. This was primarily initiated so that China would not become the most powerful nation in South Asia as well as being a deterrent to Pakistan. The treaty allowed India to acquire Russian military and economic cooperation, which help them improve their national security and economy. India's friendship with the Soviet Union was seen to be a threat as the Soviet Union was a superpower, which was in a cold war against the United States.

Pakistan took advantage of India's Non-Alignment policy by accommodating the U.S.A. And aligned itself with the west by becoming a member of the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) which was equivalent to NATO. This was one of the factors which pushed India to enter an alliance with the Soviet Union. This was very beneficial for India as the Soviet Union vetoed several resolutions against India in the UN Security Council such as the vote on Kashmir, the illegal annexation of Goa.

The new developments in the area were responsible for India building up its military power. India started asserting its power in the south Asian region by deploying a peace keeping force of nearly 60000 in Sri Lanka to assist them in their war against the Tamil guerillas from 1987 to 1990. They obtained an image of a regional bully as they had border problems with Bangladesh after the 1971 war, the 1989 border closure with Neap and the Indian annexation of Sikkim.

Indo-U.S. Relations

India suffered a further downturn in its relations with the United States during… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "India's Foreign Policy" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

India's Foreign Policy.  (2006, November 8).  Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

MLA Format

"India's Foreign Policy."  8 November 2006.  Web.  26 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"India's Foreign Policy."  November 8, 2006.  Accessed October 26, 2021.