Foreign Policy of India

Foreign Policy of IndiaIn international community Every country has to interact with other countries. This interaction is not haphazard but takes place with definite orientation and objectives. Mission and objectives from the core of foreign policy. According to noted scholars appadurai and M.S.Rajan,’ foreign policy is the sum total of principles, interest and objectives which estate formulates in a conducting its relations with other states’. Foreign policy Is not a fixed concept as it keeps on changing according to changing domestic and international conditions. Still there are certain principles and objectives which are not amenable to fast changes. National interest is the core objective of foreign policy of a nation. The secondary National interest may change with time but the primary National interest indures. National security is an example of primary interest. No Country can compromise with her national security for the sake of most beloved principles of foreign policy. The foreign policy is the instrument to realise the national interest of a country. A foreign policy bereft of national interest is a purposeless exercise.
Determinants of India’s foreign polic
Foreign policy of a country is shaped by two sets of factor domestic and international. These two sets of factor have shaped India’s foreign policy also. Domestically is history culture geography and economy have played an important role in determining the objectives and principles of India’s foreign policy. The international environment characterized by cold war rivalry between the two superpowers establishment of United Nation, arms race, particularly nuclear arms race, colonialism and imperialism etc have influenced the priorities and objectives of our foreign policy. The first Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gave due consideration to these factors and played a leading role in shaping countries foreign policy.
Domestic factors
Under domestic factors the role of geographical historical economic and cultural factors needs to be understood. geographical e India is surrounded by Indian ocean from three sides. Himalayas in the north, great Desert in the west and hilly Terrain and porous border in the northeast. Indian security to large extent depends upon the security of its seafrontier. The Himalayas which used to be a natural barrier against foreign attack is no longer so in view on development of air power. The porous and open border in the northeast creates problem of foreign inflation and a fertile ground for anti India activities.
Historically, india has been a land of Gautam Buddha, mahavir and Gandhi. The spirit of tolerance, peace and nonviolence are rooted in India Ethos. These values have influence the basic tenets of India’s foreign policy. The foundations of India’s foreign policy were laid during the freedom moment when our leaders for the evils of colonialism and racialism. The principles of sovereign equality of all national respect for all races and opposition to colonialism were articulated and evolved during the freedom struggle itself.
Economically India has been subjected to long colonial exploitation. At the time of independence India was suffering from many economic is like poor economic infrastructure, lack of capital and Technology, poverty, unemployment, hunger and Poor health services. In order to overcome these evils India needed for and support in the form of capital Technology both. Economic growth became one of the primary objectives of India foreign policy also.
Socially and culturally India is a multi religious and multicultural Society. In view of Nascent democracy, india has to keep in mind the sensitivity of her social and cultural composition. Since India has opted for democratic form of government the role of popular perception cannot be ruled out in the formation of a foreign policy choices.
International environment
When India became independent in 1947 in New World order was imaging led by 2 superpowers the US and soviet Union. The UN was founded with the mandate of global peace and security. However it could not stop the rivalry between the two super powers and intensification of cold war. This led to the emergence of military alliance and arms race particularly the nuclear arms race. India could not afford to join military blocks and weaken the cause of world peace. For her on economic development India Wanted world peace. She also wanted easy access to financial resources and technology by both blocks of her development. India’s policy of non alignment has been influenced to a large extent by the prevailing international environment after the world War 2. In brief the above domestic and international factors played an important role in shaping India’s foreign policy.
Objectives of India’s foreign policy
National interest has been the governing principle of India’s foreign policy even at the time of Nehru who was inspired the ideal of world peace and tolerance and mutual respect among Nations. In operational terms the idea of national interest takes the form of concrete objectives of foreign policy. There are three fundamental objectives of the India’s foreign policy:-
1. The preservation of india’s territorial integrity and independence of foreign policy
2. Promoting international peace and security
3. Economic development of India
This foreign policy practice of India has also reveals its two other objectives:
1. Elimination of colonialism and racial discrimination.
2. Protection of the interests of people of Indian Origin abroad.

Principles of India’s foreign policy


The principles of India’s foreign policy and its objective are closely interlinked with each other. These principles have stood the test of time and ingrained in the international law and India’s foreign policy practice. Some of these principles are discussed below.
1. Panchsheel
India desired peaceful and friendly relation with all countries, particularly the big powers and the neighbouring countries. While signing a peace agreement with China, Nehru advocated adherence to 5 guiding principles known as Panchsheel. Panchsheel since then it has become a guiding principle of India’s bilateral relations with other countries also. Panchsheel includes the following five principle of foreign policy:
1. Mutual respect of each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
2. Non aggression against each other.
3. Non interference in each others internal affairs of each other
4. Equality and mutual benefit
5. Peaceful coexistence
These principles of Panchsheel valletta incorporated in the bundung declaration signed in the Afro Asian conference held in 1995 in Indonesia. They are the core principle of non alignment and still guide the conduct of India’s foreign policy.
2. Policy of non alignment
Non alignment is the most important feature of India’s foreign policy. Its core element is to maintain independence in Foreign Affairs by not joining any military alliance formed by the USA and Soviet Union. Which emerged as an important aspect of cold war politics after the second world war. Not be confused with neutrality of non involvement in international affairs of isolationism. It was a positive and dynamic concept.8 postulates taking an independent stand on international according to the merits of each are but at the same time not committing to coming under the influence of any military block. Therefore keeping away from the military alliance and conditions for independence of foreign policy.
India’s policy of nonalignment got many spotters in the developing countries Asia, africa and Latin America as it provided them opportunity for protecting their foreign policy independence in the cold war pressure and tensions. India  lead role in popularizing and consolidating the non alignment movement.
Continued relevance of non alignment-
As Non alignment movement was a product of cold war politics and the bipolar world does have questioned the relevance of NAM after the end of cold war and disintegration of Soviet Union. Again the globalisation led to the change in the priorities of even its chief votaries like India which tried to adopt neoliberal market economy principles in order to integrate with the emerging Global order. This new situation generated the impression as if non aligned movement is sidelined and its relevance is declining. However if we go deep in the basic feature of non aligned movement it appears to be equally significant in the changing context also due to the following factors-
1. As the world face is Greater threat from a unipolar world lead by us with the disintegration of Soviet Union. The non aligned movement can act as a cheque against undue dominance and hegemony of any country or block.
2. The developed north and developing South world divergent views over several Global and economic issues like climate change trade negotiations Human Rights at 17 the non aligned movement may provide a forum for third world countries to articulate their views on these issues and engage the developed patience in a productive in dialogue.
3. Non aligned movement can provide important forum for developing countries discuss and celebrate up on various Global problems, issues and Reforms including the Reform of UN and other international Financial Institutions like World BANK IMF in order to make them more democratic and effective.
3. Policy of registering COLONIALISM, imperialism, racism
India has been victim of Colonialism and racism and is as search opposed these emails in any form. India considers colonialism and imperialism as the threat to international peace and security. India was the first to bring the issue of apartheid in the UN in 1946. India raised her voice for the independence of Indonesia and organised Asian relations conference for this purpose. Due to India’s consistent efforts through non aligned movement another International forums, 14 african countries was liberated from the yoke of communalism in 1964. Sincere efforts to end the scourge of apartheid in South Africa. At India’s initiatives non aligned movement set up the Africa fund to help the Frontline States which were victims of supporting the cause of fight against apartheid. India made generous contribution to this fund. The end of racism in South Africa was great success for Indian policy.
4. Peaceful settlement of international disputes
One of the four elements of India’s foreign policy is it’s unflinched faith on the political and peaceful settlement of international disputes. This principle has been included in the constitution of India under the direct principle of State Policy that is article 51 as well as in the charter of the UN. India has played a leading role in the resolution of Korean conflict, supported negotiated settlement of Palestine issue, kashmir problem, border problems with neighbouring countries and other such disputes and problems. At present India is in favour of democratic upsurge in Middle East and so on India is always against foreign military intervention for resolving International problems. This principle continues to be cornerstone of India’s policy.
5. Support to UN, international Law and a just and equal world order

India has deep respect for international law and the principle of sovereign equality of nations,non other Nations, non interference in the internal affairs of other Nations as espoused by the UN. India has supported the UN. In 1988 India proposed a very ambitious program of nuclear disarmament before the UN.though this proposal was not accepted by other members of UN, india stands committed to the cause of Universal disarmament even today. India has played a key role in preserving world peace by helping in the decolonization process. And through active participation in UN peacekeeping activities. In order to make the composition of the security council more realistic and democratic, india has proposed and supported the Reform of security council and other UN agencies. India is the one of the claimants of permanent membership of the security council. The Reform of the security council is pending in UN agenda since 1992. India has been demanding the Reform of international institutious like security council and International Monetary Fund through various multilateral like non aligned movement, G 20, BRICS and IBSA.
Contemporary context:- change and continuity in India’s foreign policy
The modern International relations may be broadly classified under 2 phases on the basis of fundamental underlying characteristics. First is the post World War 2. Which was dominated by the cold war logic and superpower rivalry between the superpowers US and soviet Union. This fact had a deep influence on every aspects of international relations during this.. Second is the post cold war period since early 1990 which marks the fundamental break from the first.. The disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991 and the demise of WARSAW pact, the military alliance of Communist block in 1992 the end of cold war the unification of Germany, the expansion of Western military alliance, NATO the emergence lines of unipolar world led by the US and her allies etc altered the hitherto existing paradism of cold war politics. In economic terms also the Global order experienced a major shift the globalisation riding on the back of new communication technology and Neo liberal market economy logic gradually became the new economic reality of international relations. The combined impact of these two sets of factors was visible across the entire spectrum of emerging international order.
This new situation had Deep Impact on the foreign policies of all Nations but most were the Nations affected which followed policies highly divergent from this new reality. India falls in his category India has to introduce fundamental changes in her domestic economic as well as foreign policies in early 1990. The new economic policy 1991 based on liberalisation privatisation was in response to cope with the imaging global economic order brought out by the process of globalisation. In this respect India was late comers. China started similar reforms in early 1980. If we go by the nature of change introduced in the foreign policy of India in response to emerging post cold war political and economical Global order the following points may be underlined:-
1. Policy was largely motivated by ideal ISM during the cold war. With casual realistic approach followed intermittently. In the post cold war period with entirely new conditions to cope with India adopted a pragmatic approach in Foreign Affairs in view of her strategic and economic interest.
Economic diplomacy and public diplomacy have emerged as new tools to India’s foreign policy.
2. The pragmatic assessment of foreign policy in 1990 led to 2 fundamental shifts in India’s foreign policy orientation. First India be considered her relations with the only superpower the US and move on to develop strategic partnership with her. Which appeared unthinkable in cold war ideological conditions, the notable achievement of this shift was the signing of Indo us civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008. Agreement has entered India’s isolation in international nuclear world since 1974 When India experimented with its first nuclear device. Modi government has also continued with the policy of cultivation of clothes strategic ties with the US and other western powers. President Obama visited India second time in January 2015 as the chief guest of India’s Republic Day function. He was the first Indian President who was given this order by India. II change was the initiation of new engagement with the countries of East Asia. This was imposed under the look East policy announced by India in 1991. Under this policy India has developed close relations with Asian countries. Indo Asian bilateral trade reached to 17 billion dollar in 2014, romantic led by Modi has renamed this policy as “act East” policy to focus on the effective and timely implementation of projects of mutual cooperation which has been an unusual complaint of ASEAM members.
3. Also diversified and restrengthened her  ties with the countries of other regions of the world. India foreign policy has always given priority to develop close relations with her neighbours.SAARC has put in place in 2006 the South Asian free trade area (SAFTA) mechanism to promote trade and economic integration in the region. Gujarat doctrine involved in 1997- 98 provided for developing India’s relations with her neighbours on non reciprocal basis. The new neighborhood policy of 2005 laid emphasis on developing connectivity cultural and people to people contacts with India’s neighbours. Modi government has further refined this policy as neighbourhood first policy to give priority to neighbours. Accordingly Modi visited Bhutan in June 2014, nepal august 2014, sri Lanka in 2015- digits of any prime minister in neighbouring countries.
The relations with African countries were renewed under the multilateral mechanism called Indo Africa forum Summit which was started in 2008.
India has also tried to develop close economic and strategic relations with the countries of Central Asia Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. These countries became independent in 1991 after the disintegration of Soviet Union. Besides exchanging high level visits India has launched reconnect Central Asia policy in 2012 Deepen our ties with these countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited all these countries in one go on July 6 to 13, 2015 and tried to Forge Corporation in various fields like security, culture, investment etc. India has also promoted certain sub regional mechanism for multilateral Regional Cooperation like Mekong ganga cooperation, bay of Bengal initiative for multilateral scientific, technological and economic cooperation(BIMSTEC), and Indian ocean Rim Association(IORA). In July 2015 India has joined Shanghai cooperation organisation(SCO), which is a Regional organisation of Central Asia mainly concerned with the security cooperation in the reason.
4.though india has not renounced the principles it upheld under the policy of non alignment the properties of foreign policy have changed in view of changing global environment India has also emerged as the leading player in the Global affairs. It has joined new Global Group like G20, IBSA and BRICS which give more scope to India to play a larger role in global Affairs. India still stands by the commitment to the causes of developing the least developed countries and serves it through the new international forums mentioned above. Indian foreign policy is well calibrated to the changing Global conditions in the post cold war International policies.

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