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Essay on “Fifty Years of Indian foreign policy” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.


Fifty Years of Indian foreign policy


Fifty years of Indian foreign policy has seen many ups and downs but continuity on basic policies has been maintained. Non-alignment is one of the basic foreign policy goals. Our relations with super powers, particularly with United States has shown considerable improvement. The decline of former Soviet Union as superpower has not affected India’s relations. India’s relations with its neighbours except with Pakistan have been quite satisfactory. The problem with Pakistan is still continuing over Kashmir. China is of strategic importance to India. Positive development in South Asia is the creation of SAARC in 1985. We have followed the principle of peaceful coexistence and friendly relations with almost all countries.

Since independence we have been following the principle of nonalignment. Through non-alignment, we pursued the independent foreign policy during cold war. India supported the cause for decolonization for Afro-Asian nations waiting for independence. Heavy armament and stock-piling of weapons was the practice during cold war. But India espoused the causes for disarmament. Many countries helped India in making non-alignment a movement. But when India signed a treaty of peace and friendship with former Soviet Union in 1971, the charges were made that Non-aligned Movement has been drifted to erstwhile Soviet block. India successfully hosted Non-alignment meeting at Delhi in 1983. India has been heard and given due importance at world forums under the able leadership of J.L. Nehru, Mrs. Indira Gandhi and recently Inder Kumar Gujral.

Initially our relations with United States were not cordial due to cold war when Pakistan became its ally during cold war. USA helped Pakistan during 1965 war against India. In the meanwhile our relations with former Soviet Union improved. Russia became our reliable partner. It helped India in economic matters as well as in military technology. With the end of cold war, India’s relations with United States have gone under drastic transformation. India followed the path of economic liberalization under economic reforms. USA became our greatest trade partner. Business relations and scientific collaboration have increased. Foreign direct investment comes largely from United States along with aid and assistance. At the same time India has not deviated from its path of independent foreign policy. It has opposed Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on the charges of discrimination and not signed Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). India has always opposed stockpiling of nuclear weapons and continue to support disarmament. Though former Soviet Union has disintegrated but our relations with Russia and CIS states have been cordial. India has renewed its treaty of peace and friendship with Russia. Economic diplomacy is being given top most priority in India’s foreign policy to improve business relations with countries. Germany, France and Britain are the biggest trading partners.

China occupies important position in Indian foreign policy thinking. India fought war with China in 1962. Several rounds of meetings have taken place since then over border issues and other trade related issues. Joint working group has been set up. Consular offices have been opened. The nexus of China-Pakistan-Nepal plays significant role in our threat perception. China has opened its economy too but under rigid political control. It is on its path to modernize its economy. India has to improve its relations further to learn to solve its problems which are common to both.

Indian diplomacy has failed in improving its relations with Pakistan. India fought three wars with Pakistan. 1971 war led to creation of Bangladesh. The bone of contention is Kashmir issue. Pakistan has occupied some area of Kashmir known as Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). Also it demands plebiscite in Kashmir which has been rejected by India. For India, Kashmir is an integral part of India and any solution to the Kashmir issue can be done only, through Shimla Agreement, i.e., through bilateral negotiations. No third party mediation is acceptable to India. This position has been supported by America, Britain and some Islamic countries also. Various rounds of meetings between two countries are unable to stop firings at border. The Pakistan’s approach towards solving is negative due to its own domestic problems. Instead Pakistan helps in training and funding terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and previously it used to do in Punjab. It encourage subversive elements to weaken India, i.e., it is involved in low intensity wars. To improve relations, confidence building measures have been proposed. Similarly with Bangladesh various disputes are on the way to be solved, e.g. Farakka water sharing and Chakma refugee problems. Nepal also shows positive sign of developments for good relations. We have Indo-Nepal treaty. In Srilanka, the problem of LTTE is still there for getting autonomy and independence. In 1987, India sent IPKF to Srilanka to fight LTTE but it was unsuccessful in its operations. It improved our relations with Srilanka but created domestic problem. To improve our relations in South Asia, SAARC was set up. It is mainly to enhance economic cooperation of common interest. India due to its size and shape has shown favourable attitude towards its neighbours but the political issues continue to dominate our foreign policy establishments.

Indian foreign policy in the last fifty years has faces few successes and failures. It is being recognized as one of regional powers in the world. It is fighting to become a permanent member at UN. It has raised its voice at world forums for democratization of United Nations. Its foreign policy is centered around voicing concern for developing countries. It is one of the vocal South to get aid and assistance from North. New issues have cropped up after the democratization of world politics. Environmental politics has become the major goal of foreign policies. India has taken the position of developing countries and took part in Rio Summit. Its fight continues towards democratization, disarmament, CTBT and justice in international affairs, etc.



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