The Foreign Policy tenet after Non-Alignment

GS 1 Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

GS 2 INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS- India’s Foreign Policy: NAM (Non-Aligned Movement)

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Introduction 

       Non-Alignment was a policy fashioned during the Cold War, to retain an autonomy of policy between two politico-military blocs- the Soviet and the American.It broadly united around NAM’s flagship campaigns for de-colonisation, universal nuclear disarmament and against apartheid.      The Foreign Minister said recently that non-alignment was a concept for a specific era and a particular context and independent decision making which stemmed from NAM, remained a factor in Indian foreign policy.

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Relevance:

      The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely conceived by India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru; Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno; Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah; and Yugoslavia’s President, Josip Broz Tito.

Principles:

Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty

• Mutual non-aggression

• Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs

Equality and mutual benefit

Peaceful co-existence.

Recent Status:

  • The soviet bloc was disbanded at the end of the Cold War.(no middle ground between two poles.)
  • Decolonisation has been almost complete.
  • Apartheid regime in South Africawas also dismantled.
  • campaign for universal nuclear disarmament is going nowhere.
  • NAM countries were able to diversify their network of relationships.
  • Non-alignment lost its relevance.

After Non-Alignment in India:

Successive formulations have been coined and rejected.

Strategic autonomy:a connotation similar to non-alignment, with an anti-U.S. tint.

Multi-alignment:impression of opportunism whereas India seeks strategic convergences.

Issue based Partnerships:a description that has not stuck.

Advancing prosperity and influence:aspirations on network of international partnerships seeks to further.(clashes with China has broken the strategic stand and decisive shift towards the United States.)

Drawbacks:

  • A cold war concept as non-alignment.(Ideological convergence and an existential military threatserved as factors)
  • Disintegration of the Warsaw pact meant that the international options of alliance partners widened.(NAM countries).
  • Strategic interests of alliance partners are no longer congruent.(NATO over the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq,policy towards Russia or West Asia)
  • The threat to the alliance partners today is from an assertive China, which they are reluctant.(because of economic engagement and huge military asymmetry.)

India’s interest:

  • India’s geostrategic imperative calls for securing the economic and security interests in Indo-Pacific.
  • Act East policy, engagement with East Asia and shared India-US interests in the maritime domain.
  • Connectivity and cooperation with Afghanistan.
  • Central Asia need engagement with Iran and Russia.
  • Strong India-Russia relations may deter strong Russia-China relations where China stands the adversarial neighbour.
  • Indo-US relations(could pursue shared objectives to mutual benefit and accept that differences of perspectives.)

Conclusion

       The world order of today has been described as militarily unipolar, economically multipolar and politically confused. COVID-19 may scramble the economics and deepen the confusion further.

        India will acquire a larger global profile, when it commences a two-year term on the UN Security Council. The strategic choices in its bilateral partnerships will be closely watched.

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