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)



       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.


      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.


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.)


  • 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.)


       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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