Indian Foreign Policy: Non Alignment in the Midst of the Cold War

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Indian Foreign Policy: Non Alignment in the midst of the Cold War

At the onset of the cold war, the world was rapidly developing into two hostile camps, one dominated by the west – most particularly by the US – and the other by the USSR. The two superpowers differed only by ideology, the US with capitalism and the USSR with communism, but both sought to aggressively spread their ideologies and expand their spheres of influence to other sovereign nations. No means was spared in this expansion, the use of military force, moral and economic pressure and security blocs were all commonly used to subjugate other nations. After World War Two, Europe was sufficiently polarized, any further expansion along the preset borders of East and West
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Though non-alignment may not be an invention of Gandhi, it does carry three notable trademarks that bear resemblance to the teachings of his. Firstly it is born of morality; in that Gandhi’s struggle for freedom was a moral one . Secondly it is completely transparent, in that Gandhi’s struggle was completely open, and where even disobedience (although peaceful) was never kept in secret. Thirdly it maintains peace by refraining from evil, in that Gandhi never refused to hold out a hand of friendship for anyone even for those who opposed him. According to S.B Jain “A moral tone, a friendly but fearless approach, a polite but firm refusal to submit to evil with a temper of peace and a spirit of cooperation – all these were the legacies of the Gandhian Age and they were bound to be projected in India’s policies.”
After India gained independence from British rule, Jawaharlal Nehru and his Congress party came into power, and openly laid down the principles of non-alignment for the first time. Nehru talked about the independent approach which was needed to be taken by India, an approach towards international problems, self-development that would be free from outside interference, whether from allies or enemies. He spoke of non-alignment as the next step in war of liberation against the evils of imperialism and colonialism, followed by a stage of complete economic
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