India , after 1991 LPG policy ( Liberalisation , Privatisation , Globalisation ) has come closer to countries who were in capitalist bloc during cold war era. In this blog I will try to give basic idea of some incidents and policies that framed our relations with them. So basically it will include countries like US, UK, Australia, South East Asian countries etc.
Pre and post independence scenario
End of world war 2 was followed by independence of India. Earlier we were colony of UK and during world war we were automatically aligned towards the allied power. But independence gave us opportunity to figure out policies of our own choice. India under Nehru followed Non Alignment , and hence formed Non Aligned Movement, this was done to protect newly independent countries from joining bloc politics. But this move angered both the blocs (Capitalist and Socialist). USSR under Stalin was critical towards India because he wanted India to join Soviet/ Socialist bloc. But India always maintained its non aligned perspective of seeing the world. There were various reasons to follow Non Alignment, few of them were viz. Sovereignty, we got independence after struggling for many years and we knew how much important is being a sovereign nation. For a newly independent nation joining a bloc was one sided relationship in which you had to follow what leaders of bloc were doing and there was great chances of interference in internal affairs and imbalance of national interest over bloc interest. So these were few reasons that lead to distanced relations with capitalist bloc.
1962 war with China
This incident had great impact on India’s foreign policy. The loss on Himalayan front busted the myth of impregnable natural boundary of Himalayas, but the reality came out to drastically opposite. This made us to think of modernising our military. That was impossible without cooperation and support of developed nations. Our first priority was capitalist countries like US and UK. They agreed to help us but they put up two conditions for that , India will join US bloc and India will resolve Kashmir dispute with Pakistan. These conditions were not in our interest. Firstly , we were strict follower of Non Alignment which means active engagement with all the countries according to our national interest. But joining US bloc could have stopped us from cooperating with countries even if cooperation is good for our national interest. Second , Pakistan quickly joined Capitalist bloc to put pressure on India and this was the main driving force behind the second condition. Our stand on Kashmir is always clear, Kashmir is integral part of India, Pakistan has no locus standi on it so there is nothing to resolve with Pakistan. Pakistan should leave occupied portion of Kashmir as soon as possible. This lead us to look for other option i.e. USSR.
USSR after the death of Stalin agreed to give unconditional support to India i.e. they didn’t forced us to join bloc politics. This cooperation sent hint to many capitalist nations a message that India has joined Soviet bloc but for India that was not the case. This message was very loud that it reached each and every countries those were toing their development along with Capitalist countries. This also included ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations). This group was mainly formed for cooperation in the fields of economy, security and culture. Individually they are very small nations and they lie in the proximity of India. They were inclined towards capitalist bloc and so called socialist India was threat for them. So they maintained distance from them.
Wars with Pakistan
In the year 1965, due to rising tensions in relations India and Pakistan indulged into war. Pakistan heightened in its overconfidence that US and China will help them to win over India but failed. US never meddled in between fearing entry of USSR will lead a direct war between US and USSR. India won the war, but loss of US friendly nation sent a bad impression of India over other allies of US, it includes European countries, Australia, ASEAN, Saudi and other middle eastern countries.
Again in 1971, Pakistan after getting assurance from US and China that this time they will meddle in between and will help Pakistan no matter what happens, Pakistan started war on India. India feared of US and China entry so a very famous treaty was signed between USSR and India – India-USSR Treaty of Peace and Friendship , according to this treaty USSR promised to protect sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. This treaty was final nail in the coffin to the doubts that India has officially joined Soviet bloc and relations with Capitalist countries widened even more after this.
1971 war also brought Liberation of Bangladesh with it, along with treaty this incident also feared our neighbouring countries of ASEAN that India is a violent nation in just couple decade of independence they have indulged in 3 major wars and if you don’t cooperate with India they can divide you and this turned out to be completely wrong assumption by them. But the message from treaty reached very loud and clear to everyone.
So these were few points that decided our relations with Capitalist nations. It not over yet I have decided to publish it in a series you can expect few more coming regarding this in coming weeks. Hope you like the blog. Pardon if any of the information provided by me is/are wrong. Suggestions and corrections are always whole heartedly welcomed.
Follow us on social media
You may also like