Origin of Non-Alignment Movement in India

Topics: Indian independence movement, India, Indian National Congress Pages: 22 (7889 words) Published: August 25, 2013
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Origin of Non alignment movement[edit source]
Nonalignment had its origins in India's colonial experience and the nonviolent Indian independence struggle led by the Congress, which left India determined to be the master of its fate in an international system dominated politically by Cold War alliances and economically by Western capitalism and Soviet communism. The principles of nonalignment, as articulated by Nehru and his successors, were preservation of India's freedom of action internationally through refusal to align India with any bloc or alliance, particularly those led by the United States or the Soviet Union; nonviolence and international cooperation as a means of settling international disputes. Nonalignment was a consistent feature of Indian foreign policy by the late 1940s and enjoyed strong, almost unquestioning support among the Indian elite. The term "Non-Alignment" was coined by V K Menon in his speech at UN in 1953 which was later used by Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which were first put forth by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Called Panchsheel (five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were: 1. Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty 2. Mutual non-aggression

3. Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
4. Equality and mutual benefit
5. Peaceful co-existence
Jawaharlal Nehru's concept of nonalignment brought India considerable international prestige among newly independent states that shared India's concerns about the military confrontation between the superpowers and the influence of the former colonial powers. New Delhi used nonalignment to establish a significant role for itself as a leader of the newly independent world in such multilateral organizations as the United Nations (UN) and the Nonaligned Movement. The signing of the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation between India and the Soviet Union in 1971 and India's involvement in the internal affairs of its smaller neighbors in the 1970s and 1980s tarnished New Delhi's image as a nonaligned nation and led some observers to note that in practice, nonalignment applied only to India's relations with countries outside South Asia. Nehru and non alignment

We are presently celebrating the birth centenary of Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the greatest sons of India. He was a multi-faceted personality. He was first and foremost a patriot, a great freedom fighter who bravely faced personal privation and misfortune during the struggle, was chosen by Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, as his second in command to lead the nation after Independence, was India’s first Prime Minister, builder of modern India, and initiator of the policy of non-alignment which has since found universal acceptance. Non-alignment was not a negative policy of being neutral in great power disputes or staying equidistant from the two super powers. The emerging Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union which intensified in the 1950s, the period which also saw the emergence of new Asian and African and nations, free from the colonial yoke, provided the ground for the adoption of the policy of non-alignment which was specially suited to the requirements of the newly independent Asian and African countries. Genesis of the Policy

For Jawaharlal Nehru the policy of non-alignment was an indigenous product, emanating from India’s long struggle for freedom. So were probably the compulsions of the leaders of the Asian, African and Latin American countries who were able to assert their national identities mainly by adopting the policy of non-alignment. Certain broad parameters which served as basic commitments in the formulation of India’s foreign...
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