The Indian Diplomacy : A Growth Story from 1947 to 2017 : A 70 year Journey

August 14, 2017


In one of the speeches by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in the European Union he said , " yaadhum oore yaavarum kelir "1 which simply meant , " The World is one Family ". I am citing this example to richly contradict the earlier claims of great freedom fighters who had focussed on self reliance and centred around the idea of lesser dependence on foreign powers2. Their ideologies were centred around the fact that dependence on foreign powers will lead to excessive collaboration with foreign powers which will destroy the domestic handicraft, other nuances and can prerogatively result in colonialism. The subcontinent had witnessed its first take on diplomacy back in the year of 1930, with Gandhi being present in the First Round Table Conference called forth by Ramsay McDonald's Labour government . Then over a period of time came the Second and Third where our leaders fought hard for the cause of Indian independence. With this harsh a start , India now remains a dominating force in the world. This article will take you through the reasons behind the domination and much more.

Nehruvian Diplomacy:

                Jawaharlal Nehru, had assumed the post of Foreign Ministership along with the Prime Ministership after the general elections . He was seen as an able leader and a diplomatic closer. Beginning in the year of 1946, he began the journey of shaping India's diplomacy in the global arena. His first visit to the United states, dating back to the 11th of October 1949 , was marked with splendour . He had toured the country for three weeks  attending meets , convocations and high decibel debates. He requested the then POTUS, Harry.S.Truman , for economic and food aid, which was eventually turned down , but in reality and for the public , his visit was a huge success . Then his series of visits included ones to various western countries , Ireland , Nepal , China and many more. His success as an Indian diplomat began with the successful hosting of The Asian Relations Conference, Delhi , when 29 countries from Asia had applauded India's success in becoming a Democratic Country with a Socialistic approach. His next series of visits to the USA , in the years of 1956 and 1961, were considered as steps bringing the Indian dominion closer to the superpower. The US soon then increased its economic aid to India and approved the PL-480 programme which provided a grandiose start for the Nehru government . 

                   Riding high on his success in the global arena , came  the successful completion of the Bandung Conference , which was seen as the Mother of the Non-Aligned Movement , the conference turned down neocolonialism either political or economical or whatsoever  .  He later propounded the idea of Non-Alignment, in the year of 1961,or simply the brainchild of the Bandung Conference , in Belgrade . The leaders of India, Yugoslavia , Egypt , Ghana and Indonesia met together to form an international non-profligate organisation to overcome the influence of the two super blocs in and around the world , later chargesheeting the Havana Declaration in the year of 1971 in favour of the organisation . The success of this organisation was observed with great hope and sovereignty for oneself. Currently the organisation boasts 120 member countries and also 15 additional observer countries. 
                     Winston Churchill had once said , " Success is not final , failure is not fatal ". Yes, the disastrous times were soon to come. The failure of Nehru's foreign policy during the wars with Pakistan and China were disastrous . He had to shift towards the communist regime of USSR , which failed Nehru's motive of taking a non-parallel stand.  US had requested for Indian support during the cold war, mainly to create a western bloc, which was turned down by Mr. Nehru . Pakistan hit the bull's eye by cleverly siding with the US , aiding itself in obtaining the Non-NATO ally status. His failure was also reflected in the state of Jammu and Kashmir , where the expectations where shot down by the reality.

Man Of Peace : Sastri 

                      "With great power comes great responsibility" - Uncle Ben . I bring this fictional character to highlight the foreign policy regime during Lal  Bahadur Sastri's rule. He was the person who had spearheaded the war against Pakistan . He carried forward the policies put forth by the Nehruvian Congress, but maintained closer ties with Russia. The Vijay Ghat memorial was set to applaud his vision in both internal and external policies. Although he had been the Prime Minister , the short tenure he possessed had taken the negative aspect of his foreign diplomacy.

Indira is India , India is Indira :

                         Moving Forth, Franklin . D . Roosevelt said ," The only thing to fear is fear itself " . Yes,the wordings resonated the First Women Prime Minister , Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Her main enrichment was found when she had fought the Indo-Pak war with much valiance. Contrast to other important personalities , I would like to point out the fact that she took over the reins when the world had a series of conflicts and cold wars mainly between the United States of America and the Union of Social Soviet Republics. She was seen as the litmus test between the two powers. No one knew her but everyone trusted her for her being as the " The Daughter of Nehru " . 

The trust bestowed upon her by the Congress syndicate , mainly comprising of K Kamaraj ,  Sanjeeva Reddy , SK Patel , Atulya Ghosh and S Nijalingappa not only helped in reviving the Congress back to power but also aided in the successful maintenance of diplomacy in varied arenas which included international relations and also in maintaining the stability amongst the very own members of the organisation. Her zenith in foreign policy did receive due credit only after the split of the Congress in the year of 1969. I would like to continue this blog with much care and precision which will help me in publishing the next part.

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