Indian Foreign Policy-it’s Various Facets
tive when goals and objectives steer it; so is the case with India’s foreign policy (FP). Without knowing these objectives it may not be easy to appreciate and evaluate the course of the policy.
India’s leaders have specified right from the time of Independence those objectives.
Chiefly, India’s foreign policy aims to safeguard and further national interest in tenns of protecting the country’s political independence and promoting its external security. As a country that freed itself from colonial rule, India naturally wants to follow such foreign policy that would not compromise on its existence as a free country or give scope to other countries to dictate as to how it should conduct itself. With the help of a successful foreign policy, India would like to prevent or resist threats of military attacks from foreign quarters. India’s need for national security is placed in the wider and wiser backdrop of the need to jointly work for security of the whole world.
India has always desired friendly relations with all countries, especially the major countries as well as countries in its neighbourhood. In essence, India’s foreign policy seeks to promote world peace, work for avoidance of dangerous wars like the two World Wars during the first half of the 20th Century. India wants to promote harmony and cooperation between the countries that have ideological, political and other differences.
As a country that suffered colonial rule and became free after long peaceful struggle, India’s foreign policy is committed to strive for bringing an end to colonialism everywhere. Accordingly it has supported freedom struggles of the peoples of Africa and Asia. As an extension of this goal, India has been interested to direct its foreign policy towards realisation of equal rights of all peoples and nations without discrimination. Therefore, India opposed the abhorrent policy of apartheid in South Africa; it sought to protect the right to equality und6r law to all people of Indian origin wherever they are.
India’s foreign policy has another important goal, viz, to promote the economic development of underprivileged nations and their peoples. For this purpose, its foreign policy seeks to develop beneficial relationship with the industrially advanced countries with a view to securing necessary assistance. India’s policy aims to cater to not just its own development needs but also those of the newly independent poor countries in the Third World. A equitable economic and social world order that would help in eventually eliminating disease and deprivation has been a vital goal of India’s foreign policy.
It is equally notable that a few laudable principles guide India to pursue the above foreign policy goals. India has tried to stand by the principle of avoiding use of force in settling differences with other countries. Indeed it prefers the peaceful methods like dialogue, negotiation and diplomacy or narrowing differences and easing ter, sions among countries. India has alwaiis actively supported the development of international law to regulate various problematic aspects of world affairs.
Further, India has firmly believed in strengthening the United Nations and other global and regional organisations as useful tools for international harmony and cooperation. India believes in working for reduction and final elimination of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction. India’s foreign policy principles as ,enshrined in Panchsheel (1954) emphasise the imperatives of non-aggression, non-interference, and peaceful co-existence among counties.
Precisely, India through foreign policy wants to be seen as peace-loving, mature, law- abiding and trustworthy country while trying to benefit from friendly contacts with other countries in the society of nations. There are several factors that have influenced, and continue to influence, the shaping of India’s foreign policy. Some of these factors are of permanent nature while others change with the time. For a greater understanding of the multi-perspective policy formulation
there is a need to trace and appreciate the major determinants of India’s foreign
policy with reference to its objectives and principles_ The determinants of polic)’; making are wide ranging because cL the broad spectrum it serves. The fac‑