India’s foreign policy basic principles and objectives

The Principle of India’s foreign policy

  1. Mutual Respect for each others territorial integrity and Sovereignty.
  2. Mutual Non-Aggression
  3. Mutal Non-interference
  4. Equality and Mutual Benefit
  5. Peaceful co-existence

These fundamental principles are called Panchsheel or five virtues. This was first formally enunciated in the Agreement on trade between the Tibet region of China and India signed on April 29, 1954.

This was later evolved to act as a conductor of international relations globally.

History of India’s foreign policy

Jawaharlal Nehru - Non Alignment Movement 1956
Jawaharlal Nehru – Non Alignment Movement 1956 By Silverije – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
  • After 1947, India began to follow an independent foreign policy. It was designed by the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • He developed the basic principles of India’s foreign policy.
  • He was the architect of the Non-aligned Movement during the Cold War era.
  • Also, he extended support to colonial countries in their struggle for independence.
  • Nehru outlined the five principles of coexistence or Panch Sheel for conducting relations among countries. They are:
    • mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
    • non-aggression
    • non-interference in each other’s internal affairs
    • equality and mutual benefit and
    • peaceful coexistence.
  • India plays an active role in international bodies such as the Common Wealth and the United Nations Organization.
  • After the Independence, Nehru decided to stay within Common Wealth, an organization consisting of former British colonies.
  • India had also played an active role in the UN peacekeeping forces in various parts of the world.
  • It had sent its troops as part of UN peace-keeping Mission to Korea, IndoChina, Suez Canal and The Congo.
  • India had to fight three major wars [1965, 1971 and 2000] with Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir.
  • India maintained friendly relations with both USA and USSR during the Cold War era.
  • In 1971 India and USSR signed the Indo- Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance during the Bangladesh crisis.
  • India and China are the two most important powers of Asia. These two are the most populous countries of the World. Also, they possess the significance of proud, history and civilization dating back to ancient times.
  • When the communist regime under the leadership of Mao Tse Tung was established in 1949, India was
    one among the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China.
  • In spite of India’s friendly relations with China India had to defend herself when China attacked India in 1962.
  • The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state with the active help of India was an important event.
  • During the liberation struggle between East Pakistan and West Pakistan India supported East Pakistan.
  • The coordinated approach of the Indian forces along with Mukti Bahini ultimately led to the liberation of Bangladesh (East Pakistan) in December 1971 India is maintaining friendly relations right from the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.
  • India has also been maintaining friendly relations with its neighbours for which purpose the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established.
  • India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives are its members.
  • The aim of SAARC is to increase economic, social and cultural cooperation among its members.
  • Periodic meetings are being held to achieve this goal.
* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.