Foreign Policy of Jawaharlal Nehru

By Shubham Verma|Updated : April 6th, 2021

विश्व युद्ध की पृष्ठभूमि में एक राष्ट्र के उत्पन्न भारत ने अन्य सभी देशों की संप्रभुता का सम्मान करने और शांति के रखरखाव के माध्यम से सुरक्षा हासिल करने के उद्देश्य से अपने विदेशी संबंधों का संचालन करने का निर्णय लिया। यह उद्देश्य राज्य नीति के निर्देशक सिद्धांतों में सम्मिलित है।

Nehru's Foreign Policy from 1947 to 1964

India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to pursue more modest goals than the advanced states. He focuses more on peace and development in their own neighborhood. Moreover, their economic and security dependence on the more powerful states occasionally influences their foreign policy. After Independence, Nehru decided to continue India’s membership in Commonwealth Nations. He also tried to establish friendly and cordial relations with the United States, USSR, and other countries (both developed and developing)

The policy of Non-Alignment

  • Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister exercised a profound influence in the formulation and implementation of India’s foreign policy from 1946 to 1964. 
  • The three major objectives of Nehru’s foreign policy were:
    • To preserve the hard-earned sovereignty, 
    • Protect territorial integrity, and 
    • Promote rapid economic development. 
  • Nehru wanted to achieve these objectives through the strategy of non-alignment.
  • Independent India’s foreign policy pursued the dream of a peaceful world by advocating the policy of non-alignment, by reducing Cold War tensions, and by contributing human resources to the UN peacekeeping operations throughout the world.
  • Under his leadership, India convened the Asian Relations Conference in March 1947, five months ahead of attaining its independence. 
  • India was a rigorous supporter of the decolonization process and firmly opposed racism, especially apartheid in South Africa. 
  • The Bandung conference held in the Indonesian city of Bandung in 1955 marked the rise of India’s engagement with the newly independent Asian and African nations. The Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) as its results and its first summit was held in Belgrade in September 1961.

Indo-China relations

  • Jawaharlal Nehru felt strongly that India and China will shed the shadow of western domination and both countries will establish themselves in international fora. 
  • Nehru sidelined Vallabhbhai Patel’s tensions about possible Chinese attack in the future. On 29 April 1954, India and China signed the Panchsheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence) agreement, which was considered as a step in the direction of a stronger relationship between the two countries. 
  • In 1962, the Indo-China war dented India’s image at home and abroad. None of the major countries came in support of India. 
  • Nehru’s Defence Minister, V. Krishna Menon, resigned from the cabinet, and defeat in war affected Nehru’s own stature, as he was severely criticised for his naïve assessment of the Chinese intentions and the lack of military preparedness. 
  • For the first time, a no-confidence motion against the Nehru government was moved and debated in the Lok Sabha.

Indo-Pakistan Relations

  • Jawaharlal Nehru adopted a protective approach towards Pakistan. In 1950, Nehru-Liaquat Pact was signed which was binding on both countries to “protect the interests of minorities in both their countries”. 
  • The establishment of bilateral relations between countries started with Pakistan’s attack on India in 1948, and both countries finally ceasefire which resulted in some part of Jammu and Kashmir (known as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) came under the dominance of Pakistan. 
  • In 1948, both countries signed the Inter-Dominion Accord under which India was required to provide water to Pakistani in return for annual payments. But both countries failed to conclude the deal.
  • In 1954, For the distribution of Indus waters between India and Pakistan, the World Bank brokered Indus Water Treaty between both countries which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan signed in September 1960. A Permanent Indus Commission was created as a result of this treaty.


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