Non Alignment Movement

By Sudheer Kumar K|Updated : September 4th, 2021

This article focusses on the idea that how and why  India has changed its diplomacy during the ongoing pandemic and India is quick to recognize the changing global dynamics. The government’s attempt to go back to the NAM is a clear case of changing approaches during changing circumstances.

Context:  This article focusses on the idea that how and why  India has changed its diplomacy during the ongoing pandemic and India is quick to recognize the changing global dynamics. The government’s attempt to go back to the NAM is a clear case of changing approaches during changing circumstances.

About NAM origin and issues with India:

  • The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a bloc of 120 developing countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc in the world. As we know the United Nations is the largest block of the countries worldwide.
  • After independence India also followed the path of NAM in fact it also becomes one of the founding members of this block, because of much orientation of Nehru towards the soviet era, it followed the path of NAM.
  • Although in reality many of the Non-Aligned Movement's members were actually closely aligned with one or another of the superpowers which somehow serves their own interests.
  • By following the same path in the later years after Nehru NAM become less relevant, and due to the changing geopolitics India also followed the path of globalization and collaborated with superpowers from time to time.
  • This approach of India not only leaves the country negligent towards NAM but in the time frame, the importance of this bloc diminishes for India.

Reasons for re-interests :

  • Recently Prime Minister Modi addressed a virtual summit of the non-aligned nations that has given the global order an edge to rethink India’s role in NAM. 
  • This also signifies India’s stakes in the so-called “Global South” for that NAM can be used as a climbing ladder. In this way, NAM remains a critical diplomatic forum for India in the pursuit of India’s international interests.
  • It is always believed that NAM is an organization formed at the time Cold War and it has also worked according to the needs of that time now also the world is feeling that a new Cold War is beginning to unfold, between the US and China. In this situation, India has every reason to try and preserve some political space in between the two. 
  • In the last few years, India is devoting time to many diplomatic forums like BRICS. These forums concluded profits only for Russian and Chinese leadership that’s why India needs NAM for mobilizing support on issues of interest to Delhi. 

Global pandemic Crisis and aftermath Leadership role of NAM?

  • With the present 120 permanent members of the NAM, India is perfectly positioned in that stage so that it can emerge as the group’s leader with respect to its democratic values and the size of its demography and economy. 
  • Apart from this, India’s value increased more because it is one of the three founding countries of the NAM, with Egypt and erstwhile Yugoslavia, they also act in its favor.


Special advantages for India for leading the NAM 

  • From the point of view of strategy, it is also important for Modi to check his authoritarian and nationalist image in the international arena. If he is taking a leadership role in the world’s largest multipolar organization will significantly distinguish him from the likes of Trump and other such leaders, who have actively pushed back against such multilateralism. 
  • Further, the NAM also redeems the Nehruvian template of foreign policy, which was widely accepted in the West and the Middle East, two regions from whom Modi has been receiving maximum pushback for almost a year.
  • The world expects the emergence of a new global order in the aftermath of COVID-19, emerging middle powers like India are set to play an important role. 
  • What India has identified during his NAM intervention, which clearly acknowledged about “limitations of the existing international system” and pitched a “new template of globalization, based on fairness, equality, and humanity. That can be achieved by this forum”
  • It can also be said that the need for international institutions “to promote human welfare” alongside economic growth, and highlighted India’s “championing” of such initiatives through the International Day of Yoga, the International Solar Alliance, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure is also been noted.

Meeting its core objectives:

  • The fundamental objectives of the non-aligned countries is they focused on the support of self-determination, national independence, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
  • It also focuses on the opposition to apartheid; non-adherence to multilateral military pacts, and the independence of non-aligned countries from great power or block influences and rivalries; 
  • It also focuses on the struggle against colonialism, apart from this it also targets neocolonialism, racism, foreign occupation, and domination; disarmament; non-interference into the internal affairs of the States and peaceful coexistence among all nations;
  • It promotes rejection of the use or threat of use of force in international relations; the strengthening of the United Nations; the democratization of international relations; socioeconomic development and the restructuring of the international economic system; it also develops international cooperation on an equal footing.
  • If the objectives of the NAM countries achieved at its fullest then it is always good for the global order to maintain harmony peace and tranquillity.


  • India’s diplomacy in the last few years has been majorly following the path to counter China and its influence. 
  • India is facing China as a competitor in Africa, West Asia, Central Asia, and the Indo-Pacific in many realms. Indo-US ties are complementary, and a formal alliance will help realize the full potential of these relations.
  • Although  India’s alliance with the US is not going to break down trade relations with China. Even during the Cold War, New Delhi had good trade ties with the US despite leaning towards the Soviet Union.
  • Non-alignment or being a swing state makes all the sense if the profits to be derived from either side are balanced. China will never try to become India, what the Soviet Union was. In the post-COVID-19 world, India will definitely have to make a disruptive choice — of alignment.


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