Ever since the achievement of independence India has been assiduously striving for the promotion of peace. She has unbounded faith in peace. She believes that peaceful conditions alone can hold out any hope for the deliverance of mankind from the rut of so many ills it is at present plagued with.
As soon as she got independence, she declared her determination to pursue the path of peace and take effective measures for the promotion of international peace, security and co-operation.
This faith of India is peace is in keeping with her ancient tradition and her won genius. India can be singled out as a nation which has hardly ever waged wars of aggression simply for self-aggrandizement. Mahavir Swami and Gautama Buddha tirelessly preached against all kinds of violence. Their teachings were no heeded, but also acted upon by Indian emperors.
India had learnt from Mahatma Gandhi that stable pace could be found on the improvement of economic condition of the people. When India got freedom, she was faced with the gigantic task of meliorating the economic condition of her masses. She beloved that economic prosperity and freedom were indivisible. Hence world peace was essential not only for her own economic development, but also for the economic development of all the backward countries of the world.
There are a number of powerful planks on which India’s policy of living in peace with and for promoting peace among nations of the world rests. They are (1) Non-alignment, (2) Peaceful co-existence, (3) Economic and cultural co-operation, (4) Disarmament and use of nuclear energy for peace, (5) Settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, (6) Support for nationalist movements in different parts of the world, (7) Ending of apartheid, old and new types of colonialism, imperialism etc. (8) Support for the U.N.O.
In the world full of powerful nations, armed to the teeth and filled with bellicose tendencies, India declared herself as a non-aligned country not joining either of the two powerful military blocs. As a non-aligned country, India along with other non-aligned countries was in a position to act as a powerful moderating force between the two warring groups. Non-alignment became a bridge between the eastern bloc committed to communist ideology and the western bloc committed to democratic ideology.
Panchsheela was conceived as a powerful weapon against war. The five principles of Panchsheela constitute an important and historic event in the history of international relations. These five principles should be acted upon if the world is to avoid another holocaust (destruction) of global war in which there will be no victor nor any vanquished. In the doctrine of Panchsheela India has contributed a great idea of peace to the war-weary world.
India has consistently pleaded the cause of disarmament. She took a leading part in signing the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963. She has advocated the use of nuclear energy for peaceful or constructive purposes. Though capable of developing an atomic device for military purposes, she has refrained from manufacturing an atom bomb despite the fast that their communist neighbor has exploded many atomic devices and constitutes a potential threat to her freedom and territorial integrity.
India stands for the solution of all international problems by peaceful means like adjudication, arbitration, mediation, etc. She herself has set examples of the same in her own case. Following her conflict with China, India accepted Colombo Proposals in order to avoid future wars with China and settle all her outstanding disputes with the latter by peaceful means. In 1965 India agreed to abide by the judgment of an international court of arbitration on her Kutch dispute with Pakistan.
India has been of the view that continuance of Colonialism, racial discrimination and imperialism in any form in a serious menace to peace. The recognition of sovereign equality of all people living in various part of the world, and all nations’ right to political freedom is the fundamental factor in India’s foreign policy. From the very beginning she began to champion the cause of nationalist movements in Asia and other parts of the world. An Asian Relations Conference was organized by Late. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru with the sole object of getting the world to focus attention to this issue.
India has rendered her full support to the united Nations in the task of putting an end to world-war. Also she contributed her share of U.N. troops to keep peace in the Congo, Gaza Strip and Cyprus. She responded to the U.N. call for declaring cease-fire in her conflict with Pakistan. She looks upon the U.N. as a major instrument for brining about reduction in international tension.
A role of great importance that India has played in international understanding is a happy synthesis of non-conflicting ideology. She has advanced her own brand of democracy and socialism and fused them into a happy combination of democratic socialism over ideological issues. Further it has tried to bring home to people having different ideologies that the world is large enough for the existence and peaceful accommodation of different political systems.
The above discussion aptly bring out the most significant contribution India has made to world peace and to the promotion of healthy relations among the nations of the world which is standing on the dry hay-rich, waiting for a match-stick with full potentialities of setting it ablaze. Let us hope that India would go on striving for world peace.