Historical Essay on Non-Aligned Movement in India

The after effects of the second world-war were actually the reason for the origin of non-alignment, which came into the scene after the victory of the Allied Powers in the Second World-War. Each of the allies, the British, the Americans and the Russians were anxious to enlarge and expand its area of influence in the new shape of Europe. So basically the theory of non-alignment rests on the principle of national independence and self-reliance on one hand and international co-operation on the other. When India got freedom, Russia was spreading its ideological concept over a large number of countries, whereas America was entering into military alliance with newly emerging states. But country like India successfully resisted such pressures because of her firm convictions and practical reasons and did not join any of the blocks. This mature consideration gave birth to the concept of non-alignment.


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In certain quarters, the concept of non-alignment was misinterpreted. It was regarded as a negative concept leading to isolation. But Jawahar Lal Nehru cleared this concept in 1949 by saying,” When I say that we should not align ourselves with any power bloc, obviously it does not mean that we should not be closer in our relations with some countries than with others. That depends on entirely different factors chiefly economic, political, agricultural and many other factors. These close relations will no doubt develop and we will encourage them to develop, but we do not wish to place ourselves in a position, where poetically speaking, we are just lined up with a particular group or bound up to in regard to our future ‘foreign activities.” This statement made India’s position very clear in so far as. the policy of non-alignment was concerned.

Non-alignment presupposes participation in international politics with­out having bloc affiliation. At the same time it does not mean passive neutrality. It is neither a policy of silence for fear of others, nor a policy of isolation from the world politics. But it is rather a path of taking decisions on all issues according to one’s judgment of right and wrong. At seventh Non-Aligned Summit-in New Delhi in March 1983, India’s Prime Minister addressed a meeting by saying, “Non-Aaignment is to vague, not negative, not neutral and we cannot risk any shadow on our freedom of judgment and action. We have no*quarrel with any group of nations. But we speak our against injustice.”


The non-aligned nations have grown into a great moral force in interna­tional politics. They have stood separately as-well-as unitedly for world peace, understanding and co-operation amongst the nations of the world. They have criticized the wrong and unjust and supported the right and just without fear and favour, they are in favour of disarmament and against social discrimination.

The principle of non-alignment has received wider acceptance, while the second Non-Aligned Conference held in October 1964 was attended by 47 participant countries and 10 observers. The third conference held at Lusaka in 1970 was attended by 54 participants and 11 observers and the fourth Summit Conference held at Algiers in December 1973 by 75 participants and 14 observers. The participant included countries not only from West Asia and South Asia, but also from Africa, the Carribeans and Latin America. The eighth Non-Aligned Summit held in Harare in Sept. 1986 was attended by over a hundred countries representing all the continents and bulk of humanity.

The seventh Non-Aligned Summit Conference was held in New Delhi in March, 1983 and it reiterated its decision on all important issues before the world community and appealed to the big powers to co-operate willingly in the efforts of creating a new order in the world.

The policy of non-alignment has over the year won worldwide appreci­ation as a sound and lasting instrument of world co-operation and world peace. Even the people who were once against this policy have come round to view that greater peace, co-operation and prosperity are possible not by military alliances and power blocs and sorting out of problems by resort to arms, but by giving up die-hard colonial and imperialistic policies in favor of the policy of “live and let live” by pursuing the attitude of friendship with all and ill-will towards none.

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