The Non-aligned movement owes its inspiration to Late Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Independent India. The world was divided into two power-blocs—the American and the Russian. The non-aligned movement aimed at steering clear of both these blocs and their global rivalries and jealousies. It is basically a movement of the under-developed and developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, referred to as the third world countries, as contrasted with the affluent, developed nations of the West.
Naturally, the movement looks after the interests of the world countries and is the mouthpiece of their programmes, policies and aspirations. Most of these countries are poor, and have been the victims and colonial or racial exploitation. Hence the non-aligned movement is anti –colonial and anti-racial in its approach. It stands for social, political and economical justice, and raises its voice against exploitation in any form and of kind. It considers that it is the duty of the affluent countries to help the poor, developing ones, and that there can be no lasting peace in the world till poverty, and exploitation exists.
It seeks to arouse the conscience of the rich so that inequality and injustice may be banished from the earth. It stands for peace and non-violence, or a reduction in armaments and the halting of the arms race among the supper-powers. It believes that world problems and disputes should be resolved and settled not through war but through negotiations conducted on the basis of justice, sincerity and fair-play. Its voice is the voice of sanity and balance in world affairs.
The non-aligned movement has grown steadily in force and influence. Its beginnings were modest but today over a hundred countries are its members. India has always taken a keen interest in the movement and has worked ceaselessly for its success. She has never failed to advocate the point of view of the non-aligned, and whenever and whenever there has been social injustice and exploitation, she has raised her voice in support of the victims of big-power exploitation and has done her best to help them, materially and morally.
As a result of the dynamic leadership provided by late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, its influence has increased steadily. It has emerged as a force to be reckoned with, and its voice can no longer be ignored. The non-aligned have come closer together, have learned to co-operate and work together with singleness of purpose and with will and determination. Thanks to the dynamism imparted to it by the late Prime Minister, the non-aligned have played leading roles in the world forums. The key-role played by India in the non-aligned movement has been widely appreciated. She has always championed the cause of the third world, fearlessly and forcefully.
There is no doubt that the non-aligned movement has grown increasingly wider and more cogent, but its impact on world affairs has been handicapped for several reasons. The
countries of the third world are still divided among themselves by local and regional rivalries. Their own individual national interests have often clashed with the interests of the movement and they have failed to rise above such narrow and selfish considerations. Often their links, political, economic or military, with other countries of the world, have come in the way of an impartial and just non-aligned approach. There are instances, where such countries. Thos the interests of third world have been sacrificed to secure some momentary advantage over a regional rival. Besides, the Third World countries are poor economically and backward as far as science and technology are concerned. They have tended to depend on the developed world in these spheres.
However, the call given by late Mrs. Gandhi that the third world countries should share their science and technology with each other, and should also help each other economically, instead of depending on the developed countries, has brought about a general awakening among the non-aligned. There has been rethinking in various countries and it has been realized that the flow of trade, science and technology among the non-aligned can do much to reduce their dependence on the affluent, developed countries of the West. Mutual co-operation is the key to self-reliance and independence in thought and speech. These very aspects of the non-aligned movement were also emphasized by late Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Ex-Prime Minister, during his tenure as the Chairman of the movement.
Thus, the role of India in the non-aligned movement has been a pivotal one. She has provided it with dynamism and helped it to formulate its own principles, aims and objective. She has inspired it with noble ideas and ideals. The movement has grown stronger than ever before. We wish it every success for in its programs and policies lies the hope of the world. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, it has been said that the non-aligned movement has lost its relevance. Such views are short-sighted and wrong. But it is certain that the non-aligned must always work for the under-developed third world countries. The non-aligned movement will never lose its relevance.