Objectives of Indian Foreign Policy
The foreign policy of India has some basic aims and objectives.
These aims and objectives of Indian Foreign Policy can be divided into three broad heads:
- The Central objective,
- The Intermediary objectives and
- The Distant objectives.
Central objectives: The most important central objectives of the foreign policy of a state are always the maintenance of national interest, national independence and sovereignty.
Intermediary objectives: The important intermediary objectives are the up keeping of the economic interest of the state and also to increase its power and prestige in the international field.
Distant objectives: The important distant objectives are to shape an international system befitting the state’s dream and ideology.
The foreign policy of India also aims at maintaining international peace and security, to oppose imperialism, to stand against the apartheid policy, to propagate the peaceful and political settlement of international disputes, to foster peaceful coexistence, to remain non-aligned and non- committed, and to maintain the unity and solidarity of the third world.
National security, interest and independence: Maintenance of national interest is thus the basic objectives of India’s foreign policy. The main purpose of the foreign policy is always to give priority to the question of ensuring security from external aggression and if the question of internal security is associated with it, then that too will come under the purview of the foreign policy.
In fact, the idea of national interest has a close link with the international system. If the international system becomes complicated than that may have a bad impact on the security and developmental activities of different states.
Economic development: India is a fast developing economy. Over 1.2 billion people lives here. Economic development is a pre-requisite for the overall development of the people of India. India is focusing on industrialization and trying to bring foreign capital in various sectors. These industries are expected to create employment for a large number of people.
The question of national development is also associated with the issue of national interest. The principal aim of Indian Foreign policy is to ensure all pervasive national economic development and to expand the area of external trade as well as of accelerating the pace of development.
One of the main objectives of Indian foreign policy is to create such a congenial and favorable and international system and environment which can help her national security and developmental activities ran unhindered.
International peace and security: Another objective of Indian foreign policy is to maintain international peace and security. India is always eager to maintain international peace and hence always propagate for disarmament. India has requested time and again the other states to stop arm competition and organize military groupings and alliances.
India also stood in the past and always stands against imperialism and this is one of the main aims of India’s foreign policy. To highlight her motto India always supported the freedom movement of various states like the people’s war in Namibia and the liberation movement of Palestine.
Likewise, India is against the policy of apartheid and she always hated it. India always stood firmly against the policy of apartheid followed by the South African government run by the white people. For this reason, India even organized a fund for helping the Front Like States against South Africa. Ultimately the policy itself lost its base and force.
Settle international disputes through peaceful means: Another basic objective of India’s foreign policy is to settle all international disputes through peaceful means and politically. India always try to solve international matters in a peaceful manner. Hence India has expressed her complete faith and allegiance to the policy and ideology declared by the UNO. In all international conflicts that carried the possibility of the breach of peace and disturbances in the International system, India always endeavored for the pacific settlement of them.
Peaceful co-existence: Naturally another special objective of Indian foreign policy is her faith on the policy of peaceful co-existence. The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said that the only alternative to peaceful co-existence is co-destruction. That is why India declared the principle of Panchashila which spoke of:
- Mutual respect of the state for one another’s geographical solidarity and sovereignty,
- Mutual agreement for not to interfere each other’s internal affairs,
- Maintenance of equality,
- Providing mutual advantages to each other and
- Maintenance of peaceful co-existence.
In modern complex world most of the states have began to keep faith on the policy of peaceful co-existence.
Non-alignment policy: Another striking objective of Indian foreign policy is her faith and maintenance of the policy of non-alignment. After the Second World War the world was divided into two poles— one was the capitalist block headed by the United States of America and the other one was the Socialist block headed by the earlier USSR now dismantled. That was the period of cold war and the world was tensed enough to witness another global war (the Third World War) – between these two antagonist blocks which was sure to turn it into a nuclear war. Most of the countries sided with either this block or that. But India was unwilling to lose her identity so easily and hence maintained the policy of non-alignment – a policy which gave her both prestige and position. Later on many countries of the world began to follow the Indian policy of non-alignment and thus developed the non-aligned movement better known in its short name— NAM. This has also fostered the unity and integrity of the third world and to make this unity solid by extending co-operation of all sorts among the third world countries is another objective of India’s foreign policy.