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India and NAM

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 20:39 IST

The emergence of the Cold War between Western democracies and East European countries, led by the Soviet Union, was a disappointment to India.

Leaving aside concerns about macro-level tensions, which the cold war was to generate, Indian leadership was legitimately apprehensive about India becoming subjected to extraneous and external influences, if the nation were to take sides in this ideological confrontation.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's assessment was that India should keep away from Cold War power politics, should remain committed to its own democratic terms of reference for national consolidation and should cooperate with all countries, regardless of their respective ideological or political affiliations in order to maintain international peace and stability and to meet India's own national interests.

This process evolved into "non-alignment" becoming the guiding principle of India's foreign policy and, ultimately, found manifestation in the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The term, thus was coined by Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which later became the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement.  

• Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty

• Mutual non-aggression

• Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs

• Equality and mutual benefit

• Peaceful co-existence 

(With excerpts from India's Foreign Policy, by JN Dixit)