Social Scientist. v 10, no. 113 (Oct 1982) p. 51.


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India s Foreign Policy

THE FOREIGN policy of a country is deeply influenced by the domestic correlation of social forces and their material goals. More importantly global alignments exercise a direct impact on a country's foreign policy options. The current global alignments are based on direct confrontation between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, and the growing militarisation of the U S is primarily responsible for the death of detente and the emergence of the second 'cold war' in international affairs. The U S is pursuing its policy of military confrontation, isolation and encirclement of the Soviet Union by exploiting the Sino-Soviet conflict, supplying arms to the regional allies, and building new military bases in Western Europe and the Indian Ocean.

India's foreign policy makers have to operate in a global crisis situation in which the US is determined to follow a policy of military confrontation with the USSR. Moreover, India is involved in a serious domestic crisis created by the capitalist path of development followed by the exploiting classes. Therefore, Indian foreign policy makers must grapple with global and domestic crises, and because these crises are fundamental, the search for soft options in foreign policy would be at the cost of India's national independence.

India's policy of non-alignment and self-reliance in economic development can be examined by relating it with the 'dual tendencies' of the Indian bourgeoisie. The Indian bourgeoisie, although it fought against British imperialism (primarily for the control of the Indian domestic market), made many compromises with the imperialists. The interests of colonial capitalists were fully safeguarded through the negotiated transfer of power between the British and India. This has been revealed during the last three decades of independence, wherein the Indian bourgeoisie has revealed its dual character while dealing with imperialism. As a result, on the one hand Indian ruling classes have confronted and opposed imperialism and on the other they have compromised with imperialism to pursue their class interests. A few facts may be mentioned here to substantiate the nature of confrontation between India and imperialism.

(a) After the Second World War, the imperialist countries evolved a strategy of military pacts and alliances with the newly liberated countries of the Third Worl4. India refused to join any military alliance with the imperialists, and unlike many other Third World countries, she refused to provide military bases to the imperialists.

(b) During the 1950's and 1960's the imperialist countries were



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