Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and India in 2020 | UPSC

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IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 9th Sep 2020

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.–Henry David Thoreau

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT #127 :“Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and India in 2020 | UPSC

Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and India in 2020 | UPSC

P.S. Raghavan
Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and India in 2020 | UPSC

P.S. Raghavan, a former diplomat, is Chairman of the National Security Advisory Board. The views expressed are personal

      HEADLINES:

What is in a NAM and India’s alignment

      CENTRAL THEME:

The country has not yet found a universally accepted successor, as a signature tune for its foreign policy

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Relevance of NAM

      MAINS QUESTION:

Non-alignment, as a foreign policy concept, is dead or it needs a rejuvenation. Substantiate -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Meaning of NAM
  • Challenges and India’s Foreign policy
  • Way Forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

Non-alignment was a concept of relevance in a specific era and a particular context, though the independence of action enshrined in it remains a factor of continuity in India’s foreign policy.-MEA

  • This is about as explicit an assertion as one is likely to get from our political leadership of an obvious post-Cold War Era.

      BODY: 

UNITED BY A CAMPAIGN

  • REAL PURPOSE : Non-alignment was a policy fashioned during the Cold War, to retain an autonomy of policy (not equidistance) between two politico-military blocs.
  • AIM OF NAM : The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) provided a platform for newly independent developing nations to join together to protect this autonomy.

DIVERSITY : It was a disparate group from many continents, with varying degrees of proximity to, and dependence on, one or the other bloc.

  • ESSENCE OF NAM : NAM broadly symbolizes unity around flagship campaigns for de-colonisation, universal nuclear disarmament and against apartheid.
  • CREATING A SYNC : Freed from the shackles of the Cold War, the NAM countries were able to diversify their network of relationships across the erstwhile east-west divide.

Non-alignment lost its relevance, and NAM countries were its original raison d’être(the most important reason for existence).

  • PROJECTIONS : Non-alignment has not been projected by our policymakers as a tenet of India’s foreign policy.
  • SUCCESSOR POLICY : However, we have not yet found a universally accepted successor as a signature tune for our foreign policy.
  • STRATEGIC AUTONOMY : Strategic autonomy was one, which soon acquired a connotation similar to non-alignment, with an anti-U.S. tint.
  • MULTI-ALIGNMENT : Multi-alignment for India has not found universal favour.

CHINA FACTOR

  • COUNTERING CHINA : There have been calls for India’s foreign policy to shed its inhibitions and make a decisive shift towards the United States, as the only viable option to counter China.

India will not join an alliance system. MEA clarified that a rejection of non-alignment does not mean a rush to alignment.

ALLIANCES IN COLD WAR

  • ALLIANCE CONCEPT : The fact is that ‘alliance’ is as much a Cold War concept as non-alignment.
  • GLUE THAT HELD TOGETHER : The glue that held countries of an alliance together was composed of ideological convergence and an existential military threat.
  • DISAPPEARING GLUE : With the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the Warsaw Pact, this glue dissolved and the international options of alliance partners widened, just like those of NAM countries.
  • CONGRUENCE : The strategic interests of alliance partners are no longer congruent.

THREATS TODAY

  • CHINESE ASSERTION : The threat to the alliance partners today is from an assertive China.
  •  UPCOMING ADVERSARIES : Countries are reluctant to define a strategic adversary, because of their economic engagement with it and the huge military asymmetry.

GEOGRAPHY LINK

While politics is dynamic, geography is immutable.

  • GEO-POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE : Two major imperatives flow from India’s geography: economic and security interests in the Indo-Pacific space and the strategic importance of the continental landmass to its north and west.
  • STRETCHING POLICIES : The former has inspired the Act East policy of bilateral and multilateral engagements in Southeast Asia and East Asia and the Pacific.
  • SHARED INTERESTS : Shared India-U.S. interests in dealing with the challenge from China in the maritime domain have been a strategic underpinning of the bilateral partnership since the early 2000s.
  • REAWAKENING : The political lessons from the current pandemic could help reawaken that historical memory.

      IASbhai Windup: 

A TEMPLATE AND UNSC TERM

  • MOST NEEDED COUNCIL : Five years ago, a group of U.S. strategic analysts had suggested the Council on Foreign Relations, that the U.S. should see ties with India as a joint venture could pursue shared objectives to mutual benefit could help in present context.

FAVORING CONCEPT : This template could have wider applicability for bilateral relations in today’s world order-militarily unipolar, economically multipolar and politically confused.

  • BETTER PROFILE AHEAD : India will acquire a larger global profile next year, when it commences a two-year term on the UN Security Council.
  • STRATEGIC CHOICES : The strategic choices that it makes in its bilateral partnerships will be closely watched.

Advancing prosperity and influence should be the mantra of post pandemic foreign policy.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) and India in 2020 | UPSC

 

TRENDING NOW : Important The Hindu Editorials 

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