African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382


India’s Foreign Policy-Retrospect and prospect

Tajamul Rafi
  • Tajamul Rafi
  • GDC Hadipora Baramulla, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
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Usha Shrivastava
  • Usha Shrivastava
  • Madav science college Vikram University Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, India
  • Google Scholar
Nasreena Akhtar
  • Nasreena Akhtar
  • Lecturer of Political Science. International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 16 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 17 May 2015
  •  Published: 30 June 2015


A country relation with other countries of the world is known as her external relations. The external relations of a country are based on certain principles and policies. They are collectively called foreign policy. Thus foreign policy is the totality of actions of a state in dealing with external environment consisting of national, international and regional actors. In other words, foreign policy is the sum total of a country’s relationship with these actors; while pursuing its received goals and objectives through the process of foreign policy a state translates its goals and interests into specific courses of action. India’s foreign policy is shaped by several factors including its history, culture, geography and economy. Our PM, Jawaharlal Nehru gave a definite shape to the country’s foreign policy.  Indian ideology in the international affairs is based on the five principles of India’s foreign Policy under leaders like Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi. These are a belief in friendly relations with all countries of the world. The resolution of conflicts by peaceful means, the sovereign equality of all states, independent of through and action as manifested in the principles of non – alignment and equity in the conduct of international relations. Promotion of democratic values is high on India’s international relations. Another bench mark of India’s official ideology is secular nationalism. India is the home for peoples from various religions and cultures. India promotes secular values and freedom to follow any religion or culture. India’s Foreign Policy after se became independent in 1947. It was in September 1946 that Jawaharlal Nehru formulated the independent policy which has been followed ever since. Successive Prime Ministers have endorsed that policy and parliament has approved it. The essence of the independent foreign policy is non-alignment i.e., India refused to join either the communist bloc or the Western bloc into which most of the nations were grouped during the days of the cold war. She preferred to remain outside the contest. Two other features of this policy have been (1) an emphasis on peaceful negotiation as a means to resolving conflicts, the temper of peace as Nehru put it and (2) a deliberate effort to seek the friendship of all nations including the nations of the communist bloc as well as the western bloc. In formulation of a foreign policy, both domestic and external factors are taken into account. If we look at the way the formulation of foreign policy in democratic and non-democratic countries, they mobilize national power, define their national interests, and peruse effective policies play military strategy in the light of balance of power – which is one of the basic principles of power politics game that acts to control interstate relations. However, the formulation of foreign policy is the result of its leaders’ capacity which gains people’s support in implementing that foreign policy .


Key words: External relations, foreign policy, military strategy, pre-independence phase, panchsheel, peaceful co-existence, pious means, mutual respect, territorial integrity, sovereignty, mutual non – aggression