Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 3 – Q 2.How did Indian leaders cope with the global pressures mounted at the time of Cold War? Was it effective? Critically analyse.

2. How did Indian leaders cope with the global pressures mounted at the time of Cold War? Was it effective? Critically analyse.

शीत युद्ध के समय भारतीय नेताओं ने वैश्विक दबावों का सामना कैसे किया? क्या यह प्रभावी था? आलोचनात्मक विश्लेषण करें।


Cold war was the open yet restricted rivalry that developed after the WW2 between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies. It was waged on political, economical and propaganda fronts and had only limited resource to weapons.

Approach of the Indian leaders:

  • The onset of the peak of the Cold war and India’s independence almost coincided. The leaders did not want to compromise on sovereignty or any freedom due to involvement with either side.
  • The basic aims, principles and parameters of Indian stand towards the global division of powers at the time of Cold war was outlined by the 1st Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. It was one of balancing the competing interests of both sides.
  • They were based on promotion of international peace and security, friendly relations with other countries, respect for international law and peaceful settlement of international disputes.

Measures taken:

  • Panchsheel: Signed in 1954, the Panchsheel agreement laid down 5 basic principles emphasizing on durable world peace and friendly relations among countries. It included mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression against each other, Non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co- existence.
  • Non-alignment: India’s determination to preserve its hard earned independence without joining either of the 2 blocs, its opposition to imperialism and colonialism, gave birth to Non-alignment. Indian leaders of the time lead by Nehru postulated on taking an independent stand on international issues based on merits of the case but at the same time not committing to come under influence of any bloc.
  • India played a significant role in multilateral institutions and particularly in UN peacekeeping operations. They ensured deep respect for international law and sovereign equality of nations.

Effectiveness of the measures taken:


  • It made India a leader of NAM with many nations pledging support under the same principles of non-alignment.
  • It helped India play a major role in the efforts towards decolonization of many countries thereafter.
  • It provided for a forum for 3rd world countries to engage the developed countries in a productive dialogue over divergent views.
  • India received aid from both the power blocs and neither of them considered India as a threat.
  • India could thus successfully utilize the best of both powers for its interests diplomatically.


  • The NAM broadly worked on the lines of ideology than the actual active implementation of developmental efforts.
  • At the beginning, the group mainly consisted of nations lacking in economic and social spheres, including India and thus had reduced impact on the whole.
  • It seized to have any future goals as the Cold war declined.


  • The core principle of non-alignment still drives our foreign policy even today, though with changes in interpretation of functional and strategic interests. E.g.: Diplomacy with US and Iran, Russia and US etc.,
  • As there is no bipolar world as earlier, the non-alignment does not have practical relevance as an idea, but is still relevant to question the morality of international decisions and more on the lines of issue based alignment on merits, rather than just the ideology.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email