Independent Foreign Policy: Betrayal of Congress
Indian Foreign Policy has suddenly become the centre stage of all debate and discussion which for the first time has pricked the conscience of the people of India. Participation of people in the debate is the reflection of changing developments which has come after the long pause of Nehru's regime.
In the last four decades Indian foreign policy was limited up to the Pakistan and Nepal. Thanks to intervention of left which has involved the people of this nation to the least discussed¬ foreign policy.
On one hand deliberation on foreign policy is a new beginning in the political circle; on the other hand it is really unfortunate that majority of the national media is debating the issue in a biased and partial manner ignoring our national interest. It is been propagated that communist who are opposed to present foreign policy are myopic in their vision and doing so because there philosophy do not believes in any national boundary. On the contrary to this propaganda left presently is taking a position which is necessary for preserving the sovereignty of our country.
The foreign policy advocated by left has a foundation in the Nehruvian principal of Non-Alignment Movement (NAM). Left is only arguing for an independent foreign policy based on our long cherished and championed principles of anti-colonialism and NAM. Those who still swear by the name Nehru, left his doctrine, and those who have several political ideological differences with Nehruvian views are defending his foreign policy.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) which is suppose to be the fundamental basis of its governance. CMP also has a clear vision for foreign policy which has a following vocabulary. “The UPA government will pursue an independent foreign policy keeping in mind its past traditions. The policy will seek to promote multi-polarity in the world relations and oppose all attempts at unilateralism”.
It is equally important that Congress opposed the proposal of sending the Indian troops in Iraq which was approved by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government led by BJP. After an intense opposition from different political spectrum which also includes NDA allies, the proposal of sending troops to Iraq was dropped. It is significant that Congress welcomed the decision which was reflected in the words of Jaipal Reddy the spokesperson of Congress who said, “The government at the long last has taken a decision not to send the Indian troops to Iraq. The principal stand of the congress party is vindicated. The government has done a right thing”.
At that time Natwar Singh also stood for the non-alignment vehemently opposing the US invasion to Iraq. Natwar Singh said, “India has tradition of good relations with Iraq, a non-aligned and non-fundamentalist country. There is no justification on the part of the US to attack Iraq as no weapon of mass destruction was found after the inspection”.
Congress in its election manifesto of 2004 has categorically stated that “Congress will expand trade and investment relations with China and with other countries of East Asia. It will revive the country’s close ties with West Asia and other non-aligned countries. It will reaffirm our traditional bonds with countries like Russia, Japan and European Union”. It is pretty clear that Congress in past had fall out for non-alignment in the context of foreign policy.
Congress had taken a ‘U’ turn in its foreign policy approach after replacing NDA from North and South bloc in May 2004, when it formed a government at the centre. Subsequently the love for non-alignment evaporated and the concept of multi-polarity was slowly abandoned by the Congress.
The biggest shift was witnessed when the UPA government voted against Iran in International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). When NAM countries and developing countries like Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Nigeria, and Algeria abstained in the voting against Iran, India which envisaged the concept of NAM voted against Iran in IAEA. Most astonishing fact is that even Pakistan and Sri Lanka refused to be a bandwagon of US against Iran. It is also to be noted that Pakistan is regarded as the frontline state in the US war against terrorism and Pakistan- Iran relation is not very cordial. Pakistan opted out but India discarding its own policy joined hands with the US to persecute Iran. The Indian vote in IAEA helped US campaign against Iran. Nicholas Burn, US under secretary of State had said that India’s vote had foiled Iran’s attempt to pose it as an issue between the developed countries and developing countries.
It was the NDA government which started tailing US, but UPA government went ahead to please Uncle Sam. US which from the days of cold war enforced its own version of democracy once again started its echeloning tunes of establishing democracy. British justified their colonial policy by coining the concept of Whiteman’s Burden and US by projecting itself as the Messiah of democracy. During the cold war days US President Ronald Reagan established National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to promote democracy for flourishing free market. The NED fund is used to finance many anti-left and anti-US political formations in various countries. During the Clinton visit to India office of NED was set up in Delhi despite opposition from many quarters.
Presently India is also a member of Community of Democracies formed by the US. According to the US State Department “the Community of Democracies initiative aims to forge international consensus among countries committed to the democratic path on the ways they can better work together to support and deepen democracy where it exists and to defend it where threatened”. The community of Democracies was inaugurated at its first biennial ministerial conference hosted by government of Poland in Warsaw in 2000.
The conference was presided by Mandeleine Albright, then US Secretary of State, along with seven co-convenors viz. Government of Poland, Chile, the Czech Republic, India, Mali and Republic of Korea. At the end of this conference participating government signed a declaration popularly known as ‘Warsaw Declaration’ to respect and uphold core of democratic principles. No NAM nation except India joined this conference. Jaswant Singh represented India in this conference but later on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showed the similar gesture and India has given some $10 million for the UN democracy fund.
This is the same fund which US currently pouring to establish ‘US version of Democracy’ in Iraq and Afghanistan and has an analogous plan for other countries. What had happened in Iraq and Afghanistan is not hidden for anyone. In Afghanistan, US forces went to arrest Osama Bin Laden and still are in full of activity to locate his whereabouts. In Iraq US went to save the human civilization form Weapons of Mass destruction which was in the control so called ‘authoritarian and War-Criminal’ Saddam Hussein.
Soon after the Iraq invasion it was leaked that President Bush has lied from world community and there is no Weapon of Mass Destruction in Iraq. In both these countries civil war is going on despite puppet regimes which are established by US. These dummy regimes in both the countries are working with a full commitment to implement US mode of democracy which is the cause of continuing bloodshed.
Time and again the only logic propounded by the ruling establishment in defence of the pro-US foreign policy is that without the help of US India cannot acquire the status of world power. From last one decade it is been widely sold amongst the common people that India is a next Super Power and to acquire that status we have to work in close collaboration with the US.
It is also said that we are not with US but with our interest which is absolutely a wrong assertion. No nation till date has ever acquired the status of Superpower by been a bandwagon of US. Britain, Japan, Australia had similar ambitions but in the contemporary world politics are counted as faithful followers of US. It is a time for us to decide our own path, and to correct the direction of foreign policy by making it independent and transparent.
A sincere effort to implement the CMP is enough in this regard. Let’s hope that sense will prevail in the Congress party and they will not betray the mandate of the people which is for an independent foreign policy.
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