With reference to the Non-Aligned Movement, explain the following:
Role of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
Jawaharlal Nehru can be justly called the initiator of the Non-Aligned Movement. Having realised that getting involved in the power politics of the two Cold War military blocs would only bring death and destruction, he advocated that the newly independent nations of Africa and Asia should maintain equidistance from both the camps. He advocated mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. It was him who gradually convinced the newly independent colonies to accept the concept of non-alignment.
Despite Nehru’s preference for western liberalism and democracy and his ideological inclination towards socialism, he did not support the military alliances led by US and USSR. He opposed them based on his conviction that these encouraged imperialism and colonialism and led to arms races. His brand of non-alignment refused to become a third power bloc but instead pursued freedom of decision making for the recently decolonised states. Thus, under Nehru’s leadership, India initiated and supported many endeavours to promote the principles of non-alignment. This included the sponsorship of a 1962 UN Resolution, calling upon the member nations to take diplomatic and economic steps against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Nehru was also in favour of disarmament and abolition of nuclear stockpiles. It was in pursuance of this goal that India signed a treaty in 1963 for banning of atomic tests.