Relevance of NAM today – UPSC GS2

What is Nehru’s version of NAM?
  • He believed that world problems are interlinked, and it is for One World that free India should work.
  • He was opposed to ideological confinement imposed by two power blocks. This was visible from India’s opposition to American weapons in Pakistan from 1954 and the creation of western-led military blocs in Asia.
  • NAM was seen as a cost-effective method to achieve Indian objectives. India also supported anti-colonial movements in African states.
However, India’s inclinations towards NAM were reduced post Nehru. But it was retained to provide flexibility to maintain India’s diplomatic and economic relations.
What are the failures of NAM?
  • There was a lack of collective action and collective self-reliance. For example, only Cyprus and Ethiopia supported India during the India – China war.
  • Ideological challenge to the concept of nonalignment. For example, Yugoslavia and Egypt became nonaligned and they defied the great power blocs. But such an alignment of nations goes against the very concept of non-alignment.
  • Non-establishment of an equitable international economic or information order.
  • NAM counties themselves did not work on their human rights issues.
  • In India, Change in the course of NAM is visible after Nehru’s death. India adopted a pragmatism approach under Indira Gandhi to opportunism after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and the semi-alignment of today.
What is the future scope of NAM? 
Centre for policy research produced a document Nonalignment 2.0, but that made no impact. All organizations have a shelf life starting from the League of Nations, SAARC, and BRICS etc. So, the success of NAM for India will depend on its utility for India.

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