Questions are being raised in India today if the Modi Government has opted for a foreign policy line that distances itself from the anti-imperialist, anti-racist campaigns in the post-World War II period which built solidarity among the newly liberated countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America and initiated processes which aimed at democratising the world political economy. Building closer relations with the US and its allies and focusing on inviting foreign capital for India’s economic growth seem to dominate the thinking of the new regime.
Indian Government’s New Posture
The apparent indifference to the Bandung legacy comes in the wake of a number of other instances where the Modi Government has shown a distinct attitude. When the sixtieth anniversary of Panchasheel (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence) was celebrated in Beijing in June 2014, the new Government of India sent Vice-President Hamid Ansari whereas the other co-founder of the doctrine, Myanmar, was represented by its President. The Five Principles (respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference, non-aggression, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence), first contained in the India-China Agreement on Tibet in 1954 and adopted by Myanmar, were the basis for the ten principles that the 29 heads of states and governments devised at Bandung in 1955, famously known as the Bandung Principles. They became the cornerstone of an alternative model in international affairs during the Cold War and the core of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Thus the Five Principles gave rise to the Bandung Spirit as the perspective to end colonialism and neo-colonialism, refrain from military blocs, consolidate independence and work towards creating a new, equitable international political and economic order.
Source: Mainstream Weekly/ Manoranjan Mohanty