Preservation of a sovereign’s autonomy is one of the most prominent and distinguished challenges, faced by the governing body(s) of any country. While participation at international forums, global assemblies and bilateral conventions are important, it is also necessary for any competent government and its esteemed bureaucracy to uplift and preserve a nation’s individualism and strategic value system. It is in this regard that a group of foreign policy experts have come together and have released a report – Non-Alignment 2.0.
What is NAM 2.0?
Non-Alignment 2.0 is a report made by a group of foreign policy experts and National Security advisors, which identifies the fundamental and basic principles which can potentially drive and boost India’s growth in the global circuit over the next decade. While the report aims to cater to the nation’s economic, financial and infrastructural growth, it also pledges to preserve the country’s undying autonomy and cultural value system.
The core principle of the report philosophizes on cashing the global opportunities to successfully strengthen the country’s internal development and growth. Henceforth, the smart choices in terms of global trade and investment shall enlarge the domestic markets, benefitting all Indians. The report also essentially talks about a situation wherein, the world is no longer shackled and bifurcated between two dominant powers i.e., Russia and the USA and therefore the Non-Alignment would severely solicit the nation to undertake the responsibility of handling complex coalitions whilst not jeopardizing the country’s own domestic growth, social inclusion and political democracy. The report further enshrines and envisages strengthening and nourish its relations with the “Asian Theatre”, prioritizing South Asia, as without managing a smooth relationship with the “Asian Theatre”, India cannot mark itself as a pedestal of great global power. Furthermore, the report also goes on to incorporate security matters such as international orders, Internal Security, Non-Conventional Security issues like energy and nuclear weapons, etc.
However, despite the report being optimistically ambitious and enterprising, it has managed to stir a great deal of controversy as well. The authors of the report have received a good deal of flak from distinguished thinkers and analysts. The said analysts have opined that the report aims to resurrect the buried ghost of non-Alignment which has caused an unquantifiable amount of financial and societal harm in the past and would not be able to prove its worth in the future as well. The report is, therefore, has been said to limit rather than advance India’s growth and its vested interests.
Postcolonial independence, India was seen as an ancient but resurgent country with a promising future. The people were ecstatic and oozed with enthusiasm after the republic of the country as, to begin with, a new page under the purview of complete independence and freedom. The governing powers at the hands of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru propagated the message and conduct of peace and mankind rather than war or vengeance. However, reeling from a century-old struggle for freedom and sovereignty, India’s unequivocal stance on anti-colonialism is reflected in its continued endorsement of non-Alignment.
The phrase “Non-aligned” was first used by V.K Krishna Menon while addressing his reservations on behalf of the Indian republic at the United Nations General Assembly in 1953 and later by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1956. Though the past participle was used after a brief interlude of independence, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru has been an active endorser of the Non-Alignment theme. Even at the onset of freedom, he expressed his idea of Non-Alignment in a radio broadcast aired in 1946. He remarked that while the country would intricately participate in international conferences as a free nation, it does not aim to meddle and shall avoid entering into other country’s issues unless it affects India’s own domestic interests. He further submitted that India shall operate as a free nation, according to their own policies rather than being a satellite of other nations.
Need of NAM 2.0
The anchor of the report, the Centre for Policy Research seems to have earnestly tried to incorporate Nehru’s views on retaining strategic economy but the report still seems to be half-baked and does not appear to be relevant and serve its purpose in the 21st century.
For instance, the idea of non-alignment in the past stemmed from a different side of India. An India which was almost financially incapacitated and was reeling from the horrendous incidents of partition and dwindling infrastructure. India, now, is a booming power with its people holding chief positions at various global sectors, and therefore, its enhanced economic and security capabilities enable it to exert influence on external affairs. Similarly, as the world becomes more shrink than ever and almost every state endorses the idea of globalization and world trade, external actions affect the domestic institutions of the nation as well. Therefore, the idea of withdrawing India and creating a protective shield against the world, just for the sake of maintaining individualism and autonomy appears to be a half-hearted guide to prosperity and growth.