Editor: Ashok Kapur
Asia has emerged as the centre of international conflict and change in the post-war era. In Europe the post-cold war approach is to adjust East-West power relationships without disturbing the territorial status quo, and to conduct foreign policy according to classical European principles of compromise and compensation. Asians are newcomers in world affairs. Asian diplomatic traditions differ from European ones, and there are many border disputes and power rivalries. The idea of 'Asia' was created by Europeans for Europeans and it led to Western dominance of Asia. From colonial subjects, Asians have become important players in military, economic and diplomatic affairs. To understand the Asian dimension of contemporary world affairs we need to take a fresh look at Asian diplomatic ideas and practices. This volume brings together recognised experts to explain the imperatives and external policies of different types of Asian states.
Author: Ashok Kapur

Abstract

Since independence, two contradictory tendencies, namely, utopian and power politics have been evident in India's defense and security policies. While Nehru placed emphasis on peaceful resolution of international conflict, neglected the role of military power and sought Indian security needs through diplomatic means, the 1962 border war with China left India humiliated and his security policy in disarray. During the period of his two successors, Shastri and Indira Gandhi, Indian élites amphasized the role of military power to safeguard India's vital interests; a utopian approach became peripheral. Despite Indira's in-house training in the use of statecraft, she did not have a clear perception of India's long-term security needs. Either she depended upon bureaucratic advice to achieve short-term security needs or she took vital security decisions to enhance her personal power and popularity. During this period, an enhancement of India's military and defense capabilities took place on an inertial basis rather than due to Indira Gandhi's initiatives. Despite India's victory in the 1971 war with Pakistan, her thoughtless action in Punjab weakened India's security.

In: Journal of Asian and African Studies
In: Journal of Asian and African Studies
Author: Ashok Kapur

Abstract

Nehru was the symbol and the maker of Indian diplomacy after 1947 and the key spokesman on foreign affairs for the Indian Congress Party before 1947. His mental outlook and approach yielded a mixed legacy in foreign affairs. (1) His move towards the USSR produced policy-development. (2) His contradictory impulses institutionalised ambivalence in the Indian decision process concerning nuclear affairs, military policy and Pakistan policy. (3) His China policy produced policy-failure. Finally (4) his attitude towards India's smaller South Asian neighbours and Southeast Asian states produced policy-neglect. After Nehru, Indian diplomacy became power-oriented and interventionist; and the level of action shifted from the primacy of the global plane to that of regional and domestic planes. Indian diplomatic theory and practice in the Nehru and the post-Nehru eras reveal the presence of six competing approaches or sub-cultures. The debate between their assumptions and implications has not been settled in Indian thinking. Hence Indian diplomatic theory and practice are still evolving. Nehru's foreign affairs record deserves critical scrutiny in part to correct the mythology about his diplomacy and in part to get a true measure of his bitter-sweet legacy.

In: Journal of Asian and African Studies
In: Journal of Asian and African Studies