What does the Prime Minister of India’s skipping of 17th NAM summit signify?
It signifies the a rational shift in India’s outdated foreign policy, a large part of which was being followed out of moral obligations rather than pursuit of concrete national interests.
NAM was Jawahar Lal Nehru’s brainchild along with the former leaders of Egypt and Indonesia. Even though it propagated neutrality in the bi-polar world after the Second World War, it was more of a utopian idea used by Nehru to acclaim a righteous stand in the international arena. And, if you look back at the institution it has hardly done any major good to any of the third world countries who have been its members since its inception, and as a hind sight, it has been counterproductive for India.
Even though India refused to give allegiance to USA or erstwhile USSR during the cold war era, it was no secret that India collaborated with USSR for its several technological and defence needs. This was perhaps the reason; India was a suspect in eyes of USA and its western allies. And the two countries could never develop strong bilateral relations during that time. This very reason may also be attributed to the fact that USA chose Pakistan as its strategic partner over India in the region. It has only added to India’s problems with their rogue neighbor.
The world is no longer a bi-polar system. The contemporary world is considered a liberal system with much interdependence between the states. This makes NAM completely irrelevant in the present day international system. It is of no use to uphold the traditions which serve no purpose anymore.
This indicates that India is willing to shed its moral or traditional obligations which do not serve its national interests anymore in order to pursue it national interests aggressively. India’s shift also signifies that India has decided to be an active participant in world politics. It indicates India is ready to engage with any state without prejudice as long as it serves its national interests.
This is a remarkable shift because it is high time India should shed its idealist view of world and adopt a more realist stand to assert its position in the international arena, which it rightfully deserves.
Very well argued, even though I do not agree that NAM has done no good.