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What were the overall aims and consequences of Indira Gandhi's foreign policy towards the United States of America from 1966-1984?

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Introduction

What were the overall aims and consequences of Indira Gandhi's foreign policy towards the United States of America from 1966-1984? Introduction: Exploring the aims and consequences of Indira Gandhi's foreign policy in respect to the United States is a valid topic as it helps unravel the foundation of India's foreign policy that it still abides by at present. In addition, it gives greater insight into the South Asian region and the results of India's influence on the region. India was the "power" in South Asia during the time of a bi polar world, which saw the United States and Soviet Union as the great powers of the world. Examining the power in South Asia with one of the major powers in the world is interesting as it allows the comparison of the agenda's of these nations - one which is a major player in the world and effects every nation with one which is a growing influence in a particular region. This topic also has personal value to me as it is an opportunity for me to understand the foreign policy of my country and it's foundations. The years leading up to Indira Gandhi's time as Prime Minister saw her father, Nehru, in that position during which many crucial policies were formed and later implemented and carried through by Indira Gandhi. Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India after she gained its independence from the British in 1947. At the time when Indira Gandhi came into power, the world was dominated by two major powers, the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States and India have had inconsistent relations since the 1950's and just before Indira Gandhi came into power, India had friendly relations with the United States. Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India from 1966-1977 and then regained power in 1980-1984, when she was assassinated. India received both military and food aid from the United States since the 1960's and continued to do so when Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister. ...read more.

Middle

The overwhelming results of Sheikh Mujibhur Rehman (East Pakistan) over Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (West Pakistan) resulted in vast amounts of violence, as Bhutto wouldn't accept the results. Shiekh ordered for genocide in order to suppress the opposition from West Pakistan. The internal instability in Pakistan created an economic burden for India because of the immense number of refugees. The cost to India amounted to $200 million, more than a war with Pakistan ($70 million).6 Gandhi therefore urged the US to suspend all military aid to Pakistan as weapons supplied by the US were used against the Bengalis. In addition, she protested against the violation of human rights and the use of violence. She expressed her dissatisfaction with Nixon for continuing the arms flow to Pakistan after the events in Bangladesh. The Nixon administration had to discontinue the supply of arms to Pakistan, as it did, to maintain America's claim to moral and human values since these were elements of US foreign policy. The US may have intentionally not supported India because it was seeking to diminish Soviet influence in the region and would achieve this by allowing India to suffer economically, and eliminating Pakistan's rival and the Soviet Union's ally. US efforts to emerge as hegemonic power in Asia were apparent through its cynical policy and attitude regarding India thus damaging the relations further. Moreover, relations between India and the US continued its downward decline as the US chose to remain neutral in an event of a Pakistan-India war with possible Chinese intervention.7 Gandhi saw only one possible way out, to advance India's friendly relationship with the Soviet Union and thus signed a "Twenty year treaty of peace, friendship and cooperation" on August 9th, 1971. Therefore essentially there were two partnerships that resulted because of the various complications in Indo-US affairs, that of India and the Soviet Union, and that of China, Pakistan, and America. ...read more.

Conclusion

It was blatant to the Indian government that the US policies on the Tarapur issue were not based on moral or legal factors but rather on strategic concerns in the South Asian region. 1 Mattoo and Bajpai. The Foreign Policy, Peace and Security Series. Har-Anand Publications, 2002, New Delhi. 2 Emeka Ohajunwa. India-US Security Relations 1947-1990. Chankya Publications, 1992. New Delhi. 3 Ibid 4"The Cold War Abroad: The Foreign Policy of the Cold War." www...... 5 D. Mohite. 1987."Indo-US Relations: India and US since the 1970's." South Asian Publishers. New Delhi. 6 Ibid 7 Ibid 8 Ibid 9 Ibid 10 Ibid 11 Emeka Ohajunwa. India-US Security Relations 1947-1990. Chankya Publications, 1992. New Delhi. 12 Ibid 13 "India and Disarmament: An Anthology of selected writings and speeches."External Publicity Division, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. 1988. New Delhi. "Mankind today is at the crossroads of nuclear peace and nuclear war. There can be no doubt that we should take the road to nuclear peace. But the first step in this direction is not yet in sight. It is vitally important, therefore, for the nuclear weapon powers to undertake as soon as possible meaningful negotiations on a series of measures leading to nuclear disarmament. The present draft treaty acknowledges the need for such negotiations, but unfortunately, the non-participation by some nuclear weapon powers will make it only partially effective, and what is more, the other nuclear weapon powers insist on their right to continue to manufacture more nuclear weapons. This is a situation which cannot be viewed with equanimity by non-nuclear countries, especially as they are called upon to undertake not to manufacture or acquire nuclear weapons for their own defence." Indira Gandhi, April 5th, 1968. 14 Emeka Ohajunwa. India-US Security Relations 1947-1990: Disarmament and Nuclear Proliferation. Chankya Publications, 1992. New Delhi. 15 Hindustan Times, My 27, 1974. 16 A.G. Noorani. "Indo-US Relations." 17 Emeka Ohajunwa. India-US Security Relations 1947-1990: Disarmament and Nuclear Proliferation. Chankya Publications, 1992. New Delhi. 18 D. Mohite. 1987."Indo-US Relations: India and US since the 1970's." South Asian Publishers. New Delhi. Gayatri Narayan Extended Essay 1 ...read more.

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