A new NAM for the new norm

A new NAM for the new norm


  • With three-cornered Cold War around the corner, India must seek nonaligned partnerships

Three-cornered Cold War:

  • The United States has identified both China and Russia as adversaries, whose leaders, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are determined to stand up to a Donald Trump, who is clinging on to doctrines of ultranationalism and nuclear hegemony.
  • Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation has announced that Russia has machines like an underwater drone armed with a nuclear warhead powerful enough to sweep away coastal facilities, aircraft carriers and a hypersonic vehicle impossible to intercept as it flies in a cloud of plasma “like a meteorite”.
  • Cuba’s  “axis of evil” has emerged once again under Iran’s leadership.
  • This time it is a three-cornered Cold War, without any corner having committed countries to act together as military allies.

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM):

  • Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is curse today even to those who helped shape it and revelled in it for years.
  • India had a stake in its integrity India toiled tirelessly to keep it on the middle road.
  • Had it not been for India, NAM would have been wound up at a ministerial meeting in Ghana in 1991 soon after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
  • India argued vehemently against those who felt that NAM had outlived its utility.
  • Since the essence of nonalignment was freedom of thought and action, India insisted that it was valid whether there was one bloc or no bloc.

‘Nonalignment 2.0’:

  • An effort was made in 2012 to craft a ‘Nonalignment 2.0’ in the context of the new global situation, India’s growing importance and the rivalry between the U.S. and China.

The report:

  • The report said that in a situation where the world is no longer bifurcated between two dominant powers, nonalignment today will require managing complicated coalitions and opportunities in an environment that is not structurally settled.
  • India’s big challenge would be to aim at not just being powerful but to set new standards for what the powerful must do.
  • India’s legitimacy in the world will come from its ability to stand for the highest human and universal values and at the global level.
  • The policy of “strategic autonomy” recommended that India should not take sides in the rivalry between China and the U.S.
  • Strategic and foreign policy to be successful, India must sustain domestic economic growth, social inclusion and democracy.

Reincarnation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the wake of Cold War (in a new form):

Reviving NAM:

  • An obvious way is to revive NAM by bringing in new provisions and making it fit to deal with the new norm.
  • A partnership of near equals like IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) with similar interests without any ideological conflict is probably the best model to follow.
  • Something on the lines of the G-15 organised by India and like-minded countries some years ago could be put together with the objective of dealing with the kind of issues identified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Davos — climate change, terrorism and protectionism.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not someone who will hesitate to think out of the box to achieve his objectives.

India’s reluctance:

  • In the wake of a strategic partnership with the U.S., a revival of NAM, did not seem to appeal either to the Manmohan Singh government or the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • For Prime Minister Narendra Modi too, NAM was nothing but a relic of the Nehruvian past and it did not form part of his vocabulary.
  • Therefore, the prime Minster did not find it necessary to attend the NAM Summit in Venezuela in 2016.
Print Friendly and PDF