India's relations with USA and Russia.

After the Second World War (1945), the United States of America (USA or US in short) emerged as one of the two super powers, the other being the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR/ Soviet Union). These countries were militarily and economically so strong as compared to other states that they could project their power to every nook and corner of the world. When India attained independence in 1947, it wanted to have good relations with both the countries.

It was widely believed that a natural tie would exist between India and the US since India seemed destined to emerge as the world's largest and Asia's first, fully democratic state. And the US was considered the most powerful and celebrated democracy of the world. So far as the relationship between India and the USSR was concerned, a number of commonalities were easily noticed. But the directions of India's relationships with these two countries took different courses.

Indo-Us Relations

Diplomatic contacts between India and the US were initiated in November 1941, six years before our independence. There was a wealth of goodwill for India's independence in the US. The decision to establish diplomatic relations with India reflected the American un- happiness with the British approach to the question of independence. The United States believed that Britain should promise self-government to India after the War, in exchange for India's participation in the struggle against Hitler.

The Atlantic Charter, spelt out by the US and Britain, had offered hope of a new dawn to the suppressed people of the world once the War had been successfully concluded. America got a lot of credit in Indian eyes for this. However, Britain subsequently declared that the Charter applied solely to fellow Europeans under Hitler's Nazi occupation.

India, USA, Russia

Relations in the Cold War Years:

The relations between India and the US failed to achieve their full potential. Many factors were responsible in determining the actual course. This was due to the preoccupation of the United States with the 'containment of communism' which started the Cold War between the US and the Soviet Union. The newly independent India, led by our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, refused to be drawn into the Cold War politics of competitive military alliances promoted by both the super powers.

Nehru chose the policy of 'non- alignment' which aimed to give India the much-needed independence of action in the sphere of foreign policy and relations. America regarded India's refusal to collaborate as a sign of unfriendliness.

The cause of better Indo-US relations received a blow in 1954. The US through Cold war class SEATO and CENTO with Pakistan who joined these alliances as a The US military aided Pakistan, given to check the spread of communism, was used against India contrary to initial assurances.

The October 1962 war between India and China introduced a new element in the Indo-US relations. Within India, there were for the first time many voices strongly advocating alliance with the US against China. Many also wanted a drastic modification of the non- alignment policy.

There was perhaps an expectation in the US too that India could now be prepared to head an anti-Chinese and anti-Communist alliance.
When the Chinese invasion scaled up, the Government of India made an urgent appeal to Washington (US) for military supplies. In a speedy response, the US President John F. Kennedy provided India with small arms and equipment. The first batch of arms arrived even before the signing of a deal between the two countries. Further, the US agreed to payment for these arms in an rupees.

However, the pro-American goodwill in India evaporated with the US reluctance to openly blame Pakistan for starting the 1965 war against India. In Addition to US support to Pakistan, US war on Vietnam contributed to certain coldness in Indo-US relations in the 1960s. In the beginning of the 1970s, the US rapprochement with China (with Pakistan help) was another turning point.

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