Non-Alignment Movement - When India Initiated A Global Alliance That Kept Countries Away From Being Part Of Cold War
Formation & Early Days
Non-Alignment Movement was founded in Belgrade in 1961. The movement was largely conceived by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru along with Sukarno (Indonesia), Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia). The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represented nearly two-thirds of the United Nations’ members and contain 55% of the world population.
Multiple formations and alliances have formed in the world based on political, strategic and economic considerations. Strategic and economic partnerships were the basis of formation of alliances in the post-soviet era. The pre-soviet era alliances were largely based on political considerations. Some of the biggest names in political alliances are NATO. India under the leadership of Nehru took the lead in the formation of a unique alliance that was welcomed by many countries. It was named as Non-Alignment Movement or an alliance that would not let countries sway into the temptation of joining either of the power blocks i.e United States or Soviet Union.
Importance of Non – Alignment Movement
Non – Alignment movement’s (NAM) importance might have faded today, but the need to maintain a center line on international alliances transcends time and is relevant till date. NAM provided a platform for newly independent countries, the freedom to charter their own course for economic growth and development. It galvanized the newly independent countries to maintain their sovereignty. NAM also played a pivotal role in thwarting the tensions during the Cold War and thereby reducing the chances of the Cold War snowballing into a Third World War. As more and more countries joined NAM, the chances of creation of more blocks of alliances and the subsequent chances for war reduced.