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Sudhir Chandra Mathur

DOCUMENTS ON INDIA'S FOREIGN POLICY 1973
Edited by Satish Kumar
Macmillan, New Delhi, 1976, 680, 150.00

VOLUME II NUMBER 2 March-April 1977

The stubborn facts of history and politics are often hidden from the public gaze. Jawaharlal Nehru lifted the curt­ain a little on this in one of his statements, ‘ ... It is very well to talk about foreign policy. But you will appreciate that no person charged with a country's foreign policy can really say very much about it. He can sometimes say some­thing general about it; he can say some­thing specific about it when occasion ari­ses. But there are many things conne­cted with it which are supposed to lie as what are called Top Secret Files’. The volume under review is the sec­ond in the series of documents on India's foreign policy, which include selected documents reprinted from official sources like Foreign Affairs Record, for the year 1973. How far this collection will succ­eed in helping in ‘undertaking in-depth studies on various dimensions of India's foreign policy in the total perspective of contemporary diplomacy’, an outlined objective of this collection, depends upon the extent to which the contents of the documents reflect the undercurrents in the foreign policies. The study of Sino-­Indian relations as revealed by Neville Maxwell on the basis of some confiden­tial official papers reveals how superficial the official treaties and statements are. The documents included in the volume are only of such a nature as for example in respect of the Federal Republic of Germany: Joint Communique Issued at the Conclusion of Indo-FRG Annual Consultations at Bonn 23, May 1973;Joint Statement Issued at the End of the Visit to India by the Minister of Economic Co­operation of FRG, New Delhi, 18 Nov­ember 1973; Press Note Issued on Indo-German Cooperation in the Field of Science and Technology, New Delhi, 25 February 1973; Press Release Issued on Indo-FRG Aid Agreement, New Delhi, 28 August 1973. The editor, in his introduction, points out that despite 1973 being a dull year in India's foreign policy, the documents re­veal India responding to new challenges posed by the developing detente between the global powers. While India welcom­ed this detente it became apprehensive of the global designs being perpetuated by the new understanding between the great powers. India simultaneously em­phasized the value of nonalignment as a sheet anchor against the domination of the developing nations by the developed world. At the same time, India reiterat­ed its stand against racialism, neocolo­nialism and imperialistic military allian­ces including the Soviet-sponsored ...


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