Commentary December 3, 2020

India’s Cold War push for an Indian Ocean Zone of Peace

Ryan A. Musto reviews former CISAC Fellow Yogesh Joshi’s work on India’s use of selective alignment with the Great Powers to advance its regional ambitions in the 1960s and 1970s.
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In September 1964, at the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Cairo, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike proposed that the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) be turned into a Zone of Peace (IOZP).  Specifically, she called for the eradication of military bases from the area and the Ocean’s denuclearization. India, a neighboring littoral state, immediately supported the initiative and became one of its greatest champions through the end of the 1970s. Scholars have claimed that India’s enthusiasm stemmed from its non-aligned foreign policy and enduring commitment to Prime Minister’s Jawaharlal Nehru’s moralpolitik (27-28).  But as Yogesh Joshi argues in his exemplary article, such interpretations miss the mark.

Read the rest at  H-Diplo