Foreign affairs gone local: Swapan Das Gupta
Foreign policy is an instrument of promoting the national interest of a country. Through the instrumentality of policy a country tries to respond to the challenges of and inputs from international environment. It is a truism to say that foreign policy is the other side of domestic policy. When India was ruled on the bases of ideology and rhetoric India enunciated the policy of non-alignment, the content of which was anti-power, anti-West and anti-capitalist growth. Had non-alignment been really judging each issue on merit, not entering into multi-lateral military alliances and the extension of the concept of sovereignty in international affairs, there won't have been much problem with non-alignment. In fact, non-alignment as a policy of independence was a wise policy, but non-alignment as surreptitious alignment with the Soviet bloc brought ridicule to the policy. No doubt, domestic politics is a determinant of foreign policy , but when in order to placate a coalition partner, the government bends foreign policy to an extent that hurts national interest, the govt owes an explanation to the country.