After World War II, what decision did Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru make in following the principle of nonalignment?

1 Answer

To neither align with the US nor with the Soviet Union.


In the wake of WW2, the world seemingly was being divided into camps - that behind the leadership of the United States and that behind the leadership of the Soviet Union. The fight to convert countries to one side or the other, with its occasional flare ups of armed conflict, was called the Cold War.

In the middle of all this, a third group was forming - one that was dedicated to not being pulled into one camp or the other, but instead being unaligned to either side. This was the Non-alignment movement.

The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely conceived by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru; Indonesia's first president, Sukarno; Egypt's second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah; and Yugoslavia's president, Josip Broz Tito.

The term "non-alignment" was established in 1953 at the United Nations. Nehru used the phrase in a 1954 speech in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations called Panchsheel (five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:

  • Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
  • Mutual non-aggression
  • Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
  • Equality and mutual benefit
  • Peaceful co-existence

The Movement's membership now includes 2/3 of the countries in the UN and represents over 55% of the world's population.