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India And Its Neighbours

India And Its Neighbours

  • Introduction
  • Under the British rule, India developed relations with its neighbors.
  • This was the result of two factors i.e.
    • The development of modern means of communication and
    • The political and administrative consolidation of the Country impelled the Government of India to reach out to the geographical frontiers of India.
  • The foreign policy of a free country is basically different from the foreign policy of a country ruled by a foreign power.
  • In the former case, it is based on the needs and interests of the people of the country; and in the latter case, it serves primarily the interests of the ruling country.
  • In India’s case, the foreign policy that the Government of India followed was dictated by the British Government in London.
  • The British Government had two major aims in Asia and Africa i.e.
    • Protection of its invaluable Indian Empire and Expansion of British commerce and other economic interests in Africa and Asia.
    • Both the aims led to British expansion and territorial conquests outside India’s natural frontiers.
  • These aims brought the British Government into conflict with other imperialist nations of Europe who also wanted an extension of their territorial possessions and commerce in Afro-Asian lands.
  • The years between 1870 and 1914 witnessed an intense struggle between the European powers for colonies and markets in Africa and Asia.
  • While the Indian foreign policy served British imperialism, the cost of its implementation was borne by India.
  • In pursuance of British interests, India had to wage many wars against its neighbors; the Indian soldiers had to shed their blood and the Indian taxpayers had to meet the heavy cost.
  • The Indian army was often used in Africa and Asia to fight Britain’s battles.
  • British India’s relation with its neighboring countries can be studied under the following heads (which have been described briefly in subsequent chapters under the same headings):
    • Relation with Nepal
    • Relation with Burma
    • Relation with Afghanistan
    • Relation with Tibet
    • Relation with Sikkim
    • Relation with Bhutan



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