The essence of India’s post Independence foreign policy was given a thrust and direction by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In the Constituent Assembly Debate on India’s foreign policy he said, “Ultimately foreign policy is the outcome of economic policy, and till that time, when India has properly evolved her economic policy, her foreign policy will be rather vague, rather inchoate, and will grope about”.Situated as India is on the sea lanes, it would not be out of place to again recall his words when he emphasised that India’s independence and survival depended on India’s control of the Indian Ocean. In March 1958, Prime Minister Nehru said,
“I ponder over our close links with the sea and how the sea has brought us together. From time immemorial the people of India have had very intimate connections with the sea. …We cannot afford to be weak at sea … history has shown that whatever power controls the Indian Ocean has, in the first instance, India’s seaborne trade at her mercy, and in the second, India’s very independence itself”.2

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