I K Gujral has been very closely associated with India's Foreign Policy. This book documents his tenure as Foreign Minister and Prime Minister. The book chronicles the evolution of a Foreign Policy, which was both Gandhian and Nehruvian in spirit.
The guidelines that he envisioned as imperative towards forging and maintaining cordial relations with neighbouring countries are referred to as the Gujral Doctrine. This book documents his tenure as Foreign Minister (1989-90) and Prime Minister (1997-98). An attempt has been made to cull critical elements from a selection of speeches made during these two tenures, which were responsible for moulding his vision of Indiaâ€™s Foreign Policy. It was founded on the Firm belief that India had a pivotal role to play in establishing a peaceful and progressive subcontinent. Critical change in relations with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, where long-standing disputes were resolved and a healthy bilateral dialogue was constituted by Mr Gujral, are discussed and analysed in the book. It also focuses on Indiaâ€™s active involvement in the conception and growth of institutions like the SAARC, SAPTA, SAFTA- associations which were constituted essentially to promote regional cooperation in the field of commerce, education, defence, energy, etc.
Significant developments in the international for a during that period, like the Post-Cold War scenario, its affect on the Non-Aligned Movement, the Kashmir crisis, nuclear proliferation and the Gulf crisis find a place in the book. The book describes Mr Gujralâ€™s efforts to uphold Indiaâ€™s interest while simultaneously emphasizing the importance of regional groupings like the SAARC and international bodies like the United Nations in the face of these developments.
Indiaâ€™s refusal to submit to pressure tactics and its resolve to maintain its firm stand regarding the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has been dealt with in the book. On the other hand its decision to sign the Convention against Chemical Weapons and the convention against Chemical Weapons and the Convention against Biological Warfare exhibiting its enduring commitment towards building a safe and warfree would is also reviewed at length.
Mr Gujralâ€™s speeches serve as invaluable documents for a comprehensive understanding of
Indiaâ€™s Foreign Policy in a critical period of World History. The book would not only greatly benefit scholars of international affairs but also the informed lay reader.