Foreign policy quiz

Jog your memory, tickle your brain, or guess

Who said this and when?

“Whatever policy we may lay down, the art of conducting the foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country. We may talk about international goodwill and mean what we say. We may talk about peace and freedom and earnestly mean what we say. But in the ultimate analysis, a government functions for the good of the country it governs and no government dares do anything, which in the short or long run is manifestly to the disadvantage of that country. Therefore whether a country is imperialist, socialist or communist, its foreign minister thinks primarily of the interests of that country.”

(No Googling, of course)

15 thoughts on “Foreign policy quiz”

  1. Gotta be a communist/socialist state’s FM………he/she uses the word imperialist instead of democratic!!!

    Nitin, don’t keep us waiting any longer. Please provide the answer pronto….and what’s the prize for getting it right????

  2. Jawaharlal Nehru, in his address to the Constituent Assembly in December 1948.

    I’ve quoted it here because it suggests that the foreign policy of newly independent India was motivated by realism. Non-alignment in those days was a pragmatic response to the great power politics obtaining at that time.

    Things got woolly after that, and in Nehru’s later years and after his death, a policy long past its sell-by date, got elevated into dogma.

  3. Non-alignment in those days was a pragmatic response to the great power politics obtaining at that time.Things got woolly after that, and in Nehru’s later years and after his death, a policy long past its sell-by date, got elevated into dogma.

    Not really nitin, i think it got woolly during Nehru’s reign itself and especially went unrestrained and unchallenged soon after sardar vallabhai’s death. remember it was in 1948 itself that the great helmsman ran to the UN with his gripe about Jammu & Kashmir. And then turned a blind eye to chinese oocupation of Tibet and subsequent encroachement in Aksai chin.

  4. “its foreign minister thinks primarily of the interests of that country”

    Because of this I was thinking it was Krishna Menon’s empty rhetoric in parliament before catapulting the war to the Chinese in ’62.

    I guess everyone got the empty rhetoric part (except the Israeli comment)! 🙂

  5. The Left distorts/perverts known, well-understood concepts in order to undermine them. Leftists will very much “agree” “in principle” with Nehru’s articulation of foreign policy, except that they redfine “national interest” to mean something that is not what is understood to be by most people. If you look at their pamphlets of 1940’s, of the period when they were colluding with the colonial rulers, you’ll be amazed how many times they use the word “patriotic” to describe themselves.

  6. Apollo,

    Yes, it got woolly during his lifetime. Exactly when, though, is a matter of opinion. But

    remember it was in 1948 itself that the great helmsman ran to the UN with his gripe about Jammu & Kashmir.

    On this count, Nehru may have had little choice (see this book, reviewed here)

  7. “Employing typical communal logic, the former colonial masters also felt that estranging Pakistan would harm Britain’s relations with the “whole Mussulman bloc”, a premise that would be fatal when the Kashmir war came up before the UN Security Council. Briefed that the “area of Pakistan is strategically the most important in the continent of India and the majority of our strategic requirements could be met … by an agreement with Pakistan alone” (p 17), Mountbatten and the British personnel on the ground knew whom not to displease if it really came to a choice between India and Pakistan.”

    Nitin, are you sure UPA was not incharge in ’47? I’ve read anecdotes about the British betrayal before but this book sounds interesting for its complete picture – looking forward to getting my hands on it. Thanks.

  8. Chandra,

    I think Pakistan is strategically very important considering how it can be (and is )used as a base to influence Central Asia, Iran and India

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