Why did India abstain from voting in the Security Council during the Korean war?

By Sunil Kumar

India was still upset with the United Nations failure to support it in its land disputes with Pakistan; and the government believed that the United States and other Western countries had sided with Pakistan in its disputes.

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The country was working hard to build a relationship with China; and believed that UN actions would further isolate that country and drive it further to the Soviet Union. The United States and Britain believed that India’s actions were naive and impractical. However; they kept diplomatic channels open to Moscow and Peking; using the country’s good offices. Also; India declined military participation; and believed that General Macarthur crossing the 38th parallel was a bad move. It firmly believed that the General was the aggressor in this case; and not China.

India abstained from voting in the Soviet resolution; presented in November; asking that the U.S stop its aggression in China. It also abstained from voting in the U.S resolution that asked China to withdraw from Korea. India did not want to be drawn into the global power play; and did not want to side with anybody in the Cold War. It was looking forward to a time when the country would be a dominant player in Asia. Difficult to believe now; but the Communists wanted an Indian peace-keeping force at the time; while South Korea opposed this.

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