Panch-Sheel: Jawaharlal Nehru recognized that sovereignty ofnation-state is supreme in international arena and peace and conflict revolved around it. In order to protect the sovereignty of each nation, all the nations need to acknowledge and respect each other’s sovereign rights. India emphasized that sovereignty can’t differ from nation to nation and every state in the world enjoys equal amount of sovereign rights with regard toits people, territory, institutions and decision-making processes.
If these were acknowledged and not violated by each nation, hardly there would be international conflicts and threat to world peace. This could be observed by all the nations by following Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, which were enthusiastically upheld and promoted by Nehru as PanchSheel.
In Nehru’s words, “I imagine that if these principles were adopted in the relation of various countries with each other, a great deal of the trouble of the present day world would probably disappear.” In 1954, these principles were enunciated in bilateral agreement between India and People’s Republic of China. They are:
- Mutual respect for each-other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty;
- Mutual non-aggression;
iii. Mutual non-interference in each-other’s internal affairs;
- Equality and mutual benefit; and
- Peaceful co-existence.
The fifth principle in it, i.e. the Peaceful Co-existence was drafted keeping in view the then existing world situation, wherein the opposite camps of socialism and capitalism vowed to finish off each-other. Nehru propagated that nations based on different ideologies could co-exist and prosper if they follow the first four principles of Panch Sheel and believed in the fifth one. In 1956, Soviet leader Khrushchev famously announced Peaceful Coexistence as U.S.S.R.’s desired policy and the détente between the two superpowers in 1970s further demonstrated utility of this principle.