Cold War: Impact on India


Between 1939 and 1945, the Second World War commenced. The Allied and Axis forces are the two main factions that participated in this conflict. The Cold War, which involved both the Soviet Union and the United States, began after the Second World War. After the second global war is over, there are only two powers left. The globe would become bipolar as a result. The US and USSR blocs are thus split in the global conflict.

Causes of the Cold War

  • To overthrow Nazi Germany, France, and the United States joined forces. Immediately after Operation Barbarossa, when Nazi Germany invaded Russia, the USSR would join this alliance. There was talk of the alliance lasting long after the war.

  • But following the conflict, tensions began to increase. The USA emerged as the postwar world's most powerful nation. From an economic and military perspective, it was a superpower.

  • A major factor in Germany's defeat in the war was the USSR, which was the world's second-most powerful nation. In the eyes of the world, this enhanced its reputation.

  • Eastern Europe had many communist-run nations after the war. The USSR was seen favourably by these countries. Governments who did so replaced those who did not.

Impact of the Cold War

For researchers of modern India and Indian foreign relations, the publication of India and the Cold War comes at a crucial time. In recent years, several fresh works have emerged to refute conventional wisdom, present more persuasive cases, and publicise previously unrecognised sources. Students of Indian history have benefited from books on Indian economic thought (David Engerman's The Price of Aid), Nehru's evolving views on internationalism and the global order (Michelle Louro's Comrades Against Imperialism), and food as a marker of citizenship in independent India (Benjamin Siegel's Hungry Nation) just in 2018 alone. Animosity at Bay by Pallavi Raghavan, who contributed to this collection, and Power and Diplomacy by Zorawar Daulet Singh, two more contemporary books, continue the theme of questioning conventional wisdom.

The first decade of Indian independence, which also happened to be the first decade of the Cold War, is covered in the first chapter on India and the Cold War. The reader largely learns how the new Indian state interacted with the world's two superpowers—the United States and the Soviet Union—in these first chapters. The first two chapters challenge stereotypes that portray India's relations with the two superpowers as complicated and tense by providing a perspective from New Delhi rather than from Washington or Moscow.

Part two, which I consider to be the collection's strongest segment, builds on the opening segment's success. Similar to part 1, it has three parts, however, it concentrates on events from 1950 to 1969 and the time frame is longer. No study of India during the Cold War is complete without a contribution from Srinath Raghavan, the reigning doyen of Indian Cold War history.

This is not a rule, simply a good guideline to follow. In contrast, Raghavan offers a close examination and focuses on a specific moment: the 1960 summit between Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to settle their border dispute. Raghavan excels at comprehensive, far-reaching histories (see his excellent publication, another 2018 gem, The Most Dangerous Place: A History of the United States in South Asia.

Because it involved numerous exchanges between different countries and nations, the Cold War had an impact on international relations and policies. Through this, a nation is actively promoting its nation among other nations. It contrasts other things as well, particularly the actions and policies of other countries.

The effects of the Cold War were felt inside as well as externally in the countries of the Soviet Union and America. India's experience with the Cold War is crucial. Several Indian policies are affected.

Some Vital Impacts of the Cold War

  • The Cold War had effects on the bipolar power structure.

  • In addition to this, the effects of the Cold War are still clearly visible in the atmosphere of animosity.

  • In the course of the Cold War, militarism and the use of force have increased. As a result, the military is immediately impacted.

  • Another is the quick decolonization, and the third ward is a legacy of the Cold War

  • It impacts local disputes.

  • Additionally, there has been a diplomatic setback.

  • The impact is propaganda warfare, except the last one.

These are the effects of the Cold War on India and international affairs. It is entirely based on the Cold War.


Thus, the conflict between the US and USSR had an impact on the entire world during the Cold War. It is the largest conflict in history. After the Second World War, it is still held. It is one of the areas of international and global policy that is most affected. The third ward is a victim of the Cold War and another is quick decolonization.


Q1. Was the Cold War inevitable after World War II?

Ans. There is more to the solution to this query than a straightforward “yes” or “no.” On a fundamental level, the decades following the Second World War were significantly different from any other period in history.

Q2. When did the Cold War begin, and why?

Ans. Competition between the two countries grew as World War II changed both the USSR and the US as it became a strong world force. After the Axis powers were defeated, the Cold War began as a result of tensions between the US and the USSR over ideologies and politics.

Q3. Who was responsible for ending the Cold War?

Ans. All nuclear and conventional missiles with short-range ranges of 500–1,000 km (310–620 mi) and long-range ranges of 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) were destroyed as part of the INF Treaty, signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in December 1987. (intermediate-range). Sea-launched missiles were not covered by the pact.

Updated on: 01-Feb-2023

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