Why in News
- Mikhail Gorbachev, who ended the Cold War without bloodshed but failed to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union, passed away.
- Gorbachev, the last Soviet president, forged arms reduction deals with the United States and partnerships with Western powers to remove the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe since World War Two and bring about the reunification of Germany.
- The award of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize marked the pinnacle of world acclaim for the role that Gorbachev, then Soviet president, had played in ending the Cold War without bloodshed.
- He introduced the policy of glasnost and perestroika
- Glasnost, or “openness,” refers to the dramatic enlargement of individual freedom of expression in the political and social aspects.
- Perestroika is usually translated as “restructuring,” in the context of economic renewal.
- He attempted political and economic reforms simultaneously and on too ambitious a scale, which resulted in the collapse of the USSR.
- In comparison- China’s leaders embraced the market economy but served notice with the 1989 killings of protesters in Tiananmen Square, to defend the Communist Party’s grip on power.
India And Gorbachev:
- Defence– India was receiving weapons from the USSR that were more technologically sophisticated than before. A military delegation was undertaken to Moscow by the then-defense minister, P V Narasimha Rao, to sign multiple agreements.
- Foreign Policy– India’s foreign policy was reset with the fall of the Soviet Union, partly due to economic liberalisation and improved relations with the US.
- Gorbachev travelled to India to obtain Indian assistance in his efforts to expand his disarmament programmes from Europe to Asia.
- The Delhi Declaration– advocates the principle for a nuclear weapon free and non-violent world.
- Cultural– Festival of India in the Soviet Union in 1987.