Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation of 1971 commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of a landmark Treaty between the Soviet Union and India in 1971. Though the Treaty is the central focus of the book, with a wide sweep the author has presented the fascinating relationship between Russia and India, commencing in ancient times. There is a seamless amalgam of historical facts and events, political and cultural ties, and the personal aspect of the author’s own connection with Russia.
The narrative shows how the Soviet Union’s ideological opposition to imperialism, India’s independence, and the Cold War gave a new dimension to the Indo–Russian relationship. India, like other developing nations, received economic assistance from Russia. The civil war in East Bengal took the Indo–Russian relationship to a unique status by the Treaty of 1971. While maintaining her non-aligned status, India became a close friend of the Soviet Union. This was made possible because the Soviet Union asked for nothing in return except friendship.
The author observes that two states with different socio-economic systems can be close friends. She describes the relative peace of the 1980s to the tumultuous aftermath following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the continuous adjustments made by both sides to keep alive the spirit of this unique Treaty.