Is there any relationship between morality and national interest? Discuss critically.

Morality is related to principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour. The national interest refers to country’s goals and ambitions, whether economic, military, or cultural for upholding the interests of the country.
Morality driving national interest:

  • Upholding the interests of the nation is the prime characteristic of national interest. If morality is not implied in defining of national interests then the so called interests would be detrimental in long run.
  • The crisis in Manipur is the example of the decisions lacking moral principles haunting the nation in long run. The conditions in which Manipur was made part of Indian union and lack of healing mechanisms thereafter led to insurgency in the region.

Morality deflecting national Interest:

  • India followed foreign policy based on realism in the post independent period. When the Junta military government took over the power from the democratically elected government in Myanmar. India which was committed to principles of democracy withdrew diplomatic relations with Myanmar.
  • This provided with an opportunity for China to extend its influence in china’s neighborhood. India had to pay a price for its idealistic foreign policy.

It is difficult to put things in black and white when dealing with morality and national interest as a reality is in grey. The morality and national interest are not to be treated as binary opposites. Morality, national interest together with consequential ethics forms a triad.


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