As discussed, non-alignment has its political, economic and social roots in the anti-colonial struggles of the era of post-World War II. It is a movement aimed at bringing in a new international order which is just.
In this new order, the States should not be discriminated against because of their history, their social origin and size. The new nations joined this movement with different backgrounds, traditions and perceptions of themselves and their interests.
Each had a strong sense of national identity along with a common passion for an international order based on equality. It means to be friendly with all but only on a footing of equality and reciprocity and not be hooked to military alliance.
Non-alignment means efforts to retain independence of thought, judgment and action under conditions of cold-war which generated military alliance and agreements of all sorts.
Its purpose is to enlarge the areas of peace and co-operation. So, the essence of non-alignment lies in the freedom and independence of a country to judge each issue as it arises on its own merits, as it affects the national interests, of the country concerned and the interest of peace in the world but not on the basis of a predetermined attitude because of alignment with one great power or another.