Ambuj Saxena Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, the first IIT established in 1951. 
Foreign Affairs From The Anthology: India at 70
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Changing India

August 1947 brought independence to India. In spite of the long-drawn-out struggle that preceded it, it came in peace and goodwill. Suddenly all bitterness of past conflict was forgotten and a new era of peace and friendship began. Our relations with Britain became friendly and we appeared to have no inherited problems and conflicts with any other country.

We had been conditioned for 30 years by Mahatma Gandhi and his gospel of peace which had left a powerful imprint not only on the minds of those actively interested in politics but also on the mass mind. Our success in attaining freedom through peaceful methods confirmed this way of thinking. Thus we entered the family of independent nations with a clean slate, without any inherited hatreds or enmities or territorial or other ambitions, determined to cultivate friendly and coöperative relations with all countries and to devote ourselves to the economic and social progress of India without getting entangled in national or international conflicts.

India had become free, but there were still some small parts of it under French and Portuguese control which were under colonial domination. Thus in our minds the freedom of India was not quite complete. We felt certain that France and Portugal would also follow the British example and that these enclaves of colonial territory would inevitably, and through peaceful methods, join independent India. We made the necessary approaches to the French and Portuguese Governments. The French enclaves became a part of the Union of India peacefully by agreement with France. Portugal proved much more intractable and gave a lot of trouble. There was serious trouble in 1955 involving the killing and wounding of many Indian and Goan passive resisters by Portuguese soldiers. There was also severe internal repression in Goa. Such incidents continued, and it was only after some show of military force, following further incidents in 1961, that this last remnant of colonial rule in India was ended. After that the independence of India was complete.

August 1947 brought long-cherished freedom

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