Courtesy Reuters

India: Dos and Don'ts for Americans

A VISITOR from India is constantly reminded how great is the fund of good will for the Indian people in the United States, and how keen the interest in their problems. No less evident is a perplexity, bordering on dismay, in regard to certain aspects of India's foreign policy; and it is shared by Americans who have a record of friendship and support for India in her past struggle for independence. The bewilderment and concern, not always clearly expressed, revolve around this question: Why does India, which has in her Constitution chosen the democratic system of government and has dealt severely with the Indian Communists who are carrying out the Cominform directive to disrupt and destroy the new Republic, now fail, when she turns her sights outward to the rest of the world, to show the same clarity in distinguishing between democracy and totalitarianism? Why should India profess equal friendship for the democracies on one hand and the Soviet bloc on the other? And what can Americans do about it?

I believe that American public opinion can be helped to an understanding of India's international attitudes, and that there are steps which the United States can take to win the friendship of the Indian people. But first it must be admitted that this paradox of a double standard of morality--one for domestic problems and another for international problems--does exist in India. It is not to be located in India's policy of refusing to enter into military alliances, however, or in her policy of state neutrality in a cold war or a shooting war, or in her recognition of the Chinese Communist régime. Whether or not such policies are wise, there is nothing paradoxical about their adoption by a democratic state. No one could question the devotion of Sweden and Switzerland to the free way of life, for example, yet both have pursued policies of neutrality and intend to pursue them.

Where a certain influential section of Indian opinion does tend

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