The high respect, almost adulation, in which Nehru was long held in India had dwindled sharply by the time he died, and immediately after his death criticism of his record grew in his own country almost into denigration. That tone was reversed with his daughter's accession to the prime ministership, and now there is purposeful emphasis in India on all that was best in Nehru, with a panoply of institutional commemorations of his name.

Nonetheless, it seems probable that Nehru will ultimately suffer more than most from that negative swing of reappraisal which sets in after the death of a figure of historical stature who has been widely respected in his lifetime. So much of his reputation was the projection of his charisma that when he was alive it was not easy for those in contact with him to separate policies from personality so as to weigh the former in isolation. The affection he aroused in those who knew him and the emotional response to his personality blurred judgment, elevating respect into admiration, softening disapproval into disappointment, condemnation into compassionate understanding. With that charismatic magnification withdrawn, immediately Nehru's stature appeared shrunken. Still another jarring reappraisal may be expected when the end of the continuing "Nehru Raj" in Delhi (26 years, broken only by the brief regency of Lal Bahadur Shastri) removes the present sharp political stimuli to unquestioning veneration.

The tenth anniversary of Nehru's death, this May, provides a vantage point from which to look back at his accomplishments as a practitioner of international relations and as a servant of India's interests in that area. The attempt begins with one solid advantage-the fact that Nehru's policies were India's, and vice versa. During his 17-year term as prime minister and minister of external affairs, foreign policy, in its conceptualization, articulation and execution, was his private monopoly. The complicating factors of institutional checks and balances can in this case be practically disregarded: Nehru dominated the cabinet when he did not ignore it; he was in effect given carte blanche for foreign policy formulation by the Congress Party; and through that party's huge majority he controlled his parliament. When individuals like Krishna Menon played complementary roles, they did so because Nehru wished it; the attitudes of officials of his ministry became influences only when they largely coincided with Nehru's own attitudes.

The prime minister's absorption in foreign affairs was in many ways detrimental to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nehru government, but here cause and effect were confused, or perhaps blended. The Canadian high commissioner in Delhi noted in 1957 that "Nehru would be a better leader for India if he were to devote more of his time and energy to domestic affairs and less to international affairs"; it might have been said, with equal justice, that if Nehru had been a better leader in domestic terms he would have devoted less of his time and energy to foreign affairs. That is, it may have been partly frustration at his failure to translate his commitment to social revolution in India into achievement that turned Nehru away from what should have been his overriding concern.


Yet Nehru had shown a strong positive inclination toward international affairs long before he first experienced the realities and frustrations of executive power. Two of the pillars of the foreign policy he evolved for independent India had been shaped years before he assumed office in 1947: anti-colonialism and anti-racialism. So organic and consequential were those principles to India's recent history that they can be noted without analysis; for an Asian country newly liberated from more than a century of rule by a European power it would have been unthinkable not to espouse those causes. But Nehru gave them positive expression: in India's support for the emergent nations which the retreating tide of imperialism was discovering in Asia, and increasingly in Africa; and in outspoken opposition to policies of racial discrimination. (To his credit, he recognized that caste discrimination in India was morally on a par with that of race, and condemned caste, too.)

The third basic pillar of Nehru's foreign policy, nonalignment, was formed by the international environment which had developed when India attained independence. Nehru declared nonalignment to be fundamental to his policy for India in his first national broadcast, just before independence: "We propose, as far as possible, to keep away from the power politics of groups, aligned against one another, which have led in the past to world wars and which may again lead to disasters on an even vaster scale." At first he showed no inclination to dress up this policy in moral terms. He saw it, and presented it, as a pragmatic choice springing naturally, almost axiomatically, from the circumstances in which India found herself. His government's declared refusal to attach itself to any particular group, he said at the end of 1947, "has nothing to do with neutrality or passivity or anything else." If world war came India would try to keep out of it, but if she could not keep out, "we are going to join the side which [it] is to our interest [to join] when the time comes to make the choice."

Later in that speech he indicated for his colleagues in the constituent assembly the bedrock of national self-interest on which his policies were founded:

Whatever policy we may lay down, the art of conducting the foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country. We may talk about international goodwill and mean what we say. We may talk about peace and freedom and earnestly mean what we say. But in the ultimate analysis, a government functions for the good of the country it governs and no government dare do anything which in the short or long run is manifestly to the disadvantage of that country.

India's self-interest, he went on, demanded a policy of goodwill and cooperation with all nations and the commitment to the preservation of world peace.

From the beginning Nehru saw Washington's construction of a system of anti-Soviet and anti-Chinese alliances-with its spreading establishment of bomber and, later, missile bases-as the prime factor threatening the world's uneasy détente, and opposed it accordingly. Hence, he exerted India's growing international prestige on behalf of movements for nuclear disarmament or, short of that, for the creation of nuclear-free zones. He also responded to the needs of the United Nations when he could; Indian troops were deployed under U.N. command in both the Gaza strip and the Congo. India's initially unquestioning acquiescence in the maneuvers which associated the United Nations with American intervention in Korea was out of keeping with Nehru's basic stance.

Nonalignment, while serving well the vital interests of India, came in the course of time to be seen as serving also the interest of the international community. The opprobrium his nonalignment first earned Nehru, especially in Washington but also initially with Moscow, transmuted itself over a decade into high approval, so that by 1959 Nehru could say, with fair accuracy, that "whether it is in the United Nations or whether it is elsewhere, we are respected all over the world." He explained that respect-phenomenal, he saw, for a country that although huge was poor and backward, as well as militarily weak-in terms of "the conviction and earnestness and sincerity" with which India spoke: "When we have talked about coexistence and all that, it was not a phrase in our mouth and lips-it was a deep feeling from inside our hearts and a deep understanding of the world as it is today."

There, analysis was clearly giving way to self-congratulation, expressive of the sense of moral superiority that had swamped the pragmatism in which nonalignment had first been charted as India's course. And in fact this attitude, by creating resentment and cynicism, had by then already begun to undermine that general international respect which Nehru was citing. In place of the disciplined low-posture that goes best with teaching by example, Nehru and his compatriots had been drawn into the open role of preacher. Nonalignment now appeared to Indians, and was presented by them to the world, not as a matter of practical self-interest which by happy coincidence also served the interest of the international community, but as a projection into international relations of a specifically Indian morality; with the help of many Western students of international relations, Indians erected over the practical nub of nonalignment an elaborate, almost metaphysical, structure of theory.

Gandhi had written that it was India's "destiny to deliver the message of nonviolence to mankind" and Nehru, although he had explicitly disavowed nonviolence as an element of India's state policy, became accustomed to speaking as if he were the bearer of just such a message to mankind. Policies which clearly originated in contemporary-and temporary-international conditions were ascribed to the Gandhian conditioning Indians were said to have undergone during the independence movement, even to India's remote Buddhist past, and thus presented as uniquely Indian. This process was at its clearest in the handling of the five principles of peaceful coexistence to which Nehru and his compatriots applied the term Panchsheel.1 There is evidence that these derived in fact from the Chinese: in 1949 Mao Tse-tung cited "the principles of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty" as the basis upon which the new China would rest her relations with other states. By applying the term Panchsheel, with its Buddhist connotations, to an expanded form of Mao's formulation, Nehru brought it within the embrace of a specifically Indian past. He may also have thus helped to make a set of practical rules-or at least guidelines-for international conduct into a mere slogan.

But that is to look at the style of the sermon rather than its content. The moralizing was not the message. What Nehru had been saying to the international community was significant and helpful because of its relevance, which was only somewhat muffled by the sermonizing tone in which he came to express it. Since Nehru's own articulation was rarely measured or succinct, one can more easily turn to an Indian scholar for a summary of the Indian approach to international affairs as Nehru urged it:

To keep the peace, try peaceful means-negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation and arbitration; listen to the viewpoints of both parties to a dispute expressed by their duly constituted representatives; hesitate to condemn either party as an aggressor, until facts proved by international enquiry indisputably testify to aggression; believe the bona fides of both until proof to the contrary; and explore fully the possibilities of negotiation and at least localize war-that is India's view.2

As that is couched it is advice for a referee, not for a player; but it is apposite for players, too, and provides a useful reference point for an attempt to relate Nehru's world message to the policies affecting India's neighbors which he actually implemented-to see, that is, how far he practiced what he preached.


The most resounding inconsistency between Nehru's precepts and his practice came with India's annexation of Goa. There Nehru can be judged out of his own mouth. "We cannot do something in respect of Goa which . . . goes against our policy somewhere else," he had explained in 1957 when still resisting domestic pressure for seizure of the Portuguese possessions: India had been maintaining in the United Nations that all problems should be solved peacefully, he pointed out: "therefore it will not be appropriate for us to talk in terms of military measures in regard to a particular issue because it may be in our interest to do so." In fairness, however, it must be noted that by the time he acted in December 1961 Nehru had held his hand for well over a decade. It can also be said that this reversal was a phenomenon of his decline. (Later events suggest that if Nehru had persisted in leaving Goa alone it would surely have turned out to have been only for prompt plucking by his daughter.)

In relation to Pakistan, Nehru's policies showed from the first little of the patience and restraint that for so long marked his approach to the question of Goa. At the time of Partition Nehru shared the Congress' faith that Pakistan would not last; and he led a government which, as Field Marshal Auchinleck reported to London, was "implacably determined to do all in their power to prevent the establishment of Pakistan on a firm basis." His handling of the Kashmir question at once expressed faith in Pakistan's impermanence and the will to see it fulfilled. From the earliest conceptualization of a Muslim homeland it had been taken for granted that Kashmir would be part of it, and within the context of the 1947 Partition the accession of Kashmir to Pakistan would not have been injurious to India. Yet Nehru and his colleagues, at the least, used events to bring Kashmir into India; and that they were in fact manipulating those events, as charged by the Pakistanis at the time, is a strong inference from the record.

To justify such action, Nehru had what must have seemed strong reason to believe that the Kashmiris wished to be Indians. Sheikh Abdullah, their leader, certainly favored accession to India, and would have convinced Nehru that he represented the popular will-Nehru, like anyone else, being readily convinced when he wanted to believe. Later events showed that Nehru was as responsive to the territorial imperative as the next man, and of course as a Kashmiri himself he must have found the thought of his ancestral home cutting itself off from his India wounding, if not intolerable. But above such subjective promptings, the acquisition of Kashmir for India was to Nehru the validation of the pan-Indian or geographical concept of nationalism which he described as "secular"-a concrete refutation of the "two-nation theory" under which Pakistan had come into existence.

It was this that made the acquisition and retention of Kashmir all-important for Nehru, and necessitated an early retreat from his 1948 commitment to submit Kashmir's accession to ratification by plebiscite-for it was very soon recognized that in a free vote the Muslim majority of Kashmir would opt overwhelmingly for Pakistan. Hence, a plebiscite became a perceived threat to India's national interest, and Nehru had to find pretexts for breaking his pledge, easy enough as he had so many of the best legal brains on the subcontinent to help him. Thereafter his position was absolute, though never categorically expressed: the future of Kashmir was not open to question or negotiation, except that India might be prepared to submit the 1949 ceasefire line to diplomatic processes converting it into a final boundary, leaving the heart of Kashmir to India.

In the unfolding, the consequences of India's acquisition of Kashmir were malign and wide-turmoil, repression in the state itself, and conflict between India and Pakistan punctuated by wars. For the Pakistanis, India's purloining of Kashmir (as they saw it) was the demonstration of the Indians' commitment to their destruction as a national entity and their ultimate reabsorption into Hindu India. That perception informed Pakistan's defense and foreign policy thereafter. Pakistan sought American arms perhaps with the thought of using them ultimately to wrest Kashmir away from India; but the immediate purpose was to protect herself against the real threat of invasion by her greatly stronger neighbor. The Indian view of the extension of U.S. arms aid to Pakistan in 1954 was that it destabilized the subcontinent, and American critics of the Eisenhower administration have often made the same point. But this overlooks the fact that the Indian army had three times by then been concentrated on the Punjab border, threatening Lahore. In that context, to strengthen Pakistan's defenses so as to deter Indian attack could have been seen in Washington as a contribution to greater stability in South Asia-as well, of course, as a contribution to the "contain communism" program of Dulles expressed in the CENTO and SEATO alliances.

If fears and resentment about India dominated the direction of Pakistan's foreign policy, India's policies were also informed by the Kashmir dispute-even, in crucial areas outside the subcontinent, deformed by it. In the Middle East, for example, India's pursuit of Islamic support for her position on Kashmir led Nehru to refuse to open diplomatic relations with Israel, in contradiction of his general advocacy of acceptance of the "political facts of life" in international relations. From a very early point, Kashmir and Pakistan turned Nehru away from his professed ideals.

In perspective, of course, if one ignores the moral and pacific tone of Nehru's policy articulations and looks narrowly at objectives and results, it can be concluded that in the matters of Kashmir and Pakistan Nehru's policies were successful. Kashmir remained Indian. When, in 1965, after Nehru's death, Pakistan resorted to covert force to try to wrest Kashmir from India, the attempt not only failed but set in motion a process which led to the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971. That dismemberment was welcomed in India as at last disproving the two-nation theory, and there is no reason to doubt that Nehru would have seen it in the same terms. But a deep concern with India's unity may be seen to have informed much that Nehru did in foreign affairs. (One of his greatest services to India, no doubt, lay in his contribution to what has been called the task of "creating a viable nationalism in the face of staggering historical odds"-and one part of that contribution was in making his compatriots proud of the role their country played in the world.) In that context, it is likely that Nehru's reaction to the breakup of Pakistan would have been mixed. He might have perceived in the secession of East Pakistan a foreshadowing of similar challenges to the unity of India, for if the breakup of Pakistan demolished the two-nation theory it replaced that not with Nehru's secular vision of one nation on the subcontinent, but with a demonstration of the existence of many.


The consideration of Nehru's policies toward Pakistan leads naturally to the question of India's relations with the United States in his time. For it was the Pakistan issue, inflamed by the Kashmir dispute, that more than anything worked by 1954 to sour the initial promise of a friendship that would build on the sympathy Americans and their government had expressed, and made felt, for the Indian independence movement.

The cordial relations with Washington that in the first two years of independence led Moscow to denounce India as "an Anglo-American satellite" were bruised by the negative American response to Nehru's first attempts, in 1949, to obtain economic aid without relinquishing nonalignment; and the inclusion of Pakistan in the 1955 Baghdad Pact seemed to set India and the United States into confirmed opposition, if not hostility. With Dulles and Vice President Nixon setting the tone in Washington with their castigation of "immoral neutralism," and with Nehru leading India into increasingly cordial relations with both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the estrangement between Washington and Delhi seemed to be consistently widening in the mid-1950s.

But American policy toward India was more flexible than the rhetoric suggested. The coincidence of American and Indian policies in the 1956 Middle East conflict led steadily toward rapprochement, until in 1960 Eisenhower himself was in Delhi proclaiming Indo-American friendship, and lauding the marvelous Indian successes in development that would, he thought, be a lesson for the ages.

By that time Dulles was dead; but, more important, Nehru had begun to lapse into almost Dullesian tones in his statements on China. The dispute over the Sino-Indian borders had brought India toward partnership with Washington in hostility to China. The border war in 1962 saw U.S. Air Force freighters flying in weapons for Indian soldiers to use against Chinese, and even a panic-stricken appeal by Nehru for active American participation in the fighting. According to Ambassador Galbraith, it also brought the Indian government, six weeks after China had ended the war, to offer "to work with the United States both politically and militarily in the rest of Asia." Thus nonalignment-in everything but name-was offered as the price for American military assistance. Indo-American relations, which had been soured in consequence of the quarrel Nehru's Kashmir policy had created with Pakistan, became extraordinarily close as Nehru picked his quarrel with China-and remained so until after his death in 1964. The only principle involved was that one takes help when needed, where it can be obtained, and pays in the coin required.


If one can accord to Nehru's Pakistan policies a measure of practical success, no such perspective can be associated with Nehru's China policies. However those be viewed, the failure was total.

The customary point of departure has been his own early declarations of confident friendship, epitomized in this romantic vision of 1942: "The future of which I dream is inextricably interwoven with close friendship and something almost approaching union with China." It was a vision that not only survived, but was fortified by, the foundation of the People's Republic in 1949; and in 1950 it was India who took the lead in seeking to have the new government in Peking recognized as China's rightful representative in the United Nations. If China and India had been comfortably separated by geography, Nehru would probably have been able to sustain as uppermost the friendly strain in what appears in fact to have been a deeply ambivalent response to China.

But once China reasserted her authority in Tibet in late 1950 the relationship which Nehru had idealized had to accommodate the real political strains that arose from contiguity. Sino-Indian relations then presented Nehru with a model but inescapable arena for the practice of the principles he preached.

The ambivalence of Nehru's China policy began to appear in his handling of the Tibet question. Initially he continued Britain's trans-Himalayan policy, encouraging Tibetan separatism to the point of providing Lhasa with military aid. There is now evidence that military intervention to anticipate the Chinese army's move into Tibet was considered within the Indian government, and turned down.3 In the event, Nehru made only diplomatic protests and then formally recognized Chinese sovereignty in Tibet. But in spite of that, he authorized his intelligence bureau to extend support and encouragement to the anti-Chinese Tibetan emigrés who had gathered in India. Beginning with connivance in the activities of Kuomintang and American intelligence agencies with the emigrés, this covert contradiction of Nehru's stated policy toward China's position in Tibet was ultimately to extend to the arming and training of Tibetan refugees for guerrilla operations in their homeland.

But it was the problem of India's northeastern boundary, confronting Nehru from his first days in office, that brought the contradiction in his approach to China destructively to the surface. During the final decade of their rule in India the British had tried to establish the forward alignment known as the McMahon Line as their boundary with China in that sector, but the Chinese government (Kuomintang) had made clear to the British and, on their departure, to the Indians that China did not and would not recognize the McMahon Line. Deciding that independent India should continue Britain's policy in this regard, too, and make the McMahon Line her northeastern boundary, Nehru evolved a three-part approach to the problem posed by China's rejection of that alignment: first, India would make good the McMahon Line as the effective boundary by extending administration into the area beneath it; second, India would declare the McMahon Line to be unalterably her boundary. Unless China changed her policy, those steps pointed towards conflict. But the third element of Nehru's approach went even further, and made conflict practically inevitable: he decided that India would meet any renewed Chinese protests with a refusal to submit the McMahon Line to negotiation. Since Nehru, on the clear evidence of the Kuomintang protests, believed China would never willingly accept the McMahon alignment, he would force them to do so by presenting them with an unyielding fait accompli.

As an essay in Realpolitik this approach might have had advantages-provided India had the strength such an assertive approach was bound to require. But it was certain to work against Nehru's proclaimed aim of friendship with China-and a rigid adherence to that approach would mean that the way to a diplomatic settlement of the boundary question would be barred even if the Chinese reversed their position and decided to accept the McMahon alignment.

Exactly that happened with the establishment of the People's Republic. As Chou En-lai was to indicate at the Bandung Conference and his government's policies were to confirm, China's new men decided to turn their backs on the irredentist commitments of their predecessors and to settle their boundaries on the alignments history had given them. That this policy embraced the McMahon Line was indicated in 1950 when Chou told the Indian ambassador that China had no territorial dispute with India; again, China made no protest when, at the beginning of 1951, the Indians finally made that line their effective boundary by evicting the established Tibetan administration from Tawang, an area south of the McMahon Line. (In this, incidentally, the Indians exceeded the intentions of the British, who had decided in 1940 that they would not disturb Tibetan ownership of Tawang.) In 1956 Chou explicitly confirmed to Nehru that China was prepared to confirm the McMahon alignment as the boundary with India.

With that, the reason for Nehru's decision not to submit the McMahon Line to negotiation with China had disappeared-but his refusal to do so was to remain adamant. This meant that the old dispute over the McMahon Line could be resolved only if the Chinese would regard it as already the de jure boundary. They had accepted it as the de facto boundary, and were prepared to legalize it in a treaty, as they were doing with the sector of the McMahon Line between themselves and Burma. But for China to ascribe legal force to McMahon's secret 1914 exchanges with the Tibetans (which even McMahon's government had not done) would have belied her entire stand on the question of Tibet, by tacitly conceding that in 1914 Tibet enjoyed sovereign status. Nehru's approach had thus hopelessly knotted a border problem that had really almost solved itself.

In addition, there was the issue of the Aksai Chin area. In 1954 Nehru had converted the deadlock he had created into a potential crisis by extending the policy he had evolved for the McMahon Line to the entire western sector of the boundary. In the preamble to the treaty on trade in Tibet which had just been signed, India and China had bound themselves to "respect each other's territorial integrity." Turning this to practical advantage, Nehru instructed the ministries concerned that henceforth the whole northern border should be considered a "firm and definite" line, "not open to discussion with anybody." India would thus unilaterally settle the old boundary problem she had inherited from the British, settling China's boundary too, of course-and neither the Chinese nor anyone else would have the right to discuss the matter. The explosive charge for the boundary question was added when Indian officials found in the archives a claim to the desolate and (for India) inaccessible Aksai Chin tract, conceived in the British days as a move to balk a feared Tsarist advance but never formally put to the Chinese. That claim India made part of her "firm and definite" northern boundary by putting it on official maps. It covered territory the Chinese had claimed since the 1890s, and had used from the early 1950s.

Nehru's border policy called for the preemptive occupation of "such places as might be considered disputed," and its implementation led immediately to patrol collisions with the Chinese and ultimately, after it had been given military expression in the 1961 "forward policy," to the 1962 border war and the Indian debacle. That was the inevitable consequence of Nehru's policy. It did not prove (as his domestic and Western critics alleged) that his whole Panchsheel approach to China had been misguided-rather it proved by negative example the soundness of those five principles, since Nehru's border policy had flouted them at every step.

When many of the governments which had followed India in nonalignment applied to the 1962 war the principles for settling international conflicts which India herself had strongly urged, Nehru, in effect, disowned them. They called for a ceasefire, putting aside until the fighting had stopped any investigation into who had been responsible for starting it; they refrained from charging either side with aggression; they accepted the bona fides of both parties; they gave Chou En-lai's explanations weight equal to Nehru's; they called on the big powers to keep out, so that the conflict might be localized. Nehru's reaction to this was often indignant. The "so-called nonaligned countries" had been confused by Chinese propaganda, he said, and frightened by it, too: Indians, unlike Chinese, did not "possess the warlike mentality," so "people [advising] us to be good boys and make it up has no particular meaning." He sustained his refusal to negotiate, short of China's agreeing to all of India's diplomatic and territorial demands-though, as always, he cloaked that refusal in a semantic cipher which managed to suggest that the refusal to negotiate was really China's.

Nehru had infused his border policy with deception. To justify his refusal to negotiate a settlement he had had to argue that the Sino-Indian boundaries were already settled, and then to pretend that it was the Chinese who were refusing to negotiate, never himself. With the help of his officials, who made lawyers' tricks out of historians' techniques, he succeeded in convincing not only other governments but also his own political public. Nehru's use of deception involved also self-deception: no one who met him in his last two years could doubt the genuineness of his conviction that he had been the victim of intransigence rather than a practitioner.

In a letter closing their exchanges Chou En-lai asked Nehru a question: "In the past you always advised other countries to settle disputes peacefully through negotiations without setting any preconditions, why has the Indian government taken a diametrically opposite attitude towards the Sino-Indian boundary question?" No answer in objective, rational factors presents itself. The boundary dispute boiled down to India's persistent refusal to negotiate and her insistent claim to Aksai Chin, a tract entirely useless to India, which Indians had come to regard as part of the motherland only because Nehru had treated it as such. No demonstrable economic, political or security interest was involved. Yet in anger and resentment at China's refusal to allow him to settle the boundary question on his own terms, Nehru reversed the policy of friendly coöperation with China which he had declared to be close to his heart-and which, by every criterion of national interest, was not only sound for India but imperative.

Part of the explanation for this may lie in Nehru's very domination of the processes of foreign policy formulation and execution in India, and the degree to which in his day India was identified, in international affairs, with himself. In such circumstances it might have been difficult for any man to keep a clear and rigorous distinction between personal pride and national prestige. Thus Nehru, feeling a slight to the first, could have regarded and presented it as injury to the second.

The disclosures of one of Nehru's close advisers, his intelligence chief, B. N. Mullik, may indicate another level of explanation if they are to be believed (and they find strong corroboration in what Nehru did and allowed to be done along the borders).4 Mullik's account suggests that there was a deeper element in Nehru's attitude to China, contradictory to the feelings of trust and friendship he so often expressed at first: that from the beginning, in another part of his thinking, Nehru held China in suspicion, as India's latent enemy. Such an underlying attitude would be discordant with the familiar Nehru persona, open, confident and pragmatic; but, as Nehru was aware and frankly wrote, that side of him was not the whole. A very senior Indian official, among the most Westernized of a highly Westernized group, remarked once to the writer that he "never felt more Indian" than when dealing with the Chinese. Could Nehru, too, have responded atavistically to the Chinese, so that his attitudes and reactions were modified by what he recognized as his "subconscious racial memories of a hundred . . . generations of Brahmins?" Certainly his policy toward China sat better with the ancient Hindu statecraft of Kautilya, regarding neighbors as natural enemies to be overcome by cunning if strength is deficient, than with the five principles of peaceful coexistence in the twentieth century.


At his death ten years ago, Nehru's foreign policies lay in ruins. Humiliatingly defeated by China, and locked in enmity with her, with the Kashmir dispute unresolved and festering to a head, India was strenuously and expensively rearming, at the cost of her already halting economic development. Relations with other neighbors were poor and sometimes strained, long-neglected problems breeding resentment. India's standing with the Afro-Asian world was much depressed, largely as a result of the quarrel with China and the debacle to which that had led, but also because for years Indians' assumptions about their role of leadership had rankled. The high prestige India had enjoyed in the international community a few years before had been irreparably punctured. With the emergence of détente between Washington and Moscow, nonalignment had lost most of its significance and value: the rhetoric and theorizing of nonalignment was as alive and loud as ever in Delhi, of course, but in the great power deployment of the mid-1960s India was aligned indeed-with the United States and any other enemies of China. Of the basic elements of Nehru's policies only that of friendship with the Soviet Union had survived.

The ruin at the end is not the sum of his achievement, however. Nehru's applied policies in crucial areas concerning India's relations with her neighbors were at variance with what he advocated, and they did not serve his country well. But Nehru will be remembered in the West more for the service he did to the international community in his prime, as an influential articulator of rational and pacific standards of international conduct, than for his failures in practice.


1 These principles were: mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual nonaggression; mutual noninterference in each other's internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; peaceful coexistence.

2 A. Appadorai, quoted by Alan de Russett in Studies in Indian Foreign Policy, ed. by K. P. Misra, New Delhi: Vikas, 1969, p. 112.

3 B. N. Mullik, My Years With Nehru: The Chinese Betrayal, Bombay: Allied Publishers, 1971, p. 80.

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