Maxwell, Neville
April 1974
Foreign Affairs;Apr1974, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p633
This article examines India's foreign affairs under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's administration. The tenth anniversary of Nehru's death, May 1974, 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. 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.


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