Starting with this, The Dharma Dispatch will carry a series aimed at providing the true picture of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. This series will be in the nature of providing archived excerpts or full-length essays republished here.
The following has been excerpted from The Owosso Argus-Press dated 9 January 1963 authored by Leon Dennen.
Some world statesmen cling to their political illusions even like ordinary mortals. A case in point is India’s Jawaharlal Nehru.
The prime minister has informed his cabinet, believe it or not, that India has no intention of abandoning “non-alignment” thereby joining the anti-Communist nations of the world.
Nonalignment (doubletalk for neutrality) was born in 1961 in Belgrade at a conference…sponsored by Nehru and Yugoslavia’s President Tito.
This writer was among a score of reporters in Belgrade who watched Nehru’s diplomatic acrobatics as he tried to maneuver between the United States and Russia – always giving the edge to Russia.
India’s Prime Minister was never slow in voicing his disapproval of American “colonialist” policy. However, when Soviet Premier Khrushchev violated his agreement with the United States…Nehru was cagey and noncommittal…
History moves swiftly in the atomic age. Almost to the year after the Belgrade conference Red China attacked India and Nehru found himself deserted by his neutralist friends.
Khrushchev “postponed” the delivery of war planes to India. He had promised them originally in an obvious effort to use Nehru against his hated Red Chinese rival Mao Tse-tung. That other “neutralist” Tito rushed to Moscow to rejoin the Soviet camp.
Only the NATO nations, especially “capitalist” United States came to Nehru’s aid with weapons and war supplies when India was in the danger of being overrun by Red China’s armed hordes.
President Kennedy acted more from strategic calculations than visionary love for India. But it’s an ironic note to history that while neutralists passed resolutions which…urged Nehru to bow to Red China, Americans were risking their lives ferrying weapons to India.
And still Nehru insists on India’s role as an “unaligned” nation. He even told Yugoslavia’s Vice President…that America-hating and America-baiting Krishna Menon might “be back” in India’s Cabinet…
Was Menon fired from India’s Cabinet because his pro-Red policies…and as defense minister brought India to the brink of disaster?
Not at all, Nehru assured…Menon was merely the victim of anti-Communist pressure. “In situations like this,” Nehru said, “there is always the need to fire someone.”
Not even the American taxpayers’ massive aid seems to have changed Nehru’s mind. He obviously still hopes to act the honest broker between the free world and the Red dictatorships?
Why, then, does not…John Kenneth Galbraith, U.S. ambassador to India, tell Nehru the facts of life?
Why not also inform Nehru that non-alignment in 1963 is dead?
Yugoslavia’s Tito has already drawn his own Marxist-Leninist conclusions. He is inching Yugoslavia back into the Soviet camp. Can Nehru remain perched on the neutralist sidelines much longer?