Indiaâ€™s first Prime Minister towered over Indiaâ€™s international relations for nearly two critical decades. More than half a century after his death, however, scholars continue to debate the meaning and significance of Nehruâ€™s most important initiatives in foreign policy. Some argue that he was a bold idealist crusader, one who frequently ignored important Indian interests. Others have described him as a subtle practitioner of realpolitik statecraft. This chapter argues that Nehru must be remembered as both an idealist and a realist. To make its case, the chapter delves into three of Nehruâ€™s most important â€˜idealisticâ€™ preoccupations in foreign policy: his drive to build up the United Nations, his campaign for non-alignment, and his crusade for nuclear disarmament. In each case, the analysis reveals that Nehru was both sincerely committed to what he saw as a moral cause, but also convinced that advancing it would suit narrower Indian interests as well.
|Title of host publication||The Oxford Handbook of Indian Foreign Policy|
|Editors||David M. Malone, C. Raja Mohan, and Srinath Raghavan|
|Place of Publication||Oxford, UK|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|