1st Edition

India-America Relations (1942-62) Rooted in the Liberal International Order

By Atul Bhardwaj Copyright 2019
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    Examining India-America relations between 1942-62, this book reconsiders the role of America in shaping the imagination of post-colonial India. It rejects a conventional orthodoxy that assigns a limited role to America and challenges narratives which neglect the natural asymmetries and focus on discord and differences to define India-America relations.

    Integrating the security, political and economic elements of the Indo-American relationship it presents a synthesis of India’s encounter with the post-war hegemon and looks at the military, economic and political involvement of America during the ‘transfer of power’ from Britain to India. Bhardwaj delves into the role of American non-government agencies and examines the anti-communist ideological linkages that the Indian political class developed with America, the influence of this bonding and the role of American ideas, experts, funds, international relations and strategy in shaping India’s social, economic and educational institutions. Analyzing India’s non-alignment policy and its linkages to American policy on the non-communist neutrals, it argues that India’s movement towards the Soviet Union and away from China in the mid 1950s was in tune with the American strategy to cause the Sino-Soviet split.

    The book presents a fresh perspective based on authentic records and adds a new dimension to the understanding of modern Indian history and Indo-American relations. It will appeal to scholars and students of Indian and American history, international relations and strategy.

    Chapter-1 – Introduction

    The American Century and India

    The British Invite America to India

    In Awe of America

    Bretton Woods and Bombay Plan

    The Postwar Parting



    Chapter – 2 -Direct American Involvement in India

    American GIs in India

    Censorship and Turf war

    British Propaganda Machinery in America

    Networking with the Indian Elite

    Airlifting Pandit

    The Drew Pearson Affair

    Mathai the Mole

    The Economics of War

    India and the Lend–Lease

    American Silver for India


    Chapter – 3 - The New Deal – Indian Planning and Politics

    The Pre-war Ideas

    The Post-war Package

    American Inspiration for Indian Planning

    TVA and Damodar Valley Project

    America in Indian Rural Sector

    The Peace Corps

    The Appleby Pill

    Mapping Indian Minerals

    Indian Socialists and America

    The Liberterian Returns from Brussels

    JP Narayan, the Most Trusted Ally of America


    Chapter – 4 - American Philanthropy in India

    Bateson’s Advice

    Early Engagement with Rockefeller Foundation

    The Postwar Philanthropy in India

    The Ford Foundation

    Penetrating Indian Education

    The American Institute of Indian Studies

    The Asia Foundation

    Two Tiny but Influential American NGOs


    Meals for Millions


    Chapter – 5- Diplomatic Encounters: Asymmetric Proximity

    Wheat, Weapons and Wealth

    Nehru’s Maiden Visit to USA

    Why no FCN Treaty for India?

    The Myth of Rift

    Asymmetry and Proximity

    Nuclear Cooperation

    The American Aid Arrives

    The Kennedy-Cooper Resolution


    Chapter 6- From Tibet Towards War

    The Tibet Entanglement

    Tibet Lobby in India

    Ike in India


    Chapter 7 - 1962 War and the Sino-Soviet Split

    India, a Credible Neutral in Korean Crisis

    Nehru’s China policy in conformity with British Commonwealth

    India’s not alone in recognizing China

    Why Nehru did not intervene in Tibet

    Rejecting the American offer of Security Council Seat

    Bandung and Beyond

    Non-Alignment and the Sino-Soviet Split

    American Strategy to Counter the Non-Communist Neutrals

    America and India’s Relations with the Soviet Union

    Coming Closer to the Soviets for Domestic Political Reasons

    The War and the Sino- Soviet Split

    Krishna Menon – The Fall Guy



    Atul Bhardwaj is a strategic affairs and international affairs analyst. He writes a regular column on strategy in Economic and Political Weekly. He is currently an Adjunct Fellow with the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), New Delhi. He has a Ph.D. in history from Ambedkar University, Delhi. He is a former Indian Navy officer, holds a graduate degree from National Defence Academy (NDA) Pune and a master’s degree in war studies from King’s College, London. He has been a Senior Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research and Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses New Delhi.