Nehru led newly independent India from 1947 to 1964, during its first years of freedom from British rule. Both the United States and the Union Soviet socialist Republic have competed to make India an ally throughout the cold war. Although having promised in 1948 to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir under the auspices of the U.N., Nehru grew increasingly wary of the U.N. and declined to hold a plebiscite in 1953. He ordered the arrest of the Kashmiri politician Sheikh Abdullah, whom he had previously supported but now suspected of harbouring separatist ambitions: Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad replaced him. On the international scene, Nehru was a champion of pacifism and a strong supporter of the United Nations.
This book is an attempt to draw together Nehru's ideas regarding democracy, and to present them in logical arrangement a task which Nehru himself has never undertaken. It is the author's earnest hope that this work may provide a better understanding of Nehru and what he stands for. The future of Asia is very much in the balance. It may well hinge on the ultimate success or failure of India's democratic experiment under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru. The facts certainly point to the need for a clearer understanding of the man upon whom so much depends.