Why India-US was improbable in the 1950s.
1. Indian leaders, with the history of colonialism, did not really want to be subservient to anyone. A US-India relationship would have been a patron-client one. Let there be no mistake about that. All you need is to see how things..
...panned out in the 1960s.
2. Nehru inherited the British upper class disdain for Americans and British socialist anger against America's unbridled capitalism.
3. Nehru apart, there was not a whole lot enthusiasm for capitalism.
4. Indians were not unique in this regard. There
...were concers that Park would turn out be a communist. But South Korea had really not much choice, given the existential threat from NK.
5. Americans were consumed with the Cold War and their no. 1 focus was to thwart the USSR. India could not have been the ally the US needed.
6. Socialist feelings were strong in India--Nehru was not the only guy. In fact, Kripalani etc broke away and formed the PSP. Congress socialists were an influential group. In addition, there was the real threat of communists. By keeping USSR friendly, India avoided more support
....for communist revolution in India.
7. Nonetheless, India had good relations with the US until 1965. The war with Pakistan, Johnson's strong arm tactics during the food crisis in 1965-67, and eventually the disaster of Nixon-Kissinger was a bad interlude. But thing started to
improve soon after the 1972, even when Nixon was still in office.
8. With Carter things started to look up but disaster struck when the USSR invaded Afghanistan.
9. In the 1980s, India-US relations were able to achieve a breakthough because the Soviet threat was fading and the
communist threat had faded. IG in 1980s was no longer beholden to the CPI.
10. India did manage both the US and USSR relatively well during the tumultous decades without becoming a client state of either.
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