U.S.-Indian Relations: The Early Phase
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This chapter examines the first phase of United States (US)-Indian relations—that is, the period immediately following the point at which formal diplomatic relations between the US and India began. Technically, formal diplomatic relations began on August 15, 1947, the day that India formally gained its independence from Great Britain. The Cold War began for India almost as soon as hostilities had ended in Europe and Asia in 1945, nearly two years before independence. In the atmosphere of paranoia and fear prevailing in the American political establishment in those days, most policymakers leapt to the conclusion that Nehru was a falling angel and India a teetering domino. Nationalism must have a "social content" and an economic agenda, and socialism in some form—adapted to Indian conditions—could supply that content. India must translate Gandhian ideals into practical procedures for averting a return of Fascism and imperialism to the dominant positions they enjoyed before—the situation that led to World War II.