Abstract: In the twenty -four years of Indian Independence, India has demonstrated a far greater international influence than her economic and military power seem to warrant. This was due to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s success in keeping India on a separate path from the great power blocs. The sustainability of this non-alignment was met first with skepticism and later with hostility by the United States and Soviet Union. Nehru’s choice of non-alignment is best understood through his personal development prior to independence and his Indian background. Indian philosophy is pervaded by the avoidance of absolutes. For Nehru, the most pressing problem of the world is not the conflict between Western and Communist Powers but rather between peace and war. Nehru was educated in England, where he was influenced by numerous twentieth-century writers, and more importantly Fabianism. In addition, while in England, he developed an interest in practical socialism as well as British concepts of justice and law. Later on, he found a mentor in Mahatma Ghandi, which helped him rise to prominence in Indian politics. While this frequently ended him in British jails, it eventually lifted him into a position as the representative of the Indian Congress at the “Brussels Congress of Oppressed Nationalities” in 1927. In 1928 he became the general Secretary of the Congress, where he sought to lay the groundwork for social, economic and ideological changes that were necessary for independence. Following World War II, and the partitioning of India and Pakistan two years later, Nehru ascended to the role of Prime Minister under the banner of democracy, planning secularism, and non-alignment.
Keywords: India, Nehru, Cold War, Non-alignment, Independence