Nehru — the Dilemmas of a Colonial Inheritance

  • Judith M. Brown
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


This chapter examines the experience of Jawaharlal Nehru in the processes of decolonization. It focuses mainly on the 1930s–1950s, the transitional period of the end of British rule in India and the making of a new nation-state in India. We might call this phase “the long decolonization,” as the British devolved power constitutionally to Indian politicians and began to appoint Indians to senior roles in the civil service and the army, while at the same time much that was colonial in origin remained even after formal independence. Contrary to his popular image as a member of India’s political elite who moved seamlessly as Gandhi’s heir to become India’s first Prime Minister — much admired, successful at integrating India and maintaining her stability and establishing her as a world player — this chapter probes some of the problems of his role, particularly the dilemmas of his colonial inheritance.


Prime Minister Civil Service External Affair Nationalist Movement Congress Party 
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© Judith M. Brown 2011

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  • Judith M. Brown

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