In the twilight of empire: Two impressions of Britain and India at the United Nations, 1945-47

Ankit, Rakesh (2015) In the twilight of empire: Two impressions of Britain and India at the United Nations, 1945-47. South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies, 38 (4). pp. 574-588. ISSN 00856401

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This article focuses on Indo-British interactions at the United Nations during 1945-47, a significant and hitherto overlooked episode of India's transition within the British Commonwealth from a colony to a dominion. In this twilight period of the British Raj, India sent its first delegations onto the international stage - forays that were critically received by London and subsequently employed to anticipate New Delhi's global role in post-1945 international affairs. The delegations' delicate composition, combative activities and difficult interactions with their British counterparts established the diplomatic implications of decolonisation for London. The focus of existing literature on India's international identity at this time has been on the formulation of Jawaharlal Nehru's non-aligned approach to the Cold War. This article, instead, concentrates on its presentation and reception. Secondly, the story of India's presence at the UN usually begins with the Korean War (1950-53). This article shows that in fact it was in 1946-47 that the first impressions of the country's independent foreign policy were given by an interim Indian government. Based on the papers of Frederick Puckle, advisor on Indian affairs at the British Embassy in Washington (1943-47) and of Vijayalakshmi Pandit, leader of India's UN delegation, and supplemented by relevant official records, oral histories and memoirs, the article presents an unheralded facet of India's emerging independent identity in this period of pre-Independence.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Britain | India | Krishna Menon | Security Council | Soviet Union | Trusteeship Council | United Nations | USA | Vijayalakshmi Pandit
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Arts and Humanities > History
JGU School/Centre: Jindal Global Law School
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2022 04:35
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 16:16
Official URL:


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