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Type: Journal article
Title: Walking the thin line: India's anti-racist diplomatic practice in South Africa, Canada, and Australia, 1946-55
Author: Davis, A.
Thakur, V.
Citation: International History Review, 2016; 38(5):880-899
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0707-5332
Statement of
Alexander E. Davis & Vineet Thakur
Abstract: Historians of India's foreign policy have often failed to see beyond the ‘Great man’ Jawaharlal Nehru. This Nehru-centric vision is not only misleading, but also unfair to Nehru. Here, we seek to take the gaze off Nehru and New Delhi so as to view Indian foreign policy from different locations. We examine the ways in which India's diplomats in Australia, Canada, and South Africa resisted racial discrimination. India's anti-racist diplomacy has most often been viewed as pointless moralistic ranting: the domain of the ‘hypersensitive, emotional’ Indian. We argue, however, based on largely unexamined archival material and an emphasis on the practice of Indian diplomacy, that India's diplomats in these bastions of settler-colonial racism were tactful, strategic, and effective in challenging racist, colonial practices and bringing an anti-racist discourse to international politics. Nehruvian foreign-policy discourse, and its goal of an anti-racist world order, then, was tempered by its diplomatic practices. In particular, this occurred outside of New Delhi in places where India's hopes for productive international relationships clashed with its Nehruvian worldview.
Keywords: Indian diplomacy; anti-racism; diplomatic practice; Commonwealth; Jawaharlal Nehru
Rights: © 2016 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030046217
DOI: 10.1080/07075332.2016.1144630
Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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