India's Hard Years

April 29, 1959

Report Outline
Indian Economic Problems and Plans
Soviet and Free World Aid to India
Foreign Aid in the Long-Term Picture

Indian Economic Problems and Plans

Tibetan Events and India's Neutralist Policy

India, whose birth as an independent nation virtually A coincided with commencement of the cold war, has been the leader of those nations which have chosen to maintain strict neutrality in the great struggle between East and West. Basically democratic in forms of government and habits of thought, India nevertheless has found it prudent not to commit itself to one side or the other. In that position it has felt free to accept from both the free world and the Soviet bloc the economic assistance that it badly needs to expand production and improve the condition of its people.

Red China's recent ruthless suppression of the revolt in Tibet, trans-Himalayan land whose autonomy Peking was pledged to respect, and the flight of the Dalai Lama to India embarrassed the government at New Delhi and shook popular support for the policy of neutralism. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking in parliament on March 30, agreed that India wanted the people of Tibet “to progress in freedom,” but he cautioned that it was “important for us to have friendly relations with the great country of China.” Later, on April 27, Nehru said “a tragedy” was “being enacted in Tibet,” and he was “greatly distressed” by China's leveling of “fantastic” charges against India.

Consolidation of Communist China's power in a region close to India's borders may require New Delhi to hold official words and statements as closely as possible to the middle line. But it may also cause India to try to strengthen its defenses, and perhaps alter its policy of not accepting foreign military aid. Whether stepped-up military assistance, if in fact sought and given, will mean a corresponding reduction in economic assistance from the free world cannot be foretold, However, the need for economic aid will continue undiminished. Its availability from the free world, not only to India but also to other nations of South and Southeast Asia, may be especially important at a moment when events in Tibet have given sharp reminder of the hazards involved in getting mixed up with Communists.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
India
May 2007  India Rising
Apr. 19, 2002  Emerging India
Jun. 11, 1976  India Under Authoritarian Rule
Feb. 17, 1971  India 1971: Strained Democracy
Jan. 18, 1967  India's Election and Economic Prospects
Nov. 03, 1965  Kashmir Question
Oct. 24, 1962  India-China Border War
Jan. 31, 1962  India's Election and Political Progress
Oct. 21, 1959  India, China, Tibet
Apr. 29, 1959  India's Hard Years
Apr. 30, 1958  Kashmir Conflict
Jun. 10, 1954  Neutral India
Jul. 18, 1951  Relations with India
Mar. 13, 1946  Freedom for India
Nov. 24, 1942  India and the War
Mar. 28, 1930  The Political Crisis in India
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Humanitarian Assistance
International Economic Development
Regional Political Affairs: Middle East and South Asia