AFTER INDEPENDENCE NEHRU’S POLICY
Jawahar Lal Nehru, Independent India’s first Prime Minister was widely regarded as the builder of modern India. Also as the initiator of the policy of non-alignment that was gradually popularised all over the world . He emerged as a dynamic leader during the Indian Freedom Struggle and further played a paramount role in shaping India from 1947 until his death in 1964 as he set out to realise his vision of India and nurtured it through its journey from a colony to a republic.
Long years of the British Rule had left India completely impoverished and so, in order to facilitate economic development, Nehru launched a number of economic reforms. Being socialist in his ideology, he firmly believed in state control over economic sectors and therefore he sought to introduce several land reforms so as to bridge the disparity between land owning and landless classes. One of the key reforms of his time was the introduction of Five Years Plans under which development of agriculture, industry and education was widely laid out and a balance was sought between the Rural and Urban economy. Among this, as a part of the domestic policy, Nehru appointed the States Reorganisation Commission in 1953 to prepare for creation of states on a linguistic basis after widespread protests in the South that ultimately led to creation of Andhra Pradesh as a Telegu speaking state.
Since Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first prime minister of the country, he played an imperative role in shaping the foreign policy of the nation. During his tenure from 1947 to 1964, the scene on the international front was complex due to the ongoing cold war between the Soviet Union and United States of America for world supremacy. The entire world was rapidly getting divided into two camps with one block supporting the USSR and the other, USA. At this very crucial time, Nehru pioneered the policy of non-alignment i.e. siding with neither of the two superpowers which was an extremely path breaking policy given the world scenario. This ultimately led to creation of the Non Aligned Movement which was joined by a number of decolonised Asian and African Countries, The essence of this movement was that aligning with a superpower is not necessary for the developing countries and that all the developing countries too can create a powerful block if they come together. Jawahar Lal Nehru also adopted a very liberal and friendly policy towards China, due to which he was widely criticised following the Indo Sino war in 1962.
Lastly, Nehru strongly believed in the development of science and technology and envisioned development of India as a nuclear power. Keeping this in mind, India’s nuclear policy was laid out which mainly worked on an understanding between Nehru and famous nuclear physicist Homi J. Bhabha who has also been called the father of Indian Nuclear Programme.
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