Nehru and Democracy: The Political Thought of an Asian Democrat

Nehru and Democracy: The Political Thought of an Asian Democrat

Nehru and Democracy: The Political Thought of an Asian Democrat

Nehru and Democracy: The Political Thought of an Asian Democrat

Excerpt

The writer was introduced to Prime Minister Nehru as an American student engaged in research on his political thought. Mr. Nehru's immediate comment was, 'Well, you probably know more about it than I do'. As the Prime Minister went on to explain, he could certainly not be regarded as primarily a political philosopher. He is a political leader, a politician, one who has devoted most of his life to the practice rather than the theory of politics. However, we must note the fact that throughout his career Nehru has maintained a more than casual interest in theory as well. His considerable reading and philosophical bent of mind have enabled him to interpret day-to-day political problems with broad theoretical perspective.

This book is an attempt to draw together Nehru's ideas regarding democracy, and to present them in logical arrangement -- a task which Nehru himself has never undertaken. It is the author's earnest hope that this work may contribute to a better understanding of Nehru and what he stands for. The future of Asia is very much in the balance. It may well hinge on the ultimate success or failure of India's democratic experiment under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru. The facts certainly point to the need for a clearer understanding of the man upon whom so much depends.

The study is basically an exposition of Nehru's ideas. But it is not thereby implied that political theories are or should be speculative and somehow divorced from the realities of political life. As Dr. Sabine has so clearly pointed out,

theories of politics are themselves a part of politics. In otherwords, they do not refer to an external reality but are produced as a normal art of the social milieu in which politics itself has its being.

The attempt has been made to present Nehru's ideas against the background of the situation in modern India -- for it is in this context that his ideas have developed. However, it would obviously be impossible to include within the scope of this . . .

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