ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

A King of Hearts

Although Jawaharlal Nehru’s first state visit to the US was a diplomatic failure, it revealed that, like John F Kennedy, he was a rare leader who represented not just a nation’s policies but also its sentiments.

In a desolate corner of my universitys library, I stumbled upon the memoirs of Dean Acheson, the secretary of state under Harry S Truman, who was the United States (US)President from 1945 to 1953. The book, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department, won a Pulitzer Prize for history in 1970. As I flipped through its pages, I came across a chapter that chronicled Jawaharlal Nehrus first state visit to the US, in 1949. Achesons views are quite interesting, reflecting what Washington thought of Indias first Prime Minister.

Acheson writes that after the official talks, he took Nehru to his home for a private conversation, with the intention of establishing a personal rapport with him. The conversation started at 10:30 pm and went on till after 1 am. At the end, Acheson said that he found Nehru to be one of the most difficult men to deal with. I had hoped that, uninhibited by a cloud of witnesses, we might be able to establish a personal relationship, he writes. But he would not relax. He talked to me, as Queen Victoria said of Mr Gladstone, as though I were a public meeting.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 59

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.