Nehru

New Nehru for the Right? Modi’s and Nehru’s politics are inverted mirror images of each other

Nehrumodified

The one political leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often been compared to is Indira Gandhi. Like Modi, after all, she was the last Indian prime minister to win a renewed absolute parliamentary majority for her party after a full term. And like the prime minister’s thumping 2019 triumph in the face of what the […..]

Soft power, hard battles: Inventing the Asian Games is a forgotten facet of the Nehruvian idea of India

As Indian athletes get ready to compete in Incheon today few remember how the modern Asian Games themselves were virtually invented by India, how central these Games were for the hopes, aspirations and ideals of Nehruvian India and the role they played in soft power diplomacy in the early years after independence. “You have certainly […..]

The story of how an Asiad remade a city

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India may not be a major sporting power, but as Indian athletes get ready for the Incheon Asian Games, few remember the central role the Asian Games have played in the remaking of Delhi. The Asian Games themselves were virtually invented by India as part of Nehru’s attempt to forge a new Asian solidarity and […..]

The Games Politicians Play

The world turns on its axis, night comes after day, the Olympic Games are held every four years. The Olympics are so ubiquitous, so much a predictable, fixed feature of the rhythms of the world that it is easy to forget that they essentially began as a private initiative by a French aristocrat. In the […..]

Once there was a GANEFO

The world turns on its axis, night comes after day, the Olympic Games are held every four years. The Olympics are so ubiquitous, so much a predictable, fixed feature of the rhythms of the world that it is easy to forget that they essentially began as a private initiative by a French aristocrat. Amid the […..]

Politics of the Indian Presidency

Debating the role of the President in the Constituent Assembly on 21 July 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru articulated some of the dominant political expectations of the time, arguing that even though ‘we did not give him any real powers’ in the proposed Constitution, ‘we have made his position one of great authority and dignity’.2 As the […..]

CALLING RAMDEV’S BLUFF

When the French writer Andre Malraux asked Jawaharlal Nehru in 1958 about his greatest difficulty since Independence, Nehru is said to have replied, “Creating a just state by just means”. He then added: “Perhaps, too, creating a secular state in a religious country.” The supposed religiosity of voters is one reason why governments are almost […..]