The euphoria soon faded. Nehru’s esteem declined in inverse proportion
to the intensity of the lid war. Western opinion-makers became increasingly
disenchanted with his refusal to take sides in is struggle. Policies of semi-
socialism failed to answer India’s economic needs. Indeed, far from being a
dynamic exemplar, India stumbled into the modern world-its population poor
and over-sized, ; unity fragile, its society still lodged largely in antiquity.
Nehru earned little credit for consolidating democracy, establishing the
structure of a modern state, or maintaining responsible government. For new
generations, Nehru gradually dimmed into a distant icon largely belonging to
an era which began with lofty ideals and ended in unfulfilled aspirations.
    In many ways, this retreat into shadowy memory is unwarranted. Nehru
was one of the few genuine philosopher-statesmen of our century, both an
intellectual visionary of enormous erudition and a politician of considerable
skill. He was also an inspired and fearless freedom fighter, a distinguished
author of global and personal history, an international leader with significant
influence in global diplomacy and Prime Minister of India from its
independence in 1947 until his death in 1964.
    As regards Nehru’s commitment to socialism and economic planning, it
may be pointed out that Nehru was not exclusively wedded to the promotion
of the public sector in the Indian economy-many Indian businesses were
encouraged to expand. Nehru saw modern technology and a modern
infrastructure as fundamental to the improvement of Indian society. Private
enterprise would not or could not undertake these investments. It was also not
politically possible or desirable, in those days, for a newly independent state
to solicit multinational capital. So, the government remained the only vehicle
by which to uplift a nation where 70 percent of the people still live in villages
and 30 percent live below a minimal poverty line.
    Non-alignment as foreign policy was a Nehru innovation in the early cold
war years. Indian diplomacy assembled a large group of third world countries
and gave this movement a high profile. However, after a brief moment in the
limelight of world politics, the reality of international relations imposed its
coarse truth: size is not strength and power rarely resides in the poor. Many
member states have since found alliances with the superpowers more
remunerative than occupancy of an impoverished moral high ground.
Consequently, the Non-Aligned      Movement has steadily diminished. Its once