Academic and scholar, Atul Bhardwaj digs out archival material to bring out some very interesting facts about the Second World War in India. There were more than 200,000 American soldiers present in India from 1942-46, in addition to 100,000 Chinese soldiers, who were stationed in Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Karachi and other Indian cities.
What were they doing? How the presence of such large number of foreign soldiers impacted the food situation, the cultural scene and the politics in India. analyses Atul Bhardwaj in his path-breaking book ‘India-America Relations (1942-1962): Rooted in the Liberal International Order’. He brings to fore some new facts about the life of an American Soldier in India during the war.
He is in conversation with Pervaiz Alam.
Dr. Atul Bhardwaj is an Honorary Research Fellow at City, University of London. He is a PhD in History from Ambedkar University, Delhi and Masters in War Studies from King’s College, London.
The book: ‘India-America Relations (1942-1962): Rooted in the Liberal International Order’ has been published by the British publishers, Routledge, and is available at a price of £115.00.
The book challenges the myth that Soviet Union was Nehru’s Chief ideological mentor. Atul argues that Nehru’s favourite projects, Five-yer Plans, Village development schemes and big dams, “temples of modern India” drew inspiration from America. America had the first mover advantage in India, they were invited by the British to come to India during the second world war. And the Americans came to India in 1942 with more than 200,000 troops and OSS, their intelligence outfit. The cordiality between India and Soviet Union began only after Stalin’s death in 1953 and when a general thaw in Cold War had been initiated by Khrushchev.
Atul argues that 1957-1962 was the golden period in Indo-US relations when the Indian establishment and its political elite were fully aligned with America to help achieve its objectives vis-a-vis China.