Most people tend to mark the beginning of Indian international relations thought to Nehru, and his self-proclaimed attempt to build a true non-aligned movement and more enlightened international system. But Indian thought didn’t emerge sui generis after Indian independence, as Rahul Sagar notes in his edited anthology, To Raise a Fallen People: The Nineteenth-Century Origins of Indian Views on International Politics.
Rahul collects writings from Indian thinkers on a variety of topics: the threat posed by Russia, the value of free trade, discrimination faced by Indians at home and overseas, showing the diversity of views present in Indian political debate long before 1945. In this interview, Rahul and I talk about these collected writings, and what they tell us about India then and, perhaps India today.
Rahul Sagar is Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi. His other books include Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy (Princeton University Press, 2013) and The Progressive Maharaja: Sir Madhava Rao’s Hints on the Art and Science of Government (Oxford University Press, 2022). He can be followed on Twitter at @rahulsagar.