Lost Footsteps
Lost Footsteps

Pandit Nehru

UK's decision to quit Burma

On 20 December 1946, UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee informed the House of Commons of his government's intention "to hasten forward the time when Burma shall realize her independence, either within or without the Commonwealth". In other words, the UK had decided to quit Burma. We must remember that this was a time when Clement Attlee's Labour government were coping with severe and mounting economic challenges at home, and facing dire emergencies in India, Palestine, and Greece. Communal violence in...

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A Shared History of India and Burma Independence

India became independent from the British Empire on 15 August 1947. The country was partitioned and the new state of Pakistan was created at the same time. India and Burma immediately established diplomatic ties, but as Burma was then not yet an independent republic outside the Commonwealth, the country was represented in New Delhi by a High Commissioner (U Win). Burma's road to independence was intimately tied with India's. Modern Burmese politics began with the Montagu-Chelmsford reforms of 1917 and the...

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U Aung San's Historic Meeting with Pandit Nehru

The AFPFL leader was en route to London to discuss Burmese independence with Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Pandit Nehru helped U Aung San by having his tailor make for him a new set of warm clothes, including a greatcoat for the London winter. The winter of 1946-7 was to be the coldest in England in three centuries, with temperatures falling to -21 degrees Celsius and fuel shortages leading to widespread power cuts.

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Reciprocal State Visits of Myanmar and Indian Leaders

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Myanmar in 2012 and it was one of the dozens of visits between Indian and Myanmar heads of government and state to each other's countries since independence in 1947-8. These are two photographs from an early visit (in 1951). The first shows Pandit Nehru coming greet U Nu at Palam Airport (now Indira Gandhi International Airport). U Nu is to the left, already surrounded by journalists. The second photograph is from the same trip, with...

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On the Way to the 1955 Bandung Conference

The April 1955 Bandung meetings were a testament to Burma's then dynamic international diplomacy. They were also a testament to Mingaladon airport's position as an international aviation hub - everyone had to stop in Rangoon anyway to travel to Indonesia. The photo was taken at Government House, from left to right: North Vietnamese Foreign Minister, later Prime Minister Pham Van Dong; Afghan Foreign Minister HH Sardar Muhammad Naim; Chinese Premier Chou En-lai; President Dr Ba U; Indian Prime Minister Nehru;...

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Nehru and Nasser in Rangoon

In 1955, Non-Aligned leaders Prime Minister Pandit Nehru of India and President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt (with U Nu in the background) walk down Merchant Street in Rangoon (Yangon). They were stopping over in Rangoon on their way to Bandung for the first Asian-African Summit.

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Anniversary of 1955 Asian-African Bandung Conference

The Asian-African Conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia in 18-24 April 1955. It is better remembered as the "Bandung Conference". Burma was one of the principal organizers of the conference, together with India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Ceylon. The conference brought together 29 leaders of the newly independent non-Western world, representing no fewer than 1.5 billion people, more than half the entire planet. The host, Indonesia's president Sukarno called it "The First Inter-Continental Conference of Coloured People in the History of...

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