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Nehru and Civil Liberties in India

Title:Nehru and Civil Liberties in India
Author:Jha Munmun
Publication:The International Journal of Human Rights / Frank Cass Publishers
Enumeration:vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 103-115, Oct. 2003
Abstract:This article locates the origins of the human rights movement in India with the establishment of the Indian Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) in 1936, and examines the role of its founder, Jawarharlal Nehru, independent India's first prime minister. It charts the organisation's brief career in a colonial political climate of mistrust, coupled with compulsions of governance. It argues that the ICLU was a replication of the model that already existed in the sovereign and liberal democratic societies of the West, and in turn became a model for similar organisations formed in post-independent India. It asserts that the idea of civil liberties as enunciated by Nehru, and the experience of the ICLU experiment, continues to be relevant even today as organisations mature and expand their agendas.

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