The Commonwealth stands out as a time-tested forum where India can build, renew, and redefine links with the group’s other fifty-two member states in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. Despite its colonial roots, it is the oldest institution that provided India with a view of the world decades before it achieved independence. After independence, the Commonwealth has served India’s interests in varied ways: maintaining cordial relations with the former colonial power and other countries belonging to the Western bloc; showing solidarity with newly joined African countries, as well as small island countries, by expanding trade ties and economic assistance; and showcasing its diplomatic and organizational capabilities by hosting a Commonwealth Summit as well as the Commonwealth Games.

C. S. R. Murthy
C. S. R. Murthy has been a professor of international organization at the Center for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi since 2003.

However, in recent years, India’s political leaders have not attended its summits, either for want of time or out of deliberate avoidance. This absence has not gone unnoticed among those who watch the Indo-Commonwealth relationship’s potential for serving India’s long-term strategic goals. Despite India’s institutionalized ties with the Commonwealth since independence, has the organization mattered to the country’s vital security and development objectives in past decades? Furthermore, when many alternative forums also address the Commonwealth’s values of “democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law and opportunity for all,” what is the importance of the organization today to a rising international power like India? Equally important is the present task of regularizing the kind of close engagement India brought in, particularly during the years 2008 through 2016, when Indian diplomat Kamalesh Sharma served as the Commonwealth secretary general.

On a visit to India in November 2017, Prince Charles extended an invitation on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, the organization’s head, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held later this month in London. According to commentators, the United Kingdom wants to use the conference to reboot the Commonwealth, given the uncertainty caused by its decision to quit the European Union. Because India is an important contributor to the Commonwealth as well as a rising power, the United Kingdom likely hopes that it will be a valuable partner. Modi has signaled that he may attend the meeting. If true, this would increase India’s current diplomatic visibility. The Commonwealth has much to gain from India’s engagement as well.

India and the Contemporary Commonwealth

The contemporary Commonwealth comprises some eighty official and nonofficial bodies engaged in promoting multipronged partnerships among members of governments, businesses, and civil society. It facilitates consultations in a cordial and informal milieu across a wide range of concerns. These include international peace and security; democracy, law, and good governance; the environment and sustainable development; debt management and multilateral trade; education and youth affairs; gender equality, human rights, and healthcare services; information and communications technology; and small-states issues.

India has been involved in every major part of the Commonwealth network of institutions, and it is one of its top sources of funds, experts, and training. It also accounts for a large share of trade among the member states. In the 2015–2016 fiscal year, India was the fourth-largest contributor to the Commonwealth’s budget and the third-largest funder of its joint office at the United Nations in New York.1 In 2009, India doubled its contribution of approximately $2 million to the Commonwealth Media Development Fund and an annual contribution of $80,000 to the Commonwealth Small States Office at the UN.2 Further, India provides 16–20 percent of the consultants and experts in the Commonwealth technical assistance program (the most of any member, after Britain). It ranks first among member states in providing facilities and venues for Commonwealth training programs.3 In addition, India has often  provided expert members to Commonwealth election monitoring groups wherever such assistance was requested by the member governments concerned. In addition, before Sharma served as secretary general from 2008 to 2016, two Indian nationals served as deputy secretary general and another served as assistant secretary general.4

India hosted the CHOGM in 1983. In 2007, it hosted the sixth Commonwealth-India Small Business Competitiveness Development Program in Kochi and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in New Delhi. It hosted the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games followed by the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Further, India has proposed that it take on the responsibility for upgrading the Commonwealth Youth Program Asia Center in Chandigarh as a center of excellence in association with the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development in Sriperumbudur. Since 2010, no major meetings of the Commonwealth have been hosted in India, presumably because of the financial corruption controversies associated with the organization of the games.

India’s contributions to the Commonwealth’s objectives have been particularly notable in two areas: promoting trade and development cooperation among members (including support for small island, developing and least-developed countries), and collective measures by members against the removal of democratically elected governments by unlawful means.

Development Cooperation and Trade

In the early 1970s, Indian leaders suggested that the “economic content of the Commonwealth must become more meaningful and purposeful if it had to survive.”5 The economic agenda of the Third World, pushed aggressively at the UN General Assembly, was reflected in the Commonwealth’s political consultations and the functional activities of the secretariat.

This happened around the same time as a shift toward enhancing India’s economic diplomacy. India hoped that the activities of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC) would complement its own bilateral assistance program.6 In 1964, the Ministry of External Affairs created the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Division to assist with capacity building in developing countries. Since its inception, the program has spent over $2 billion, helping thousands of students and professionals globally. Annual expenditures have averaged $100 million in recent years. From 2009 to 2010, India’s contribution to the Commonwealth’s technical cooperation programs was set to gradually increase to 1 million pounds as part of its support for South-South cooperation. The Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa Program is a major example of India’s cooperation with other Commonwealth countries at the bilateral level. Through the ITEC, India provided nearly 2,000 slots to train civilians from Commonwealth countries and doubled funding to the Media Development Fund under the Commonwealth Partnership Platform Portal during 2009–2010.

India’s partnership with the Commonwealth on South-South cooperation allows small island states from the Pacific and the Caribbean in particular to benefit from its expertise and experiences. Additionally, India extends its financial assistance to conferences held in developing countries, which (along with less developed countries) account for thirty-one of the Commonwealth’s fifty-three members. An analysis of information collected from the annual reports of the Ministry of External Affairs shows that India’s contribution to the CFTC has followed an impressive growth trajectory since the 1990s—from $760,000 in 1990 to $900,000 in 1995 to $1.6 million in 2009. At the 2005 CHOGM, then Indian commerce minister Kamal Nath announced a contribution of $1.3 million to the Bridging the Digital Divide initiative. During the 2015 CHOGM, India announced a contribution of $2.5 million to the Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility. Intra-Commonwealth trade has gained momentum since the 1990s. Its value in 2015 was estimated to be $687 billion. Simultaneously, Indo-Commonwealth trade has also increased markedly. As India’s then external affairs minister told the Commonwealth Business Forum in November 2009, the organization then generated an annual intra-Commonwealth trade turnover of about $225 billion, of which India contributed  about $80 billion.

Support for Democracy

As a follow-up to the 1971 Singapore Declaration on the Commonwealth’s core values, the 1991 Harare CHOGM reiterated the importance of democracy and human rights for Commonwealth membership. Since then, the Commonwealth has observed 130 elections in thirty-six member countries; India took part in election monitoring for sixteen of those countries.7 India also supported the secretary general’s initiative in 2009–2010 to share experiences in a group of national election commissions.

In 1995, India joined the newly created Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group. It retains its membership in this body even now. The purpose of the group is to monitor the stability of recently democratized members and take appropriate action if an elected government is removed illegally from power. Further, to indicate disapproval of military coups against democratic regimes, the group has fully or partially suspended some member states from Commonwealth participation until democracy was restored. Instances of suspension include Fiji (2000, 2006, and 2009), Nigeria (1995), Pakistan (1999, 2007), Sierra Leone (1997), and Zimbabwe (2002). India’s policy of not exporting democracy abroad has not prevented it from actively supporting these suspensions. In fact, from late 1999 until 2002, discussion about the Commonwealth in parliament mainly concerned India’s stance toward Pakistan’s continued suspension.

The Highs and Lows of Engagement

Scholars have described the position of the Commonwealth in India’s foreign policy as a “cornerstone” during the late 1940s and 1950s, a “useful embellishment” during the 1970s and 1980s,8 and “no more than a child consigned to [an] orphanage” in more recent decades.9 The Commonwealth’s relative importance has shifted in response to the priorities of Indian foreign policy and the degree to which its activities have cohered with those priorities. Reviewing the highs and lows of India’s engagement with the Commonwealth helps create a realistic appraisal of future possibilities. Challenges and setbacks have peppered India’s association with the Commonwealth throughout the seven decades of the country’s membership. The unevenness in relations can be better understood by examining the following factors.

India After Independence

As two scholars note, India’s “pre-independence emergence into the international arena was premised on her association with the British Commonwealth/Empire.”10 Colonial and Imperial Conferences, convened irregularly since 1887, enabled the British Empire to shape a common position on foreign policy and security matters. Dominions like Australia, Canada, and New Zealand enjoyed the privileges of direct participation, which were initially denied to India on the grounds that it was not a self-governing part of the empire. It was only at the 1917 Imperial Conference that India was allowed rights of direct participation, in appreciation of its substantial contributions during the First World War. The term “Commonwealth” was first officially used to describe the institution at the 1926 Imperial Conference.

Until 1944, India was often represented by the secretary of state for India (a member of the British cabinet) and occasionally by nominees of a princely state or the viceroy. India’s concerns during these conferences were asserting its right to participate with status equal to that of the dominions, safeguarding its economic interests, and bringing up the treatment of overseas Indians.11 Notably, India’s entry into the British Commonwealth became a justification for its membership in the League of Nations.

Choosing to remain in the organization was India’s first major foreign policy decision after independence. This provided the bedrock for the modern Commonwealth. India did not compromise its sovereign and democratic status by remaining a member. Consequently, its example precipitated the transformation of the Commonwealth into a diverse organization over subsequent decades, as newly independent Asian, African, Pacific, and Caribbean countries followed suit. a mix of pragmatic economic and political considerations motivated India’s decision. One was the need to safeguard the rupee-sterling balance and to ensure continued access to the British market, which accounted for more than half of India’s foreign exchange earnings in 1947. Another factor was the desire to secure British support in negotiations with the princely states following independence. Yet another was the need to neutralize any possible support Pakistan, which had already decided to remain in the Commonwealth, might garner against India’s interests on matters arising from partition and the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir.12

The Prime Ministers’ Conference of 1949 accepted India as a full member. India accepted the king “as the symbol of the free association of independent member nations, and as such the Head of the Commonwealth.”13 The conference declaration made it clear that all members were “free and equal” while “co-operating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress.” Then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had “security” replaced with “liberty,” for neither India nor any other Commonwealth country could be assured of support from other members in all circumstances.14

The decision to join was not free of controversy in India, especially among those on the left. The criticism mainly consisted of anti-British sentiment and apprehension that an association with the Commonwealth would dilute India’s sovereignty. During the 1950s, anti-Commonwealth sentiment increased, due to disapproval of British actions vis-à-vis the Kashmir dispute and the British-French attack on Egypt during the 1956 Suez Crisis. Nevertheless, Nehru stood by the Commonwealth throughout his premiership. Still, many believed that Indo-Commonwealth relations would not survive his death in 1964.15

Britain’s Shadow Over the Commonwealth

In the early years of Indian independence, the Commonwealth constituted a significant dimension of the new republic’s foreign policy. Simultaneously, India was the focus of the modernized Commonwealth’s attention. During this period, certain norms evolved that guided deliberations, especially at the level of prime ministers’ meetings. One such norm was that the discussions be informal as a mark of trust and friendship among the interlocutors. It was also agreed that internal and bilateral matters would not be raised. India respected this norm by not raising the issue of racial discrimination in South Africa. In 1951, it was persuaded to allow informal conversations on the Kashmir question, and the government faced domestic criticism as a result.

Strains appeared in relations primarily because Commonwealth membership was seen as synonymous with Indo-British relations. The Indian public viewed the Commonwealth as a substitute for the old imperial relationship, which rendered Indo-Commonwealth relations vulnerable to the periodic fluctuations in relations between the two countries.16 In the early 1950s, the actions of the Commonwealth countries that had joined U.S.-sponsored military alliances in West and Southeast Asia started to clash with India’s regional security interests. Such alliances were contrary to India’s nonalignment policy, which was the defining feature of the country’s foreign policy for the following decades.

In 1956, India stoutly criticized the massive military attack the United Kingdom launched with France and Israel against Egypt after the latter’s nationalization of the Suez Canal.17 The Suez Crisis prompted demands in the Indian parliament for withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Almost a decade later, the brazenly anti-India stance of the UK government, led by then prime minister Harold Wilson, during the 1965 conflict between India and Pakistan undid whatever goodwill had been generated by British support during the war between India and China three years earlier. This episode produced powerful negative perceptions in India about the Commonwealth’s usefulness. That same year, in an important development, a separate Commonwealth Secretariat was established to provide consultative and conference services to member states, making the organization more distinct from the British government and its policies. Meanwhile, the UK downgraded the Commonwealth in its foreign policy by turning to Europe in the early 1970s.

Shifting Priorities After Nehru

In the 1960s, as India began to pull away from the Commonwealth, several developments transformed the organization’s character. A large number of African countries joined, and issues in South Africa and Rhodesia attained high priority on the Commonwealth’s agenda. African states felt that India was not aggressive enough in its support for their continent’s anticolonial agenda. Indeed, Indian leaders refrained from continuing an active role on African problems because they believed it might cause resentment among the newly independent African members. In 1970, then prime minister Indira Gandhi acknowledged this risk:

We ourselves . . . would not like that position [of a leadership role for India].  . . . We should be very careful that at no time we give an impression that we . . . [want] to take a leading position. That would immediately mean that we are trying to push them [other smaller developing countries] towards a somewhat backward position.18

During the 1970s, Indian foreign policy makers also paid greater attention to bilateral and regional security issues. The importance of the Commonwealth and India to each other diminished in parallel. Between 1950 and 1971, the net value of India’s trade with the Commonwealth, as a percentage of the total value of the country’s foreign trade, dropped from 38 percent to 15.9 percent.19 The shrinking economic value of the Commonwealth, therefore, curtailed its significance in the overall framework of Indian foreign policy. At the 1975 CHOGM, other participants saw India as a “diffident” attendee.20

Parallel to these transformative developments in India’s engagement, the institutionalization of the Commonwealth to make it functionally autonomous from the UK’s foreign policy establishment received a major boost with the creation of the secretariat. India worried that formal institutions might dilute the potential of the Commonwealth as an informal venue for building a constructive atmosphere of mutual accommodation.21 CHOGMs began to be held outside the United Kingdom, beginning with the 1971 meeting in Singapore. The Singapore Declaration was an organizational milestone in terms of enunciating a set of political values, such as a commitment to democracy, peace, and human rights.

From the 1970s onward, the Commonwealth also began to take on an economic dimension, which over time substantially increased as a proportion of its activities. Commonwealth aid to India nearly doubled as a percentage of the organization’s total aid between 1965 and 1971, from 10.4 to 19.9 percent.22 However, in the last quarter of the twentieth century, massive U.S. aid programs began to overshadow the organization’s economic and technical assistance (although British and Canadian assistance remained significant in crucial areas such as steel and nuclear technology). The Commonwealth’s share of India’s trade also fell, and the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Economic Community accelerated this decline.23

The first attempts by India to claim the post of Commonwealth secretary general in the late 1970s ended in an embarrassing defeat and loss of face. Then foreign minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee sought support for the candidacy of then foreign secretary Jagat Mehta. However, the government shelved the idea as it sensed that the majority of member states favored another term for the incumbent. Yet after a sudden change of government, Vajpayee’s replacement—S. N. Misra—approved India’s sponsorship of Mehta, presumably due to an inadequate briefing by the bureaucracy. The chair of the 1979 CHOGM later refused to clear Mehta’s candidacy—a predictable anticlimax from the clumsy handling of the matter.24

Indifference Since the 1990s

The 1990s witnessed the end of the Cold War and other systemic changes that necessitated new preoccupations for India, particularly a focus on maintaining friendly relations with the United States and expanding economic relations with a variety of trade groups, particularly in Asia. As a result, the Indian government had little interest in Commonwealth matters. The participation of prime ministers in CHOGMs grew erratic, while the diversification of the Commonwealth into law, finance, and trade areas allowed the relevant ministers to participate.

For example, at the 1991 CHOGM then prime minister Narasimha Rao was the last head of government to arrive, and he left the meeting early. Instead of attending the 1993 and 1995 CHOGMs, Rao sent his ministers of finance and foreign affairs. On the other hand, when then prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral led a high-level delegation to the 1997 conference, he had the privilege of speaking in the opening session on behalf of all the Commonwealth delegations. As prime minister, Vajpayee attended the 1999 and 2003 CHOGMs, but not the one held in 2002. Lack of interest prevailed after the United Progressive Alliance government came to power in 2004. The commerce minister, not the prime minister, represented India at the 2005 meeting. Then prime minister Manmohan Singh attended the next two CHOGMs, in 2007 and 2009, but sent the vice president and the foreign minister to the succeeding conferences in 2011 and 2013. At the 2013 CHOGM, held in Colombo, a coalition partner insisted that India not appear to endorse Sri Lanka’s much deplored violations of humanitarian norms in its military operations against the Tamil people. The government led by Modi has demonstrated a similar lack of interest in the CHOGM, and he opted not to attend the 2015 conference, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participating in his stead.

In 2007, when it was Asia’s turn to offer a candidate for the post of secretary general, India fielded Kamalesh Sharma, who was serving as its high commissioner in London and had impressive experience in multilateral forums.25 The decision can be seen as a response to India’s other failed efforts to exercise greater influence and seek leadership positions in multilateral organizations.

India made hectic efforts through G4 countries in 2005, seeking a breakthrough on the vexing issue of enlarging the UN Security Council’s permanent membership. In 2006, India fielded its candidate for the position of UN secretary general. Neither of these moves succeeded. It is in this context that the post of the Commonwealth secretary general presented an opportunity. Unlike in 1979, India was successful, perhaps partly due its growing economic and political stature along with Sharma’s credentials. While fielding a candidate implied greater multilateral engagement, India’s indecisiveness before the late announcement indicated its continually insufficient strategic vision when approaching international candidatures.26 In 2011, Sharma was re-elected for a second term without contest. Coincidentally, his tenure until 2016 witnessed a rejuvenation of India’s economic engagement with the Commonwealth. Sharma’s contacts in New Delhi might have helped, besides the fact that India’s high rate of economic growth had also facilitated this rejuvenation.

The Way Forward

The academic M. S. Rajan once remarked that the key to reinventing the Commonwealth for the new century lies in systematic attempts by prominent member states to revive and supplement traditional “links of affinity and advantage” to make the organization “dynamic and purposeful and the membership of it worthwhile.”27 Some analysts note that the root cause of the Commonwealth’s decline is a lack of leadership that means “it has become nobody’s Commonwealth.”28 If leadership, by member-state governments in particular, is lacking, where should the Commonwealth turn?

Does this offer India an opportunity? After all, India is home to 60 percent of the Commonwealth’s population (and a substantial number of people of Indian descent live in other member states), and one-quarter of intra-Commonwealth trade involves the country. Consequently, India is the most obvious member to lead a revitalization process—to serve not only its own interests but also the interests of other countries who want the Commonwealth to emerge as one of many poles in a nonhegemonic regional and global order.

Old-timers like Krishna Menon had once envisioned that India would exploit the Commonwealth “until it becomes a big, major power.”29 On the other side are those closely associated with India’s foreign policy establishment and the Commonwealth institutions and who think that India should be able to exercise “great leverage and influence over the entire scope of its activities.”30 Today, the aspiration for India to take a more prominent place in international institutions manifests principally in its bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council and through its membership in various security and economic bodies like the BRICS group (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa), the G20, the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Wassenaar Arrangement. A more prominent role in the Commonwealth would fit well with this aspiration.

There is much that India and other preeminent Commonwealth members can do to reinvigorate the organization. In fact, the post-Brexit environment presents an opportunity for Indian-UK cooperation to remap the Commonwealth for the two countries’ mutual benefit. Britain seems to be looking to the Commonwealth as an alternative channel for safeguarding its economic and trade interests. According to reports, the UK is interested in building a stronger partnership with India, while India is interested in using the Commonwealth to boost trade.

The many observers in New Delhi who dismiss the Commonwealth as a relic from the past may not find the proposition worth considering. However, hope arises when realists like C. Raja Mohan say that “a rising India must consider taking over the leadership of the Commonwealth at some point [in] time, working with English-speaking leaderships of Commonwealth countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.” Modi is believed to be interested in this idea and the prospect of establishing a trade and investment center in New Delhi as a way of decentralizing the Commonwealth Secretariat’s activities.

The Commonwealth is unique for its transregional composition and conciliatory approach to contentious political matters. India is an exemplar of the Commonwealth in terms of democratic stability, social diversity, and economic and technological progress. As a country eager to showcase its new activism in global institutions, it makes sense for India to deepen its relations with existing ones like the Commonwealth. At a time when the regional initiatives to which it is a party—such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, and the Indian Ocean Rim Association—are not performing to their potential, India could weigh the option of forming a distinct subgroup of Asia Pacific countries; there are eighteen such countries in the Commonwealth. Further, India could become an economic bridge between the Asia Pacific subregional cooperation to enhance economic and trade relationships with the nineteen African members of the Commonwealth. In other words, the Commonwealth could be redesigned to work at the level of viable regions and with multispeed mechanisms.

From a political and strategic viewpoint, a greater Asia-Pacific orientation to the Commonwealth could buttress India’s effort to balance China. The Commonwealth could provide a discrete, viable platform to bring together Asian and South Pacific countries on security and economic issues. The advantage of forging such a subgrouping is that it would not include the United States, whose presence may otherwise send alarm bells ringing in Beijing. Of course, this must be done diligently, as the Commonwealth was not conceived to work against any country. Even so, it offers a great deal in terms of furthering meaningful cooperation in the areas of counterterrorism, maritime security, and combating organized crime and money laundering—all of which are critical to India’s future security needs.

The central challenge and opportunity for India in the Commonwealth is to showcase its leadership abilities. As a first step in that direction, it should offer to host a CHOGM. Malta, a tiny island country, has hosted the summit twice in the past ten years, whereas India has hosted it only once, and some thirty-five years ago at that. Former foreign secretary Krishnan Srinivasan once argued that India should be more invested in the Commonwealth because “above all, in the Commonwealth, when India speaks, everyone listens,” unlike in the Nonaligned Movement and the United Nations.31 By piloting and participating in a collaborative effort to reinvent the Commonwealth for the twenty-first century, it can demonstrate its collegial and consultative leadership style.

C. S. R. Murthy has been a professor of international organization at the Center for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi since 2003.


1 Ministry of External Affairs, Annual Report, 2015-16 (New Delhi, 2016), pp. 144-146, Since 1983 the organization has maintained in New York a joint office for Commonwealth permanent missions at the UN, which provides office space for representatives to the UN of nine small member states from the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

2 See for example, Ministry of External Affairs, Annual Report, 2009-10 (New Delhi, 2010), 112–14,

3 Krishnan Srinivasan, “India and the Commonwealth,” International Studies 37, no. 1 (January-March 2000): 61–68.

4 Krishnan Srinivasan, “Rethinking India’s Leadership Role in the Commonwealth, Indian Foreign Affairs Journal 2, no. 4 (October-December 2007): 33–47.

5 Nandhini Iyer, India and the Commonwealth: A Critical Appraisal (New Delhi: ABC Publishing House, 1983), 38.

6 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 41.

7 Srinivasan, “India and the Commonwealth,” 66.

8 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 8.

9 Srinivasan, “India and the Commonwealth,” 67.

10 Charles Heimsath and Surjit Mansingh quoted in Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 1.

11 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 2.

12 Ibid., 3.

13 B. Vivekanandan, The Shrinking Circle: The Commonwealth in British Foreign Policy 1945-1974, (Bombay: Somaiya Publications, 1983), 10.

14 Sarvepalli Gopal, Jawaharlal Nehru: A Biography, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989), p. 204.

15 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 8.

16 Ibid., 5.

17 M.S. Rajan, India in World Affairs, 1954-56 (New Delhi: Indian Council of World Affairs, 1964), see chapter 7, “Commonwealth on Trial.”

18 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 50.

19 Ibid., 15.

20 A. J. R. Groom and Paul Taylor, The Commonwealth in the 1980s: Challenges and Opportunities (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1984), p. 209.

21 Iyer, India and the Commonwealth, 14.

22 Ibid., 16.

23 Ibid., 5.

24 Ibid., 49–50.

25 Srinivasan, “Rethinking India’s Leadership Role,” 37–39.

26 Beth Kreling, “India and the Commonwealth: A Symbiotic Relationship?,” The Round Table 98, no. 400: 63.

27 M. S. Rajan, India and the Commonwealth: Some Studies (New Delhi: Konark, 1990), 152.

28 Krishnan Srinivasan, “Nobody’s Commonwealth? The Commonwealth in Britain’s Post-Imperial Adjustment,” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 44, no. 2 (July 2006).

29 S. C. Gangal, India and the Commonwealth (Agra: Shiva Lal Agarwala & Co., 1970), p. 7.

30 Srinivasan, “India and the Commonwealth,” 65.

31 Archis Mohan, “The Commonwealth: Old Links, New Ties”, November 8, 2013,