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Letter to the President of India on the Death of Prime Minister Nehru.

May 27, 1964

Dear President Radhakrishnan:

Once again we come together in grief over the death of a great and beloved man--this time your own leader Prime Minister Nehru.

Words are inadequate to convey the deep sense of loss which we in particular feel at his passing. For so long we had counted on his influence for good; it now seems impossible to believe that he is no longer with us. Yet his spirit lives on. The rich heritage he left us, his faith in his people and in humanity, will I know serve to sustain you and yours as we strive together to translate his ideals into reality.

History has already recorded his monumental contribution to the molding of a strong and independent India. And yet, it is not just as a leader of India that he has served humanity. Perhaps more than any other world leader he has given expression to man's yearning for peace. This is the issue of our age. In his fearless pursuit of a world free from war he has served all humanity.

As it was for Gandhi, peace was the ideal of Jawaharlal Nehru; it was his message to the world. There could be no more fitting memorial to him than a world without war. It is my sincere belief that in his memory the statesmen of the world should dedicate themselves to making his ideal a reality. Our country is pledged to this, and we renew our pledge today in tribute to your great departed leader.



[His Excellency, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, President of the Republic of India, New Delhi, India]

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of India on the Death of Prime Minister Nehru. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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