It is difficult to establish the direct connection between social, cultural, and national attributes and specific actions and decisions made by political leaders. It is, however, easier to point out, at least in general terms, the possible implications of these factors for the perceptual process. In the case under study, the basic nature of Hindu society and culture and certain national axioms contributed to the distortion in information processing, both directly and through their influence on individual, group, and organizational patterns of behavior. The effect of these factors will be discussed and analyzed with reference to four main points: the general social conditions, the distant and recent historical heritage, the Hindu culture, and perceptions of the national role. Indeed, in trying to explain the factors that moulded his own personality and the face of India, Nehru said:

India today is the outcome not only of the immediate past, but also of thousands of years of the long history of our country. Layer upon layer of thought, experience and action have conditioned us and made us what we are today. Those of my generation in India were specially moulded and conditioned by a series of events which are not likely to occur again. Not only did we come in contact with a great man and a mighty leader [Gandhi] who shook us up completely, upset our lives and drew us out of the normal routine of living, but we also witnessed and participated in events of historical importance. (Nehru, 1962, 2)