V. K. Krishna Menon

V. K. Krishna Menon

Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon (3 May 1897 - 6 October 1974) was an Indian nationalist and politician.

Early life

Menon was born at Panniyankara in Calicut, Kerala, into the powerful Vengalil family of South India. He was the grandson of the Raja of Kartanad and the first son of a successful lawyer of the Calicut bar, Komath Krishna Kurup, one of Kerala's richest men at the time. Menon had his early education in Tellicherry and he took his B.A. degree from Presidency College, Chennai.

While in college, he started taking an active interest in the communist movement. While studying in the Law College of Madras, he became involved in marxism, communism, Theosophy and was actively associated with Annie Besant and the Home Rule Movement. He was a leading member of the 'Brothers of Service', founded by Annie Besant who spotted his gifts and helped him travel to England in 1924.

Life & Activities in England

In London, Menon pursued further education at the London School of Economics and University College London, and at the same time he became a passionate proponent of India's freedom.

In England, he worked hard for Indian independence as a journalist and secretary (1929 - 1947) of the India League, and became associated with fellow Indian nationalist leader Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1934 he was admitted to the English bar, and after joining the Labour Party he was elected borough councillor of St. Pancras, London. St. Pancras later conferred on him the Freedom of the Borough, the only other person so honoured being Bernard Shaw. In 1932 he inspired a fact-finding delegation headed by Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson to visit India. Menon served as its Secretary and edited its report entitled 'Conditions In India'. During the thirties he founded with Allen Lane the Penguin and Pelican paper back books. He worked as an editor for Bodley Head, Penguin and Pelican Books, and the Twentieth Century Library.

High Commission 1947-52

After India gained independence in 1947, Menon was appointed high commissioner to the United Kingdom, a post in which he remained until 1952. Subsequently, he led the Indian delegation to the United Nations (1952 - 1962), where he adopted a policy of non-alignment, loudly criticizing the United States and voicing support for the People's Republic of China. On 23 January 1957 he delivered an unprecedented 8-hour speech defending India’s stand on Kashmir. To date, Krishna Menon’s speech is the longest ever delivered in the United Nations Security Council(UNSC).

Election to Parliament

Krishna Menon became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1953. On February 3, 1956, he joined the Union Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio. In 1957 he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Bombay, and in April of that year he was named minister of defence under Prime Minister Nehru. However, after India's staggering defeat in the Sino-Indian War of 1962, he resigned from office for the country's apparent lack of military preparedness. In 1967 he lost his parliamentary seat but was re-elected in 1969. He died on October 6, 1974 in New Delhi. During his tenure as the High commissioner to Britain, he was accused of being involved in a corruption scam involving the purchase of used military jeeps from Britain to supply to the Indian army during the war with Pakistan in 1948.

External links

*P. N. Haksar: [http://cs.nyu.edu/kandathi/vkkm.txt Krishna: As I knew him]
* [http://www.un.int/india/ind19.htm Statements by V. K. Krishna Menon at the United Nations]
* [http://cs.nyu.edu/kandathi/vkkm.html Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon]
* [http://www.untoldlondon.org.uk/news/ART37922.html Theft of two statues of Menon from a London park]
* [http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2004032203030300.htm&date=2004/03/22/&prd=th& Neglect of Krishna Menon memorial project alleged]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Krishna Menon — /men euhn/ Vengalil Krishnan /ven gah leel krish neuhn/, 1897 1974, Indian politician and statesman. * * * …   Universalium

  • Krishna Menon — Krish′na Men′on [[t]ˈmɛn ən[/t]] n. Ven•ga•lil Krish•nan [[t]vɛnˈgɑ lil ˈkrɪʃ nən[/t]] big 1897–1974, Indian politician and statesman …   From formal English to slang

  • Krishna Menon — /krɪʃnə ˈmɛnən/ (say krishnuh menuhn) noun Vengalil Krishnan /ˈvɛŋgəlɪl ˈkrɪʃnən/ (say vengguhlil krishnuhn), 1897–1974, Indian politician …   Australian English dictionary

  • Krishna Menon — /men euhn/ Vengalil Krishnan /ven gah leel krish neuhn/, 1897 1974, Indian politician and statesman …   Useful english dictionary

  • Krishna (disambiguation) — Krishna is a Sanskrit word ( kṛṣṇa ) that means black or dark blue . It refer to: * Krishna, Hindu deity. * The Svayam Bhagavan, theological concept relating to Krishna as the supreme deity.Certain other figures within Hinduism also have names… …   Wikipedia

  • Menon, V.P. — V.P. Menon, um 1950 Menon, V.[appala, Vapal] P.[angunni] (* 3. September 1894 Ottopalam/Kerala; † 1. Januar 1966 in Jabalpur/Madhya Pradesh) war Beamter in der Verwaltung Britisch Indiens (Indian Civil Service) und gemeinsam mit dem Politiker… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Menon, V K Krishna — ▪ Indian political figure born May 3, 1897, Calicut, India died October 6, 1974, New Delhi       Indian nationalist and champion of India s anti colonialism and neutralism.       After studying at the London School of Economics, Menon was called… …   Universalium

  • Krishna Vamshi — Krishna Vamshi, Krishna Vamsi ou Krishna Vamsi Pasupuleti (telougou : కృష్ణవంశీ), né le 28 juillet 1962 à Tadepalligudem en Andhra Pradesh, est un réalisateur, chorégraphe, scénariste et assistant réalisateur indien de Tollywood. Il est… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Menon — Menon, Krishna …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Menon —   [ mɛnən], Vengalil Krishnan Krishna, indischer Politiker, * Calicut 3. 5. 1897 (nach anderen Angaben 1896), ✝ Delhi 6. 10. 1974; Rechtsanwalt; 1929 47 Sekretär der »India League« in London, 1934 47 als Mitglied der britischen Labour Party im… …   Universal-Lexikon

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