Bishwa Nath Singh:
Are we in remembrance of that great personality who started his career first after India got independence as diplomat later turned politician and had delivered an unprecedented eight hour speech defending India’s stand on Kashmir on January 23,1957 in United Nation Security Council ? To date, his speech is the longest ever delivered and had served Union Govt. of India as Union Defense Minister during the period from 1957 to 1962. He was non else than V.K .Krishna Menon. Let us remember and pay our homage to him!
(Photo of V.K.Krishna Menon,former Union Defence Minister of India in Nehru Cabinet)
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Men who was popularly known as V.K.Krishna Menon was born on May 3, 1896 at Panniyankara in Kozhikkode, Kerala, in the Vengalil family of British Malabar. His mother Gowri Parvati Bayi. was the granddaughter of Ram...an who was Dewan of Travancore between 1815 and 1817 His father Komathu Krishna Kurup was the son of the Raja of Kadathanadu and a wealthy and influential lawyer. He was third son of his Parents.Menon had his early education in Thalassery and he took his B. A. degree from Madras Presidency College, Chennai.While studying in the Madras Law College, he became involved in 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. 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 He founded the India League in 1928 and made it the nerve centre of nationalist propaganda and activity in England. The Labour Party was influenced considerably by Krishna Menon who became on of its very effective spokesmen..In England, he worked 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. He had 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. The close freindship between him and Nehru had made Nehru to realize the significance of the battle which Krishna Menon carried on in England and the role played by him in bringing about the peaceful transfer of power. After India got its independence, he became India's first High Commissioner in Britain and continued till 1952. 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, but nothing was proved.From 1952 to 1953 and from 1954 to 1962 he had led the Indian delegation to the United Nations. In evolving the policy of non-alignment he played a very important role. He made diplomacy a dynamic instrument for world peace, socialism and national liberation. He took an active role in resolving the Korean and Suez crises. Krishna Menon became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1953. On January 23, 1957 he had delivered an unprecedented eight hour speech defending India’s stand on Kashmir in the United Nation Security Council. To date, his speech is the longest ever delivered .He 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 became Union Defense Minister.He had preceded K.N.Katju. He worked tirelessly to modernize the defense forces and initiated a number if measures of far-reaching significance. He was behind the conception of Sainik Schools in India, under the aegis of Sainik School Society, which runs over twenty four schools across India. However, after India's defeat in the Sino-Indian War of 1962, he resigned from office for the country's lack of military preparedness. In 1967 he lost his parliamentary seat but was re-elected in 1969 from Midnapore. Again he was elected to the Parliament from Trivandrum. He was one person who, while remaining under the wings of Nehru, could be considered as the person who probably defined the Leftist leanings of our polity and betrayed India's cause with his links to Soviets and the Chinese. During his UK days, he was involved in the "Jeep Scandal", which was the first attempt by an Indian politician (then a bureaucrat) to weaken the Indian Defense Forces for undue favor when the deal with a UK company was done to buy the Jeeps for the Indian Army. They were rejected by the Indian Army as they were sub standard. But they had to be used as they had been paid for. Due to the political and media pressure he resigned as High Commissioner of India in U.K but after few years,he was inducted by Nehru into the Union Cabinet headed by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru as the Union Defense Minister of India. As soon as he became the Defense Minister, the case against the company which was the front, was dropped by the Government.He had remained Bachelor all throughout his life. He died on October 6, 1974 in New Delhi.He was the first Malayalee to have been honored with the country’s second highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan for his distinguished service to the nation in 1954. He was a voracious reader, nationalist, politician, diplomat, administrator and statesman. Let us pay our respectful homage to him!
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