V. K. Krishna Menon

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VK Krishna Menon Statue in Mananchira.

Vengalil Krishna Kurup Krishna Menon (3 May 1896 – 6 October 1974) was an Indian academic, politician, and non-career diplomat. He was described by some as the second most powerful man in India, after his boss, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. He wrote the first draft of the Preamble to the Constitution of India, initiated the idea of the Constituent Assembly of India and was the architect, and the person who coined the name, of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Quotes about Menon[edit]

  • "For nearly twenty of his years in London, he was known as a close supporter of the communists. People change their minds, but Mr. Menon's recent speeches do not suggest that he has changed his. I should guess that be is one of that considerable band of people in important positions in the free world who, though not technically party members, are in fact disciplined communists. Even if this is disputed, it will be agreed that there is something anomalous in a convinced partisan of the aggressor masquerading as a neutral mediator, and contriving so regularly to serve the aggressor's purposes. I hope people will not think I am suffering from a conspiracy mania; after all, Communism is a conspiracy."
    • Philip Spratt quoted in S.R.Goel, Genesis and Growth of Nehruism, Vol I.
  • Within Nehru’s Congress Party government the KGB set out to cultivate its leading left-wing firebrand and Nehru’s close adviser, Krishna Menon, who became Minister of Defence in 1957 after spending most of the previous decade as, successively, Indian High Commissioner in London and representative at the United Nations. To the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, ‘It was … plain that [Menon] was personally friendly to the Soviet Union. He would say to me heatedly: “You cannot imagine the hatred the Indian people felt and still feel to the colonialists, the British … The methods used by American capital to exploit the backward countries may be oblique, but they’re just as harsh.” ’
    • Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin - The Mitrokhin Archive II - The KGB in the World-Penguin (2018)
  • In May 1962 the Soviet Presidium (which under Khrushchev replaced the Politburo) authorized the KGB residency in New Delhi to conduct active-measures operations designed to strengthen Menon’s position in India and enhance his personal popularity, probably in the hope that he would become Nehru’s successor... Menon’s career, however, was disrupted by the Chinese invasion of India in October 1962. Having failed to take the prospect of invasion seriously until the eve of the attack, Menon found himself made the scapegoat for India’s unpreparedness. Following the rout of Indian forces by the Chinese, Nehru reluctantly dismissed him on 31 October. A fortnight later, the Presidium authorized active measures by the Delhi residency, including secret finance for a newspaper which supported Menon, in a forlorn attempt to resuscitate his political career. Though similar active measures by the KGB in Menon’s favour before the 1967 election also had little observable effect, a secret message to Menon from the CPSU Central Committee (probably sent by its International Department) expressed appreciation for his positive attitude to the Soviet Union.
    • Christopher Andrew, Vasili Mitrokhin - The Mitrokhin Archive II - The KGB in the World-Penguin (2018)

External links[edit]

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