Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, also famously known as V.K Krishna Menon, is considered the architect of the 'non-aligned movement', is considered one of India's most potent politician-diplomat.
He was well known for his confident yet arrogant behaviour. He led India's diplomatic mission to the United Kingdom (UK) as the high commissioner and represented India in United Nations. He was very close to India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, V.K Menon was India's third defence minister, from 1957-1962, but was forced to quit after the Sino-Indian War debacle. Menon played a vital role in setting up the Indian arms industry with the help of the then Soviet Union.
Role In Independence Movement
Born to a wealthy family in Kannur, Kerala, on 3rd May 1896, he got closely associated with the Home Rule Movement and Annie Besant while studying law at Madras (now Chennai) law college. In 1924 Menon left India and moved to London to qualify as a teacher. In the British capital, he got involved too much in politics and became a major proponent of the Indian Independence movement.
He worked for the British league, an organisation working for campaigning for India's Independence and self-government. Menon also served as the councillor for 14 long years in the London borough of St Pancras as a centre-left Labour party member when the freedom struggle was at its peak in India.
After India got its Independence in 1947, he was sent to the United Kingdom as the First High Commissioner of Independent India. He stayed in office till 1952; Menon turned out to be a threat to the country's security and was put under heavy surveillance. Menon also got the tag of being Nehru ' evil genius during this process. His term as High Commissioner was also in danger when he ignored protocols on purchasing Jeeps for the Indian Army. A very well know case is called the Jeep Scandal.
His proximity to Jawahar Lal Nehru protected him all around this. Menon was also responsible for masterminding solutions to the world's most complex problems like a peace plan for Korea, the Indo-China ceasefire, and the French pulled out from the United Nations over Algeria.
8 Hour Long Speech In UN
In 1957, V.K Krishna Menon gave the longest speech of nearly 8 hours long before the UN Security Council, defending India's rights to the territory of Kashmir, after which he got fainted. Post the Sino-India war and Nehru's death, and the Congress party left him alone. Except for Nehru, he was not able to establish friends or supporters in India's Political sphere. He resigned from the Congress in 1967 and fought elections from a Mumbai constituency, but he lost. He fought another election from a Kerala constituency and won with support from the left.He died on 6th October 1974. India first Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, remarked that "a volcano is extinct".