V. K. Krishna Menon

Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon or V. K. Krishna Menon was undoubtedly one of the most successful diplomats and statesmen from India.

Updated: June 16, 2022


Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon or V. K. Krishna Menon was undoubtedly one of the most successful diplomats and statesmen from India. He served at several top positions as the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's close political confidante. 


He was very outspoken and did not think twice before uttering politically incorrect comments if he felt he was right. He was often seen as a bold champion for India in the Western world where he left no opportunity to speak up and defend his motherland. He was born on May 3rd, 1896 and died on October 6, 1974.


Childhood of V. K. Krishna Menon:

Krishna Menon was born into a wealthy and influential family in Kerala. His father, Komath Krishna Kurup was a very famous and rich lawyer; his mother too hailed from a reputed and wealthy family.


Education of V. K. Krishna Menon:

Krishna Menon was sent to Zamorin's College in Kozhikode to receive his early education. After that he went to Presidency College, Chennai from where he graduated with a B.A. in History and Economics in 1918.


He then went to Madras Law College where he became involved in theosophy. His acquaintance with Annie Besant led to his association with the 'Brothers of Service' founded by Annie Besant. In 1924, Annie Besant helped him to go to London for his higher studies at the University College, London after which he went to the London School of Economics. He earned an M.A. in Psychology with First Class Honours in 1930 and completed his MSc in Political Science in 1934.


Family of V. K. Krishna Menon:

He was a vegetarian and teetotaler who never married.


Some facts about V. K. Krishna Menon:

  • He began his career in the 1930s as an editor for 'Bodley Head' and 'Twentieth Century Library'. He took his career in publishing further by also working with the Penguin and Pelican Books in 1935.
  • He was a socialist and joined the Labour Party in England where he served as the Labour councilor for the Borough of St. Pancras from 1934 to 1939.
  • Menon became the high commissioner to the United Kingdom in 1947 after India gained independence. He held this post till 1952.
  • He was been against nuclear weapons and passionately opposed their proliferation throughout the 1950s by collaborating with Bertrand Russell.
  • He delivered an eight-hour speech at the United Nation's Security Council on 23 January 1957 defending India's stand on Kashmir. The speech remains till date, the longest ever delivered in the UN. The speech ended only when Menon collapsed with exhaustion.
  • He was often referred to as 'India's Rasputin' or 'Nehru's Evil Genius'.
  • He died in 1974 at the age of 78 years.
  • In 2006, The V. K. Krishna Menon Institute was established to commemorate the life and achievements of Menon.
  • A blue plaque commemorating Menon was placed at 30 Langdon Park Road, in Highgate, London by English Heritage in 2013.
  • Krishna Menon Museum, Kozhikode, where original oil portraits of Menon, as well as personal belongings, letters, news clips, and other materials related to Menon, are kept for public display.



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