KRISHNA MENON by Emil Lengyel


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V. K. Krishna Menon, who was born in the Victorian Diamond Jubilee Year, spent most of his life suspended, as it were, between two cultures. He studied Locke and Mill and knew that the way of Western individualism was satisfying to his intellect, but his native India (where predestination is the established credo of nearly all religions) held him in thrall and would not relinquish his affections. Seeking to draw upon the best of the spiritual qualities of both worlds, he joined the Theosophical Society; in 1924 its president arranged for him to go to England for a few months but he found it so congenial he contrived to remain for nearly a generation. Education, law, and politics attracted him: he joined the work of the Fabian Society and helped Harold Laski found the London School of Economics. He was actively engaged in local politics in London when India achieved independence; he returned home at once and joined the Nehru government which he has never left. His is the longest span of service of any present delegate to the United Nations, where his conduct is considered largely an enigma. Lengyel describes in detail the wide assortment of UN affairs into which the saturnine Indian has dipped his fingers, and the vastly disparate opinions others hold of his personality, sincerity, and political outlook. Few dare call him a Communist, outright, but ambitendency has always been a feature of his career, and the world wonders what direction India would take should Krishna Menon succeed as its ruler. This biography explains everything, and nothing; it is full of facts, but Krishna Menon remains, in a way, as much a mystery as ever.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1962
Publisher: Walker