Friday 19 April 2019 1:36 AM UTC
LONDON April 18: After India gained independence in 1947, Krishna Menon was appointed the first high commissioner to the United Kingdom, a post in which he remained until 1952.
VK Krishna Menon was an Indian nationalist, diplomat, and politician, described by some as the second most powerful man in India, after his ally, 1st Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.
Noted for his eloquence, brilliance, and forceful, highly abrasive persona, Menon inspired widespread adulation and fervent detraction in both India and the West; to his supporters, he was an unapologetic champion of India in the face of Western imperialism, who famously “taught the white man his place”; to his Western detractors, “Nehru’s evil genius”.
US president Dwight D Eisenhower characterised him as a “menace … governed by an ambition to prove himself the master international manipulator and politician of the age”, while Indian president K.R. Narayanan eulogised him as a truly great man; decades after his death, Menon remains an enigmatic and controversial figure.
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