London, May 12 (PTI) The 125th birth anniversary of V K Krishna Menon has been celebrated here with speakers recalling India’s former defence minister’s contributions to the country’s independence movement.
The event was held virtually and was hosted by Nehru Centre London in association with the V K Krishna Menon institute.
“People of Indian origin and friends of India try to remind themselves of the sacrifices made by leaders like Gandhiji, Sardar Patel, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Subash Chandra Bose and Dr B R Ambedkar but we forget the indispensable and crucial role played by Krishna Menon on the final stage of India's independence movement,' said Dr Cyriac Maprayil, Director of the V K Krishna Menon Institute.
Sir Peter Lloyd, a former minister, said Menon was India's most brilliant and successful diplomat ever.
'Menon is best remembered as the leading exponent of non- alignment. Indeed, Menon is credited with coining the term Non-alignment in his 1952 speech at the UN where he had become India's chief representative,' he said.
Dr Mohan Kaul, founder, President of Indian Partnership Forum UK said Menon’s role at the UN will always be remembered for his leadership in the resolution of dispute on Kashmir.
'The long speech blunted Pakistan's case and won Soviet Union's support. The western nations were in favour of Pakistan’s argument at that time. However, after that speech all hopes of Pakistan receiving international support for their argument were completely squashed. At the meeting, Soviet Union vetoed the UN resolution on Kashmir,” he recalled.
The 160-page marathon speech was given over two days during which Menon collapsed midway and had to be hospitalised. The speech remains an unbroken record and had the highest significance for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
“We may not be able to mark Menon’s birthday in the usual way this year, but we should pause to remember his considerable impact. We look forward to a time when we can come together once again to reflect on Krishna Menon’s remarkable achievements on the domestic and international stage and their relevance to the modern world,” said Tony Slater, V K Krishna Menon Institute Board member. PTI HSR MRJ MRJ