Krishna Menon, Vengalil Krishnan (vĕngäˈlēl krĭshˈnən krĭshˈnə mĕnˈĭn) [key], 1897–1974, Indian diplomat. He was educated at the Presidency College and the Law College of Madras (now Chennai) and at the London School of Economics and University College, London. During his long stay (1924–47) in England he joined the Labour party, was admitted (1934) to the English bar, and served (1934–47) as borough councilor of St. Pancras, London. As secretary (1929–47) of the India League and also as a journalist, he worked hard for Indian self-government and became closely associated with Jawaharlal Nehru. After Indian independence (1947), Krishna Menon served as high commissioner for India in Great Britain (1947–52) and as Indian delegate to the United Nations (1952–62), where he was an outspoken critic of the United States and a staunch supporter of mainland China. In 1957 he was appointed minister of defense, but in 1962, following the Chinese invasion of India's northern frontiers, he was severely criticized for India's lack of military preparedness and was relieved of office. In 1967 he lost his seat in the national legislature, where he had served since 1953, but he was reelected in 1969.
See biography by T. J. S. George (1964); study by M. Brecher (1968).
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