Let Us Know About The Hero Of Kashmir:
Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and Rajendra Prasad are some very well known names in Indian Politics from the 1950s–60s.
However, there is one name that fails to appear in most of our history books but is indeed one of the most influential in Indian politics is Mr. V. K. Krishna Menon.
V. K. Krishna Menon was also known as the ‘Hero of Kashmir’. He was a Diplomat and the Indian Representative in the UN for the tenure of 1952 to 1962.
And even though there have been very few mentions of his role in the course of our history, V.K. Krishna Menon, also known as “Nehru’s Evil Genius”, played a very vital role in creating a firm stand of India on the topic of Kashmir in the UN.
V.K. Krishna Menon was born on 3rd May 1896 and held many roles, achievements, and accolades to his name.
But there is one such instance which distinguishes this ‘Hero of Kashmir’ from others and also gives a person the clear picture of how assertive, intelligent, witty and outspoken Menon could have been.
This instance is the time when India and Pakistan were struggling to hold a strong foot in Kashmir.
When the issue was raised in United Nations Security Council in 1957, V.K. Krishna Menon, who then was representing India spoke for 8 hours non-stop. And yes, His speech till date holds the record for the longest speech to be delivered in the UN.
V.K. Krishna Menon spoke passionately about India’s rights on the controversial state of Kashmir on the 23rd January. He completed his speech on the very next day.
Menon collapsed after delivering the first 5 hours of his speech after which he was hospitalized, but he insisted on returning.
He delivered the next 2 hours 48 minutes of the speech with a doctor closely monitoring his vitals before finally completing and collapsing.
The speech which runs in 160 pages can still be found on the official UN website. It clearly shows the amount of love V.K. Krishna Menon had for his country.
The speech was so convincing that it led the UN Security Council to favor India on the state of Kashmir. It also helped Nehru move forward and get a temporary stronghold in the disputed part of Kashmir.
And because of this very instance, V.K. Krishna Menon was named the ‘Hero of Kashmir’, implying the positive effects of his efforts towards confirming the state for India.
Everyone who knew Menon had varied impressions of him. Most of the Westerners didn’t like his outspoken attitude where this one time on a British novelist’s surprise on Menon’s English, he replied saying, “My English is better than yours. You merely picked it up, I learned it”.
On the other hand, Indian politicians of that time spoke very highly of Menon. And why not? Menon was also famous for not accepting any more than 1 rupee as a High Commissioner. Later, he refused to accept that amount too.
Surely his contributions are not the most talked about in the wake of the rising tensions between India and Pakistan for Kashmir. However, they are certainly not forgotten and will remain etched in the history forever.