Vengalil Krishnan Menon
Those who are commonly called Krishna Menon, were an Indian nationalist, politician, diplomat, and Defense Minister of India from 1957 to 1962.
Menon was born in Pandiyankara in Kozhikode, Kerala, in the Vengalil family of British Malabar. His mother was the grandson of Raman Menon, who was a Diwan of Travancore during 1815 to 1817 and served Gauri Parvati Bai. His father Komathu Krishna Kurup was the son of Kadthanadu and was a wealthy and influential lawyer. Menon's initial education took place in Thalassery and B.A. He received the title of Presidency College, Chennai.
During the study at Madras Law College, he had joined the theosophy and was actively associated with Annie Besant and the Home Rule Movement. He was a leading member of the 'Brothers of Service' founded by Annie Besant, who recognized his talent and helped him to travel to England in 1924.
In London, Menon completed further education at the London School of Economics and University College, London, and during this time, he became a very passionate supporter of India's independence. In England, he served as a journalist and Secretary of the Indian League (1929-1947) and joined fellow Indian nationalist leader Jawaharlal Nehru. He was inducted into the English Bar in 1934, and after joining the Labor Party, he was elected city councilor of St. Pancras, London. Later he was awarded the Freedom of Borough by St. Pancras; he was the only second person after Bernard Shaw to receive this respect. In 1932, he led a fact-finding delegation led by Labor MP Allan Wilkinson to travel to India. Menon was its secretary and he edited its report entitled 'Conditions in India'. During the thirties, he founded penguins and pelicans paper back books with Ellen Lane. He worked as an editor in Bodley Head, Penguin and Pelican Books and Twenty-six Century Library.
After India got independence in 1947, Menon was appointed as the High Commissioner of India in the United Kingdom, on which position he remained till 1952. During his tenure as a high commissioner in Britain, he was accused of corruption scandal in the case of purchase of used military jeeps used by UK and supply to Indian Army during the India-Pakistan war of 1948 but nothing proved . After this, he led the Indian delegation to the United Nations, where he adopted the policy of non-alignment while sharply criticizing the United States. On 23 January 1957, he delivered an unexpected speech for eight hours while defending India's stand on Kashmir. The speech given by Krishna Menon is the longest speech ever given to the United Nations Security Council.
In 1953, Krishna Menon became a member of the Rajya Sabha. On February 3, 1956, he was inducted as Union minister without portfolio in the Union Cabinet. In 1957, he was elected to the Lok Sabha from Mumbai and in April of that year he was named the Defense Minister under Prime Minister Nehru. Under the aegis of Sainik School Society which is currently running 24 schools in India, they were behind the concept of military schools in India. However, after India's defeat in the 1962 India-China war, he resigned from his position due to lack of military preparedness of the country. In 1967, he lost his parliamentary election, but was again elected from Midnapore in 1969. He was elected from Thiruvananthapuram for the parliament again. He died in New Delhi on October 6, 1974.
He was the first Malayali to receive the Padma Vibhushan Award.