LONDON: Former defence minister V K Krishna Menon's contribution to India's independence has been hailed during his 121st birth anniversary celebrations at the Nehru Centre here.
In his opening address, Cyriac Maprayil, Director of the V K Krishna Menon Institute, said "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."
Maprayil said Menon made lasting and memorable contributions.
Menon came to London to study. After the completion of his studies, Menon stayed on in London. He entered local politics and was in 1934 elected as a borough councillor of St Pancaras.
Maprayil said though Menon was living in London he did not forget his people back in India.
"Along with other activities, he was campaigning for India's independence using various platforms including the Labour party, India league and trade union movement."
He said "Menon fought the lion in its own den singlehandedly carrying out the Indian war for liberation right in the heart of the enemy territory. He established the India League as an integral part of Indian national struggle and persuaded well known intellectuals like philosopher Bertrand Russell to be its chairman."
Menon was appointed as India's First High Commissioner in London and his contribution to cementing close relationship between Britain and India was hailed even by Britain's then Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Kate Sullivan De Estrade, Lecturer, Oxford University, described Menon as "a key person in dismantling the western power". She said "Menon believed in power through consent and security through peace."