'Yours Krishna Menon', a period play by Lalit Mohan Joshi portrays
India's struggle for freedom in London (1924 -47) where Krishna
Menon plays the protagonist. The playwright claims that this is
the first play written on Krishna Menon. Besides consulting various
primary and secondary sources, Lalit has also met and interviewed
some of Menon's contemporaries like Pamela Cullen and Menon's biographer
Menon's contribution to India's freedom struggle lies in a state
of limbo. Dimly remembered as Nehru's blue-eyed boy elevated to
the post of the first High Commissioner of independent India in
London (1947-52) or a failed Defence Minister (1957-62), he is perhaps
only credited for an 8-hour speech about India's stand on Kashmir
at the United Nations (1957).
historians, by and large, have chosen to ignore his outstanding
contribution to the cause of Indian freedom, the media continues
to mirror the negative image of Krishna Menon that emerges from
British Intelligence files", says Joshi.
Mohan Joshi's period play Yours Krishna Menon questions this negative
perception of Krishna Menon in history. It tries to reassess his
true role on the world stage between 1924-1947. Based on historical
documents, publications and interviews, the play is a fictionalised
account of Menon's life.
31 August, Rungmunch theatre company will present selections from
this period play to pay tribute to India's freedom fighters. The
venue is the Nehru Centre where Deputy High Commissioner of India
in London Hon. Mr. Asoke Mukerji, will be the chief guest. This
event is part of the Lord Mayor Ken Livingston's India Now celebration
of the 60th anniversary of Indian independence.
Menon lived in Britain from 1924-52, studied at the London School
of Economics (LSE) and the University of London and was also called
to the English Bar. Then, spurning the security, comfort and luxury
that lay within his grasp, he chose a life of privation, hardship
and challenges by deciding to fight for India's freedom.
achieve his goal, he lodged himself in the sparse office of the
India League at the Strand in London, tirelessly lobbied politicians,
befriended intellectuals, students and ordinary people, wrote in
newspapers and traversed all over Britain giving speeches and campaigning
for India's cause. Whenever important Indian political leaders such
as Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru visited Britain, Krishna
Menon used his wide contacts to link them with those in the corridors
of power and with the British public. He also badgered Britons who
wielded power to push their government to grant freedom to India.
India's freedom was his passion, ambition and mission in life and
he pursued it with dogged determination till it was achieved.
as Krishna Menon himself once remarked: "History is not what
really happens but what people are taught." So, to get to the
truth, the play Yours Krishna Menon will lift the Curtain of Time,
and help you turn your gaze towards the Past.
scenes depicted on 31 August will whisk you away from an ageing
Krishna Menon hoisting the Indian tricolour on the first day of
Indian Independence in London on 15 August 1947, to Madras in the
early 1900s when Menon was an undergraduate student at the prestigious
and class conscious Madras Presidency College. India was then part
of the mighty British Empire, which not only ruled the waves but
often also waived the rules!
will be linked with a young Krishna Menon. It will reveal the background,
people and forces that influenced this amazing man! In a matter
of about 90 minutes, the selections will cover a few decades and
steer you up to the year 1932