India's Krishna Menon, rising from his sick-bed against
doctor's advice, in a fighting speech, amidst repeated
interruptions form the Chair, today charged Britain
in the United Nations with aiding Pakistan's 'sabotage
and murder' in Kashmir—says a press massage. It is not
to be wondered at—because it is this quality that distinguishes
Mr. Menon from others placed in 'similar station, and
incidentally, it is this trait in him that has been
the cause for the failure that India is registering
from time to time.
Mr. Menon's remarks were punctuated by loud applause
from public galleries—reports the correspondent, and
therein anybody can find out why is it that Mr. Menon
was in a fighting mood. But the success or otherwise
of an issue is not always decided by the 'applause'
from the gallery, especially when those entitled to
pass the verdict sit, elsewhere.
But possibly, Mr. Menon was not so much interested in
winning a case as he was in catering to the gallery—probably,
blood pressure had something to do with his mood.
There is a melo-dramatic touch, in the report itself,
'Escorted by an assistant on either side, Mr. Menon
arrived at the United Nations leaning heavily on his
That very sight was enough for those in the gallery—but
Mr. Menon wanted to give something more than that—hence
his fighting speech.
And here is the episode.
Mr. Menon was evidently pricked by some pungent remarks
of Mr. Ferozkhan Noon of Pakistan, and in a frenzy the
'outer-ego' of Pandit Nehru, as Mr.Menon is called by
many, began a fighting speech.
He turned to the right, to the left, in front, and administered
his punches all around. He did not spare Mr. Jawad,
who presided over the Council.
I know Sir, Mr. President, the ruler of this House,
better than yourself, for I have been here for a longer
period—said Mr. Menon.
Not content with establishing his right born of seniority,
Mr. Menon said, "I know who you are! What are your
intentions! You as a member of the Baghdad Pact, will
act only in consonance with the wishes of Pakistan."
He turned round to attack the British delegate "Your
country hatched a plot—your country desires to wreak
its vengeance" so on and so forth. Mr. Menon did
not confine himself to the realm of politics; he took
a majestic stride into the realm of oratory and passed
a scathing criticism "Your speeches are boring".
He had not forgotten Mr. Noon! Nor had he forgotten
the fact America is behind Pakistan.
Thus this pugilist, was seen everywhere in the arena—and
all had to get his punches! No wonder, his speech was
punctuated with applause from those in the gallery.
But, let us find out the net result of this heroism!
The hard knocks floored, not those who got them, put
Mr.Menon himself, and after a show, this doughty warrior,
stood up to withdraw everyone of his remarks—in fact
he requested the chair, to expunge all those harsh words
that he had spoken.
Let us catalogue the remarks of Mr. Menon.
He said he wanted to tell Britain that she was encouraging
sabotage and violence in Kashmir.
Mr. Menon said that Britain had 'hatched' the resolution
and it was time to "pull the gloves off."
And making a pointed reference to the British delegate,
he said, 'I listen to all his boring speeches."
Mr. Alfonso Aranjo of Colombia had a nice way of telling
the truth—he said he 'felt that some of the expressions
used by Mr. Krishna Menon were unsuitable!'
The Chairman tried in vain to pull up Mr. Menon twice,
and had to call on the next speaker.
'I consider the representative of India has finished
his statement' was the curt remark from the chair.
Mr. Wadsworth of U.S.A. said he regretted the tone which
Mr. Menon had seen fit to adopt.
The fighting hero, munched all this, and a meekness
took hold of him.
Mr. Menon said he would withdraw what he had said about
Sir. Person's boring speeches. "He made very interesting
speeches," Mr.Menon said, "he is one of the
most amiable gentlemen who walk these floors."
He also asked that any reference he had made be expunged
from the record.
So, after causing an unnecessary irritation, and insult,
this hero, who was applauded by those in the gallery,
became submissive and apologetic. He came forward to
eat the humble pie!
The British representative did not care to even reply,
much less got excited over the remarks of Mr. Menon.
He did not request Mr. Menon to withdraw his uncharitable
Whether or not the British representative was prepared
to accept, he would withdraw the expression.
Mr. Menon said he had no wish to 'hurt' Sir Person or
his country in anyway.
Sir Person then asked if Mr. Menon meant the charges
about Britain's 'partisan' attitude and having, hatched
the resolution were to be struck from the record.
Mr. Menon replied in the affirmative, and the British
representatives said tersely, he was glad to see the
Indian delegate was in a withdrawing mood!
Mr. Menon turned to the chair too, to offer his apologies,
he had intended no disrespect to Mr. Jawad personally
or to the delegation of Iraq'
And all the remarks were asked to be expunged from the
We do not know, whether any Parliamentarian would be
happy at such a situation—to get one's remarks expunged,
is not creditable! It means, that that person, used
expressions and remarks unworthy of the august body
which he addressed. And yet, Mr. Menon was in a perfect
state of bliss and buoyancy, when his words were expunged.
And if after all his charges—accusations—harsh remarks—uncharitable
expressions—are to be expunged—what has he gained by
that fighting speech punctuated by applause from the
Incidentally, it may be pointed out, that the reporter
does not tell us, how the gallery received Mr. Menon's
retreat, confession! How did they feel, when Mr. Menon
himself had to request the chair to expunge what he
said earlier. Certainly there could not have been an
Mr. Menon, unwittingly has given an opportunity for
statesmen of various countries to laugh in their sleeves—at
"Oh! Mr. Menon!" many of those who sat in
the council would chuckle and say, "he is a nice
sort of man, knows not what he wants, expresses not
his wishes in a purposeful way, he would fret and fume,
but in the end he would come around with amends and
That would bring no credit either to Mr. Menon or the
country he represents.
Expunge!—Is an incident about which no statesmen can
be proud of. And that's why, statesmen from other countries
take pains not only to gather facts, but control the
temptation of a loose tongue.
They would shudder at the very thought of getting their
remarks expunged—for they think rightly, that it is
another form of censure! It means, they have stated
something which they ought not to have stated! Something
unbecoming—unparlimentary—a black mark—a blot on their
Parliamentary career. So they measure their words before
delivery, and even modulate their temper, so as to escape
But, Mr. Menon is not worried about such niceties! He
is as vigorous in fighting as he is in fidgeting!!
But, it is not Mr. Menon's prestige that is at stake—it
is the destiny of a country that is being discussed.
To go on creating enemies all around, seems to be the
only tangible result of this Roving Ambassador who gets
a delight in stinging like a wasp, and then cooing like
Mr. Menon has by his antics, spoiled India's case and
cause more than once and it is high time that the Chief
pulls him up a bit. But would Nehru do that? We wonder!
Editorial - 24-11-1957)