‘Krishna Menon drafted Constitution’s preamble’

Every student today is reading the preamble of the Indian Constitution in the protests [against the Citizenship Amendment Act]. “Guess who wrote it? Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon,” claimed senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh at the Kerala Literature Festival on Sunday.

Mr. Ramesh was attending a discussion on his biography of the late former Defence Minister, along with Shashi Tharoor, MP, and Janaki Ram, Menon’s grand-niece.

“From 1933, he was bombarding Jawaharlal Nehru with ideas on a Constituent Assembly. Gandhi was not enamoured. Only Nehru agreed,” Mr. Ramesh said. Finally Gandhi changed his mind and it became a reality in 1946. “It was he who drafted the preamble and added the words independent, sovereign, republic into it,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The Congress leader pointed out that Menon was the spokesman for Indian independence in Britain. “...All Indian history textbooks teach us that the Indian freedom movement was essentially a freedom movement fought in India. That is true. But there is another strand of freedom movement, which was negotiations between the Indian National Congress and the Labour Party that lasted for 12 years,” Mr. Ramesh said. In those negotiations, Menon was a pivotal figure because of his relationship with economist Harold Lasky, and British politicians Stafford Cripps and Clement Attlee. “The fact that Indian independence came on the agenda of the Labour Party in the later ’30s and continued thereafter was entirely Menon’s contribution,” he said.

Though Menon was portrayed as a villain after India’s war with China in 1962, he had always argued that the border dispute should be solved only through dialogue. However, his views were not listened to at that time, Mr. Ramesh added.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2020 5:31:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/krishna-menon-drafted-constitutions-preamble/article30601379.ece

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