Jairam Ramesh Pens VK Krishna Menon’s Biography

Penguin Random House India announces the acquisition of a biography of political stalwart V.K. Krishna Menon to be written by eminent writer-politician Jairam Ramesh. Titled Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon, the book will release in the first quarter of 2020.

Published in the Allen Lane imprint, this new narrative biography will attract a wide range of readers interested in the political and social history of contemporary India. Written in his inimitable engaging style, author Jairam Ramesh tells the story of one of the most colourful and controversial personalities of Indian public life, based almost wholly on new archival material that has come into the public domain in the last two decades in India as well as documentary and many other countries including the US, the UK, Russia and China.

In the 1950s, V.K. Krishna Menon was perhaps the second-most well-known Indian on the world stage. The book will begin with his early life, chronologically moving through his agitational career in the UK for a quarter of a century and his diplomatic and political innings from 1947 to 1974, culminating in his resignation as Defence Minister of India in November 1962.

Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament and author of the book says, ‘This new full-length biography of V.K. Krishna Menon, a compelling political personality in the emergence of modern India, will give me the chance to tell his story in all its complexity and depth through primary sources. This book draws extensively, for the first time, on material that has become available in archives in India and many other countries including the US, the UK, Russia and China. It also uses Krishna Menon’s personal correspondence available only with his family. It brings out Krishna Menon in all his various roles and incarnations.’

Ranjana Sengupta, Deputy Publisher, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘This biography is a portrait of an era that still has a very significant impact on contemporary India. An early socialist and a very important influence on Nehru, the story of V.K. Krishna Menon is going to be an essential commentary on India’s freedom struggle and Indian history when Nehru was at the helm of public affairs. He was also one of the founder editors of Penguin, and it all comes full circle as we publish a book about him.’

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