Jairam Ramesh luggage award for Menon biography

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 12

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh’s biography of former Union Defence Minister VK Krishna Menon bagged this year’s Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay New India Foundation Award jointly with debutant author Amit Ahuja.

Ramesh has clinched the award for authoring the first-ever biography of a man who was the only leader in the 1960s to consistently argue for a negotiated border settlement with China.

His book, “A Chequered Brilliance: The Many Lives of VK Krishna Menon” traces the life of one of India’s most controversial figures remembered for his “failings” during the 1962 India-China war.

Along with the latest work, Ramesh’s past biographies of Indira Gandhi and later her principal secretary PN Haksar are based on primary sources written almost around the same time and not based on recollections of conversations.

The Menon biography is for example based on the late Defence Minister’s own archives that were opened for scrutiny last February. Ramesh said Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay also figured in his Menon book. “They were colleagues in the Congress Socialist Party,” he said.

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