India In Times Of Cold War – An Interview With VK Krishna Menon – 1956 – Past Daily Reference Room

VK Krishna Menon - contentious questions got contentious answers.
VK Krishna Menon – contentious questions got contentious answers.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Meet The Press – Guest: VK Krishna Menon – July 15, 1956 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

India in the 1950s was a puzzle for many in Washington. The cozy nature between New Delhi and Moscow had many on Capitol Hill worried a leaning towards Communism was inevitable. But because the nature of the Cold War had much to do with a popularity contest of sorts, Prime Minister Nehru took maximum advantage of the offers of aid – and gladly accepted them, no matter who was giving them. A fledgling nation and the potential of being a powerful force in the East, India was strategically placed to yield maximum advantage to either side in the battle for hearts and minds.

So when Indian Cabinet member and chief Delegate to the United Nations VK Krishna Menon visited New York to address the UN Disarmament Commission and in support of a Nuclear Test Ban treaty, a barrage of questions met him regarding Moscow’s relationship with New Delhi and where was this relationship heading?

This episode of Meet The Press, from July 15, 1956 lands Menon squarely in the middle of a cross-examination. It’s contentious from the word go, and the questioning ranges from India’s relations with the Soviet Union to the latest crisis between India and Pakistan over the area of Kashmir.

Lively, to say the least. But then, so was The Cold War in general.

Here is that Meet The Press interview as it was broadcast on July 15, 1956.

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