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Arya Samaj
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/3/20

Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj 2000 stamp of India.jpg
A 2000 stamp dedicated to Arya Samaj
Motto: "कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्" Make the world noble!
Formation: 10 April 1875 (144 years ago), Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India (present-day Mumbai, Maharashtra, India)
Founder: Dayananda Saraswati
Type: Religious organisation
Legal status: Foundation
Purpose: Educational, Religious studies, Spirituality, Social Reforms
Headquarters: New Delhi, Delhi, India
Coordinates 26.4499°N 74.6399°ECoordinates: 26.4499°N 74.6399°E
Area served
Official language: Hindi
Main organ: श्रीमती परोपकारिणी सभा – Shreemati Paropkarini Sabha
Affiliations: Indian

Arya Samaj (Sanskrit: आर्य समाज, IAST: ārya samāja; "Noble Society") is a monotheistic Indian Hindu reform movement that promotes values and practices based on the belief in the infallible authority of the Vedas. The samaj was founded by the sannyasi (ascetic) Dayanand Saraswati on 10 April 1875.[1] Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one God and reject the worship of idols.[2]

Arya Samaj was the first Hindu organization to introduce proselytization in Hinduism.[3] [4]


The Arya Samaj was established in Bombay on 10 April 1875 by Dayananda Saraswati (born "Mool Shankar" in Kathiawar, Gujarat 1824 – died Ajmer, 1883)[5]

An alternative date for the foundation of the samaj is 24 June 1877 because it was then, in Lahore when the samaj became more than just a regional movement based in Punjab.[6]

Vedic schools

Between 1869 and 1873, Dayanand began his efforts to reform orthodox Hinduism in India. He established Gurukul (Vedic schools) which emphasised Vedic values, culture, Satya (virtue) and Sanatana Dharma (the essence of living). The schools gave separate educations to boys and girls based on ancient Vedic principles. The Vedic school system was also to relieve Indians from the pattern of a British education.[7]

The first Vedic school was established at Farrukhabad in 1869.[8] Fifty students were enrolled in its first year. This success led to the founding of schools at Mirzapur (1870), Kasganj (1870), Chhalesar (Aligarh) (1870) and Varanasi (1873).

At the schools, students received all meals, lodging, clothing and books free of charge. The discipline was strict. Students were not allowed to perform murti puja (worship of sculpted stone idols). Rather, they performed Sandhyavandanam (meditative prayer using Vedic mantras with divine sound) and agnihotra (making heated milk offering twice daily).

The study of Sanskrit scriptural texts which accepted the authority of the Vedas were taught. They included the Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyaka, Kashika, Nirukta, Mahabhasya, Ashtadhyayi, Darshanas.

"The Light of Truth" lecture series

After visiting Calcutta, Dayanand's work changed. He began lecturing in Hindi rather than in Sanskrit. Although Sanskrit garnered respect, in Hindi, Dayanand reached a much larger audience. His ideas of reform began to reach the poorest people.

In Varanasi, after hearing Dayanand speak, a local government official called Jaikishen Das encouraged Dayanand to publish a book about his ideas. From June to September 1874, Dayanand dictated a series of lectures to his scribe, Bhimsen Sharma. The lectures recorded Dayanand's views on a wide range of subjects. They have published in 1875 in Varanasi with the title Satyarth Prakash ("the light of truth").

New samaj

While his manuscript for Satyarth Prakash was being edited in Varanasi, Dayanand received an invitation to travel to Bombay. There, he was to debate representatives of the Vallabhacharya sect. On 20 October 1874, Dayanand arrived in Bombay. The debate, though well publicized, never took place. Nonetheless, two members of the Prarthana Samaj approached Dayanand and invited him to speak at one of their gatherings. He did so and was well received. They recognized Dayanand's desire to uplift the Hindu community and protect Hindus from the pressures to convert to Christianity or Islam. Dayanand spent over one month in Bombay and attracted sixty people to his cause. They proposed founding a new samaj with Dayanand's ideas as its spiritual and intellectual basis.

Ahmedabad debates

On 11 December 1874, Dayanand arrived in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on the invitation of Gopal Hari Deshmukh. There, he debated with interested parties.

Rajkot Arya Samaj

On 31 December 1874, Dayanand arrived in Rajkot, Gujarat, on the invitation of Hargovind Das Dvarkadas, the secretary of the local Prarthana Samaj. He invited topics of discourse from the audience and spoke on eight. Again, Dayanand was well received and the Rajkot group elected to join his cause. The Samaj was renamed Arya Samaj (Society of Nobles). Dayanand published a list of twenty-eight rules and regulations for the followers. After leaving Rajkot, Dayanand went to Ahmedabad but his audience at a meeting on 27 January 1875, did not elect to form a new Arya Samaj. Meanwhile, the Rajkot group had become in a political row.

Bombay Arya Samaj

A meeting of the Arya Samāj for investing boys with the sacred thread[9]

On his return to Bombay, Dayanand began a membership drive for a local Arya samaj and received one hundred enrollees. On 7 April 1875,Bombay Arya Samaj was established. Dayanand himself enrolled as a member rather than the leader of the Bombay group. The Samaj began to grow.[10]

After Dayanand

Dayanand died in 1883. The Arya Samaj continued to grow, especially in Punjab. The early leaders of the Samaj were Pandit Lekh Ram (1858 – 1897) and Swami Shraddhanand (Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij) (1856 – 1926). Some authors claim that the activities of the Samaj led to increased antagonism between Muslims and Hindus.[11] Shraddhanand led the Shuddhi movement that aimed to bring Hindus who had converted to other religions back to Hinduism.[12]

In 1893, the Arya Samaj members of Punjab were divided on the question of vegetarianism. The group that refrained from eating meat were called the "Mahatma" group and the other group, the "Cultured Party".[13]

In the early 1900s, the Samaj (or organizations inspired by it such as Jat Pat Todak Mandal) campaigned against caste discrimination.[14] They also campaigned for widow remarriage and women's education.
[15] The samaj also established chapters in British colonies with an Indian diaspora such as South Africa, Fiji, Mauritius, Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.[16]

Prominent Indian Nationalists such as Lala Lajpat Rai belonged to Arya Samaj and were active in its campaigning.[17] Bhagat Singh's grandfather followed Arya Samaj, which had a considerable influence on Bhagat Singh.[18] The British colonial government in the early part of 20th century viewed the Samaj as a political body. Some Samajis in government service were dismissed for belonging to the Samaj[19]

In the 1930s, when the Hindu Nationalist group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh grew in prominence in Northern India, they found support in the Arya Samaj of Punjab.[20]

Arya Samaj in Punjab

In Punjab, the Arya Samaj was opposed by the Ahmadiyya movement which provided the Samaj one of its most aggressive opponents from among the various Muslim groups and whose founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was extensively involved in theological disputations with Samaj leaders, most notably with Pandit Lekh Ram.[21][22] It was also opposed by the Sikh dominated Singh Sabha, the forerunner of the Akali Dal.[23]

Arya Samaj in Gujarat

The Arya Samaj of Gujarat members were missionaries from Punjab who had been encouraged to move to Gujarat to carry out educational work amongst the untouchable castes by the maharaja, Sayajirao Gaekwad III. The Gujarat Samaj opened orphanages. In 1915, the samaj lost its following to Mahatma Gandhi.[24]

Reconversion in Malabar

In 1921, during a rebellion by the Muslim Moplah community of Malabar Indian newspapers reported that a number of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. The Arya Samaj extended its efforts to the region to reconvert these people back to Hinduism through Shuddhi ceremonies. [25]:p.141–152

Views of Orthodox Hindu on the Samaj

The then Shankaracharya of Badrinath math in 1939 in a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, called Arya Samajis Un-Hindu. He also criticized the samaj efforts at converting Christians and Muslims.[26]

Arya Samaj in Hyderabad state

A branch of Arya Samaj was established at Dharur in Beed district of Hyderabad state, the largest princely state during British colonial rule. Keshav Rao Koratkar was the president of the organization until 1932. During his tenure, the Samaj, established schools and libraries throughout the state. Although a social and religious organization, the Samaj activities assumed a great political role in resisting the government of the Nizam during 1930s. In 1938-1939, Arya Samaj teamed up with the Hindu Mahasabha to resist the Nizam government through Satyagraha. The Nizam government responded by raiding and desecrating Arya samaj mandirs. The Samaj, in turn, criticized Islam and the Islamic rulers of the state. This widely increased the gulf between the Hindu and Muslim population of the state.[27][28]

Language issue

Arya Samaj promoted the use of Hindi in Punjab and discouraged the use of Punjabi. This was a serious point of difference between the Sikhs, represented by the Shiromani Akali Dal group and the Arya Samaj. The difference was marked during the period immediately following the independence of India and the time of the Punjabi Suba movement (demand for a Punjabi speaking state).[29][30][31]

Humanitarian efforts

Arya Samaj was a charitable organisation. For example, donations were made to victims of the 1905 Kangra earthquake. The samaj campaigned for women's right to vote, and for the protection of widows.[32]

Contemporary Arya Samaj

Arya Samaj in India

Arya Samaj schools and temples are found in almost all major cities and as well as in rural areas (esp in North region) of India. Some are authorised to conduct weddings. The Samaj is associated with the Dayanand Anglo Vedic (DAV) schools which number over two hundred.[33]

The former Indian prime minister Charan Singh, as a young man, was a member of Arya Samaj in Ghaziabad.

A branch of Arya Samaj was established in 2015 in Angul district in the state of Odisha[34]

Arya Samaj around the world

Arya Samaj is active in countries including Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Australia,[35] South Africa,[36] Kenya,[37] Mauritius[38] and other countries where a significant Hindu diaspora is present.

Immigrants to Canada and the United States from South Asia, Eastern Africa, South Africa, and the Caribbean countries of set up Arya Samaj temples for their respective communities.[39] Most major metropolitan areas of United States have chapters of Arya Samaj.[40]

Core beliefs

ओ३म् O3m (Aum), considered by the Arya Samaj to be the highest and most proper name of God.

Members of the Arya Samaj believe in one almighty creator referred to with the syllable Aum as mentioned in the Yajur Veda (40:17). They believe the Vedas is an infallible authority. The Arya Samaj members reject other Hindu religious texts because they are not "revealed" works. For instance, they believe books like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are legends of historical figures, and rejects them as reference to supreme beings and avatars. The members of Arya Samaj reject other scriptural works such as the Puranas, The Upanishads, the Bible, and the Quran.[41] They reject the worship of idols. The Arya Samaj promotes the equality of all human beings and the empowerment of women.

The core beliefs of Arya Samaj are postulated below:[42]

1. The primeval cause of all genuine knowledge and all that is known by means of knowledge is God.
2. God is Truth-consciousness – Bliss personified, Formless, Omnipotent, Just, Merciful, Unborn, Infinite, Unchangeable, Beginningless, Incomparable, Support of all, Lord of all, Omnipresent, Internal, the regulator of all, Undecaying, Immortal, Fearless, Eternal, Holy, and creator of the Universe. He alone deserves worship.
3. The Vedas are repositories of all of true knowledge. It is the paramount duty of all Aryas to study and teach and to propound the Veda.

4. We should be ever ready to imbibe truth and forsake untruth.
5. All acts should be done in accordance with Dharma, i.e. after deliberating upon what is truth and untruth.
6. The prime object of Arya Samaj is to do good to the whole world, i.e. to achieve physical, spiritual and social prosperity for all.
7. Our conduct towards all should be guided by love, by injunctions of Dharma and according to their respective positions.
8. One should dispel ignorance and promote knowledge.
9. One should not be content with one's own prosperity only, but should consider the prosperity of all as his own prosperity.
10. All human beings should abide by the rules concerning social or everyone's benefit, while everyone should be free to follow any rule beneficial for him/her.


Agnihotra by Arya Samaj

The Arya Samaj members consider the Gayatri Mantra,[43] as the most holy mantra and chant it periodically, do the meditation known as "Sandhya" and make offering to the holy fire (havan).[44] The havan can be performed with a priest for special occasions or without a priest for personal worship. The havan is performed as per the havan pustika, usually a simplified guide to do havan, having mantras for general or special occasions. The priest is generally a Vedic scholar from the local Arya Samaj Mandir or Gurukul. Sometimes elder members of family or neighbours can also perform the havan acting as a purohit. The host is known as the "Yajmana". The priest can be called an "Acharya", "Swami ji" or "Pandit Ji" depending upon his scholarly status and local reputation. It is customary to give a nominal "dakshina" to the priest after havan, although in Arya Samaj it is more symbolic and the priest does not state any sum. The sum is decided by the host's capability and status but is still a small amount.[45]

Members celebrate Holi (the start of spring) and Diwali (a harvest festival and the victory of good over evil).

Arya Samaj advocates a lacto-vegetarian diet and in particular, the eating of beef is strictly prohibited.

After a death, Arya Samajis will often conduct a haven and collect the ashes on the fourth day.[46]


Diya with one wick.

Diya with four wicks, pointing in each direction (N, W, S, E).

The Arya Samaj celebration of Diwali is typified by the celebration in Suriname. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil. A vegetarian fast is kept. The Gayatri mantra is spoken while oil lamps are lit. One Diya lamp, which is of larger size has two wicks crossed to produce four lights, one in each direction and is lit first. The smaller lamp has one wick. The recitation of the Gayatri mantra occurs in front of a fire altar lit with sandalwood. A lamp is kept in every room except the bathroom and restroom. More lamps can be lit, which can be placed arbitrarily in the yard, living room and so on.[47]


Holi is celebrated as the conclusion of winter and the start of spring to sow the land and hope for a good harvest. This day is marked by colors and songs (Chautal). It does not require specific prayer or fasting, however, some people keep a vegetarian fast on this day. The Arya Samaj does not associate Holi with a particular deity such as Vishnu or Shiva and in comparison to some interpretations of the festival, the Arya Samaj version in more sober and is as per the 4 Vedas.[48][45]

See also

• Arya Samaj in Fiji
• Arya Samaj in Ghana
• Arya Samaj in Guyana
• Arya Samaj in Kenya
• Arya Samaj in Mauritius
• Arya Samaj in Mozambique
• Arya Samaj in Singapore
• Arya Samaj in South Africa
• Arya Samaj in Suriname
• Arya Samaj in Tanzania
• Arya Samaj in Trinidad and Tobago
• Arya Samaj in Thailand
• Arya Samaj in Uganda
• Hindu reform movements


1. Hastings J. and Selbi J. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Kessinger 2003 part 3. p. 57. ISBN 0-7661-3671-X
2. Thursby, G. R. (1975). Hindu-Muslim relations in British India : a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928. Leiden: Brill. p. 3. ISBN 9789004043800.
3. Thursby, G. R. (1977). Hindu-Muslim relations in British India : a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928. Leiden: Brill. p. 3. ISBN 9789004043800.
4. Gyanendra Pandey (25 March 2013). A History of Prejudice: Race, Caste, and Difference in India and the United States. Cambridge University Press. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-107-02900-2.
5. E News Aryasamaj website 2 March 2010. Accessed 3 February 2017
6. Dayanand Saraswati Himalaya publishing documents.
7. Sharma R. N and Sharma R. K. Problems of Education in India Atlantic 2006 p. 356 ISBN 817156612X
8. Saxena G. S. Arya Samaj movement in India, 1875–1947 Commonwealth publishers 1990 p. 47
9. Russell R. V. The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India 1916 vol. 1
10. "The Arya Samaj - Arya Samaj Mumbai". Retrieved 25 January 2020.
11. Barrier, Norman G. (1967). "The Arya Samaj and Congress Politics in the Punjab, 1894-1908". The Journal of Asian Studies. 26 (3): 363–379. doi:10.2307/2051414. JSTOR 2051414.
12. Nair N. Changing Homelands: Hindu Politics and the Partition of India. Permanent Black, New Delhi 2011. p. 53 ISBN 9780674057791
13. "Punjab" Imperial Gazetteer of India 1909. vol. 20 p. 291. Accessed 2 October 2014.
14. Rajivlochan M. Coping with Exclusions the Non-Political Way in Judge P. S. Mapping Social Exclusion in India: Caste, Religion and Borderlands Cambridge University Press 2014 p. 82 – 83. ISBN 1107056098
15. Kishwar M. (26 April 1986). "Arya Samaj and Women's Education: Kanya Mahavidyalaya, Jalandhar". Economic and Political Weekly. 21 (17): WS9–WS24. JSTOR 4375593.
16. Vertovec S. The Hindu Diaspora: Comparative Patterns Routledge, London 2000. pp. 29, 54 and 69. ISBN 9780415238939.
17. Rai L. L. The Arya Samaj: an Account of its Aims, Doctrine and Activities, with a Biographical Sketch of the Founder Longman, London 1915. ISBN 978-81-85047-77-5
18. Twitter hails Bhagat Singh on his 112th birth anniversary, Mid-Day, 27 September 2019.
19. Kumar, Raj (editor) (2004). Essays on social reform movements. New Delhi: Discovery Pub. House. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9788171417926.
20. Jaffrelot C. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s. Penguin Books, New Delhi 1999. pp. 67 and 68. ISBN 9780140246025.
21. Kenneth W. Jones (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-520-02920-8.
22. Kenneth W. Jones (1989). Socio-Religious Reform Movements in British India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 116–18. ISBN 9780521249867.
23. Jones, Kenneth W. (1973). "Ham Hindu Nahin: Arya-Sikh Relations, 1877-1905". The Journal of Asian Studies. 32 (3): 457–475. doi:10.2307/2052684. JSTOR 2052684.
24. Hardiman D. Purifying the nation, the Arya Samaj in Gujarat 1895–1930 Indian Economic and Social History Review 2000. 44:1 p. 41 – 65.
25. Thursby G. R. Hindu-Muslim relations in British India: a study of controversy, conflict, and communal movements in northern India 1923–1928 Brill, Leiden, 1975. ISBN 9789004043800
26. Lucien D. Benichou (2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938-1948. Orient Blackswan. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-250-1847-6.
27. P. V. Kate (1987). Marathwada Under the Nizams, 1724-1948. Mittal Publications. pp. 51, 64–66. ISBN 978-81-7099-017-8.
28. Lucien D. Benichou (2000). From Autocracy to Integration: Political Developments in Hyderabad State, 1938-1948. Orient Blackswan. p. 79. ISBN 978-81-250-1847-6.
29. Lamba K. G. Dynamics of Punjabi Suba Movement Deep and Deep 1999. p. 90 ISBN 9788176291293Accessed 3 February 2017.
30. Chopra R. Love Is The Ultimate Winner Partridge, India 2013. p. 9072. ISBN 9781482800050 Accessed 3 February 2017.
31. Grewal J. S. The Sikhs of the Punjab Cambridge University Press 1998. p. 187 ISBN 9780521637640Accessed 3 February 2017.
32. Sharma S. C. Punjab, the Crucial Decade Atlantic 1987. p. 133.
33. Arya Samaj Arya Samaj website.
34. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 January 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
35. Arya Samaj Queensland website. Accessed 3 February 2017.
36. Lal V. and Vahed G. (2013). "Hinduism in South Africa: Caste, Ethnicity, and Invented Traditions, 1860–Present" (PDF). J Sociology Soc Anth. 4 (1–2): 1–15. doi:10.1080/09766634.2013.11885578.
37. Ombongi K. S. Hindu socio-religious organizations in Kenya: a case study of Arya Samaj, 1903–1978University of Nairobi 1993.
38. Eisenlohr P. Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius University of California Press, Berkeley, California 2006. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-520-24879-3
39. Coward H. Hindus in Canada, the Third National Metropolis Conference Archived 30 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration in the Metropolis 1999.
40. Arya Pratinidhi Sabha America Archived 31 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Arya Samaj website. Accessed 30 December 2013.
41. Kenneth W. Jones (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. pp. 139–143. ISBN 978-0-520-02920-0.
42. "10 Principles of Arya Samaj - English & Hindi". Arya Samaj India. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 21 April2019.
43. Naidoo T. The Arya Samaj movement in South Africa Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi 1992 first edition. p.30 and 71. ISBN 8120807693
44. Morgan, Kenneth W. (Editor); Sharma, D.S.; et al. (1987). The Religion of the Hindus (Reprint. ed.). Delhi: M. Banarsidass. p. 199. ISBN 978-8120803879. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
45. Jump up to:a b Jones K. W. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab University of California Press, 1976. p. 95. ISBN 0520029208
46. Firth S. Dying, death and bereavement in a British Hindu community Peeters, Leuven 1997. p. 89. ISBN 9789068319767
47. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-Century Punjab Paperback – January 1, 2006Jones, Kenneth W. (1976). Arya dharm : Hindu consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. New Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 978-8173047091. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
48. Dalal R. The Religions of India: A Concise Guide to Nine Major Faiths Penguin Books India, 2010. p. 148 ISBN 0143415174

Further reading

• Chamupati M. A. (2001) Ten Commandments of Arya Samaj New Delhi: D.A.V. Publications.
• Jordens J. T. F. (1978) Dayanada Saraswati Oxford University Press, Delhi.
• Madhu Kishwar, "The Daughters of Aryavarta: Women in the Arya Samaj movement, Punjab." Chapter in Women in Colonial India; Essays on Survival, Work and the State, edited by J. Krishnamurthy, Oxford University Press, 1989.
• Rai L. (1915) The Arya Samaj: an Account of its Aims, Doctrine and Activities, with a Biographical Sketch of the Founder D.A.V. College Managing Committee, New Delhi ISBN 978-81-85047-77-5.
• Rai L. (1993) A History of the Arya Samaj New Delhi ISBN 81-215-0578-X.
• Ruthven M. (2007) Fundamentalism: a Very Short Introduction Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-921270-5.
• Sharma J. M. (1998) Swami Dayanand: a Biography USB, India ISBN 81-7476-212-4.
• Sethi R. "Rashtra Pitamah Swami Dayanand Saraswati" M R Sethi Educational Trust, Chandigarh.
• Upadhyaya G. P. (1954) The Origin, Scope and Mission of the Arya Samaj Arya Samaj.
• Shastri V. (1967) The Arya Samaj Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Pandey D. (1972) The Arya Samaj and Indian Nationalism, 1875–1920 S. Chand.
• Pandit S. (1975) A Critical Study of the Contribution of the Arya Samaj to Indian Education Sarvadeshik Arya, Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Vedalanker N. and Somera M. (1975) Arya Samaj and Indians Abroad Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha.
• Vable D. (1983) The Arya Samaj: Hindu Without Hinduism VikasISBN 0-7069-2131-3.
• Sharma S. K. (1985) Social Movements and Social Change: a Study of Arya Samaj and Untouchables in PunjabB.R. Publishing.
• Yadav K. C. and Arya K. S. (1988) Arya Samaj and the Freedom Movement: 1875–1918 Manohar Publications. ISBN 81-85054-42-8.
• Saxena G. S. (1990) Arya Samaj Movement in India, 1875–1947 Commonwealth Publishers. ISBN 81-7169-045-9.
• Sethi R. (2009) Rashtra Pitamah, Swami Dayanand Saraswati M R Sethi Educational Trust, Chandigarh
• Chopra R. M. (2009) Hinduism Today
• Jamnager A. S. and Pandya D. Aryasamaj Ke Stambh A. S. Jamnager's website.
• Jones K. Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-Century Punjab
• Dayananda, S., & Bharadwaja, C. (1932). Light of truth, or, An English translation of the Satyartha prakasha: The well-known work of Swami Dayananda Saraswati. Madras: Arya Samaj.
• Swami Shraddhananda, . (1926). Hindu sangathan: Saviour of the dying race. Delhi: Shraddhananda.
• Swami Śraddhānanda, . (1984). Inside the Congress: A collection of 26 articles. New Delhi: Dayanand Sansthan.

External links

• Official website
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:29 am

Part 1 of 2

Nicholas Roerich
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20

Nicholas Roerich and the Kalachakra Tantra:

A further two individuals who won the most respect for the Shambhala myth in the West before the flight of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, were also Russians, Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) and his wife Helena Ivanovna (1879–1955). Roerich was a lifelong painter, influenced by the late art nouveau movement. He believed himself to be a reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci. Via his paintings, of which the majority featured Asian subjects, especially the mountainous landscapes of the Himalayas, he attempted to spread his religious message. He became interested in the ideas of Theosophy very early on; his wife translated Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine into Russian. The occultist led him to Buddhism, which was as we have said en vogue in the society of St. Petersburg at the time. We have already briefly encountered him as a designer of Agvan Dorjiev’s Kalachakra temple. He was a close friend of the Buriat. In contrast, he hated Albert Grünwedel and regarded his work with deep mistrust. Between the years of 1924 and 1928 he wandered throughout Central Asia in search of the kingdom of Shambhala and subsequently published a travel diary.

In 1929 he began a very successful international action, the Roerich Banner of Peace and the Peace Pact, in which warring nations were supposed to commit themselves to protecting each other’s cultural assets from destruction. In the White House in 1935 the Roerich Pact was signed by 21 nations in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The migrant Russian succeeded in gaining constant access to circles of government, especially since the American agricultural minister, Henry Wallace, had adopted him as his guru. In 1947 the painter died in the Himalayan foothills of northern India.

With great zeal his wife continued her husband’s religious work up until the nineteen-fifties. Helena Ivanovna had from the outset actively participated in the formation of her husband’s ideas. Above all it is to her that we owe the numerous writings about Agni Yoga, the core of their mutual teachings. Roerich saw her as something like his shakti, and openly admitted to her contribution to the development of his vision. He said in one statement that in his understanding of the world “the duty of the woman [is] to lead her male partner to the highest and most beautiful, and then to inspire him to open himself up to the higher world of the spirit and to import both valuable and beautiful aspects and ethical and social ones into life” (Augustat, 1993, p. 50). In his otherwise Indian Buddhist doctrinal system there was a revering of the “mother the world” that probably came from the Russian Orthodox Church.

Roerich first learned about the Kalachakra Tantra from Agvan Dorjiev during his work on the temple in St. Petersburg. Later, in Darjeeling, he had contact to the lama Ngawang Kalzang, who was also the teacher of the German, Lama Govinda, and was well versed in the time teachings. It is, however, most unlikely that Roerich received specific initiations from him or others, as his statements about the Kalachakra Tantra do not display a great deal of expertise. Perhaps it was precisely because of this that he saw in it the “happy news “ of the new eon to come. He thus took up exactly the opposite position to his contemporary and acquaintance, Albert Grünwedel, who fanatically denounced the supreme Buddhist doctrinal system as a work of the devil. “Kalachakra”, Roerich wrote, “is the doctrine which is attributed to the numerous rulers of Shambhala. ... But in reality this doctrine is the great revelation brought to humankind ... by the lords of fire, the sons of reason who are and were the lords of Shambhala” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, pp. 79, 81).

According to Roerich, the “fiery doctrine was covered in dust “ up until the twentieth century. (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 122). But now the time had come in which it would spread all over the world. As far as their essential core was concerned, all other religions were supposed to be included in the Time Tantra already: “There are now so many teachers — so different and so hostile to one another; and nonetheless so many speak of the One, and the Kalachakra expresses this One”, the Russian has a Tibetan lama say. “One of your priests once asked me: Are the Cabala and Shambhala not parts of the one teaching? He asked: Is the great Moses not a initiate of the same doctrine and a servant of its laws?” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 78).

Agni yoga:

For Roerich and his wife the Time Tantra contains a sparkling fire philosophy: „This Teaching of Kalachakra, this utilization of the primary energy, has been called the Teaching of Fire. The Hindu peoples know the great Agni — ancient teaching though it be, it shall be the new teaching for the New Era. We must think of the future; and in the teaching of Kalachakra we know there lies all the material which may be applied for greatest use. […] Kalachakra is the Teaching ascribed to the various Lords of Shambhala […] But in reality this Teaching is the Great Revelation brought to humanity at the dawn of its conscious evolution in the third race of the fourth cycle of Earth by the Lords of Fire, the Sons of reason who were an are the Lords of Shambhala” (Reigle, 1986, p. 38). The interpretation which the Russian couple give to the Kalachakra Tantra in their numerous publications may be described without any exaggeration as a “pyromaniac obsession”. For them, fire becomes an autocratic primary substance that dissolves all in its flames. It functions as the sole creative universal principle. All the other elements, out of the various admixtures of which the variety of life arises, disappear in the flaming process of creation: “Do not seek the creative fire in the inertia of earth, in the seething waves of water, in the storms of the air (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 5). Keep away from the other “elements” as “they do not love fire” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 7). Only the “fiery world” brings blessing. Everyone carries the “sparks of the fiery world in their hearts” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). This announces itself through “fiery signs”. “Rainbow flames” confirm the endeavors of the spirit. But only after a “baptism of fire” do all the righteous proceed with “flaming hearts” to the “empire of the fiery world” in which there are no shadows. They are welcomed by “fire angels”. “The luminosity of every part of the fiery world generates an everlasting radiance” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). The “song of fire sounds like the music of the spheres” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. II, p. 8). At the center of this world lies the “supreme fire”. Since the small and the large cosmos are one, the “fiery chakras” of the individual humans correspond to “the fiery structures of space” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 240).

This fire cult is supposed to be ancient and in the dim and distant past its shrines already stood in the Himalayas: „Beyond the Kanchenjunga are old menhirs of the great sun cult. Beyond the Kanchenjunga is the birthplace of the sacred Swastika, sign of fire. Now in the day of Agni Yoga, the element of fire is again entering the spirit.” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 36, 37). Madame Blavatsky’s above-mentioned god of electricity, Fohat, is also highly honored by the Roerichs.

The Roerichs’ fiery philosophy is put into practice through a particular sacred system which is called Agni Yoga. We were unable to determine the degree to which it follows the traditions of the already described Sadanga Yoga, practiced in the Kalachakra Tantra. Agni Yoga gives the impression that is conducted more ethically and with feelings than technically and with method. Admittedly the Roerich texts also talk of an unchaining of the kundalini (fire serpent), but nowhere is there discussion of sexual practices. In contrast -the philosophy of the two Russians requires strict abstinence and is antagonistic to everything erotic.

In 1920 the first Agni Yoga group was founded by the married couple. The teachings, we learn, come from the East , indeed direct from the mythical kingdom: „And Asia when she speaks the Blessed Shambhala, about Agni Yoga, about the Teaching of Flame, knows that the holy spirit of flame can unite the human hearts in a resplendent evolution” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 294). Agni Yoga is supposed to join the great world religions together and serve as a common basis for them.

With great regret the Roerichs discover that the people do not listen to the “fiery tongues” that speak to them and want to initiate them into the secrets of the flames. They appropriated only the external appearances of the force of fire, like electricity, and otherwise feared the element. Yet the “space fire demands revelation” and whoever closes out its voice will perish in the flames (H. I. Roerich, 1980, p. 30).

Even if it is predicted in the cosmic plan, the destruction of all dark and ignorant powers does not happen by itself. It needs to be accelerated by the forces of good. It is a matter of victory and defeat, of heroic courage and sacrificial death. Here is the moment in which the figure of the Shambhala warriors steps into the plan and battles with the inexorably advancing Evil which wants to extinguish Holy Flame: “They shall come — the extinguishers; they shall come — the destroyers; they shall come — the powers of darkness. Corrosion that has already begun cannot be checked” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 124).


We hear from Helena Ivanova Roerich that “the term Shambhala truly is inseparably linked to fiery apparitions” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, p. 26). “Fire signs introduce the epoch of Shambhala”, writes her spouse (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 29). It is not surprising that the Russian visionaries imagined the temple of Shambhala as an “alchemic laboratory”, then a fire oven, the athanor, also stood at the heart of the hermetic art, as western alchemy was known.

The couple consider Shambhala, the “city of happiness”, to be the “geographic residence or workplace of the brotherhood and seat of the interplanetary government in the trans-Himalaya” (Augustat, 1993, p. 153). In an official fundamental declaration of the two it says: “The brotherhood is the spiritual union of highly developed entities from other planets or hierarchs, which as a cosmic institution is responsible to a higher institution for the entire evolution of the planet Earth. The interplanetary government consists of cosmic offices, which are occupied by the hierarch depending on the task and the age” (Augustat, 1993, p. 149). The Mahatmas, as these hierarchs are called in reference to Madame Blavatsky, have practical political power interests and are in direct contact with certain heads of state of our world, even if the ordinary mortals have no inkling of this.

Then it is impossible for normal humans to discover the main lodge of the secret society: “How can one find the way to our laboratories? Without being called no-one will get to us”, Roerich proclaims (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 9). From there the Mahatmas coordinate an army of in part paid agents, who operate here on Earth in the name of the hidden kingdom. In the meantime the whole planet is covered by a net of members, assistants, contacts, and spies of the “international government” who are only waiting for the sign from their command center in Shambhala in order to step into the light and reveal themselves to humanity.

Likewise, the activities and resolutions of the “invisible international government” are all but impenetrable for an outsider. There is a law which states that each earthly nation will only be visited and “warned” by an envoy from Shambhala once in a century. An exception was probably made during the French Revolution, then “hierarchs” like the Comte de Saint Germain for example were extremely active at this troubled time. Sadly he died in the year 1784 “as a result of the undisciplined thinking of one of his assistants”. (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 117). The dissolute life of his sadhaka (pupil), Cagliostro, was probably to blame for his not being able to participate in the great events of 1789 (the storming of the Bastille).

According to Roerich the members of the government of Shambhala have the ability to telepathically penetrate into the consciousness of the citizens of Earth without them realizing where particular ideas come from: “Like arrows the transmissions of the community bore into the brains of humanity” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 10). Sometimes this takes place using apparatuses especially constructed for this purpose. But they are not permitted to openly reveal their amazing magical abilities: “Who can exist without food? Who can get by without sleep? Who is immune to heat and cold? Who can heal wounds? Truly only one who has studied Kalachakra” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 77).

Tableau of N. Roerich: “The command of Rigden-jyepo”

For the Russian couple all the interventions of the governing yogi caste have just one goal, to prepare for the coming of the future Buddha Maitreya Morya or Rigden-jyepo, who shall then make all important decisions. According to the Roerichs both names are synonyms for the Rudra Chakrin, the “wrathful wheel turner” and doomsday ruler of the Kalachakra Tantra. We thus await a fairytale oriental despot who cares about his subjects: “Just like a diamond the light shines from the tower of Shambhala. He is there — Rigden-jyepo, untiring, ever watchful for the sake of humanity. His eyes never close. In his magic mirror he sees everything which happens on Earth. And the power of his thoughts penetrates through to the distant countries. ... His immeasurable riches lay waiting to help all the needy who offer to serve the cause of uprightness” (Augustat, 1993, p. 11).

In passing, this doomsday emperor from Shambhala also reveals himself to be the western king of the Holy Grail, who holds the Holy Stone in his hands and who emigrated to Tibet under cover centuries ago. He is returning now, messengers announce him. True Knights of the Holy Grail are already incarnated on Earth, unrecognized . The followers of the Roerichs even believe that their master himself protected the grail for a time and then returned it to Shambhala on his trip to Asia (Augustat, 1993, p. 114).

Apocalypse now:

"Why do clouds gather when the Stone [the Grail] becomes dull? If the Stone becomes heavy, blood shall be spilled”, we learn mysteriously (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 88). Behind this secret of the grail lies the apodictic statement known from almost all religions that total war, indeed the destruction of the world, is necessary in order to attain paradise. It is essential because in a good dualist cliché the “brotherhood of Good” is always counterposed by the “brotherhood of Evil”. The “sons of darkness” have succeeded in severing humanity’s connection to the “higher world”, the “bright hierarchy”. The forces of the depths lurk everywhere. Extreme caution is required since an ordinary mortal can barely distinguish the Evil from the Good, and further, “the brotherhood of Evil attempts to imitate the Good’s method of action” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 126).

The final battle between Light and Darkness is — the Roerichs say- presaged in the prophecies of the ancestors and the writings of the wise and must therefore take place. When natural disasters and crimes begin to pile up on Earth, the warriors from Shambhala will appear. At the head of their army stands the Buddha Maitreya Morya, who “ [combats] the prince of darkness himself. This struggle primarily takes place in the subtle spheres, whereas here [on earth] the ruler of Shambhala operates through his earthly warriors. He himself can only be seen under the most exceptional circumstances and would never appear in a crowd or among the curious. His appearance in fiery form would be disastrous for everybody and everything since his aura is loaded with energies of immense strength” (Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 152). It could be thought that this concerned an atomic bomb. At any rate the battle will be conducted with a fire and explosive power which allows of comparison only to the atomic detonations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

Fiery the battle
with blazing torches,
Blood red the arrows
against the shining shield

(Schule der Lebensweisheit, 1990, p. 110)

Thus the armies of Shambhala storm forth. „Space is filled with fire. The lightning of the Kalki avatar [Rudra Chakrin] — the preordained Maitreya — flashes upon the” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 76). Even if Kalki also goes by the epithet of “Lord of Compassion”, with his enemies he knows no mercy. Accompanied by Gesar, the mythic war hero of the Tibetans, he will storm forward mounted on a “white horse” and with a “comet-like, fiery sword” in his hand. Iron snakes will consume outer space with fire and frenzy (N. Roerich, 1988 p. 12). “The Lord”, we read, “ strikes the people with fire. The same fiery element presides over the Day of Judgment. The purification of evil is performed by fire. Misfortunes are accompanied by fires” (H. I. Roerich, 1980, vol. I, 46).

Those who fight for Shambhala are the precursors of a new race who take control of the universe after Armageddon, after the “wheat has been separated from the chaff” (Augustat,1993, p. 98). That is, to put it plainly, after all the inferior races have been eradicated in a holocaust.

Distribution in the west:

As far as the fate of Tibet is concerned, the prophecies that Roerich made at the end of the twenties have in fact been fulfilled: „We must accept it simply, as it is: the fact that the true teaching shall leave Tibet”, he has a lama announce, „and shall again appear in the South. In all countries, the covenants of Buddha shall be manifested. Really, great things are coming.” (N. Roerich, 1985, p. 3) In 1959 the Fourteenth Dalai Lama fled to India in the south and from this point in time onwards Tibetan Buddhism began to be spread all around the world.

Roerich and his wife saw themselves as agents of Shambhala who were supposed to make contact with those governing our world in order to warn them. They could at any rate appeal to a meeting with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Their followers, however, believe that they were higher up in the hierarchy and that they were incarnated Mahatmas from the kingdom.

In the meantime the Roerich cult is most popular in Eastern Europe, where even before the fall of Communism it had penetrated the highest circles of government. The former Bulgarian Minister for Culture, Ludmilla Shiffkova, daughter of the Communist head of state Todor Shiffkov, was almost fanatically obsessed with the Agni master’s philosophy, so that she planned to introduce his teachings as part of the official school curriculum. For a whole year, cultural policy was conducted under the motto “N. K. Roerich — A cultural world citizen”, and she also organized several overseas exhibitions including works by her spiritual model as well.

Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife also supported numerous Roerich initiatives. In Russia, the renaissance of the visionary painter was heralded for years in advance in elaborate symposia and exhibitions, in order to then fully blossom in the post-Communist era. In Alma Ata in October 1992, a major ecumenical event was organized by the international Roerich groups under the patronage of the president of Kazakhstan, at the geographical gateway, so to speak, behind which the land of Shambhala is widely believed to have once lain. The Fourteenth Dalai Lama hesitated as to whether he ought to visit the Congress before deciding for scheduling reasons to send a telegram of greeting and a high-ranking representative.

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama: Sexuality, Magic and Politics in Tibetan Buddhism, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi

Nicholas Roerich
Born: October 9, 1874, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died: December 13, 1947 (aged 73), Naggar, Dominion of India (present-day Himachal Pradesh, India)
Nationality: Russia
Occupation: painter, archaeologist, costume and set designer for ballets, operas, and dramas
Spouse(s): Helena Roerich
Children: George de Roerich, Svetoslav Roerich

Nicholas Roerich (/ˈrɛrɪk/; October 9, 1874 – December 13, 1947) – known also as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh (Russian: Никола́й Константи́нович Ре́рих) – was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, philosopher, and public figure, who in his youth was influenced by a movement in Russian society around the spiritual. He was interested in hypnosis and other spiritual practices and his paintings are said to have hypnotic expression.[1][2]

Born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to a well-to-do notary public Baltic German father and a Russian mother,[3] Roerich lived in various places around the world until his death in Naggar,[4] Himachal Pradesh, India. Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his main interests were literature, philosophy, archaeology, and especially art. Roerich was a dedicated activist for the cause of preserving art and architecture during times of war. He was nominated several times to the long list for the Nobel Peace Prize.[5] The so-called Roerich Pact was signed into law by the United States and most nations of the Pan-American Union in April 1935.


Early life

Guests from Overseas, 1901 (Varangians in Rus')

Raised in late-19th-century St. Petersburg, Roerich enrolled simultaneously at St. Petersburg University and the Imperial Academy of Arts during 1893. He received the title of "artist" in 1897 and a degree in law the next year. He found early employment with the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, whose school he directed from 1906 to 1917. Despite early tensions with the group, he became a member of Sergei Diaghilev's "World of Art" society; he was president of the society from 1910 to 1916.

Artistically, Roerich became known as his generation's most talented painter of Russia's ancient past, a topic that was compatible with his lifelong interest in archaeology. He also succeeded as a stage designer, achieving his greatest fame as one of the designers for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. His best-known designs were for Borodin's Prince Igor (1909 and later productions), and costumes and set for The Rite of Spring (1913),[6] composed by Igor Stravinsky.

Along with Mikhail Vrubel and Mikhail Nesterov, Roerich is considered a major representative of Russian Symbolism in art.[7] From an early period of his life, he was influenced by apocrypha and medieval sectarian writings such as the mysterious Dove Book.[8]

Another of Roerich's artistic subjects was architecture. His acclaimed publication "Architectural Studies" (1904–1905), consisting of dozens of paintings he made of fortresses, monasteries, churches, and other monuments during two long trips through Russia, inspired his decades-long career as an activist on behalf of artistic and architectural preservation. He also designed religious art for places of worship throughout Russia and Ukraine, most notably the Queen of Heaven fresco for the Church of the Holy Spirit which the patroness Maria Tenisheva built near her Talashkino estate; and the stained glass windows for the Datsan Gunzechoinei during 1913–1915. His designs for the Talashkino church were so radical that the Orthodox church refused to consecrate the building.[7]

During the first decade of the 1900s and in the early 1910s, Roerich, largely due to the influence of his wife Helena, developed an interest in eastern religions, as well as alternative (to Christianity) belief systems such as Theosophy. Both Roerichs became avid readers of the Vedantist essays of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore, and the Bhagavad Gita.

The Roerichs' commitment to occult mysticism increased steadily. It was especially intense during World War I and the Russian revolutions of 1917, to which the couple, like many Russian intellectuals, accorded apocalyptic significance. The influence of Theosophy, Vedanta, Buddhism, and other mystical topics can be detected not only in many of Roerich's paintings, but in the many short stories and poems Roerich wrote before and after the 1917 revolutions, including the Flowers of Morya cycle, begun in 1907 and completed in 1921.

Revolution, emigration, and the United States

Nicholas Roerich by Kustodiev. 1913

After the February Revolution of 1917 and the end of the czarist regime, Roerich, a political moderate who valued Russia's cultural heritage more than ideology and party politics, had an active part in artistic politics. With Maxim Gorky and Aleksandr Benois, he participated with the so-called "Gorky Commission" and its successor organization, the Arts Union (SDI). Both attempted to gain the attention of the Provisional Government and Petrograd Soviet on the need to form a coherent cultural policy and, most urgently, protect art and architecture from destruction and vandalism.

At the same time, illness forced Roerich to leave the capital and reside in Karelia, the district bordering Finland. He had already quit the presidency of the World of Art society, and he now quit the directorship of the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. After the October Revolution and the acquisition of power of Lenin's Bolshevik Party, Roerich became increasingly discouraged about Russia's political future. During early 1918, he, Helena, and their two sons George and Svetoslav emigrated to Finland.

Two unresolved historical debates are associated with Roerich's departure. First, it is often claimed that Roerich was a major candidate to direct a people's commissariat of culture (the Soviet equivalent of a ministry of culture) which the Bolsheviks considered establishing during 1917–1918, but that he refused to accept the job. In fact, Benois was the most likely choice to direct any such commissariat. It seems that Roerich was a preferred choice to manage its department of artistic education; the topic is rendered moot by the fact that the Soviets elected not to establish such a commissariat.

Second, when Roerich later wished to reconcile with the USSR, he maintained that he had not left Soviet Russia deliberately, but that he and his family, living in Karelia, had been isolated from their homeland when the civil war began in Finland. However, Roerich's extreme hostility to the Bolshevik regime – prompted not so much by a dislike of communism as by his revulsion at Lenin's ruthlessness and his fear that Bolshevism would result in the destruction of Russia's artistic and architectural heritage – was amply documented. He illustrated Leonid Andreyev's anti-communist polemic "S.O.S." and had a widely published pamphlet, "Violators of Art" (1918–1919). Roerich believed that "the triumph of Russian culture would come about through a new appreciation of ancient myth and legend".[9]

After some months in Finland and Scandinavia, the Roerichs relocated to London, arriving in mid-1919. Engrossed with Theosophical mysticism, they now had millenarian expectations that a new age was imminent, and they wished to travel to India as soon as possible. They joined the English-Welsh chapter of the Theosophical Society. It was in London, in March 1920, that the Roerichs founded their own school of mysticism, Agni Yoga, which they referred to also as "the system of living ethics."

To earn passage to India, Roerich worked as a stage designer for Thomas Beecham's Covent Garden Theatre, but the enterprise ended unsuccessfully in 1920, and the artist never received full payment for his work. Among the notable people Roerich befriended while in England were the famed British Buddhist Christmas Humphreys, philosopher-author H. G. Wells, and the poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (whose grand-niece Devika Rani would later marry Roerich's son Svetoslav).

A successful exhibition in London resulted in an invitation from a director at the Art Institute of Chicago, offering to arrange for Roerich's art to tour the United States. During the autumn of 1920, the Roerichs traveled to America by sea.

Car of Nicolas Roerich in his museum at Naggar

The Roerichs remained in the United States from October 1920 until May 1923. A large exhibition of Roerich's art, organized partly by U.S. impresario Christian Brinton and partly by the Chicago Art Institute, began in New York in December 1920 and toured the country, to San Francisco and back, during 1921 and early 1922. Roerich befriended acclaimed soprano Mary Garden of the Chicago Opera and received a commission to design a 1922 production of Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden for her. During the exhibition, the Roerichs spent significant amounts of time in Chicago, New Mexico, and California.

Politically, Roerich was at first anti-Bolshevik. He gave lectures and wrote articles to White Russian populations in which he criticized the Soviet Union. However, his aversion to Communism - "the impertinent monster that lies to humanity" - changed in America. Roerich claimed that his spiritual masters, the "Mahatmas" in the Himalayas, were communicating telepathically with him, through his wife, Helena, who was a mystic and a clairvoyant.

These beings from an esoteric Buddhist community in India were said to have told Roerich that Russia was destined for a mission on Earth. This led him to formulate his "Great Plan", envisaging the unification of millions of Asian peoples through a religious movement using the Future Buddha, or Maitreya, into a "Second Union of the East." Here, the King of Shambhala would, following the Maitreya prophecies, make his appearance to fight a great battle against all evil forces on Earth. Roerich understood this as "perfection towards Common Good". This new polity was to include southwestern Altai, Tuva, Buryatia, Outer and Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet, with its capital situated in "Zvenigorod", the "City of Tolling Bells", which was to be built at the foot of Mount Belukha in Altai. According to Roerich, the same Mahatmas revealed to him in 1922 that he was an incarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama[10].

In 1923, Roerich, the "practical idealist", set out to the Himalayas with his wife and son Yuri. Roerich initially settled in Darjeeling, in the same house where the 13th Dalai Lama had stayed during his exile in India. Roerich spent his time painting the Himalayas with visitors such as F. M. Bailey, Lady Lytton, and members of the 1924 British Everest Expedition, as well as Sonam Wangfel Laden La, Kusho Doring, and Tsarong Shape, influential Tibetans. According to British intelligence, lamas from the Moru monastery recognized Roerich as the incarnation of the Fifth Dalai Lama due to a mole pattern on his right cheek. It was during his stay in the Himalayas that Roerich learned about the flight of the 9th Panchen Lama, which he interpreted as the fulfillment of the Matreiya prophecies and the bringing about of the Age of Shambhala[11].

In 1924, the Roerichs returned to the West. On his way to America, Roerich stopped at the Soviet embassy in Berlin, where he told the local plenipotentiary about a Central Asian expedition he wanted to take. He asked for Soviet protection on his way, and shared his impressions of politics in India and Tibet. Roerich commented on the "occupation of Tibet by the British", claiming that they "infiltrate in small parties... conduct extensive anti-Soviet propaganda" by talking about "anti-religious activity of the Bolsheviks". The plenipotentiary later pointed out to one of Roerich's old university classmates, Chicherin, that he had "absolutely pro-Soviet leanings, which looked somewhat Buddho-Communistic", and that his son, who spoke 28 Asian languages, helped him in gaining good favor with the Indians and Tibetans[12].

The Roerichs settled in New York City, which became the base of their many American operations. They founded several institutions during these years: Cor Ardens ("Flaming Heart") and Corona Mundi ("Crown of the World"), both of which were meant to unite artists around the globe in the cause of civic activism; the Master Institute of United Arts, an art school with a versatile curriculum, and the eventual home of the first Nicholas Roerich Museum; and an American Agni Yoga Society. They also joined various theosophical societies; their activities with these groups dominated their lives.
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Part 2 of 2

Asian Expedition (1925–1929)

Roerich's family (Kullu valley, India)

After leaving New York, the Roerichs – together with their son George and six friends – began the five-year-long 'Roerich Asian Expedition' that, in Roerich's own words: "started from Sikkim through Punjab, Kashmir, Ladakh, the Karakoram Mountains, Khotan, Kashgar, Qara Shar, Urumchi, Irtysh, the Altai Mountains, the Oyrot region of Mongolia, the Central Gobi, Kansu, Tsaidam, and Tibet" with a detour through Siberia to Moscow in 1926.

Roerichs' Asian expedition attracted attention from the foreign services and intelligence agencies of the USSR, the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. In fact, prior to this expedition, Roerich himself solicited the help of the Soviet government and Bolshevik secret police to assist him in his expedition, promising in return to monitor British activities in the area, but received only a lukewarm response from Michail Abramowitsch Trilisser, chief of the Soviet foreign intelligence at that time.

The Bolsheviks assisted Roerich with logistics while he was traveling through Siberia and Mongolia. However. they did not commit themselves to his reckless utopian project of the Sacred Union of the East – a spiritual utopia that boiled down to Roerich's ambitious attempts to stir the Buddhist masses of inner Asia to create a highly spiritual cooperative commonwealth under the patronage of Bolshevik Russia.

The official mission of his expedition, as Roerich put it, was to act as the embassy of Western Buddhism to Tibet. To the Western media, it was presented as an artistic and scientific enterprise.[13] Between the summer of 1927 and June 1928 the expedition was thought to have been lost, as communication with them had ceased. They had, in fact, been attacked in Tibet.

Roerich wrote that only the "superiority of our firearms prevented bloodshed... In spite of our having Tibet passports, the expedition was forcibly stopped by Tibetan authorities." They were detained by the government for five months, and forced to live in tents in sub-zero conditions and to subsist on meagre rations. Five men of the expedition died during this time. In March 1928 they were allowed to leave Tibet, and trekked south to settle in India, where they founded a research center, the Himalayan Research Institute.

In 1929 Roerich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the University of Paris.[14] He received two more nominations in 1932 and 1935.[15] His concern for peace resulted in his creation of the Pax Cultura, the "Red Cross" of art and culture. His work for this cause also resulted in the United States and the twenty other nations of the Pan-American Union signing the Roerich Pact, an early international instrument protecting cultural property, on April 15, 1935 at the White House.

Manchurian expedition

In 1934–1935, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then headed by Roerich admirer Henry A. Wallace, sponsored an expedition by Roerich and USDA scientists H. G. MacMillan and James F. Stephens to Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, and China. The expedition's purpose was to collect seeds of plants which prevented soil erosion.

The expedition consisted of two parts. In 1934, they explored the Greater Khingan mountains and Bargan plateau in western Manchuria. In 1935, they explored parts of Inner Mongolia: the Gobi Desert, Ordos Desert, and Helan Mountains. The expedition found almost 300 species of xerophytes, collected herbs, conducted archeological studies, and found antique manuscripts of great scientific importance.

Later life and World War II

Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Nicholas Roerich, and Mohammad Yunus. (Roerich's estate, Kullu).

Roerich was in India during the Second World War, where he painted Russian epic heroic and saintly themes, including Alexander Nevsky, The Fight of Mstislav and Rededia, and Boris and Gleb.[16]

In 1942, Roerich received Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, at his house in Kullu.[citation needed] Together they discussed the fate of the new world: "We spoke about Indian–Russian cultural association [...] it is time to think about useful and creative cooperation".[17]

Gandhi would later recall several days spent together with Roerich's family: "That was a memorable visit to a surprising and gifted family where each member was a remarkable figure in himself, with a well-defined range of interests. ... Roerich himself stays in my memory. He was a man with extensive knowledge and enormous experience, a man with a big heart, deeply influenced by all that he observed".

During the visit, "ideas and thoughts about closer cooperation between India and USSR were expressed. Now, after India wins independence, they have got its own real implementation[clarification needed]. And as you know, there are friendly and mutually-understanding relationships today between both our countries".[18]

In 1942, the American–Russian cultural Association (ARCA) was created in New York. Its active participants were Ernest Hemingway, Rockwell Kent, Charlie Chaplin, Emil Cooper, Serge Koussevitzky, and Valeriy Ivanovich Tereshchenko. The Association's activity was welcomed by scientists such as Robert Millikan and Arthur Compton.[19]

Roerich died on December 13, 1947.

Cultural legacy

Altai. Peaks and passes named in honor of the Roerich family.

The minor planet 4426 Roerich in Solar System

In the 21st century, the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City is a major institution for Roerich's artistic work. Numerous Roerich societies continue to promote his theosophical teachings worldwide. His paintings can be seen in several museums including the Roerich Department of the State Museum of Oriental Arts in Moscow; the Roerich Museum at the International Centre of the Roerichs in Moscow; the Russian State Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia; a collection in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow; a collection in the Art Museum in Novosibirsk, Russia; an important collection in the National Gallery for Foreign Art in Sofia, Bulgaria; a collection in the Art Museum in Nizhny Novgorod Russia; National Museum of Serbia; the Roerich Hall Estate in Naggar, India; the Sree Chitra Art Gallery, Thiruvananthapuram, India;[20] in various art museums in India; and a selection featuring several of his larger works in The Latvian National Museum of Art.

Roerich's biography and his controversial expeditions to Tibet and Manchuria have been examined recently by a number of authors, including two Russians, Vladimir Rosov and Alexandre Andreyev, American (Andrei Znamenski), and the German Ernst von Waldenfels.[21]

H.P. Lovecraft refers numerous times to the "strange and disturbing paintings of Nicholas Roerich" in his Antarctic horror story At the Mountains of Madness.

Roerich was awarded Order of St. Sava.[22][23] The minor planet 4426 Roerich in the Solar System was named in honor of Roerich.

In June 2013 during Russian Art Week in London, Roerich's Madonna Laboris sold at auction at Bonhams shop for £7,881,250, including the buyer's premium, making it the most valuable painting ever sold at a Russian art auction.[24]


And We Are Opening the Gates, from the "Sancta" Series

And We Are Trying, from the "Sancta" Series

Treasure of angels

And We See, from the "Sancta" Series

Monhegan, Maine

The Messenger

Major works

1. Art and archaeology // Art and art industry. SPb., 1898. No. 3; 1899. No. 4-5.
2. Some ancient Shelonsky fifths and Bezhetsky end. SPb., 31 pages, drawings of the author, 1899.
3. Excursion of the Archaeological Institute in 1899 in connection with the question of the Finnish burials of St. Petersburg province. SPb., 14 p., 1900.
4. Some ancient stains Derevsky and Bezhetsk. SPb., 30 p., 1903.
5. In the old days, St. Petersburg., 1904,18 p., drawings of the author.
6. Stone age on lake piros., SPb., ed. "Russian archaeological society", 1905.
7. Collected works. kN. 1. M.: publishing house of I. D. Sytin, p. 335, 1914.
8. Tales and parables. Pg.: Free art, 1916.
9. Violators of Art. London, 1919.
10. The Flowers Of Moria. . Berlin: Word, 128 p., Collection of poems. 1921.
11. Adamant. New York: Corona Mundi, 1922
12. Ways Of Blessing. New York, Paris, Riga, Harbin: Alatas, 1924
13. Altai - Himalayas. (Thoughts on a horse and in a tent) 1923-1926. Ulan Bator Khoto, 1927.
14. heart of Asia. Southbury (St. Connecticut): Alatas, 1929.
15. Flame in Chalice. Series X, Book 1. Songs and Sagas Series. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1930.
16. Shambhala. New York: F. A. Stokes Co., 1930
17. Realm of Light. Series IX, Book II. Sayings of Eternity Series. New York: Roerich Museum Press, 1931.
18. The Power Of Light. Southbury: Alatas, New York, 1931.
19. Women. Address on the occasion of the opening of the Association of women, Riga, ed. About Roerich, 1931, 15 p., 1 reproduction.
20. The Fiery Stronghold. Paris: World League Of Culture, 1932.
21. banner of peace. Harbin, Alatyr, 1934.
22. Holy Watch. Harbin, Alatyr, 1934.
23. A gateway to the Future. Riga: Uguns, 1936.
24. Indestructible. Riga: Uguns, 1936.
25. Roerich Essays: One hundred essays. В 2 т. India, 1937.
26. Beautiful Unity. Bombey, 1946.
27. Himavat: Diary Leaveves. Allahabad: Kitabistan, 1946.
28. Himalayas — Adobe of Light. Bombey: Nalanda Publ, 1947.
29. Diary sheets. Vol. 1 (1934-1935). M: ICR, 1995.
30. Diary sheets. Vol. 2 (1936-1941). M: ICR, 1995.
31. Diary sheets. Vol. 3 (1942-1947). M: ICR, 1996.

See also

• Agni Yoga
• Banner of Peace
• George de Roerich
• Morya (Theosophy)
• Russian cosmism
• Roerichism


1. Nicholas Roerich: In Search of Shambala by Victoria Klimentieva, стр. 31
2. Nicholas Roerich Museum Archived October 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
3. Andrei Znamenski, Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, Quest Books (2011), p. 157
4. "Nicholas Roerich - Russian set designer". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
5. Nobel Prize Nomination Database
6. Julie Besonen, "Visions of a Forgotten Utopian", New York Times, April 6, 2014.
7. Jump up to:a b
8. Н. В. Сергеева. Древнерусская традиция в символизме Н.К. Рериха. М.: Международный Центр Рерихов, 2003. ISBN 5-86988-080-7. Page 87.
9. Bowlt, John E. (2008). Moscow and St. Petersburg 1900–1920: Art, Life and Culture. New York: The Vendome Press. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-86565-191-3.
10. Andreyev, Alexandre (2003). Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill. p. 294.
11. Andreyev, Alexandre (2003). Soviet Russia and Tibet: The Debacle of Secret Diplomacy, 1918-1930s. Brill. p. 295.
12. AVPRF, op. 04, op. 13, papka 87, d. 50117, 1. 13a. Krestinsky to Checherin, 2 January 1925
13. "Andrei Znamenski, "Nicholas Roerich Shambhala Warrior""..
14. "Roerich Nominated for Peace Award". New York Times. March 3, 1929. Retrieved February 3, 2009.
15. "Nomination Database - Peace". Retrieved June 14, 2016.
16. Peter Leek (2005). Russian Painting. Parkstone International. pp. 256–. ISBN 978-1-78042-975-5. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
17. N. Roerich. Diary Leaves. V. 3. – Moscow, International Centre of the Roerichs. – 1996. – p.39. ISBN 5-86988-056-4
18. Interview with Indira Gandhi / Roerich's Empire. (Derzhava Rerikhov) (in Russian). / Collected Articles. – Moscow, International Centre of the Roerichs, Master-Bank. – 2004. – p.65. ISBN 5-86988-148-X
19. Ruth Abrams Drayer (2005). Nicholas and Helena Roerich: The Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists and Peacemakers. Quest Books. pp. 330–. ISBN 978-0-8356-0843-5. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
20. "Dust throws a blanket over prized paintings"..
21. Nicholas Roerich: the Messenger of Zvenigorod (vol. 1: The Great Plan, vol. 2: The New Country) (2002–2004) [summary of the books in English at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 10, 2013. Retrieved August 9, 2012.]; Alexandre Andreyev, Gimalaiski mif i ego tvotry [Himalayan Myth and its Makers] (St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg University Press, 2004) [in Russian]; Andrei Znamenski, Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophesy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia (Quest Books, 2011) [see an excerpt from the book at]; Ernst von Waldenfels, Nicholas Roerich: Kunst, Macht und Okkultismus (Osburg, 2011)
22. Radulovic, Nemanja. "Rerihov pokret u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji". Godišnjak Katedre za srpsku književnost sa južnoslovenskim književnostima, XI, 2016.
23. "Vreme - Kultura i politika: Selidba trajne pozajmice". Retrieved July 11, 2019.
24. "Bonhams : Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (Russian, 1874-1947) Madonna Laboris". Retrieved June 14, 2016.

External links

• International Centre of the Roerichs
• International Roerich Memorial Trust (India)
• Nicholas Roerich Museum (New York)
• Estonian Roerich Society
• Roerich-movement on the Internet (in Russian)
• Paintings Gallery
• Nicholas Roerich Estate Museum in Izvara
• Roerich Family
• Find A Grave
• Catalogue of Nicholas Roerich`s works from the collection of Gorlovka Art Museum
• Nicholas Roerich Papers, J Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
• Nicholas Roerich Lexicon
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:29 pm

Nain Singh Rawat
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20

Nain Singh Rawat
Nain Singh Rawat on a 2004 stamp of India
Born: 21 October 1830, Milam Village
Died: 1 February 1882, Moradabad
Nationality: Indian
Occupation: Asian explorer

Nain Singh Rawat (21 October 1830 – 1 February 1882),[1][2] was one of the first of the late 19th century Indian explorers (pundits) who explored the Himalayas for the British. He hailed from the Johar Valley of Kumaon. He surveyed the trade route through Nepal to Tibet, determined for the first time the location[3] and altitude of Lhasa, and surveyed a large section of the Brahmaputra. He walked "1,580 miles, or 3,160,000 paces, each counted."[3]

Early life

Rai Bahadur Nain Singh Rawat was born to Lata Burha in 1830 in Milam village, a Bhotia village at the foot of the Milam glacier where the river Goriganga originates in the valley of Johar now on India-China border now in present day Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand state of India. The Rawats ruled over the Johar valley, during the reign of Chand dynasty in Kumaon; this was followed by the Gorkha rule. In 1816 the British defeated the Gorkhas but maintained a policy of non-interference and friendship towards the Johar Bhotias. The famous Bhotia explorers mostly belong to the village of Johar.

After leaving school, Nain Singh helped his father. He visited different centres in Tibet with him, learned the Tibetan language, customs and manners and became familiar with the Tibetan people. This knowledge of Tibetan language and local customs and protocol came in handy in Nain Singh's work as a "spy explorer". Due to the extreme cold conditions, Milam and other villages of the upper Johar valley are inhabited only for a few months from June to October. During this time the men used to visit Gya'nyima, Gartok and other markets in Western Tibet.

During his secret survey of Tibet, Nain Singh was the first non-Tibetan to visit many legendary areas of Tibet, including the Thok Jalung goldfields on 26 August 1867.[4] He would later say that Thok Jalung was the coldest place he had ever visited.[5]

Nain Singh was a cousin of Krishna Singh Rawat (1850-1921), also an explorer and cartographer, who was first to map the Ramgarh crater on a finer scale of (1 : 63,360).[6]


On 27 June 2004, an Indian postage stamp featuring Nain Singh[7] was issued commemorating his role in the Great Trigonometric Survey. In 2006, Shekhar Pathak and Uma Bhatt brought out a biography of Nain Singh with three of his diaries and the RGS articles about his travels in three volumes titled Asia ki Peeth Par published by Pahar, Naini Tal.

The Nain Singh Range of mountains south of Lake Pangong are named in Nain's honour.[8]

On 21 October 2017, Google celebrated Nain Singh Rawat's 187th birthday with a Google Doodle.[2]

See also

• Shauka - Johar
• Krishna Singh Rawat
• Mani Singh Rawat
• Cartography of India


1. The dates are tentative. The date of birth is based on the Google Doodle. The date of death is based on an obituary letter where Col. Edmund Smyth notes in April 1882 that Nain Singh died of Cholera at Moradabad around the "1st of February last". He mentions an obituary in "the Times" dated 15 March.
2. "Nain Singh Rawat's 187th birthday". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
3. Wade., Davis (2012). Into the Silence : The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. New York: Vintage Books. p. 49. ISBN 9780375708152. OCLC 773021726. The pundit Nain Singh, the first surveyor to fix the location of the Tibetan capital, traveled on foot from Sikkim to Lhasa and then all over central Tibet, walking 1,580 miles, or 3,160,000 paces, each counted.
4. "Nain Singh Rawat's 187th birthday". Google. Alphabet. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
5. Hopkirk, p. 39.
6. BALASUNDARAM, M., DUBE, A. Ramgarh, 1973, "Structure, India", Nature (journal), 242, 40 doi:10.1038/242040a0.
7. Trigonometrical Survey.
8. Waller, p. 121.


• Montgomerie, T. G. (1868a). "Report of a Route-Survey Made by Pundit, from Nepal to Lhasa, and Thence Through the Upper Valley of the Brahmaputra to Its Source". The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 38: 129–219. doi:10.2307/1798572. JSTOR 1798572.
• Montgomerie, T. G. (1868b). "Report of the Trans-Himalayan Explorations during 1867". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 13 (3): 183–198. doi:10.2307/1798932. JSTOR 1798932.
• Montgomerie, T. G. (1869). "Report of the Trans-Himalayan Explorations during 1867". The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 39: 146–187. doi:10.2307/1798550. JSTOR 1798550.
• Trotter, H. (1876). "Account of the Pundit's Journey in Great Tibet from Leh in Ladákh to Lhása, and of His Return to India viâ Assam". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 21 (4): 325–350. doi:10.2307/1799962. JSTOR 1799962.
• "Presentation of the Royal and Other Awards". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 21 (5): 397–403. 1876. JSTOR 1799720.
• Smyth, Edmund (1882). "Obituary: The Pundit Nain Singh". Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography. 4 (5): 315–317. JSTOR 1800228.
• Mason, Kenneth (1923). "Kishen Singh and the Indian Explorers". The Geographical Journal. 62 (6): 429–440. doi:10.2307/1781169. JSTOR 1781169.
• Waller, D. (2015) The Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia, University Press of Kentucky: Lexington, Kentucky. ISBN 9780813149042.

External links

• A Nain Singh anecdote
• Chapter from The Pundits: British exploration of Tibet and Central Asia by Derek Waller
• Nain Singh Rawat – The Indian explorer who explored the Himalayas


Explorer, Path Breaker, Spy: 16 Things About the Legendary Nain Singh Rawat
Born in 1830 in Milam, a village nestled in the valleys of the Kumaon Hills, the man’s ‘spy’ expedition proved to be a game changer in a time when the exploration game was a clear monopoly of the Europeans.
by Lekshmi Priya S
The Better India
October 21, 2017

The Google Doodle by Hari and Deepti Panicker. Source: Google.

Today’s Google Doodle features Nain Singh Rawat, celebrating the 187th birth anniversary of the fearsome Indian explorer who surveyed the vast unexplored expanses of Tibet in the late 19th century.

But did you know that the man was the first person in the world to do that, besides determining the exact location and altitude of Lhasa, mapping the Tsangpo, and finally, bringing the fabled gold mines of Thok Jalung to world’s notice?

Born in 1830 in Milam, a village nestled in the valleys of the Kumaon Hills, the man’s ‘spy’ expedition proved to be a game changer in a time when the exploration game was a clear monopoly of the Europeans.

Here’s everything you need to know about the legendary explorer whose name continues to elicit nothing less of than admiration in the wide circles of exploration:

1. Rai Bahadur Nain Singh Rawat was born in a Shauka village located in the valley of Johar in Kumaon Hills, which is famous for being the home of Bhotia explorers from the British Era.

2. After leaving school, Nain Singh helped his father and visited different centres in Tibet with him. In the process, not only did he learn the Tibetan language, but also comprehended the customs and mannerisms practised by the local people, which would prove to be extremely beneficial in years to follow.

3. In 1855, a 25-year-old Nain Singh was first recruited by German geographers, the Schlagintweit brothers. The German scientists had approached the office of the Survey of India, which reluctantly allowed them to proceed with their survey.

4. Following which, along with three members of his family, Nain Singh set afoot on his first exploration trip between 1855 and 1857 and travelled to Lakes Manasarovar and Rakas Tal and then further to Gartok and Ladakh.

5. After the exploration with the German brothers, Nain Singh Rawat joined the Education Department and was appointed as the headmaster of a government vernacular school in his village at Milam from 1858 to 1863.

6. In 1863, Nain Singh Rawat and his cousin, Mani Singh Rawat, were selected and sent to the Great Trigonometrical Survey office in Dehradun where they underwent training for two years. This included training on the use of scientific instruments and ingenious ways of measuring and recording and the art of disguise.

The legendary explorer, Nain Singh Rawat. Source: History Nuggets.

7. Being exceptionally intelligent, Nain Singh Rawat quickly learned the correct use of scientific instruments like the sextant and compass and could easily recognise all major stars and different constellations easily.

8. Part of the secret ‘spy’ exploration mission, he had donned the guise of a Tibetan Monk and walked from his home region of Kumaon to places as far as Kathmandu, Lhasa, and Tawang. He was trained to maintain a precisely measured pace, which included covering one mile in 2000 steps, and measuring those steps using a modified Buddhist rosary or mala.

9. Several other ingenious methods were devised, where the notes of measurements were coded in the form of written prayers, and these scrolls of paper were hidden in the cylinder of the prayer wheel to escape notice during the secret missions.

10. Collecting intelligence under the most testing conditions, he travelled closely with the local population in caravans and thus followed some of the most fascinating accounts in the history of exploration, which led Nain Singh to map the vast expanses of Tibet and its river systems.

11. In 1865, Nain Singh left the Trigonometrical Survey and head out for Nepal with Mani Singh. While Mani returned to India soon, Nain went on to explore Tashilhunpo, where he met the Panchen Lama, and later Lhasa, where he met the Dalai Lama.

12. During his stay in Lhasa, his true identity was discovered by two Kashmiri Muslim merchants. Interestingly, they did not report him to the authorities and on the contrary, lent him a small sum of money against the pledge of his watch.

On 27 June 2004, an Indian postage stamp featuring Nain Singh was issued commemorating his role in the Great Trigonometric Survey. Source: EUttarakhand.

13. On his second voyage, in 1867, Singh explored western Tibet and stumbled across the fabled gold mines of Thok Jalung. He was also blown away by the humility of the workers, who only dug for gold near the surface, as they believed that digging deeper was a crime against the Earth and would deprive it of its fertility.

14. His last and greatest journey was completed between the years 1873 and 1875, where he travelled from Leh in Kashmir to Lhasa, by a route more northerly than the one along the Tsangpo that he had taken on his first journey.

15. In recognition of his stupendous feats of exploration, Nain Singh was presented with an inscribed gold chronometer by the Royal Geographic Society (RGS) in 1868. According to Colonel Henry Yule, “his explorations had added a larger amount of important knowledge to the map of Asia than any other living man”.

16. Nain Singh was also conferred with the award of the Victoria or Patron’s Medal of the RGS in 1877 along with an inscribed watch by the Society of Geographers of Paris. In recognition of his fabulous achievements, the erstwhile government of India honoured the man with a land-grant of two villages.

Work in Progress. Source: Google.

The doodle art is a silhouette diorama illustration by paper cut artists Hari and Deepti Panicker, portraying Nain Singh Rawat as he might have looked on his travels — solitary and courageous, looking back over the distances he had walked, rosary beads in hand, and staff by his side.


Krishna Singh Rawat [Kishen Singh] [Kishan Singh Milamwal] [Rai Bahadur]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20


Krishna Singh Rawat, also known as Kishen Singh, Kishan Singh Milamwal and titled as Rai Bahadur, (1850-1921) was an Indian explorer and cartographer, was styled as a pundit - a title used by the British for the native surveyors who worked for the "Survey of India".[1][2][3]

Early Life

He was born to a trader named Deb Singh Rawat. He was born at Milam village on India-China border now in present day Pithoragarh district. His elder brother was Mani Singh Rawat. His cousin Nain Singh Rawat was his also an explorer.[4][5] [6]

Education (1862-1867)

He simultaneous studied and worked as assistant at "Garbyang government school" in Dharchula area and progressed to later obtain the "Tehsil Mudarisi" diploma from "Normal School" at Almora. He taught at "Milam Girl’s School" and "Garbyang government school".[7][5][6]

Explorer (1867-1885)

He was hired and trained by the Geological Survey of India's Dehradun office, after which he participated in Great Trigonometrical Survey, and later even became a trainer for the survey. James Walker (Surveyor General) took him and his cousin Kishan Singh Rawat on expeditions of Tibet and Central Asia. He was part of the several important expeditions listed below.[8][9][1][10]

1. • 1869 Kailash-Mansarovar expedition.
2. • 1871-1872 Shigache–Lhasa expedition.
3. • 1873-1874 Yarkand–Kashgar expedition, second expedition of this area by Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth.
4. • 1878-1882 Darjeeling–Lhasa–Mongolia expedition, stayed in Lahsa for a year masquerading as a merchant, surveyed Mekong, Salween, and Irrawaddy rivers.

He was also the first person to map the Ramgarh crater on a finer scale of (1 : 63,360).[11]

Retirement and Death (1885-1921)

He retired in 1885. In 1913 he became a guardian patron of "Johar Upkarini Mahasabha" grassroot development co-operative society of Johar valley. He passed away in February 1921.[2][3]

Retirement and Honors

He received the following:[1][2][3]

1. Royal Geographic Society, honored him with an inscribed gold watch and 500 Indian rupees.
2. Paris Geographical Society, a gold medal.
3. Italian Geographic Society, a gold medal.
4. British government of India, title of Rai Bahadur.
5. British government of India: with a grant of jagir by British in Sitapur district of present day Uttar Pradesh with annual revenue of INR1850.

See also

• Garhwali people
• Kumauni people
• Shauka - Johar
• List of explorers
• Cartography of India



1. Derek J. Waller, 2004, "The Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia," University Press of Kentucky.
2. Dr. Sher Singh Pangtey, 1992, "Madhya Himalaya Ki Bhotia Janjaati (Bhotia Tribe of the Central Himalayas)".
3. Indra Singh Rawat, 1973, "Indian Explorers of the 19th Century".
4. Kenneth Mason, 1923, "Kishen Singh and the Indian Explorers", The Geographical Journal, Vol. LXII-July to December.
5. Babu Ram Singh Pangtey, 1980, "Johar Ka Itihaas (History of Johar)".
6. Peter Hopkirk, 1982, "Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa", Oxford University Press.
7. Kenneth Mason, 1923, "Kishen Singh and the Indian Explorers", The Geographical Journal, Vol. LXII-July to December.
8. Clements R. Markham, 1878, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys", 2nd Ed., W H Allen & Co., London, p.189.
9. Charles E. D. Black, 1891, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys (1875-90)" , London , p.168.
10. Account of the Pundit's Journey in Great Tibet - Capt. H. Trotter, The Journal of the Royal Geographic Society (1877).
11. BALASUNDARAM, M., DUBE, A. Ramgarh, 1973, "Structure, India", Nature (journal), 242, 40doi:10.1038/242040a0.

External links

• Discoverers Web description of this explorer's activities.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:57 pm

Geological Survey of India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20

Geological Survey of India
Central Headquarters. 27 JN Road, Kolkata.
Agency overview
Formed 1851
Jurisdiction British India (1851-1947)
Republic of India (From 1947)
Headquarters Kolkata
Agency executive
Shri. Mondreti Sridhar, C.G.S., ADG (G) Director General Additional Charge
Parent department Ministry of Mines

The Geological Survey of India (GSI), founded in 1851, is a Government of India Ministry of Mines organisation, one of the oldest of such organisations in the world and the second oldest survey in India after Survey of India (founded in 1767), for conducting geological surveys and studies of India, and also as the prime provider of basic earth science information to government, industry and general public, as well as the official participant in steel, coal, metals, cement, power industries and international geoscientific forums.

GSI (geology) as well as ASI (archaeology), BSI (botany), FiSI (fisheries), FSI (forests), IIEE (ecology), NIO (oceanography), RGCCI (population survey) and language survey), SI (cartography), and ZSI (zoology) are key national survey organisations of India.


The GSI in 1870. Standing: Ferdinand Stoliczka, Robert Bruce Foote, William Theobald, F. R. Mallet, Valentine Ball, Wilhelm Heinrich Waagen, W. L. Willson; Sitting: A. Tween, W. King, Thomas Oldham, Henry Benedict Medlicott, C. A. Hackett.

British colonised India for the systematic financial exploitation of resources,[1] leading to India's deindustrialization and Britain's Industrial Revolution,[2][3][4] by using India as both a significant supplier of raw goods to British manufacturers and a large captive market for British manufactured goods (see Economy of India under the British Raj).[5] Formed in 1851 by East India Company, its roots can be traced to 1836 when the "Coal Committee", followed by more such committees, was formed to study and explore availability of coals in the eastern parts of India.[6][7] David Hiram Williams, one of the first surveyors for the British Geological Survey, was appointed 'Surveyor of coal districts and superintendent of coal works, Bengal' on 3 December 1845 and arrived in India the following February.[6][7] The phrase "Geological Survey of India" was first used on his Dec 1847 map of the Damoodah and Adji Great Coal Field,[8] together with Horizontal[9][10] and Vertical sections of the map.[11] On 4 February 1848, he was appointed the "Geological Surveyor of the Geological Survey of India", but he fell off his elephant and, soon after, died with his assistant, F. B. Jones, of 'jungle fever' on 15 November 1848,[12] after which John McClelland took over as the "Officiating Surveyor" until his retirement on 5 March 1851.[6][7]

Until 1852, Geological Survey primarily remained focused on exploration for coal, mainly for powering steam transport, oil reserves, and ore deposits, when Sir Thomas Oldham, father of Richard Dixon Oldham, broadened the ambit of the scope of functioning of the Geological Survey of India by advancing the argument with the government that it was not possible to find coal without first mapping the geology of India. Thus, the Geological Survey commenced to map the rock types, geological structures and relative ages of different rock types. The age of rock strata was estimated from the presence of index fossils, which consumed much of the geologists' efforts in finding these index fossils, as the method of Radiometric dating for estimating the age of rock strata was not developed at that time.[6][7] In 1869 Frederick Richard Mallet was first to visit Ramgarh crater.[13][14] Later studies include by those of Arthur Lennox Coulson

In 19th century GSI undertook several surveys including Great Trigonometrical Survey, 1869 Kailash-Mansarovar expedition, 1871-1872 Shigache–Lhasa expedition, 1873-1874 Yarkand–Kashgar expedition, second expedition of this area by Sir Thomas Douglas Forsyth, 1878-1882 Darjeeling–Lhasa–Mongolia expedition, etc.[15][16][17][18] The native surveyors were called pandit, some notable ones include cousins Nain Singh Rawat and Krishna Singh Rawat.[19][17][18]

In 19th and early 20th century GSI made important contributions to Seismology by its studies and detailed reports on numerous Indian earthquakes. Richard Dixon Oldham, like his father also worked for GSI, first correctly identified p- and s-waves, and hypothesised and calculated the diameter of the Earth's core.[6][7]

On 8 April 2017 GSI began pilot project, with the first ever aerial survey of mineral stocks by GSI, to map the mineral stocks up to a depth of 20 km using specially-equipped aircraft.[20]

The GSI was restructured into 5 Missions, respectively relating to "Baseline Surveys";"Mineral resource Assessments";"Geoinformatics";"Multi-disciplinary Geosciences"; and "Training and Capacity Building", on the basis of the Report of a High-level Committee chaired by Mr S.Vijay Kumar[21] Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Mines of the Government of India.

Chief of GSI

Template:Dinesh gupta

The Superintendent and The Directors of GSI

Sr. No. / Name / Period / Country

1. Dr. Thomas Oldham, The Superintendent 1851–1876 Dublin, Republic of Ireland
2. H. B. Medlicott, The Superintendent 1876–1885 Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland
3. H. B. Medlicott, The Director 1885–1887 Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland
4. William King Jr. 1887–1894 Ireland; an Anglo-Irish
5. C.L.Griesbach 1894–1903 Vienna, Austria
6. Sir T. H. Holland 1903–1910 Helston, Cornwall, England
7. Sir Henry. H. Hayden 1910–1921 Derry, Ireland
8. Sir Edwin Hall Pascoe 1921–1932 England
9. Sir L.L. Fermor 1932–1935 Peckham, south London, England
10. Dr. A. M. Heron 1935–1939 British, Duddingston, Edinburgh, Scotland
11. Dr. Cyril S. Fox 1939–1943 -
12. Dr. Edward Leslie Gilbert Clegg 1943–1944 Manchester, England
13. H. Crookshank 1944–1945 -
14. J.A. Dunn 1945 -
15. Dr. William Dixon West 1945–1951 Bournemouth, England
16. Dr. M. S. Krishnan, First Indian Director 1951–1955 Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
17. V. P. Sondhi 1955–1958 -
18. Dr. B. C. Roy 1958–1964 -

The Director General of GSI

Sr. No. / Name / Period / Stream

1. Dr. B. C. Roy 1964–1965 Geology
2. R. A. G. Jhingran 1965–1966 Geology
3. G. C. Chatterji 1966–1969 Geology
4. M. S. Balasundaram 1969–1972 Geology
5. Dr. M. K. Roychoudhury 1972–1974 Geology
6. C. Karunakaran 1974–1975 Geology
7. Dr. V. K. S. Vardan 1976–1977 Geology
8. V. S. Krishnaswamy 1978–1981 Geology
9. J. Swami Nath 1981–1982 Geology
10. S. K. Mukherjee 1982–1986 Geology
11. D. P. Dhoundial 1986–1990 Geology
12. Dr. D. K. Ray 1990–1991 Geology
13. C. P. Vohra 1991–1992 Geology
14. S. N. Chaturvedi 1992–1993 Geology
15. D. B. Dimri 1993–1996 Geology
16. Dr. S. K. Acharya 1996–2000 Geology
17. K. Krishnanunni 2000–2001 Geology
18. Ravi Shankar (Acting) 01.04.2001–30.11.2001 Geology
19. P. C. Mondal 2001–2004 Chemistry
20. Dr. K. N. Mathur 2004–2005 Chemistry
21. Dr. M. K. Mukhopadhyay (Acting) 01.10.2005–31.12.2005 Geology
22. P. M. Tejale 2006–2009 Instrumentation
23. Dr. N. K. Dutta (Acting) 2009–2010 Geology
24. Jaswant Singh (Acting) 2010–2011 Engineering
25. A. Sundaramoorthy 2011–2013 Geology
26. Sisir Chandra Rath (Acting) 01.11.2013–31.12.2013 Geology
27. Dr. Sudesh Kumar Wadhawan (Acting) 01.01.2014–31.07.2014 Geology
28. Harbans Singh 31.07.2014–30.05.2016 Geology
29. M. Raju (Acting) 01.06.2016–30.08.2017 Geology
30. M. Raju 30.08.2017–31.08.2017 Geology
31. N. Kutumba Rao 01.09.2017–31.05.2018 Geology
32. Dr. Dinesh Gupta (Acting) 01.06.2018–31.03.2019 Geophysics
33. Bipul Pathak (Acting) 01.04.2019–17.09.2019 IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, GoI
33. S.N. Meshram (Acting) 18.09.2019–27.01.2020 Geology
33. Mondreti Sridhar (Acting) 28.01.2020–Till date Geology

Geological parks

Some of the geological parks include Tiruvakkarai National Fossil Wood Park national geo-heritage site with wood fossils scattered over 247 acres nine separate enclaves, Sathanur National Fossil Wood Park national geo-heritage site with an 18-meter 120 million years old fossilised tree trunk from the Cretaceous period, Nehru Zoological Park at Hyderabad with life size figures of T-Rex and other dinosaurs, and Saketi Fossil Park near Chandigarh with a fossil museum and life size fiberglass models of six pre-historic animals.

See also

• Geography of Asia
• Outline of geography
• List of National Geological Monuments in India


1. Rajat Kanta Ray (1998). "Indian Society and the Establishment of British Supremacy, 1765–1818". In P. J. Marshall (ed.). The Oxford History of the British Empire. Volume II: The Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 508–29. ISBN 978-0-19-164735-2.
2. Junie T. Tong (2016). Finance and Society in 21st Century China: Chinese Culture Versus Western Markets. CRC Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-317-13522-7.
3. John L. Esposito, ed. (2004). The Islamic World: Past and Present. Volume 1: Abba - Hist. Oxford University Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-19-516520-3.
4. Indrajit Ray (2011). Bengal Industries and the British Industrial Revolution (1757-1857). Routledge. pp. 7–10. ISBN 978-1-136-82552-1.
5. Henry Yule, A. C. Burnell (2013). Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India. Oxford University Press. p. 20.
6. Kumar, Deepak (1982). "Economic Compulsions and the Geological Survey of India". Indian Journal of History of Science. 17 (2): 289–300.
7. Chakrabarty, S (2012). "Geological Survey of India". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
8. Damoodah and Adji Great Coal Field Map, Bavarian State Library.
9. GSI Map of horizontal sections 1 & 2, Bavarian State Library.
10. GSI Map of horizontal sections 3 & 4, Bavarian State Library.
11. GSI Map of vertical section 5, Bavarian State Library.
12. Allen's Indian Mail, Vol VII, No 117 London, 22 January 1849, p41.
13. Mallet, F. R., 1869, Memoir, Geological Survey of India, vol 7, page 129.
14. BALASUNDARAM, M., DUBE, A. Ramgarh, 1973, "Structure, India", Nature (journal), 242, 40doi:10.1038/242040a0.
15. Clements R. Markham, 1878, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys", 2nd Ed., W H Allen & Co., London, p.189.
16. Charles E. D. Black, 1891, "A Memoir on The Indian Surveys (1875-90)" , London , p.168.
17. Derek J. Waller, 2004, "The Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia," University Press of Kentucky.
18. Account of the Pundit's Journey in Great Tibet - Capt. H. Trotter, The Journal of the Royal Geographic Society (1877).
19. Peter Hopkirk, 1982, "Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa", Oxford University Press.
20. "In a first in India, GSI to use modern aircraft to map mineral stocks". The Financial Express. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
21. ... Itemid=181

External links

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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Royal Geographical Society
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/4/20


The Government of India had considerable power to control the flow of information from Tibet into the public sphere. We have seen how they exercised control over access to Tibet, favouring travellers of similar background and outlook to their officials, on the assumption that their discretion could then be relied upon. Following McGovern's journey to Lhasa, government tightened this informal process by adding a further rule to the frontier pass visitors had to sign. Travellers had to agree

not to publish, without the previous consent of the Government of India, any statement, whether in the press or otherwise, regarding his visit to Tibet or based on material obtained during the visit. [11]

When 'knowledge' was released by government, organisations such as the Royal Geographical Society (hereafter referred to as the RGS), and the London Times, functioned unofficially as imperial support structures, by adding a further level of censorship. These bodies acted in close association with the Government of India, in return for which their leaders could expect to be given privileged access to information, events and places. Government even gave direct 'subsidies' to the Reuters news agency in India.[12]

Arthur Hinks, the long-serving Secretary of the RGS, had close links with many of the Tibet cadre, and played an important role in this process; we have noted how he assisted Bailey's attack on McGovern's reputation. Hinks censored information both before, and after, it was officially censored. When F. Spencer Chapman submitted a paper to the RGS, Hinks forwarded it to the India Office for censorship after 'cutting out a number of things which I am sure you would not like'. There was, he hoped, 'nothing left to which objection could be taken'. When the India Office made further changes, Hinks agreed these were 'very properly removed'.[13]

Government maintained a close relationship with these knowledge-disseminating bodies because articles they published carried great authority, and formed part of the body of 'dominant knowledge'. Although the intended audience for the reception of knowledge produced by the cadre was never clearly specified, it certainly included the sort of audience which would read the Times, and join the RGS. The information they published was understood by its readers to be 'true', because it was based on empirical evidence, and written by persons of similar outlook and class. It represented the 'official' knowledge of their readers' society.

-- Tibet and the British Raj, 1904-47: The Influence of the Indian Political Department Officers, by Alexander McKay

A representation of the historical emblem of the Royal Geographical Society

Royal Geographical Society
Abbreviation: RGS-IBG
Formation 1830; 190 years ago
Type: Learned society
Headquarters: 1 Kensington Gore, London
Membership: 16,500
President: Baroness Chalker of Wallasey
Director: Professor Joe Smith
Patron: The Princess Royal

The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is the United Kingdom's learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences. Today, it is the leading centre for geographers and geographical learning. The Society has over 16,500 members and its work reaches millions of people each year through publications, research groups and lectures.


Lowther Lodge, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) headquarters, designed by Richard Norman Shaw

The Society was founded in 1830 under the name Geographical Society of London as an institution to promote the 'advancement of geographical science'.[1] It later absorbed the older African Association, which had been founded by Sir Joseph Banks in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club and the Palestine Association.[citation needed]

Like many learned societies, it had started as a dining club in London, where select members held informal dinner debates on current scientific issues and ideas.[citation needed]

Founding members of the Society included Sir John Barrow, Sir John Franklin and Sir Francis Beaufort. Under the patronage of King William IV it later became known as The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) and was granted its Royal Charter under Queen Victoria in 1859.[1]

From 1830 to 1840 the RGS met in the rooms of the Horticultural Society in Regent Street, London and from 1854 -1870 at 15 Whitehall Place, London. In 1870, the Society finally found a home when it moved to 1 Savile Row, London – an address that quickly became associated with adventure and travel.[citation needed]

The Society also used a lecture theatre in Burlington Gardens, London which was lent to it by the Civil Service Commission. However, the arrangements were thought to be rather cramped and squalid.[citation needed]

The Society has been a key associate and supporter of many famous explorers and expeditions, including those of:

• Charles Darwin
• James Hingston Tuckey
• David Livingstone
• William Ogilvie
• Robert Falcon Scott
• Richard Francis Burton
• John Hanning Speke
• George W. Hayward
• Percy Fawcett
• Henry Morton Stanley
• Ernest Shackleton
• Sir Edmund Hillary
• Alfred Russel Wallace

A new impetus was given to the Society's affairs in 1911, with the election of Earl Curzon, the former Viceroy of India, as the Society's President (1911–1914). The premises in Savile Row were sold and the present site, Lowther Lodge in Kensington Gore, was purchased for £100,000[2] and opened for use in April 1913. In the same year the Society's ban on women was lifted.[citation needed]

Lowther Lodge was built in 1874 for the William Lowther by Norman Shaw, one of the most outstanding domestic architects of his day. Extensions to the east wing were added in 1929, and included the New Map Room and the 750 seat Lecture Theatre. The extension was formally opened by the Duke of York (later King George VI) at the Centenary Celebrations on 21 October 1930.

The history of the Society was closely allied for many of its earlier years with 'colonial' exploration in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the polar regions, and central Asia especially.[citation needed]

It has been a key associate and supporter of many notable explorers and expeditions, including those of Darwin, Livingstone, Stanley, Scott, Shackleton, Hunt and Hillary.[citation needed]

The early history of the Society is inter-linked with the history of British Geography, exploration and discovery. Information, maps, charts and knowledge gathered on expeditions was sent to the RGS, making up its now unique geographical collections. The Society published its first journal in 1831 and from 1855, accounts of meetings and other matters were published in the Society Proceedings. In 1893, this was replaced by The Geographical Journal which is still published today.[citation needed]

The Society was also pivotal in establishing Geography as a teaching and research discipline in British universities, and funded the first Geography positions in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.[citation needed]

2012 Poster for exhibition in the glass Pavilion on centenary of Scott's final expedition to the South Pole

With the advent of a more systematic study of geography, the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) was formed in 1933, by some academic Society fellows, including Andrew Charles O'Dell[3], as a sister body to the Society. Its activities included organising conferences, field trips, seminars and specialist research groups and publishing the journal, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. The RGS and IBG co-existed for 60 years until 1992 when a merger was discussed. In 1994, members were balloted and the merger agreed. In January 1995, the new Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) was formed.[1]

The Society also works together with other existing bodies serving the geographical community, in particular the Geographical Association and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.[citation needed]

In 2004, The Society's historical Collections relating to scientific exploration and research, which are of national and international importance, were opened to the public for the first time. In the same year, a new category of membership was introduced to widen access for people with a general interest in geography. The new Foyle Reading Room and glass Pavilion exhibition space were also opened to the public in 2004 – unlocking the Society intellectually, visually and physically for the 21st century. For example, in 2012 the RGS held an exhibition, in the glass Pavilion, of photographs taken by Herbert Ponting on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's expedition to the South Pole in 1912.[4]



The society is governed by its board of trustees called the council, which is chaired by its president. The members of council and the president are elected from its fellowship. The council consists of 36 members, 22 of which are elected by fellows and serve for a three-year term. In addition to the elected trustees, there are honorary members—who include the Duke of Kent as honorary president—who sit on the council.

The society has five specialist committees that it derives advice from the Education Committee, Research Committee, Expedition and Fieldwork Committee, Information Resources Committee, and the Finance Committee.

Past presidents

• The Viscount Goderich (1830–1833)
• Sir George Murray (1833–1835)
• Sir Roderick Murchison (1843–1845; 1851–1853; 1856–1859; 1862–1871)
• Sir Henry Rawlinson (1871–1873; 1874–1876)
• Sir Richard Strachey (1888-1889)
• Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff (1889-1893)
• Sir Clements Markham (1893–1905)
• Sir George Goldie (1905–1908)
• Leonard Darwin (1908–1911)
• The Earl Curzon of Kedleston (1911–1914)
• Douglas Freshfield (1914–1917)
• Sir Thomas Holdich (1917–1919)
• Francis Younghusband (1919–1922)
• The Earl Ronaldshay (1922–1925)
• David George Hogarth (1925–1927)
• Charles Close (1927–1930)
• Admiral Sir William Goodenough (1930-1933)
• Sir Percy Cox (1933-1936)
• Henry Balfour (1936-1938)
• Sir Philip Chetwode (1938-1941)
• Sir George Clerk (1941-1945)
• Lord Rennell (1945-1948)
• Sir Harry Lindsay (1948-1951)
• Sir James Wordie (1951–1954)
• Sir James Marshall-Cornwall (1954–1958)
• Lord Nathan (1958-1961)
• Raymond Priestley (1961–1963)
• Sir Dudley Stamp (1963–1966)
• Gilbert Laithwaite (1966-1969)
• Edmund Irving (1969-1971)
• The Lord Shackleton (1971–1974)
• Sir Duncan Cumming (1974-1977)
• Lord Hunt (1977-1980)
• Michael Wise (1980-1982)
• Sir Vivian Fuchs (1982-1984)
• Sir George Bishop (1984-1987)
• Lord Chorley (1987-1989)
• Sir Crispin Tickell (1989–1993)
• The Earl Jellicoe (1993–1997)
• The Earl Selborne (1997–2000)
• Ronald Cooke (2000-2003)
• Sir Neil Cossons (2003-2006)
• Gordon Conway (2006-2009)
• Sir Michael Palin (2009–2012)
• Dame Judith Rees (2012–2015)
• Nicholas Crane (2015–2018)
• Lynda Chalker (2018–present)


There are four categories of individual membership:

Ordinary membership

Anyone with an interest in geography is eligible to apply to become a member of the RGS-IBG.[5]

Young Geographer

People aged between 14 and 24 currently studying, a recent graduate of geography or a related subject.[6]

Postgraduate Fellow of the Society

This status is available by application to postgraduate students who are pursuing Geography or an allied subject at a UK university and are recommended by their relevant university head of department or main research supervisor.[7][8]


Fellows of the Society must either be proposed and seconded by an existing fellow or an individual may submit evidence of his or her own work and academic publications in the field of geography and closely related subjects such as international development and climate change. Applicants must be of at least 21 years of age and provide evidence of a body of relevant work; alternatively, a previous five-year commitment at the regular member level (less, at the council's discretion) is also considered for eligibility. Fellows may use the post-nominal designation FRGS after their names.[9]

Chartered geographer

Chartered geographer accreditation seal

Since 2002 the society has been granted the power to award the status of chartered geographer. The status of can be obtained only by those who have a degree in geography or related subject and at least 6 years' geographical experience, or 15 years' geographical work experience for those without a degree. Being awarded the status allows the use of the post-nominal letters "CGeog".

Chartered geographer (teacher) is a professional accreditation available to teachers who can demonstrate competence, experience and professionalism in the use of geographical knowledge or skills in and out of the classroom, and who are committed to maintaining their professional standards through ongoing continuing professional development (CPD).

Research groups

The Society's Research and Study Groups bring together active researchers and professional geographers in particular areas of geography. There are 27 active research groups, with each group organising their own seminars, conferences, workshops and other activities.[10]

Research groups

Biogeography Research Group / British Society for Geomorphology
Climate Change Research Group / Contract Research and Teaching Forum
Developing Areas Research Group / Economic geography Research Group
Geographical Information Science Research Group / Geography of Health Research Group
Geography of Leisure and Tourism Research Group / Higher Education Research Group
Historical Geography Research Group / History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group
Mountain Research Group / Participatory Geographies Working Group
Planning and Environment Research Group / Political geography Research Group
Population geography Research Group / Postgraduate Forum
The Post-Socialist Geographies Research Group / Quantitative Methods Research Group
Rural Geography Research Group / Social and Cultural Geography Research Group
Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group / Transport Geography Research Group
Urban geography Research Group / Women and Geography Research Group

Medals and awards

The society also presents many awards to geographers that have contributed to the advancement of geography.[11]

The most prestigious of these awards are the Gold Medals (Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838). The award is given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery", and are approved by Queen Elizabeth II. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". The Society decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into two gold medals: Founder’s Medal and the Patron’s. The award has been given to notable geographers including David Livingstone (1855), Nain Singh Rawat (1876),[12] Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen (1878), Alfred Russel Wallace (1892), and Frederick Courtney Selous (1893) to more recent winners including Percy Harrison Fawcett (1916), Professor William Morris Davis (1919), Sir Halford John Mackinder (1945), Professor L. Dudley Stamp (1949), Professor Richard Chorley (1987) and Professor David Harvey (1995). In 2004 Harish Kapadia was awarded the Patron's Medal for contributions to geographical discovery and mountaineering in the Himalayas, making him the second Indian to receive the award in its history. In 2005 the Founder's Medal was awarded to Professor Sir Nicholas Shackleton for his research in the field of Quaternary Palaeoclimatology and the Patron's Medal was awarded to Professor Jean Malaurie for a lifelong study of the Arctic and its people. In 1902 they awarded khan Bahadur Sher Jang a Sword of Honour (the Black Memorial) in recognition of his valuable services to geography

In total the society awards 17 medals and awards including Honorary Membership and Fellowships. Some of the other awards given by the Society include:

• The Victoria Medal (1902) for "conspicuous merit in research in Geography"
• The Murchison Award (1882) for the "publication judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding recent years"
• The Back Award (1882) for "applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy"
• The Busk Medal for "conservation research or for fieldwork abroad in Geography or in a geographical aspect of an allied science"
• The Cuthbert Peek Award (1883) for "those advancing geographical knowledge of human impact on the environment through the application of contemporary methods, including those of earth observation and mapping"
• The Edward Heath Award (1984) for "geographical research in either Europe or the developing world"
• The Cherry Kearton Medal and Award for "a traveller concerned with the study or practice of natural history, with a preference for those with an interest in nature photography, art or cinematography".[13]
• The Ness Award for "travellers, particularly those who have successfully popularised Geography and the wider understanding of our world and its environments"


The Society's Collections consist of over two million documents, maps, photographs, paintings, periodicals, artefacts and books, and span 500 years of geography, travel and exploration.[14] The Society preserves the Collections for the benefit of future generations, while providing public access and promoting Collections-related educational programmes for schools and lifelong learners. The Foyle Reading Room acts as a consultation space for using the Society's collections,[15] and hosts showcases and workshops as well as the Be Inspired series of talks.[16]


The artefacts collection includes over a thousand items brought to the Society, consisting mainly of cultural objects from around the world, ranging from Inuit boots (from Canadian Arctic) to ceremonial leopard's claws (from the then Belgian Congo), paraphernalia of exploration, for example oxygen sets used in the various attempts on Everest, and personal items belonging to explorers, such as Shackleton's Burberry helmet. Artefacts from the collection have been loaned to exhibitions around the world and are in continual demand.[17]

Books and journals

The library collection holds over 150,000 bound volumes which date primarily from the foundation of the Society in 1830 onwards, and focus on the history and geography of places worldwide. Example volumes include information on European migration, a 19th-century guidebook to Berlin, and David Livingstone's account of his search for the source of the Nile.[18] It currently receives around 800 journal titles, as well as many more journal titles that are either not currently subscribed to, or have ceased publication, allowing Society members access to the latest geographical academic literature in addition to the journals published by the RGS-IBG itself.[19]

Expedition report

The RGS-IBG houses a collection of 4,500 expedition reports. These documents contain details of the achievements and research results of expeditions to almost every country of the world. The catalogue of these reports, and over 8,500 planned and past expeditions, is held on a database which provides contact with a wide variety of sporting, scientific and youth expeditions from 1965 to the present day.[20]

Maps and atlases

The Society holds one of the largest private map collections in the world which is continuously increasing. It includes one million sheets of maps and charts, 3000 atlases, 40 globes and 1000 gazetteers. The earliest printed item in the Collection dates back to 1482. The RGS-IBG also holds manuscript materials from the mid sixteenth century onwards, aerial photography from 1919 and contemporary satellite images.[21]

Manuscript archive

The Manuscript archive collection consists of material arising out of the conduct of Society business and manuscripts relating to persons or subjects of special interest. The document collection includes a few papers from before the Society's foundation in 1830, and is particularly useful to biographers of nineteenth and early twentieth century travellers and geographers, as well as research into the development of geographical knowledge and the historical development of geography.[22]

Events recordings

Since 1994, the Society has recorded the majority of its Monday night lectures – Society members and Fellows can watch selected lectures from 2006 onwards online.[23]

Photographs and artworks

The Society's Picture Library holds over half a million photographs, artworks, negatives, lantern slides and albums dating from around 1830. Historic images range from the Antarctic adventures of Scott and Shackleton to the pioneering journeys of Livingstone, Baker, Speke and Burton.[24]


An important way in which the RGS-IBG develops new knowledge and advances geographical science is by providing funding for geographical research and scientific expeditions. The Society offers a number of grants to researchers, students, teachers and independent travellers. More than 70 projects are supported each year and in excess of £180,000 is awarded annually. Research has been conducted in more than 120 countries, from Namibia to Brazil to Greenland.[25]

Expeditions, fieldwork and independent travel grants

Every year the RGS-IBG helps teams of students and researchers to get into the field with Geographical Fieldwork Grants, the Society's longest running grant scheme. The newest initiative is the RGS-IBG International Field Centre Grants, for work in international field centres in developing nations. Independent travel grants support geographical expeditions.[26]

Student grants

Each year, the Society supports over 50 student fieldwork projects, from PhD students collecting data for their dissertation to groups of undergraduates looking to get out into the field for the first time. Grants are available for both human and physical geography projects, in any area of the world.[27]

Research grants

The Society supports a range of field and desk-based research by academic geographers, from established researchers undertaking fieldwork to early career academics working on smaller projects. The RGS-IBG also supports academics attending geographical conferences around the world. Some awards focus on particular geographical regions or topics, with others open to any aspect of the discipline.[28]

Teaching grants

The Society supports innovation in teaching geography at secondary and higher education level, offering several awards for school teachers to work alongside researchers in geographical research, so to develop educational resources for the classroom, and to create teaching materials.[29]


The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)'s scholarly publications provide an outlet and support for the dissemination of research across the breadth of the discipline. In 2012, three main journals alone were accessed online internationally over 1.3 million times.[citation needed]


Main article: Area (journal)

Area has an annual prize for new researchers.

Geo: Geography and Environment

A new open access journal to be launched this year.[when?][30]

Geographical Journal

Main article: The Geographical Journal

Focusing on public debates, policy-oriented agendas and notions of 'relevance'[clarification needed] the long-running GJ has international reach.

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Main article: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

One of the international journals of geographical research.

WIREs: Climate Change

Developed in association with the Royal Meteorological Society and Wiley-Blackwell, this review journal provides an important new encyclopaedic reference for climate change scholarship and research.

Public engagement

21st Century Challenges

21st Century Challenges is the Society's discussion series that aims to improve public understanding of, and engagement with, some of the big issues likely to affect our lives and society in the coming years. The talks are held at the Society's headquarters in South Kensington, London, with all talks available to watch online along with additional information. [31]

Discovering Britain

Discovering Britain[32] is a website featuring a series of self-led geographical walks that help explain the stories behind the UK's built and natural landscapes. Each walk explores a particular landscape, finding out about the way in which the forces of nature, people, events and the economy have created and shaped the area.[33] There are now more than 120 walks on the Discovering Britain website, covering all regions of the United Kingdom. Walks are themed according to the landscape in which they are located, including built, prehistoric, historic, working, hidden and changing landscapes. Walks also look at people in the landscape, and shaping, preserving and exploiting the landscape.[34]

Hidden Journeys

Hidden Journeys is a public engagement project of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) that started in 2010.[35] The Hidden Journeys website combines images, stories and maps (many from the Society's geographical collections) into a series of interactive guides of popular flight paths, enabling people to explore the incredible places they fly over and might see from the air. Since launching, online guides have been published for more than 25 flight paths, including London to Johannesburg, New York City to Los Angeles, Sydney to Singapore, Madrid to Rio de Janeiro.[36]

The Hidden Journeys project is also integrating its content with the moving maps aboard airliners, as a new form of in-flight entertainment (IFE) that has been termed geo-entertainment or geotainment.[37]

In December 2013, Singapore Airlines began a trial of an enhanced moving map that featured Hidden Journeys content.[38] Developed in partnership between Hidden Journeys and the IFE software company Airborne Interactive, the enhanced map is available for the Singapore-London route on the airline's brand new Boeing 777-300ER (flight number SQ308 and SQ319), and features a range of geographical facts and highlights, photography and maps, all curated by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Information is delivered in real time, with content changing as the flight progresses, so for example, while a passenger is passing over the United Kingdom, they'll be met with a pop-up that explains the origins and importance of the English Channel.[39]


The RGS-IBG education department offers courses, resources, accreditation, grants, awards, competitions and school membership, all for the benefit of teachers, students and parents. It also runs the Geography Ambassador scheme.

Educational resources

The Society produces cases studies, lesson plans and activity ideas for an all levels of learning, from KS1 up to post-GCSE.[40] The Geography in the News website is available for Schools Members and Young Geographers. It has more than 300 topical case studies.[41] Many of the Society's other resources are free to use.

Geography Ambassadors

The Geography Ambassadors scheme[42] recruits, trains and supports volunteer undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate geographers from universities and business. Geography Ambassadors deliver lively, activity-based sessions at schools and they engage with more than 30,000 pupils each year. The scheme is aimed at introducing students to the benefits of studying geography beyond a compulsory level in schools, but also into higher education and employment.


The Society also has competitions for students studying geography. The Young Geographer of the Year[43] has four categories for students in KS2 through to A-Level. All students have to produce posters on a given topic, except the A-Level students who are expected to write an essay. For A-Level students there is also the David W. Smith Memorial Award[44], an annual essay competition, and the Ron Cooke Award[45] for the best A-Level coursework.

Geographical magazine

Geographical is the official monthly magazine of the Society, and has been published continuously since 1935. The magazine contains illustrated articles on people, places, adventure, travel, and environmental issues, as well as summarising the latest academic research and discoveries in geography. Geographical also reports news of the Society's latest work and activities to members and the public.[46]

See also

• Hakluyt Society
• History of science
• List of British professional bodies
• List of Royal Societies
• Royal Institution
• Royal Scottish Geographical Society


1. "Royal Geographical Society – History". Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
2. "Albertopolis: Royal Geographical Society". Royal Institute of British Architects. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
3. "Andrew Charles O'Dell". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (42): 189–192. 1967. JSTOR 621384.
4. "Scott centenary: An enduring scientific legacy". Exhibition With Scott to the Pole 16 January 2012 to 30 March 2012. Royal Geographical Society. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
5. "Membership". Retrieved 4 November 2013.
6. "Young Geographer". Retrieved 4 November 2013.
7. "Royal Geographical Society - Become a member of the Society". Retrieved 16 May 2019.
8. "Postgraduate Fellowship". Retrieved 4 November 2013.
9. "Fellowship". Retrieved 4 November 2013.
10. "Research Groups". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
11. "Medals and Awards". About Us. Royal Geographical Society with IBG. n.d. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
12. Nagendra, Harini (10 September 1999). "Rediscovering Nain Singh" (PDF). Current Science. 77 (5): 716–717.
13. "Medals & Awards" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
14. "Collections". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
15. "Foyle Reading Room". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
16. [1] Archived 19 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
17. "Artefacts". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
18. "Books and pamphlets". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
19. "Journals". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
20. "Expedition reports". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
21. "Maps and atlases". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
22. "Manuscript archive". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
23. "Events recordings". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
24. "Photographs and artworks". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
25. "Grants". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
26. "Fieldwork and expeditions". RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
27. "Student Grants". RGS. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
28. "Research Grants". RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
29. "Teaching grants and resources". RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
30. "Bulletin 2014". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
31. "21st Century Challenges". 25 March 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
32. "Discovering Britain". RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
33. "Lancaster:A city of philanthropists" (PDF). RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
34. "Discovering Britain". RGS. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
35. "Explore the world beneath your feet – air travel website to reveal landscapes and cultures 10,000m below" (PDF). RGS-IBG Press Release – 23.11.10. 23 November 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
36. "Hidden Journeys crosses the Channel on its new flight path from Farnborough to Cannes" (PDF). RGS-IBG Press Release 07.02.11. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
37. "Geo-Entertainment looks to open passengers' eyes to the magic of flying". Airline Passenger Experience Association – Editor's Blog. 12 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
38. "Next generation of in-flight mapping brings the journey alive" (PDF). RGS-IBG Media Release. 17 December 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
39. "Are we there yet? New in-flight maps point to more fun on planes". CNN Business Traveller. 10 February 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
40. "Teaching resources". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
41. "Geography in the News – topical geography resources for teachers and students". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
42. "Geography Ambassador scheme". Retrieved 16 May 2015.
43. "Royal Geographical Society - Teaching and learning in geography". Retrieved 17 January2019.
44. "Royal Geographical Society - Teaching and learning in geography". Retrieved 17 January2019.
45. "Royal Geographical Society - Teaching and learning in geography". Retrieved 17 January2019.
46. Geographical magazine. ... gazine.htm. Retrieved 16 May 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)

Further reading

• Mill, H.R. (1930) The record of the Royal Geographical Society, 1830–1930, London : Royal Geographical Society, 288 p.
• Royal Geographical Society (2005) To the ends of the Earth : visions of a changing world : 175 years of exploration and photography, London : Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-8138-X
• Winser, S. (Ed.) (2004) Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers expedition handbook, New ed., London : Profile, ISBN 1-86197-044-7

External links

• Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) : the heart of geography
• Royal Geographical Society Picture Library – Images of travel & exploration
• "Archival material relating to Royal Geographical Society". UK National Archives.
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Feb 06, 2020 7:02 am

Difference Between Bolsheviks and Soviets
Accessed: 7/17/19




Bolsheviks literally meaning majority in Russian, was the dominant faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. The Bolsheviks, founded in 1905 by Vladimir Lenin, came to power in Russia in 1917 during the famous ‘October revolution’, and established Russian Soviet Federative Socialistic Republic, which was the chief construct of the Soviet Union. The party ultimately christened to Communist Party of Soviet Union. The party workers were governed by the principle of democratic centralism, the core theme of a communist party structure.

In pre-revolutionary Russia, the term ‘Soviet’ referred to a local revolutionary council, and after formation of Soviet Union, the term meant an elected body at local, regional, and state levels.


1. Prior to 1914 there were wide-spread discontent among Russian peasants due to high rent of land, and among the workers due to prolonged depression and unemployment in the economy. The Tsarist regime became hugely unpopular due to its undemocratic and repressive methods of functioning. These provided fodder to the Russian Social Democratic Party, of which Bolsheviks were a part. Later Bolsheviks split from the parent party to undertake their own manifesto.

2. Soviets believed in non violent movement as means of change, and emphasised on a capitalist development and formation of a democratic government. On the other hand Bolsheviks under Lenin idealised in illegal organisations and armed struggle as the ultimate means to achieve change.

3. The ideology of the Soviets was a society in agrarian structure, where the peasants would be the owners of land they cultivated & the society would be in the form of village commune. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, dreamt and propagated industrial form of socialism where the workers’ council would form the Supreme Soviet.
The Soviet Revolutionaries ultimately split into two parts, Right SR and Left SR. The Right SR were close to Mensheviks in their concept of socialism and Left SR came close to Bolsheviks and became part of the first Bolsheviks led Communist government of Russia in 1917 in which Trotsky was elected as president.

4. The Soviets argued that an attempt to immediately install socialism in Russia would be fruitless as the working class would face the hardship in effect. But the outbreak and spread of civil war forced the Bolsheviks to tread the path of immediate socialism in Russia.

5. In the year 1914 Russia’s war against Germany was supported by the Soviets. Bolsheviks not only condemned and opposed the government, but also took help of the Socialist Party of Great Britain to showcase their view on the Soviet’s decision of war.

6. The Soviet revolutionaries’ movement & agitation were scattered, incoherent, and sometimes self-contradictory, whereas the Bolsheviks displayed more coherence, sustainability, and determination in their agitation.

7. The Soviets as revolutionary never undermined the interest of the under-privileged class, whereas, the Bolsheviks subordinated the interest of the working class to the methodology of revolution.

8. Bolsheviks favoured a party of disciplined, radical, and professional members, whereas Soviet revolutionaries emphasised on a mass-based liberal party.

9. Lenin’s view was that proletariats must lead the movement against the Tsarist regime and that dictatorship of proletariat must be established. The Mensheviks and Soviets denounced the theory and argued that direct transition from a backward state to dictatorship was not possible and that a bourgeois class must be created in between.

10. While in power, the Bolsheviks under Lenin’s guidance put workers’ power under state power. Industrial workers were exposed to military discipline, labour book was introduced, and labour desertion was considered as punishable offence. Mensheviks opposed this move and argued that to make revolution truly bourgeois, the workers and trade unions should be left free from state control.

11. During 1922, with the end of civil war, the Bolshevik-led government encouraged state controlled capitalism. All big industries were under direct state control, smaller industries and agriculture were run on cooperative basis. The socialists vehemently opposed this move arguing that a socialistic society should be free of any capitalistic element.


1. Bolsheviks were part of Soviets who later split to pursue their own manifesto.

2. Bolsheviks believed in armed struggle, whereas Soviets believed in non-violent means.

3. Bolsheviks propagated industrial form of socialism, but Soviets believed in agrarian form of socialism.

4. Soviets believed in smooth transition of society, Bolsheviks emphasised on immediate transition.

5. Bolsheviks’ movement was more organised than that of Soviet revolutionaries.

6. In 1944 Russia’s war against Germany was supported by Soviets, but opposed by Bolsheviks.

7. Unlike Soviets, Bolsheviks gave more importance to methodology of revolution than the interest of proletariats.

8. Bolsheviks favoured radical party members, Soviets preferred more liberal members.

9. Unlike Soviets Bolsheviks did not believe in creation of a bourgeois class in the process of transition.

10. Bolsheviks while in power, put trade unions under state control, which was opposed by Soviets.

11. Bolsheviks tried to impose state controlled capitalism, whereas Soviets opposed arguing that socialism should be devoid of any element of capitalism.



1. The Bolsheviks and Soviets: Retrieved from

2. The Socialist Party of Great Britain: Retrieved from

3. Bolshevism & Menshevism: Retrieved from
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:05 pm

V. K. Krishna Menon [Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon] [Krishna Menon]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/10/20



Early in 1947, shortly after Kabir's first birthday, Freda chose to make a journey back home to Derby... The end of the war made international travel feasible once more, and Freda wanted to show off her new child. Leaving Bedi, Binder and thirteen-year-old Ranga behind, Freda and her baby set off for London...

It was at that time that stories came of Independence being given to India in 1948, and Papa felt I should go home and see Mother who had not met me since her visit to India in 1936-7. 'There might be trouble during the transfer of power,' he said, 'and we [Freda and her mother] should be together. So go now...'

Before boarding the plane, Freda dropped a line to a friend asking for advice about what to do in London. Jawaharlal Nehru, who by the end of the year was to become the first prime minister of independent India, sent a brief reply to her at The Huts. 'I hope you will enjoy your visit to England after 14 years,' he wrote. 'You should certainly meet Krishna Menon. I cannot suggest what you might do there, but Krishna Menon will, no doubt, be able to do so.'...

Freda had occasional reporting assignments. Derby's evening paper noted that she was covering the British Labour Party's annual conference for an Indian newspaper and included a photograph of her in Punjabi-style salwar kameez...

She took advantage of the ... time to meet old Oxford friends. At the beginning of December, she sent Olive chandler a postcard -- the picture of their old college -- thanking her for a memorable visit: "Had lunch with Barbara [Castle] today ..."

A year later, her mother received a last minute invitation to meet India's new prime minister. 'Summoned to a reception at India House, London, to meet Jawaharlal Pandit Nehru, Mrs. F.N. Swan ... cooked a meal for four, prepared the next day's food and then found time to go out and buy herself a new dress and a new hat for the occasion before catching a train to London less than seven hours after receiving the invitation,' reported the Derby Daily Telegraph. Mrs. Swan told the paper that her daughter was 'well known to Pandit Nehru' and she said her proudest moment came when Nehru stopped at her table and shook her hand.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

V. K. Krishna Menon
Krishna Menon in 1950
Born: Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon, 3 May 1896, Tellicherry, Malabar District, Madras Presidency, British India
(present-day Thalassery, Kannur district, Kerala, India)
Died: 6 October 1974 (aged 78), Delhi, India
Alma mater: Presidency College (BA); Madras Law College; University College London (MA); London School of Economics (MSc); Middle Temple (Barrister-at-Law)
Political party: Indian National Congress
Awards: Padma Vibhushan (1954)
Minister of Defence
In office: 17 April 1957 – 31 October 1962
Preceded by: Kailash Nath Katju
Succeeded by: Yashwantrao Chavan
Member of the Lok Sabha from Trivandrum
In office: 1971–1974
Preceded by: P. Viswambharan
Succeeded by: M. N. Govindan Nair
Member of the Lok Sabha from Midnapore
In office: 1969–1971
Member of the Lok Sabha from North Mumbai
In office: 1957–1967
Indian Ambassador to the United Nations
In office: 1952–1962
Member of the Rajya Sabha from Kerala
In office: 1956–1957
Member of the Rajya Sabha from Madras State
In office: 1953–1956
Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
In office: 1947–1952
Preceded by: Position established
Succeeded by: B. G. Kher
Personal details
Source: Parliament of India

Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon (3 May 1896 – 6 October 1974) was an Indian diplomat, nationalist and politician, described by some as the second most powerful man in India,[1][2] after his ally, the 1st Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.[3]

Noted for his eloquence, brilliance, and forceful, highly abrasive personality, Menon inspired widespread adulation and fervent detraction in both India and the West; to his supporters, he was an unapologetic champion of India in the face of Western imperialism, who famously "taught the white man his place";[4] to his Western detractors, "Nehru's evil genius".[5] U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower characterised him as a "menace ... governed by an ambition to prove himself the master international manipulator and politician of the age", while Indian president K.R. Narayanan eulogised him as a truly great man; decades after his death, Menon remains an enigmatic and controversial figure.

As a young man, Menon served as founding editor of the Pelican Imprint of Penguin Books,[6] and led the overseas wing of the Indian independence movement, launching the India League in London, aggressively campaigning within the United Kingdom to win public support for Indian independence, and rallying the support of such superpowers as the Soviet Union. In the immediate wake of independence, Menon emerged as engineer of and spokesman for India's foreign policy, and, more generally, architect of the non-aligned movement; he headed India's diplomatic missions to the United Kingdom and the United Nations, and distinguished himself in diplomatic matters including the Suez crisis. In 1957, Menon set the record for the longest speech(8 hours) before the U.N. Security Council while defending India's rights to the disputed territory of Kashmir, in the process earning widespread popularity and the sobriquet "Hero of Kashmir".[7]

Returning to India, he was repeatedly elected to both houses of the Indian parliament from constituencies as varied as Mumbai, Bengal, and Trivandrum in his native state of Kerala, and served as a minister without portfolio, and later as Minister of Defence, overseeing the modernization of the Indian military and development of the Indian military-industrial complex, and spearheading the Indian annexation of Goa. He resigned in the wake of the Sino-Indian War, following allegations of India's military unpreparedness, but remained counselor to Nehru, member of parliament and elder statesman until his death.[8]

Early life and education

Menon was born at Thiruvangad Thalassery and later moved to Panniyankara in Kozhikode, Kerala, in the Vengalil family of Malabar. His father Adv. Komath Krishna Kurup, Kottappally, Vatakara, the son of Orlathiri Udayavarma, Raja of Kadathanadu and Komath Sreedevi Kettilamma Kurup, was a wealthy and influential lawyer. His mother was the granddaughter of Raman Menon who had been the Dewan of Travancore between 1815 and 1817, serving Gowri Parvati Bayi. Menon had his early education at the Zamorin's College, Kozhikode. In 1918 he graduated from Presidency College, Chennai, with a B.A. in History and Economics.[9] While studying in the Madras Law College, he became involved in Theosophy and was actively associated with Annie Besant and the Home Rule Movement. He was a leading member of the "Brothers of Service", founded by Annie Besant who spotted his gifts and helped him travel to England in 1924.[9]

Life and activities in England

In London, Menon pursued further education at University College, London and the London School of Economics, where Harold Laski described him as the best student he had ever had.[10] In 1930 Menon was awarded an M.A. in Psychology with First Class Honours from University College, London, for a thesis entitled An Experimental Study of the Mental Processes Involved in Reasoning, and in 1934 he was awarded an MSc in Political Science with First Class Honours from the London School of Economics, for a thesis entitled English Political Thought in the Seventeenth Century.[11] He had continued to study law and was admitted to the Middle Temple, also, in 1934, thus marking the end of his formal education at the age of 37.[9]

During the 1930s, Menon worked as an editor for Bodley Head and Twentieth Century Library, and then with Penguin Books with founder Sir Allen Lane.[12][13] According to S Muthiah, the idea for Penguin Books was Menon's. In his celebrated history of the old British port, Madras Miscellany, he writes:

.. he (Menon) dreamt of flooding the market with cheap paperback editions of quality titles. He discussed the idea with a colleague at Bodley Head and Allen Lane jumped at it. In 1935, they quit Bodley Head and with 100 Pounds capital, set up office in the crypt of St Pancras Borough Church. Thus was born Penguin Books.

Menon edited the titles published by Pelican Books which grew into respected British institution with great political and cultural influence.

Political life in the UK

After joining the Labour Party he was elected borough councillor of St Pancras, London. St. Pancras later conferred on him the Freedom of the Borough, the only other person so honoured being George Bernard Shaw. The Labour Party began preparations to nominate him as its candidate from the Dundee Parliamentary constituency in 1939 but that fell through because of his perceived connections with the Communist Party.[14] He resigned (or was expelled, according to other sources) from the Labour Party in protest but rejoined in 1944.[14][15]

India League and the independence movement

Menon became a passionate proponent of India's independence, working as a journalist and as secretary of the India League from 1929 to 1947, and a close friend of fellow Indian nationalist leader and future Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, as well as such political and intellectual figures as Bertrand Russell, J.B.S. Haldane, Michael Foot, Aneurin Bevan, and E.M. Forster, whose A Passage to India he secured the publication of, according to Shashi Tharoor.[16] Menon's legendary relationship with Nehru would later be analogised by Sir Isaiah Berlin as like that of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. In 1932 he inspired a fact-finding delegation headed by Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson to visit India, and edited its report entitled "Conditions in India", obtaining a preface from his friend Bertrand Russell. Menon also worked assiduously to ensure that Nehru would succeed Mahatma Gandhi as the moral leader and executive of the Indian independence movement, and to clear the way for Nehru's eventual accession as the first Prime Minister of an independent India. As Secretary, he built the India League into the most influential Indian lobby in the British Parliament, and actively turned British popular sentiment towards the cause of Indian independence.[17] India League meetings would take place in Indian restaurants and cafes, which were seen as hubs attracting British Asians. Notable meeting places include Ayub Ali's Shah Jalal Coffee House and Shah Abdul Majid Qureshi's India Centre.

The origins of what would become the policy of non-alignment were evident in Menon's personal sympathies even in England, where he simultaneously condemned both the British Empire and Nazi Germany, although he did march several times in anti-Nazi demonstrations. When asked whether India would prefer to be ruled by the British or the Nazis, Menon famously replied that "(one) might as well ask a fish if it prefers to be fried in butter or margarine".[18]

Roles in post-independent India

V.K. Krishna Menon (age 62) giving a luncheon in 1958 in honour of His Royal Highness Prince Norodom Sihanouk and Andrei Gromyko, Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union.

High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

After India gained independence in 1947, Menon was appointed High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom, a post in which he remained until 1952. Menon's intense distrust of the West extended to the United Kingdom itself, and his frequent thwarting of British political manoeuvres eventually led MI5 to deem him a "serious menace to security". From 1929 onwards Menon had been kept under surveillance, with a warrant to intercept his correspondence being issued in December 1933, identifying him as an "important worker in the Indian revolutionary movement".[19] Clandestine surveillance intensified following Menon's 1946 meeting in Paris with Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov, and Indian independence.[20] In 2007, hundreds of pages of MI5 files documenting their coverage of Menon were released, including transcripts of phone conversations and intercepted correspondences with other statesmen and Nehru himself.[21]

Krishna Menon (KV 2/2509-2514)

These six files document the Security Service's interest between 1929 and 1955 in the Indian lawyer Krishna Menon, who was a friend of Nehru, Labour councillor for St Pancras and leader of the Indian League in London. He spent most of this time living in the UK, and was appointed High Commissioner in 1947, when his close links to Communists acted to block the sharing of British information with not only India, but also Pakistan, for fear that the two new states would compare their treatment by the British.

A warrant to intercept Menon's correspondence was taken out in December 1933, identifying him as an "important worker in the Indian Revolutionary Movement", and his links to Communist circles were quickly established (KV 2/2509, 1929-1941). This file contains numerous reports of Menon's contacts, activities and speeches, and highlights his role in the anti-war movement. This continues in KV 2/2510 (1941-1944). KV 2/2511(1944-1948) covers his readmission to the Labour Party, from which he had been expelled for his Communist links, and his attempts to gain selection as the party candidate in Dundee and elsewhere in the 1945 general election. It also covers his appointment as Indian High Commissioner in London in 1947.

Menon's elevation to this post increased the Service's concerns about him. The Deputy Director-General minuted (in KV 2/2512, 1949-1951) in May 1949: "Whatever his politics may be, and they appear to go fairly far to the Left, MENON is clearly dishonest, immoral an opportunist and an intriguer…whether or not MENON's retention as High Commissioner is the lesser of two evils, the relations between him and Miss TUNNARD [Bridget Tunnard of the Indian League] …are of considerable importance." The matter of Communist influence at the High Commission was raised at the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), in discussions that were not minuted. A copy of the Director-General's statement on the subject to the JIC is at serial 148b, and there is a list of suspected Communists at the High Commission at serial 197a. The file also includes suggestions that Menon was improperly using the funds of the India League, and that he was taking illegal drugs (for instance, at serial 199a). This file covers discussions about the impossibility of passing sensitive information to or through the Indian High Commission, and how that in turn prevented similar information being shared with Pakistan.

KV 2/2513 (1951-1953) covers the period when Menon was replaced as High Commissioner by G B Kher, and shows how Kher was frequently embarrassed by Menon acting as if he still represented India in London and forcing himself into various diplomatic events. These tensions continue into KV 2/2514 (1953-1955) which also covers Menon's attempts to be entrusted with the post of Foreign Minister.

-- Communists and suspected communists, by The National Archives

During his tenure as the high commissioner, Menon was accused of being involved in the Jeep scandal case of 1948, but the Government closed the case in 1955, ignoring suggestion by the Inquiry Committee.[22]

India's representative to the United Nations

1st Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru with V. K. Krishna Menon (age 60) in United Nations in December 1956.

In 1949, Menon accepted the command of the Indian delegation to the United Nations, a position he would hold until 1962. He earned a reputation for brilliance in the UN, frequently engineering elegant solutions to complex international political issues, including a peace plan for Korea, a ceasefire in Indo-China, the deadlocked disarmament talks, and the French withdrawal from the UN over Algeria.[17]

Diplomacy and non-alignment

During this period, Menon was a spokesman for Nehru's foreign policy, dubbed non-alignment in 1952,[23] charting a third course between the US and the Soviet Union. Menon was particularly critical of the United States, and frequently expressed sympathies with Soviet policies, earning the ire of many Indians by voting against a UN resolution calling for the USSR to withdraw troops from Hungary,[24] although he reversed his stance three weeks later under pressure from New Delhi.[25]

China and the United Nations

Menon also supported the admission of China to the United Nations, which earned him the enmity of many American statesmen, including Senator William F. Knowland. In 1955, Menon intervened in the case of several American airmen who had been held by China, meeting with Chinese premier Zhou En-Lai before flying to Washington to confer with and counsel American President Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, at the request of British Prime Minister Anthony Eden.[26][27]

Nuclear disarmament

Menon was a passionate opponent of nuclear weapons, and partnered with many in his quest against their proliferation. Throughout the 1950s, Menon liaised with Bertrand Russell, with whom he had previously collaborated in the India League.

Suez Crisis

During the Suez Crisis, Menon attempted to persuade a recalcitrant Gamal Nasser to compromise with the West, and was instrumental in moving Western powers towards an awareness that Nasser might prove willing to compromise.[28] During the emergency conference on Suez convened in London, Menon offered a counterproposal to John Foster Dulles' plan for resolution, in which Egypt would be allowed to retain control of the Suez Canal. Menon's proposal was initially estimated by US diplomats to have more support than the Dulles plan, and was widely viewed as an attempt to hybridise the Dulles plan with Egypt's claims. Ultimately, the Dulles plan passed, with Menon voting against, alongside Russia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Menon, however, markedly softened his opposition in the final hours, leaving only Soviet Foreign Minister Dmitri Shepilov in absolute contraposition.[29]

Speech on Kashmir

Why is that we have never heard voices in connection with the freedom of people under the suppression and tyranny of Pakistani authorities on the other side of the cease-fire line? Why is it that we have not heard here that in ten years these people have not seen a ballot paper? With what voice can either the Security Council or anyone coming before it demand a plebiscite for a people on our side who exercise franchise, who have freedom of speech, who function under a hundred local bodies?

-- Excerpt from Menon's marathon 1957 address to the United Nations Security Council, The Hindu.[30]

On 23 January 1957 Menon delivered an unprecedented eight-hour speech defending India's stand on Kashmir. To date, the speech is the longest ever delivered in the United Nations,[31] covering five hours of the 762nd meeting on 23 January, and two hours and forty-eight minutes on the 24th,[32] reportedly concluding with Menon's collapse on the Security Council floor.[24] Between the two parts, Menon collapsed from exhaustion and had to be hospitalized.[33] During the filibuster, Nehru moved swiftly and successfully to consolidate Indian power in Kashmir. Menon's passionate defence of Indian sovereignty in Kashmir enlarged his base of support in India, and led to the Indian press temporarily dubbing him the "Hero of Kashmir".[34]

Minister of Defence

Krishna Menon became a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1953 from Madras. In 1956, he joined the Union Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio and was made Minister of Defence in April 1957, after winning the North Mumbai seat to the Lok Sabha. Menon was a substantially more powerful and high-profile figure than his predecessors, and brought with him a degree of governmental, public, and international attention that India's military had not previously known. He suspended the seniority system within the army, replacing it with a merit-based method of promotion, and extensively restructured much of India's military command system, eventually leading to the resignation of the Chief of the Army Staff, General K.S. Thimayya.[35] Critics accused Menon of disregarding tradition in favour of personal caprice; Menon countered that he was seeking to improve the efficiency of the military.

Menon, in the face of intense opposition, also began the creation of a domestic military industrial complex to supply the Indian armed forces with weaponry and provisions.[36]

Annexation of Portuguese India

The annexation of Goa was closely linked with the 1961 elections to the Lok Sabha. With the race looming, Menon aggressively addressed the issue of Indian sovereignty over the Portuguese colony of Goa, in a partial reprise of his earlier defence of Indian Kashmir. In New York, Menon met US Ambassador and two-time presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson behind closed doors,[37] before meeting with President John F. Kennedy, who had expressed his reservations about Menon's anti-imperialism during the state visit of Jawaharlal Nehru. Menon lectured Kennedy on the importance of US-Soviet compromise, before returning to India. On 17 December 1961, Menon and the Indian Army overran Goa, leading to widespread Western condemnation. In his typical style, Menon dismissed the admonishments of Kennedy and Stevenson as "vestige(s) of Western imperialism". Menon's spearheading of the Indian annexation of Goa had subtle ramifications throughout Asia, as in the case of Indonesian president Sukarno, who refrained from invading the Portuguese colony of East Timor partially from fear of being compared to Menon.[38] The invasion also spawned a complex mass of legal issues relating to differences between eastern and western interpretations of United Nations law and jurisdiction.[39]

The Sino-Indian War

In 1962 China attacked India, leading to the brief Sino-Indian War, and a temporary reversal in India's non-aligned foreign policy. Menon was heavily criticised both inside and outside parliament for ineffectiveness and poorly handling of defence matters. The Indian government's analysis, the Henderson Brooks–Bhagat Report remains classified. Some suggest that aspiring to become a world leader, Menon undermined the intelligence reports dating back to 1955 about Chinese preparations to defend its land claim on disputed areas. A chagrined Menon was responsible for India's lack of military readiness and was forced to tender his resignation on Oct-31-1962 as Minister of Defence in spite of Nehru protecting him by first making him Minister of Defence Production and then minister without portfolio.[40][41]

Although Menon's role in the development of India's military infrastructure was initially overshadowed by India's unpreparedness in the Sino-Indian War, later analysis and scholarship has increasingly focused on the importance of Menon's vision and foresight in military development, with political figures as varied as President and Minister of Defence R. Venkataraman and Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer of the Supreme Court of India analysing and defending Menon's role in India's rise as a military power.[42][43]


Rajya Sabha

Menon was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1953 from Madras which subsequently became a seat from Kerala following the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.


In 1957, Menon sought a seat in the Lok Sabha, contesting a constituency from North Mumbai. Widely viewed as a hero for his defence of India's sovereignty in Kashmir on the world stage, Menon was met with rapturous receptions on the campaign trail, and ultimately won in a straight contest against PSP candidate Alvares Peter Augustus by 47,741 votes (171,708 to 123,967).

We visited countless villages, and everywhere it was the same thing. Huge crowds surged forward, blocking the streets, while Menon was drowned by the surrounding uproar, his umbrella knocked away by the ceaseless bombardment of flowers and bouquets. He insisted, in spite of the heat of the day, the dust and the exhaustion, on fulfilling his programme.

-- Eyewitness account of Menon's 1957 campaign, The Hindu.[44]


Menon was frequently vilified in the Western press, which often described or depicted him as a "snake-charmer", as in TIME magazine's 1962 cover portrait.[45]

In October 1961, Menon, the sitting Defence Minister, was challenged by the 74-year-old Acharya Kripalani, a previous president of the Indian National Congress and close associate of the deceased Mohandas Gandhi. The race soon became the highest-profile in India, with the Sunday Standard remarking that "no political campaign in India has ever been so bitter or so remarkable for the nuances it produced". The race, which witnessed the direct intervention of Jawaharlal Nehru, was widely viewed as of tremendous importance due to the personas and influence of the two candidates, who were seen as avatars for two distinct ideologies.[1] Having previously endorsed Menon's foreign policies, Kripalani relentlessly attacked Menon's persona, seeking to avoid direct confrontation with the prestige of Nehru and the Congress Party. Ultimately, Menon won in a landslide, nearly doubling the vote total of Kripalani, and winning outright majorities in all six of North Mumbai's districts. The electoral results established Menon as second only to Nehru in Indian politics.[46]


Menon resigned from the Congress and stood for elections as an independent candidate from the North east Mumbai constituency after he was denied a seat by the Congress on the grounds that he was a non-Maharashtrian. This followed the surge in popularity for the Shiv Sena with its sons of the soil agenda. He lost to the Congress candidate the late SG Barve a retired ICS officer by 13,169 votes. Mr Barve's sister contested the same seat against Menon in the bye election following Barve's death. Ms Tara Sapre defeated Menon by a wider margin than her brother.[47][48][49]


In 1969, Menon contested a seat in the Lok Sabha from the Bengal constituency of Midnapore, running as an independent in a by-election, and defeating his Congress rival by a margin of 106,767 votes in May of that year.[50]


Krishna Menon Museum, Kozhikode, where original oil portraits of Menon, as well as personal belongings, letters, news clips, and other materials related to Menon, are kept for public display.

In 1971, Menon contested as an independent candidate and was elected to the Lok Sabha from Trivandrum, in his home state of Kerala.



Menon was an intensely controversial figure during his life, and has remained so even well after his death. Widely described as brilliant[51] and arrogant,[24][52] he was known for the sheer force of his personality, and for his eloquence and wit as an orator. In response to US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' assertion that US weapons supplied to Pakistan were intended solely for defence against a Soviet invasion, Menon snapped that "the world has yet to see an American gun that can only shoot in one direction", and that "I am yet to come across a vegetarian tiger". In London, Menon responded to novelist Brigid Brophy's surprise at the quality of his English with the retort: "my English is better than yours. You merely picked it up: I learnt it." When criticised for the Rolls-Royces he kept as official vehicles, he replied, "I can scarcely hire a bullock-cart to call on 10 Downing Street.".[53] Personally, Menon preferred to use London's double-decker buses whenever possible,[54] underscoring the contrast between his public appearance as a statesman and his personal asceticism. Indian President R. Venkataraman would later describe him as "the very epitome of a representative of the (...) Indian State, personally abstemious but at the same time uncompromising in maintaining the prestige of his high office."[55]

Privately, his Indian colleagues had a mixed view. Foreign Secretary Subimal Dutt commented that Menon, "did not always measure his words" . Another Indian diplomat, C.S. Jha, said that Menon was"an outstanding world statesman but the world's worst diplomat," adding that "his lack of diplomatic finesse and the abrasive manner in which he projected and expounded India's views needlessly caused offense and did India's and Nehru's image much harm," adding that Menon had an "acid tongue" and was often "overbearing, churlish and vindictive." Ambassador to Moscow, K.P.S. Menon said he was "insufferable."[56]

Menon was widely reviled by Western statesmen who loathed his arrogance, outspokenness, and fiercely anti-Western stances. American President Dwight D. Eisenhower considered the outwardly courteous Menon a "menace ... governed by ambition to prove himself the master international manipulator and politician of the age". Western publications routinely referred to him as "India's Rasputin" or "Nehru's Evil Genius".[57][58]

Jeep scandal

The jeep scandal case in 1948 was the first major corruption case in independent India. Menon, then Indian high commissioner to Britain, ignored protocols and signed a Rs 8 million contract for the purchase of army jeeps with a foreign firm.[59][60] While most of the money was paid upfront and 155 jeeps landed.

Blue plaque erected in 2013 by English Heritage at 30 Langdon Park Road, Highgate, London N6 5QG, London Borough of Haringey: V.K. KRISHNA MENON 1896–1974 Campaigner for Indian Independence lived here

Personal life

In private, Menon abstained from tobacco, alcohol and meat,[18] often fasting for days, and forwent his luxury townhouse in Kensington Palace Gardens in favour of a single room in the Indian High Commission during his official tenure in London. As high commissioner, Menon drew only the token salary of one rupee per month,[61] later refusing a salary outright.[54] Menon nonetheless dressed publicly in bespoke suits, earning him the epithet "Mephistopheles in a Savile Row suit",[45]


Menon died at the age of 78 on 6 October 1974, whereupon Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi remarked that "a volcano is extinct". At a 1984 memorial lecture for Menon, K.R. Narayanan extolled that "India has been fortunate to have had not only a glorious heritage of culture and civilisation but a succession of great men from the Buddha to Gandhi, from Ashoka to Nehru, from Kautilya to Krishna Menon."[62]


Menon died at the age of 78 on 6 October 1974, whereupon Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi remarked that "a volcano is extinct". At a 1984 memorial lecture for Menon, K.R. Narayanan extolled that "India has been fortunate to have had not only a glorious heritage of culture and civilisation but a succession of great men from the Buddha to Gandhi, from Ashoka to Nehru, from Kautilya to Krishna Menon."[62]

The V. K. Krishna Menon Institute was established in 2006 to commemorate and facilitate the life, times and achievements of Menon. One of the Institute's objectives include awarding people from India and diaspora from Asia for their significant accomplishments in the fields of science, literature, economics, politics, diplomacy and human rights.[63]

A blue plaque commemorating Menon was placed at 30 Langdon Park Road, in Highgate, London by English Heritage in 2013.[64]


1. [1] Archived 18 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
2. The Nayars today – Christopher John Fuller – Google Books. 30 December 1976. ISBN 9780521290913. Retrieved 11 July2012.
3. Michael Brecher, and Janice Gross Stein, eds., India and world politics: Krishna Menon's view of the world (Praeger, 1968).
4. Vasant Nevrekar: Krishna Menon Archived 3 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
5. 'Nehru's Evil Genius' | Sunil Khilnani.
6. "Penguin Books | Making Britain". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
7. T. J. S. George (1965). Krishna Menon: A Biography. Taplinger. p. 200.
8. Brecher, and Stein, eds., India and world politics: Krishna Menon's view of the world (1968).
9. "Krishna Menon". Open University. 11 July 2017.
10. "Was Krishna Menon A Sick Man ..." Asian Tribune. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
11. "5 Famous Indian Alumni from London School of Economics". UK university support office. 11 July 2017.
12. Hartley, John (2003). A Short History of Cultural Studies. SAGE. pp. 22–. ISBN 9780761950288. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
13. Lewis, Jeremy (2006). Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane. London: Penguin Books. pp. Multiple. ISBN 0141015969.
14. "Communists and suspected communists". The National Archives, UK. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
15. "Krishna Menon". The Open University-Making Britain Database. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
16. Roy, Amit (14 October 2007). "The Telegraph – Calcutta : 7days". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
17. Chakravarty, Suhash. "100 People Who Shaped India: V K Krishna MenonArchived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine". India Today. 2000. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
18. "Foreign News: The Great I Am". Time. 18 October 1954.
19. Communists and suspected communists. The National Archives.
20. "Saga of India-Russia diplomatic ties | Russia & India Report". Retrieved 11 July 2012.
21. "Krishna Menon a sick man, say MI5 documents". The Times of India. 3 March 2007.
22. Dipankar Paul (30 April 2011). "The Republic of Scams: Jeep purchase (1948)". MSN. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
23. Afghanistan in world politics: (a ... – Mohammad Khalid Ma'aroof – Google Books. 1 January 1987. ISBN 9788121200974. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
24. "INDIA: The Favourite". Time. 29 April 1957.
25. "UNITED NATIONS: Who Must Obey?". Time. 3 December 1956.
26. The Eden-Eisenhower correspondence ... – Anthony Eden (Earl of Avon), Dwight David Eisenhower, Peter G. Boyle – Google Books. 2005. ISBN 9780807829356. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
27. ... 519,916076
28. Suez: Britain's End of Empire in the ... – Keith Kyle – Google Books. 15 February 2011. ISBN 9781848855335. Retrieved 11 July2012.
29. "SUEZ: Putting the Question". Time. 3 September 1956.
30. Excerpt from Menon's marathon 1957 address to the United Nations Security Council, The Hindu.
31. ... -un-speech
32. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
33. ... -n-speech/
34. Bhandari, Romesh (April 2002). "Krishna Menon – His Contributions and Vision". Think India Quarterly. 5 (2). Retrieved 24 September 2012.
35. Thomas, Raju G. C. (1980). "The Armed Services and the Indian Defense Budget". Asian Survey. University of California Press. 20 (3): 280–297. doi:10.1525/as.1980.20.3.01p0142l. JSTOR 2643745.
36. Prepare or perish: a study of ... – K. V. Krishna Rao – Google Books. 1 March 1991. ISBN 9788172120016. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
37. "World: MENON'S WAR". Time. 29 December 1961.
38. George McTurnan Kahin (2003). Southeast Asia: a testament. Routledge. p. 146. ISBN 9780415299763. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
39. ... n=journals
40. Verghese, B.G. "50 YEARS AFTER 1962". Subbu Forum. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
41. "India's Krishna Menon Resigns From Cabinet After Border attack". The Sydney Morning Herald. 7 November 1962. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
42. Wood, Glyn; Daniel Vaagenes (July 1984). "Indian Defense Policy: A New Phase?". Asian Survey. 24 (7): 721–735. doi:10.2307/2644185. JSTOR 2644185.
43. "A political paradigm". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 12 May 2002.
44. Lewis, Charles (11 March 2007). "Krishna Menon's campaign in Mumbai". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
45. Magazine / Columns : An unusual life. The Hindu (29 April 2007).
46. "India: Mandate for Menonism". Time. 9 March 1962.
47. "1967 electionsresults" (PDF). Election Commission of India. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
48. Morkhandiker, R S (21 October 1967). "The Shiv Sena- An Eruption of Nationalism". Economic and Political weekly. Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
49. ... -shiv-sena
50. Narain, Iqbal (1970). "Democratic Politics and Political Development in India". Asian Survey. University of California Press. 10 (2): 88–89. doi:10.2307/2642243. JSTOR 2642243.
51. India and the China crisis – Steven A. Hoffmann – Google Books. 18 January 1990. ISBN 9780520065376. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
52. "INDIA: Folksy Diplomat". Time. 13 January 1958.
53. "Humour in politics". The Hindu (22 July 2001).
54. ... 95,2773135
55. Krishna Menon at the United Nations: India and the World – Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon – Google Boeken. Google (1 January 1969).
56. H. W. Brands (1989). The Specter of Neutralism: The United States and the Emergence of the Third World, 1947-1960. Columbia UP. p. 101.
57. Brands (1989). The Specter of Neutralism: The United States and the Emergence of the Third World, 1947-1960. p. 101.
58. Paul M. McGarr, "'India's Rasputin'?: V.K. Krishna Menon and Anglo–American Misperceptions of Indian Foreign Policymaking, 1947–1964." Diplomacy & Statecraft22.2 (2011): 239-260.
59. "On Your Marks". Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
60. "Opinion / Readers' Editor : Online : Media support crusade against corruption". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
62. Iyer, V.R. Krishna (12 May 2002). "A political paradigm". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
63. "Canadian MP to be conferred with VK Krishna Menon award 2012". HT Media Limited. 19 August 2012. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
64. "MENON, V. K. KRISHNA (1896–1974)". English Heritage. Retrieved 4 May2014.


• Brecher, Michael. "Elite Images and Foreign Policy Choices: Krishna Menon's View of the World." Pacific Affairs 40.1/2 (1967): 60-92. online
• Brecher, Michael, and Janice Gross Stein. India and world politics: Krishna Menon's view of the world (Praeger, 1968).
• George, T. J. S. (1965). Krishna Menon: A Biography. Taplinger. online free to borrow
• Lengyel, Krishna_Menon (1962) online free
• McGarr, Paul M. "‘A Serious Menace to Security’: British Intelligence, V.K. Krishna Menon and the Indian High Commission in London, 1947–52." Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 38.3 (2010): 441-469.
• McGarr, Paul M. "“India's Rasputin”?: V.K. Krishna Menon and Anglo–American Misperceptions of Indian Foreign Policymaking, 1947–1964." Diplomacy & Statecraft 22.2 (2011): 239-260.
• Janaki Ram V. K. Krishna Menon: a personal memoir (1997)

External links

• Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon
• P. N. Haksar: Krishna: As I knew him
• Statements by V. K. Krishna Menon at the United Nations
• T. J. S. George: `Krishna Menon', Jonathan Cape, 1964.
• Theft of two statues of Menon from a London park
• Neglect
• [2]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:45 pm

Krishna Menon a sick man, say MI5 documents
by Rashmee Roshan Lall
The Times of India
March 3, 2007



London. The Hundreds of pages of closely-written MI5 files reveal for the first time Krishna Menon's intimate relationships, including with communist-leaning Miss Cunnard.

The papers also suggest he indulged in the recreational use of "illegal drugs" while in London. They revile him as "a sick man whose relations with fellows can never be normal or happy" and "utterly unscrupulous impairing the whole conduct of India's foreign relations."

The intelligence documents are the first time Krishna Menon is portrayed differently from the conventional Indian historical image as hallowed joint creator with Nehru of nearly-dead Non-Aligned Movement politics; Third World champion; committed freedom-fighter and a near-Gandhian, Mephistophelean figure in a Saville Row suit.

Instead, they mark him out as a thoroughly unpleasant, arrogant, ambitious, patrician figure with a chip on his shoulder about western power.

The documents include top secret correspondence about Krishna Menon between London spooks and Britain's High Commissioner in New Delhi, Sir Alexander Clutterbuck, in 1954, as well as transcripts of the young Indian nationalist's most private phone calls and intimate correspondence while living in London.

The MI5 documents start in 1929 when Krishna Menon had embarked on a career as journalist and campaigner for Indian independence in London. The documents released by the Secret Service continue till 1955, three years after he reluctantly ceded the office of High Commissioner.

Howard Davies, historian and archivist at UK's National Archives said the newly-released documents underlined the extent to which Krishna Menon's "position as Indian high commissioner compromised relations between Britain and India."

The documents quote Clutterbuck describing Krishna Menon as "a thoroughly dangerous man" with a "tortuous mind (with a) light regard for the truth and inordinate ambition and self-conceit."

The letter to London also laments Krishna Menon's "fierce anti-Americanism" coupled with the fact that "when in Delhi he continues to live in the PM's house giving him special opportunities of pouring his own mixture of flattery and poison into Nehru's reluctant but receptive ear."

The documents repeatedly praise Krishna Menon's successors as London High Commissioner solely in terms of their Anglophilia. His immediate successor B.G. Kher is described as a "good choice" because he was "discovered by a European solicitor" and continues to regard "our (British or Anglo-Saxon) ways" as superior to others.

Observers said the intelligence files appeared to point to the existence of an unknown mole within the Indian High Commission for many years after Independence.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:53 pm

'Nehru's Evil Genius': That's how the British saw Krishna Menon. The release of MI5's top secret files reveal how powerfully India's high commissioner agitated the West.
by Sunil Khilnani
19 March 2007




A "wary creature", one British secret agent noted of V.K. Krishna Menon—and he was furtive too, surrounding himself in an air of sinister mystery. He darted off on undisclosed missions to Moscow or Peking, talked far into the nights with his prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, cut defence deals and contracts that provoked parliamentary debates, careened through turbulent love affairs. One of the most important figures of the Nehru era, he was also one of the most detested abroad: Time magazine described him as a "crotchety, Mephistophelean" figure, and when it put him on the cover in 1962, inserted a drawing of a snake charmer into the background. Since his death in 1974, the mysteries have only thickened. Reliable archival material on Menon remains patchy, because his own papers, a major source for 20th century Indian history, are for the most part inaccessible to scholars.

The nonsensical obstructions to historical research that Indian governments prefer to maintain lend real importance to the new release of Top Secret files that the British Security Services, MI5, kept on Krishna Menon. These documents do more than provide insight into his personal and political activities; they show how powerfully he agitated the Western powers. Krishna Menon was one of several nationalists with suspected Communist connections—others included the Africans Jomo Kenyatta and Kwame Nkrumah, whom the British Security Services placed under close surveillance—and the Menon files so far released cover a crucial period that stretches from the early 1930s to the mid-1950s. Krishna Menon’s letters were intercepted, his phone was subject to checks, and information was gleaned from a variety of intelligence sources—including some located in the Indian high commission.
The details gathered in these files lay to rest some suspicions that have hovered around Krishna Menon for decades, while they confirm his psychological flaws, controversial financial dealings, and leftist associations.

MI5 kept Krishna Menon under surveillance primarily because they feared his Communist links, both before and after Independence. The files show that in the decade before 1947 he was a frequent visitor to the offices of the Communist Party in London’s King Street and he was often on the phone to Communist leaders like Harry Pollitt and Ted Bramley. However, MI5 was satisfied that Menon was never a Party member. But his nationalist political activities sufficiently unsettled the security services that they tried, unsuccessfully, to get Krishna Menon called up for National Service—as a way of stopping his nationalist political activities. After the war, and even after Independence, Menon remained an object of close scrutiny, and MI5 widened its surveillance to Menon’s commercial dealings, and the contracts he placed for Indian military supplies.

Krishna Menon cast a spell over those who got close to him. He had a succession of disastrous love affairs, usually with women who worked with him. To one such lover, Marie Seton, he was "strikingly unlike any Indian" she had seen: "thinner by far and extraordinarily angular. It was hard to decide if he was a very handsome man in a hacked out sculptural manner, or if he was distinctly devilish to look at.... When focused, his almond-shaped eyes resembled those of a hawk." In the view of Western officials, he was distinctly frightening. The US State Department long regarded Menon "not only as an unpleasant mischief-maker, but also, because he is such a smooth operator, dangerously persuasive", and from the early 1950s, the Americans wanted actively to force him out of office—"they are scared of Indian intentions and even more afraid of Menon in particular," the British observed.

Soon after Indian independence, MI5 discovered what it considered a particular security risk in London: the "continued employment of several Communists, fellow-travellers and sympathisers" by Menon in the Indian high commission. MI5 believed some workers were copying and passing on documents to the Communist Party—discovering the names through room taps of the Party offices. A young officer, P.N. Haksar, was one of those the security service considered worrisome, and was discussed with Sanjeevi, the director of Intelligence Bureau when he visited London in 1948 and 1949. Eventually, a list of 22 staff members at India House who had Communist links would be passed on to Nehru through the Indian Intelligence Bureau.

Although the Indian government issued instructions that Communists should not be employed in the high commissioner’s office, by 1951, MI5 concluded that "no serious action appears to have been taken so far". Weighing up the complexities of the situation, the British Security Service noted: "Menon is an intriguer. His own wants are few, but he entertains liberally; he is pro-Russian, but not a Communist; he is no lover of the British, but he did all he could to keep India in the Commonwealth; he is unpopular with members of the Indian Cabinet and with Indians whom he represents in the United Kingdom; but he retains the confidence of his Prime Minister. Taking everything into account," the report concluded, "Menon and the office of the Indian HC represent a security risk." The decision was taken to continue to withhold virtually all ‘Top Secret’ category materials from him and his office.

Meanwhile, the British were sending hints to Nehru that Menon had to be removed from the high commission. In 1951, the head of MI5, Sir Percy Sillitoe, briefed the British PM, Clement Attlee, "who was very interested" by what he heard "especially in regard to the Communists and fellow travellers on Menon’s staff", and later that year Attlee told one of Nehru’s ministers, Amrit Kaur, that he often found Menon too ill and incoherent to meet or talk with.

By the beginning of 1951, Nehru had his own anxieties, as Krishna Menon had plunged into emotional and psychological turmoil. Nehru described an encounter with Krishna Menon in Paris: he "staggered into the room, obviously very far from well...his appearance and general behaviour was so odd that he attracted the attention of others.... Malik, our ambassador here, asked Nan if Krishna was drunk. Nan was herself alarmed and came to me to say that Krishna was very ill and something should be done about him. He had the appearance of a person on the verge of going off his head...".

Some months later, seeing that Menon’s erratic behaviour was affecting relations with London, Nehru despatched his personal secretary, M.O. Mathai, to investigate. In a long report, Mathai chronicled the lurid details: Menon’s threat of suicide if dismissed or forced to resign, his downing of large doses of Luminal, a barbiturate, and his offensive manners and administrative incompetence. Still, Nehru kept Menon on.

Their relationship was intricate. Sir Isaiah Berlin surmised that Menon served Nehru as a kind of "alibi against ever doing a Ramsay MacDonald: it is his only reliable gadfly who can, by making himself personally obnoxious, stir up enough jealousy, hatred, anti-European and anti-right-wing passion to keep the party on the move and prevent it from ossifying in a right-wing direction...." Yet the relationship was an intense mixture of political and personal compulsions—and Berlin noticed too the sense in which Menon served Nehru as a kind of alter-ego. Nehru’s relation to Krishna Menon, Berlin believed, was like "T.S. Eliot’s to Ezra Pound, the same beliefs at much lower tension, milder, more compatible with respectable life, but deriving from the same constellation of values; gently, firmly, tolerant, decently anti-Western".

MI5 was also interested in dealings by Menon that had no direct bearing on security, but were "relevant to an assessment of character". After identifying his Communist Party associates, MI5 began extensive surveillance of Menon’s commercial transactions, especially the defence contracts he was placing. The MI5 records give a picture of how money from those contracts wound up in accounts that he controlled.

Menon was dealing with a firm known as S.C.K. Agencies—in which, as N.R. Pillai reported to Nehru, he "has shown unusual personal interest". Pillai concluded that India had over-paid (by a maximum of some £140,000) for certain ammunitions contracts, and the defence ministry "has been content to eat out of the high commissioner’s hand and has not exercised due vigilance".

Menon’s chief associate in striking these deals was a murky character called Bob Cleminson, son of a humble Methodist preacher. According to Security Services notes on him, he and Krishna Menon had become friends during the war: Cleminson helped Menon out financially for "bare necessities". After the war, the MI5 reports say, Cleminson mixed with "crooks or near crooks", had many friendships with Indians, and after 1949, decided to put these Indian links to "profitable purpose". Cleminson saw Menon "at least once daily", and his London apartment was a refuge for the high commissioner—Cleminson told Mathai that Menon would occasionally take there his current infatuation, who worked at the high commission. (On one occasion, she was supposed to have shed her clothes and danced naked, Mathai informed Nehru.) Cleminson also claimed that Menon showed him all the letters he received from Nehru.

It is clear that the money gathered from these contracts was not used for his personal benefit. It was dispersed instead for India League activities, to decorate the India Club offices, for his bookshop and his publishing venture, Meridian Books, which published several of Nehru’s books, including in 1951, The Discovery of India. Interestingly, it appears from transcripts of telephone conversations that small amounts of this money (on one occasion £470) was used—unbeknownst to Nehru—to subsidise a portion of the royalties paid by Meridian Books to Nehru. Menon, it appears, wanted Nehru to believe he was selling more copies than he actually was.

Finally, in 1952, Nehru replaced Menon with a new high commissioner—upon which the British began to worry that Nehru would induct Menon into his cabinet. From Delhi, the British high commissioner, Sir Alec Clutterbuck, wrote to London in 1954 with trepidation at the prospect that Menon might be given a senior portfolio: he rated Menon "Nehru’s evil genius...impairing the whole conduct of India’s foreign relations". But before long, the British came round to Krishna Menon. Despite his personal oddities and left-wing sympathies, Krishna Menon was still more favourable to the British than he was to the Americans. Ultimately, it was not British but rather American manoeuvring, orchestrated by J.K. Galbraith during the crisis days of the China war in 1962, that ended Krishna Menon’s career.

Generally speaking, these files reveal an interesting three-way relationship between the British, the Indians and the Americans. We see here a 1946 request from the US State Department in Washington to MI5 for information on Krishna Menon—of whom they seemed to know nothing. Such American requests were part of a larger pattern: during the Cold War, the British security services, with their extensive networks of imperial intelligence gathering, came effectively to serve as sub-contractors to the Americans in the field of intelligence in Asia and Africa—the Americans exercising this payback from the British in return for giving them nuclear assistance.

While the material in the Menon file will be a boon to historians, it also makes his role more complicated to explain. The question that continually exercised the British, as well as Americans, is one that still remains ours: how and why was he able to maintain his proximity and influence with Nehru? And the contents of the Menon file also press, above all, the question of how a man so flawed could have achieved as much as he did in India’s cause.

(Sunil Khilnani is the author of The Idea of India.)
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