A K Damodaran
CRUSADER EXTRAORDINARY: KRISHNA MENON AND THE INDIA LEAGUE 1932-1936 by Hashmat Singh India Research Press, New Delhi, 2006, 816 pp., price not stated
July 2006, volume 30, No 7

This is the third volume in an ambitious project to analyse the history of the Indian Freedom Movement in the metropolitan country, Great Britain, from the late twenties to the attainment of Independence. The first two volumes dealt with Krishna Menon’s evolution as a social activist and intellectual through various phases—boy scout leader, voluntary theosophist, and a very young probationary political activist in Britain. These volumes take us upto 1932, a few months after the Second Round Table conference, in which Gandhiji played the major role. That volume was most memorable for Krishna Menon’s personal contribution to supporting Gandhiji in London at a difficult moment. In this third volume, from 1932-1936, we see the India League developing into an important political organization in the United Kingdom, fully a part of the establishment, but carefully cultivating the dissentient voices, particularly in the Labour Party, on the central topic of British colonialism in India. Towards the end of the present volume Jawaharlal Nehru, who had been in prison most of the period, comes out of jail and becomes a friend and colleague of Krishna Menon, during his visit to Europe on a purely personal matter—the illness of his wife.

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