Saturday, November 12, 2005


Tributes to KRN are appearing in the press, and on blogs. Evidently, one can't read all of them. Among the blog posts, the one by Anand is the best. It is also filled with lots of links.

Among the others, the Hindu op-ed by Gopalakrishna Gandhi, who served as secretary to KRN during his Presidential stint, is very good indeed. Some excerpts from the article about the young KRN:

... [W]hen he was 25 he had asked of the Mahatma questions that shine over the answers. He had just been awarded a Tata scholarship and was going to London. You have simplified for us the choice between truth and untruth, he asked, but what would you advise when the choice is between two truths? And then, when in England I am asked about the untouchability issue in India, should I reply honestly or should I `defend' India? The questions and answers are part of The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi.

Not recorded anywhere is a conversation that occurred when KRN finished his course of study in London with a First Division. "The Kerala people there threw a party to felicitate me," he related. "And Krishna Menon was invited to be the chief guest. Leaning on his walking stick at the doorway, Menon said to me: `So, Narayanan, I hear you have got a First. You know, some people get it by a fluke.' I do not know how but I managed to say, `Is that how you got yours?'"

The title of Gandhi's essay is: "Definitely no fluke: KRN at the high table".

A different part of the conversation between KRN and Mahatma Gandhi is recounted here. [link from Anand'spost on KRN.]