Claude Moraes, an Indian-origin Member of the European Parliament, has been chosen for the VK Krishna Menon Award 2009 for his contribution to political, social and economic advancement of the deprived sections of the Asian community.
“We had many other nominations for the award but Claude won hands down because of his integrity, conscientiousness, courage and mastery of his brief,” Dr Cyriac Maprayil, Director of the VK Krishna Menon Institute, said yesterday announcing the award.
“He is respected too, for his oratorical prowess and his very engaging personality. It is significant that when many Labour MEPs throughout the UK were defeated in the last election, Claude more than comfortably retained his seat,” he said.
Claude Ajit Moraes was elected to the European Parliament from London in 1999 and again in 2004 and mostly recently in 2009, when he led the London list of candidates.
One of the first Asian MEPs elected to the European Parliament, Claude was previously Director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), a national refugee charity.
Claude was born in Aden of Indian parents and arrived in the UK at a very young age. He grew up in Dundee and Stirling and studied Law at Dundee University and subsequently at London University including The London School of Economics.
The award will be presented next month when he will deliver The VK Krishna Menon Memorial Lecture.
The VK Krishna Menon Institute was launched in 2006 to celebrate and commemorate the life and achievements of prodigiously talented statesman who served as India’s defence minister under Jawaharlal Nehru.
Menon founded the India League, which became a powerful force in the overseas movement to help India attain independence.
One of the objectives of the Institute is to present awards to outstanding Indian patriots who have served in the diaspora and distinguished themselves in various fields including science, literature, economics, politics and diplomacy.