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B.K. Nehru, 92; Indian Ambassador to U.S. in the 1950s and '60s

November 10, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

B.K. Nehru, 92, an Indian diplomat who served as ambassador to Washington in the 1950s and '60s, died Oct. 31 in the northern Indian community of Kasauli.

Born Brij Kumar Nehru in Allahabad, he was a cousin of India's first and third prime ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter, Indira Gandhi. B.K. Nehru was educated at Allahabad University, the London School of Economics and Oxford University before joining the civil service. Specializing in financial work, he was also in the Indian delegation to the Paris Conference determining German reparations at the end of World War II.

While ambassador to Washington in the early 1960s, he was approached by representatives of European countries about succeeding the late Dag Hammarskjold as U.N. secretary-general. He turned down the post on the advice of India's influential foreign minister at the time, V.K. Krishna Menon. Nehru later regretted his decision, calling it "idiotic."

After leaving Washington, he served as India's high commissioner in London before returning to India in 1981 as governor of Jammu and Kashmir.

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