Is R&AW dreaded or dreadful, effective or affectlessly irrelevant, a proactive shaper of India’s history and foreign policy or a bumbling reactionary force? As R&AW turns 50 today, it is worth investigating its past in search of an answer. Like everything else about it, R&AW’s origin is shrouded in mystery.
This column is not to recount R N Kao’s successes or failures; he saw both in good measures. For despite the paucity, there have been some books both by his colleagues and some by later spies, one of whom had the good sense of recording him for posterity. Instead, this column is just to inspire us Indians – in a world where history is being slaughtered daily – to study our gradually eroding past.
Two schools of journalism were suddenly in conflict. Should Nawaz Sharif’s alleged corruption be overlooked because protecting him against Imran Khan served some higher purpose? Publish and be damned is what I had been taught when confronted with such situations.
Why aren’t the charges against Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit being dropped? Why is he incarcerated without trial for his alleged involvement in cases involving Hindu terror groups when the cases of accused belonging to such groups seem to be floundering?
Was Lt Col Purohit set-up as a pawn in a political game of thrones and exploited by the political establishment, supported by a malleable, pliant Army leadership in 2008?