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.
After his return from Beijing, the National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, must brief the diplomatic corps in New Delhi which so far has heard only from the Chinese here and in important capitals.
The suicide attack on the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, in Sindh, which killed nearly 100 devotees last week, is unlikely to dampen the Dhamaal spirit, the ecstatic dance performed in the shrine’s courtyard at dusk every Thursday to the magical rhythm of drums.
Soviets are deeply involved in the Indian political process through covert contributions to the treasuries of political parties as well as to individual politicians.
Hard to believe, but Mosul, currently in the news, would have been ours today had Atal Behari Vajpayee not played spoil sport.
“If this book, half a century after the events, can even now make us pause long enough and look at ourselves in the mirror, it would have achieved its objective. At the end of the day it is not the Nehrus and the Menons and the Thapars and the Kauls and the Bogey Sens who are the losers – it is the country as a whole.”
What political philosophy Subhash desired or would have pursued is a matter of conjecture. The moot question that the IB documents pose is as to why the family of Subhash was kept under surveillance for two decades after independence, and most deploringly, why was the surveillance report being shared with the British intelligence agency, the MI5.
But for the 1962 India-China war, there would have been unbridled propensity to couch criminalization as political revolution. Even now, communists use all their leverages in India and abroad to dub their criminal and anti-national activities as ‘revolution’. The Indian romance about the ‘Red Flag’ at the cost of all other flags of productivity and progress though waning, is far from over.