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History

50 Years of R&AW – Is India’s foreign spy agency dreaded or dreadful?

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.

Forgetting the most influential non-political Indian on his 100th birthday

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.

China briefing diplomats On Doklam: Doval must follow up for India

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.

Carnage at Qalandar Shrine: The Shia, Sunni, Sufi triangle

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.

Declassified docs: Soviet Penetration Program in India

Soviets are deeply involved in the Indian political process through covert contributions to the treasuries of political parties as well as to individual politicians.

But for Atal Behari Vajpayee, Kurdish Iraq was nearly ours

Hard to believe, but Mosul, currently in the news, would have been ours today had Atal Behari Vajpayee not played spoil sport.

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