Snippets from the world of secrets

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  1. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    Snippets from the world of secrets

    Abhijit Bhattacharyya

    "Dedicated to the memory of Indira Gandhi", declares the author, who was appointed the Director of Intelligence Bureau on February 8, 1980. However, the title of the book,India: The Crucial Years, is misleading for it goes against the introduction where the author declares,"This is the story of my life and career...." Essentially, the book is his account of the days spent as an officer of the Indian Police Service.

    The writer covers his entire bureaucratic career from 1949 to 1983. He was born in a remote district of Telangana. He was "spotted in 1962" by the father of Indian intelligence, Bhola Nath Mullik,(A Bengali) and joined the IB at the time of the Chinese invasion.


    T.V. Rajeswar was specially "selected" for two consecutive "foreign" deployments: first to Sikkim and then to Bhutan. He "returned to the IB headquarters in May 1967...." Coveted assignments and foreign jaunts continued to follow when he became an advisor to Bangladesh's prime minister, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Rajeswar's alleged link with Indira Gandhi's Emergency-era actions resulted in a humiliating "break" in his service. He had to go on "forced leave" from July 1977 to January 1978.

    However, with the return of Indira Gandhi as the prime minister in 1980, Rajeswar was once again appointed the director of the IB. He carried out a "cleansing operation" of the institution by reverting "four senior officers back to their parent cadre". He also took over the job of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the jurisdiction of which fell under the Central Board of Excise and Customs under the finance ministry. Understandably, this propensity for "extra-territorial professionalism" coupled with "political-desk" jobs created powerful adversaries for him. Yet, "because of [his] equation with the Prime Minister... [his] efforts were by and large successful".

    Om Mehta, Bansi Lal and V.C. Shukla were the three ministers who "really made the most of the Emergency". However, Rajeswar's claim that the "IB was surprised when Emergency was declared and thousands of Opposition leaders were arrested around the country" is difficult to accept. It is certainly not supported by the direct witnesses of the "Emergency" who happen to be old "IB hands". Credible sources suggest that the IB had warned against the idea of the Emergency several times.

    During his tenure in 1982, Rajeswar also concurred with the governor of Odisha about the state of affairs in India. He was of the opinion that "the way things were going, the country might disintegrate in fifteen to twenty years" because "India [has become] a happy hunting ground... from all over the world, particularly the western ones, the CIA being the most important...."

    The foreign diplomats were "very particular about joining the various clubs". Some Indian civil servants and journalists were reported to be carrying out the jobs on behalf of the foreign intelligence outfits. Most alarming of all, however, was the enterprise of "a leading western country which was keen to cultivate service officers in all three services, particularly the armoured corps and the air force". Their target was Russian T-72 tanks and the "operation manuals of the latest MiG-21".

    Rajeswar's book will also be remembered for his pioneering efforts in making public the "intelligence report" on his six previous DIBs. The first DIB, T.G. Sanjeevi Pillai, "fell in love with a married lady, whose husband held a junior post".

    :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:
    B.N. Mullik "accepted with ill grace" his "final retirement"; S.P. Verma "could not really come to grips with the organization..."; M. L. Hooja "was not passing on all the information to the Prime Minister..."; A. Jayaram "was the only DIB who could leave office by 5.30pm"; S.N. Mathur was unceremoniously thrown out in 1980 by Indira Gandhi as he had "initiated action against [her]" when she was out of power.

    Rajeswar's constitutional positions took him to Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh from 1983 to 2009. He seems to have forgotten to mention one of the most sensational breaches of security committed by his own trusted officer who leaked out the entire proceedings of the "top secret" defence meeting to a leading English daily on the eve of the seventh non-aligned meet in 1983. It resulted from a turf war between the Delhi Police and the office of the DIB.

    One failure of the book is that Rajeswar fails to provide a graphic account of the internal fault lines within his own system. The facts mentioned in the book are credible.

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1151009/jsp/opinion/story_46869.jsp#.VhfJx3qqqko

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  3. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

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    A very interesting read. What concerns me is that Indian officials often become victims of honey traps and other such setups from foreign agencies. A sense of discipline and integrity needs to be instilled in these officials.
     

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