- Apr 5, 2009
A very sad state of affairs in RAW. Very worrying developments for the national security.
Morale is low and expertise even lower
NEW DELHI: India’s spies at the Research and Analysis Wing, dread their next chief, Avdesh Bihari Mathur, a protégé of National Security Advisor M K Narayanan for whom mountains are being moved so that he can take over when incumbent K C Verma demits office in January 2011.
In early September, the RAW received an extraordinary communication from the government appointing Mathur a special secretary on the Rs 76,000-80,000 pay scale. This pay scale does not exist in RAW; special secretaries there start at Rs 80,000. The chief informed the cabinet secretary who overnight promoted Mathur as special secretary, without waiting for a finance ministry clearance. This post upgrade was unprecedented, say senior RAW officers.
In a reflex reaction, the additional secretaries from batches senior to Mathur’s (1975, Manipur) went on leave, complaining to both their chief and the cabinet secretary. One quit. Mathur had superseded six (P M Heblikar, Bidhan Rawal and C K Sinha from the 1973 batch; Anand Arni, Sharad Kumar and Ashok Kapoor from the 1975 batch).
Sinha has contested the appointment at CAT.
Theoretically, the next RAW chief could be chosen from Mathur, Arni or Kapoor. Narayanan’s speeding up of the paperwork for Mathur’s promotion makes it clear that the choice will be no contest.
This will drive the low morale that has plagued RAW ever since the NSA began planting “outsiders” as chiefs (in the guise of fixing the organisation) to rock bottom, say a number of officers. Verma tried to stem the damage by calling a meeting of officers and telling them bluntly not to go on a protest leave. At the same time, however, he declared his “hands are tied” and claimed he was only implementing a “government order”. This assuaged no one; they saw a glass ceiling being put in place for the foreseeable future.
What galled them was not that officers who spent over 25 years serving the nation were being overlooked, but that Mathur’s blotched career, including his proximity to a section of a divided business house with great reach inside government, was being ignored.