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RAW : An Instrument of Indian Imperialism

Source : thepeoplesvoice.org

Isha Khan

(RAW) headquarters New Delhi

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), created in 1968, has assumed a significant status in the formulation of India’s domestic and foreign policies, particularly the later. Working directly under the Prime Minister, it has over the years become an effective instrument of India’s national power. In consonance with Kautilya’s precepts, RAW’s espionage doctrine is based on the principle of waging a continuous series of battles of intrigues and secret wars.

RAW, ever since its creation, has always been a vital, though unobtrusive, actor in Indian policy-making apparatus. But it is the massive international dimensions of RAW operations that merit a closer examination. To the credit of this organization, it has in very short span of time mastered the art of spy warfare. Credit must go to Indira Gandhi who in the late 1970s gave it a changed and much more dynamic role. To suit her much publicized Indira Doctrine, (actually India Doctrine) Mrs. Gandhi specifically asked RAW to create a powerful organ within the organization which could undertake covert operations in neighboring countries. It is this capability that makes RAW a more fearsome agency than its superior KGB, CIA, MI-6, BND and the Mossad.

Its internal role is confined only in monitoring events having bearing on the external threat. RAW’s boss works directly under the Prime Minister. An Additional Secretary to the Government of India, under the Director RAW, is responsible for the Office of Special Operations (OSO), intelligence collected from different countries, internal security (under the Director General of Security), the electronic/technical section and general administration. The Additional Secretary as well as the Director General of Security is also under the Director of RAW. DG Security has two important sections: the Aviation Research Center (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB). The joint Director has specified desks with different regional divisions/areas (countries):

Area one. Pakistan: Area two, China and South East Asia: Area three, the Middle East and Africa: and Area four, other countries. Aviation Research Center (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of target country’s communication systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircraft equipped with state-of- the art eavesdropping devices. ARC was strengthened in mid-1987 by the addition of three new aircraft, the Gulf Stream-3. These aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC also controls a number of radar stations located close to India’s borders. Its aircraft also carry out oblique reconnaissance, along the border with Bangladesh, China, Nepal and Pakistan.

RAW having been given a virtual carte blanche to conduct destabilization operations in neighboring countries inimical to India to seriously undertook restructuring of its organization accordingly. RAW was given a list of seven countries (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives) whom India considered its principal regional protagonists. It very soon systematically and brilliantly crafted covert operations in all these countries to coerce, destabilize and subvert them in consonance with the foreign policy objectives of the Indian Government.

RAW’s operations against the regional countries were conducted with great professional skill and expertise. Central to the operations was the establishment of a huge network inside the target countries. It used and targeted political dissent, ethnic divisions, economic backwardness and criminal elements within these states to foment subversion, terrorism and sabotage. Having thus created the conducive environments, RAW stage-managed future events in these countries in such a way that military intervention appears a natural concomitant of the events. In most cases, RAW’s hand remained hidden, but more often that not target countries soon began unearthing those “hidden hand”. A brief expose of RAW’s operations in neighboring countries would reveal the full expanse of its regional ambitions to suit India Doctrine ( Open Secrets : India’s Intelligence Unveiled by M K Dhar. Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005).


Indian intelligence agencies were involved in erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh since early 1960s. Its operatives were in touch with Sheikh Mujib for quite some time. Sheikh Mujib went to Agartala in 1965. The famous Agartala case was unearthed in 1967. In fact, the main purpose of raising RAW in 1968 was to organise covert operations in Bangladesh. As early as in 1968, RAW was given a green signal to begin mobilising all its resources for the impending surgical intervention in erstwhile East Pakistan. When in July 1971 General Manekshaw told Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that the army would not be ready till December to intervene in Bangladesh, she quickly turned to RAW for help. RAW was ready. Its officers used Bengali refugees to set up Mukti Bahini. Using this outfit as a cover, Indian military sneaked deep into Bangladesh. The story of Mukti Bahini and RAW’s role in its creation and training is now well-known. RAW never concealed its Bangladesh operations.

Interested readers may have details in Asoka Raina’s Inside RAW: the Story of India’s Secret Service published by Vikas Publishing House of New Delhi.The creation of Bangladesh was masterminded by RAW in complicity with KGB under the covert clauses of Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation (adopted as 25-year Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and Co-operation in 1972).

RAW retained a keen interest in Bangladesh even after its independence. Mr. Subramaniam Swamy, Janata Dal MP, a close associate of Morarji Desai said that Rameswar Nath Kao, former Chief of RAW, and Shankaran Nair upset about Sheikh Mujib’s assassination chalked a plot to kill General Ziaur Rahman. However, when Morarji Desai came into power in 1977 he was indignant at RAW’s role in Bangladesh and ordered operations in Bangladesh to be called off; but by then RAW had already gone too far. General Zia continued to be in power for quite some time but he was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power, though she denied her involvement in his assassination( Weekly Sunday,Calcutta,18 September, 1988).

RAW was involved in training of Chakma tribals and Shanti Bahini who carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh. It has also unleashed a well-organized plan of psychological warfare, creation of polarisation among the armed forces, propaganda by false allegations of use of Bangladesh territory by ISI, creation of dissension’s among the political parties and religious sects, control of media, denial of river waters, and propping up a host of disputes in order to keep Bangladesh under a constant political and socio-economic pressure ( ” RAW and Bangladesh” by Mohammad Zainal Abedin, November 1995, RAW In Bangladesh: Portrait of an Aggressive Intelligence, written and published by Abu Rushd, Dhaka).

Sikkim and Bhutan

Sikkim was the easiest and most docile prey for RAW. Indira Gandhi annexed the Kingdom of Sikkim in mid-1970s, to be an integral part of India. The deposed King Chogyal Tenzig Wangehuck was closely followed by RAW’s agents until his death in 1992.

Bhutan, like Nepal and Sikkim, is a land-locked country, totally dependent on India. RAW has developed links with members of the royal family as well as top bureaucrats to implements its policies. It has cultivated its agents amongst Nepalese settlers and is in a position to create difficulties for the Government of Bhutan. In fact, the King of Bhutan has been reduced to the position of merely acquiescing into New Delhi’s decisions and go by its dictates in the international arena.

Sri Lanka

Post- independence Sri Lanka, inspire of having a multi-sectoral population was a peaceful country till 1971 and was following independent foreign policy. During 1971 Indo-Pakistan war despite of heavy pressure from India, Sri Lanka allowed Pakistan’s civil and military aircraft and ships to stage through its air and sea ports with unhindered re-fueling facilities. It also had permitted Israel to establish a nominal presence of its intelligence training set up. It permitted the installation of high powered transmitter by Voice of America (VOA) on its territory, which was resented by India.

It was because of these ‘irritants’ in the Indo-Sri Lanka relations that Mrs Indira Gandhi planned to bring Sri Lanka into the fold of the so-called Indira Doctrine (India Doctrine) Kao was told by Gandhi to repeat their Bangladesh success. RAW went looking for militants it could train to destabilize the regime. Camps were set up in Tamil Nadu and old RAW guerrillas trainers were dug out of retirement. RAW began arming the Tamil Tigers and training them at centers such as Gunda and Gorakhpur. As a sequel to this ploy, Sri Lanka was forced into Indian power-web when Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 was singed and Indian Peace-Keeping-Force (IPKF) landed in Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of External Affairs was also upset at RAW’s role in Sri Lanka as they felt that RAW was still continuing negotiations with the Tamil Tiger leader Parabhakran in contravention to the Indian government’s foreign policy. According to R Swaminathan, (former Special Secretary of RAW) it was this outfit which was used as the intermediary between Rajib Gandhi and Tamil leader Parabhakaran. The former Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, J.N. Dixit even accused RAW of having given Rs. five corore to the LTTE. At a later stage, RAW built up the EPRLF and ENDLF to fight against the LTTE which turned the situation in Sri Lanka highly volatile and uncertain later on.


Under a well-orchestrated RAW plan, on November 30 1988 a 300 to 400-strong well trained force of mercenaries, armed with automatic weapons, initially said to be of unknown origin, infiltrated in boats and stormed the capital of Maldives. They resorted to indiscriminate shooting and took high-level government officials as hostages. At the Presidential Palace, the small contingent of loyal national guards offered stiff resistance, which enabled President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to shift to a safe place from where he issued urgent appeals for help from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Britain and the United States.

The Indian Prime Ministe Rajiv Gandhi reacted promptly and about 1600 combat troops belonging to 50 Independent Para-Brigade in conjunction with Indian Naval units landed at Male under the code-name Operation Cactus. A number of IAF transport aircraft, escorted by fighters, were used for landing personnel, heavy equipment and supplies. Within hours of landing, the Indian troops flushed out the attackers form the streets and hideouts. Some of them surrendered to Indian troops, and many were captured by Indian Naval units while trying to escape along with their hostages in a Maldivian ship, Progress Light. Most of the 30 hostages including Ahmed Majtaba, Maldives Minister of Transport, were released. The Indian Government announced the success of the Operation Cactus and complimented the armed forces for a good job done.

The Indian Defense Minister while addressing IAF personnel at Bangalore claimed that the country’s prestige has gone high because of the peace-keeping role played by the Indian forces in Maldives. The International Community in general and the South Asian states in particular, however, viewed with suspicious the over-all concept and motives of the operation. The western media described it as a display of newly-acquired military muscle by India and its growing role as a regional police. Although the apparent identification of the two Maldivian nationals could be a sufficient reason, at its face value, to link it with the previous such attempts by the mercenaries, yet other converging factors, indicative of involvement of external hand, could hardly be ignored.

Sailing of the mercenaries from Manar and Kankasanturai in Sri Lanka, which were in complete control of IPKF, and the timing and speed of the Indian intervention proved their involvement beyond any doubt.


Ever since the partition of the sub-continent India has been openly meddling in Nepal’s internal affairs by contriving internal strife and conflicts through RAW to destabilize the successive legitimate governments and prop up puppet regimes which would be more amenable Indian machinations. Armed insurrections were sponsored and abetted by RAW and later requests for military assistance to control these were managed through pro-India leaders. India has been aiding and inciting the Nepalese dissidents to collaborate with the Nepali Congress. For this they were supplied arms whenever the King or the Nepalese Government appeared to be drifting away from the Indian dictates and impinging on Indian hegemonic designs in the region. In fact, under the garb of the so-called democratization measures, the Maoists were actively encouraged to collect arms to resort to open rebellion against the legitimate Nepalese governments. The contrived rebellions provided India an opportunity to intervene militarily in Nepal, ostensibly to control the insurrections which were masterminded by the RAW itself. It was an active replay of the Indian performance in Sri Lanka and Maldives a few years earlier. RAW is particularly aiding the people of the Indian-origin and has been providing them with arms and ammunition. RAW has also infiltrated the ethnic Nepali refugees who have been extradited by Bhutan and have taken refuge in the eastern Nepal. RAW can exploit its links with these refugees in either that are against the Indian interest. Besides the Nepalese economy is totally controlled by the Indian money lenders, financiers and business mafia ( RAW’s Machination In South Asia by Shastra Dutta Pant, Kathmandu, 2003).


Since December 1979, throughout Afghan War, KGB, KHAD (WAD) (former Afghan intelligence outfit) and RAW stepped up their efforts to concentrate on influencing and covert exploitation of the tribes on both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. There was intimate co-ordination between the three intelligence agencies not only in Afghanistan but in destabilization of Pakistan through subversion and sabotage plan related to Afghan refugees and mujahideen, the tribal belt and inside Pakistan. They jointly organized spotting and recruitment of hostile tribesmen and their training in guerrilla warfare, infiltration, subversion, sabotage and establishment of saboteur force/terrorist organizations in the pro-Afghan tribes of Pakistan in order to carry out bomb explosions in Afghan refugee camps in NWFP and Baluchistan to threaten and pressurize them to return to Afghanistan. They also carried out bomb blasts in populated areas deep inside Pakistan to create panic and hatred in the minds of locals against Afghan refugee mujahideen for pressurizing Pakistan to change its policies on Afghanistan.


Pakistan’s size, strength and potential have always overawed the Indians. It, therefore, always considers her main opponent in her expansionist doctrine. India’s animosity towards Pakistan is psychologically and ideologically deep-rooted and unassailable. India’s war with Pakistan in 1965 over Kashmir and in 1971 which resulted in the dismemberment of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh are just two examples.

Raw considers Sindh as Pakistan’s soft under-belly. It has, therefore, made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. RAW has enrolled and extensive network of agents and anti-government elements, and is convinced that with a little push restless Sindh will revolt. Taking fullest advantage of the agitation in Sindh in 1983 and the ethnic riots, which have continued till today, RAW has deeply penetrated and cultivated dissidents and secessionists, thereby creating hard-liners unlikely to allow peace to return to Sindh. Raw is also involved similarly in Balochistan.

RAW is also being blamed for confusing the ground situation is Kashmir so as to keep the world attention away from the gross human rights violations by India in India occupied Kashmir. ISI being almost 20 years older than RAW and having acquired much higher standard of efficiency in its functioning , has become the prime target of RAW’s designs, ISI is considered to be a stumbling block in RAW’s operations, and has, therefore, been made a target of all kinds of massive misinformation and propaganda campaign. The tirade against ISI continues unabated. The idea is to keep ISI on the defensive by fictionalising and alleging its hand is supporting Kashmiri Mujahideen and Sikhs in Punjab. RAW’S fixation against ISI has taken the shape of ISI-phobia, as in India everyone traces down the origin of all happenings and shortcomings to the ISI . Be it an abduction at Banglaore or a student’s kidnapping at Cochin, be it a bank robbery at Calcutta or a financial scandal in Bombay, be it a bomb blast at Bombay or Bangladesh, they find an ISI hand in it ( RAW :Global and Regional Ambitions” Edited by Rashid Ahmad Khan and Muhammad Saleem, Published by Islamabad Policy Research Institute, Asia Printers, slamabad, 2005).

RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its tasks of destabilising target states through unbridled export of terrorism. The India Doctrine spelt out a difficult and onerous role for RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives due to the endemic weakness in the state apparatus of those nations and failure of their leaders.


10 Responses

  1. RAW’s involvement in Chittagong Hill Tracts

    Mohammad Zainal Abedin

    The object of India’s assistance to PCJSS of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and its front organization as well, is limited not only to cripple Bangladesh but use them as tenanted ruffians and mercenaries to uproot the guerrillas of TNV (Tripura), NSCN (Nagaland), MNF (Mizoram), PLA, PAM (Manipur) and ULFA (Assam) who are engaged in an obstinate and steady jungle war to free their regions from Indian exploitative claws. Because of the Chakmas’ similarity to of appearance and stature to the tribal of North-eastern India, her intelligence agencies infiltrated many Shanti Bahini (SB) insurgents into the militant outfits of Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Assam. India’s intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) even uses the common Chakmas as its agents to procure the plans and other information of these militant outfits. A pro-Chakma book published from Calcutta accurately acknowledges:

    “ During the regime of Indira Gandhi when a portion of the Naga and the Mizo communities revolted, the Indian government decided to use the tribals of CHT, Indian government accurately convicted that only the tribals of CHT could help the Indian government in procuring the information about the Nagas and the Mizos more effectively. The Union government of India decided that tribal refugees of Bangladesh (at that time it was East Pakistan) would be rehabilitated in the desolate region of NEFA (i.e. in the North-Eastern Frontier Agency with China, which is now known as Arunachal Pradesh). The rehabilitation of the refugees in the desolate region as a strategy to face the Chinese power of post-62 era perhaps was a well thought decision. Their rehabilitation in the depopulated region would not only increase the population of that area but also play a positive role in the field of defence and security arrangements. The Union government accurately concluded that these tribals would always remain faithful to and dependent on Indian government and a portion of them might have been used in defence force if the situation would demand so (78 ).

    The RAW operatives closely assisted the Chakma guerrillas. The Chakmas after the change of the government in 1975 contacted the RAW. They offered to infiltrate among the Mizo rebels and pass on information to the Indian government in lieu of asylum. This offer was accepted by the then Indian government (79).

    The RAW was involved in training of the rebels of Chakma tribes and Shanti Bahini to carry out subversive activities in Bangladesh (80).

    In this context, let me quote renowned Indian journalist and BBC’s Eastern India correspondent Subir Bhaumik’s interview with ‘Probe News Magazine’:

    “You will see in my book, from 1975 to 1990, the RAW backed Shanti Bahini……..” In 1976 after Shanti bahini went underground, their people had gone for training in India. Mind you, the rank and file were trained in India……. There was a clear indication given to Mr. Larma that India was prepared for up to 50,000 guerillas. Train them, arm them, equip them…..”(81).

    This strategy still persists which makes it easier for Indian government to restrict the anti-India forces of Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya. On the other hand, RAW genuinely perceived that the chakmas are subservient to India, the militants of the North-east would not get shelter even temporarily if the SB remains active in CHT, In fact, one can conclude that SB was used the fence of the Indian border.

    In 1975, the RAW was instructed to assist the Chakma rebels with arms, supplies, bases and training. Training was concluded in the border camps in Tripura but specialized training was imparted at Chakrata near Dehra Doon. Shantu Larma’s Shanti Bahini members were flown to Chakrata and then sent back to Tripura to infiltrate into CHTs. A RAW office and its operatives at Agartala monitored the progress of the trainees. In 1976, the Shanti Bahini launched its first attack on the Bangladesh forces. A new insurgency had been born and India’s secret war in the hills of Bangladesh had begun (82).

    Motiur Rahaman,editor, Prothom Alo who is known to be soft towards India, disclosed that Indian intelligence agencies tried to create unrest in CHT region and continues it till date (83).

    Now it is open secret that CHT problem is the direct outcome of Indian manipulation. India with the active cooperation of the Congress ruffians Gopal Krisna Chakma, Sneha Kumar Chakma and others persuaded some ambitious and derailed tribals, mainly the Chakmas, to float a secessionist outfit under the leadership of former Pairliament member Manbebdra Narayan Larma.

    Though the article No. 9 of the now defunct Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Cooperation and friendship signed on March 19, 1972 categorically stated that one country would neither allow the terrorists of other to use its territory nor encourage any activities subversive to internal peace and security and territorial integrity. But within a year of signing the treaty India violated the provisions of the treaty by allowing the PCJSS and SB terrorists to operate against Bangladesh from Indian soil.

    Referring to Larma’s RAW connection an English weekly ‘Friday’ published from Dhaka mentioned that Manbendra Larma crossing the border met Indian intelligence officials in 1976. The same weekly informed that Larma’s initiation to patch up with Late President Ziaur Rahman was deterred under Indian pressure. The weekly says: “The attempt of M.N. Larma to negotiate a settlement with Zia was failed as the armed wing of the Jana Sanghati Samiti was compelled to initiate armed operation under Indian pressure in mid 1976” (84).

    Chittagong Hill Tracts: A Victim of Indian Intervention, Mohammad Zainal Abedin,Eastern Publications, London, 2003, pages.97-100.


    78. Debjani Dutta & Annusuya Bosu Roy Chowdhury, The Politics and the Struggle of Chittagong Hill Tracts border, Calcutta Research Group, Calcutta, India, Page.63
    79. Inside RAW:The Story of India’s Secret Service, Asoka Raina, Vikas Publishers, New Delhi, India, 1981, page. 86-87
    80. RAW’s Role in Furthering India’s Foreign Policy, Ashok Biswas, The New Nation, Dhaka, August 31, 1994
    81. PROBE, Vol.1, Issue 4, Dhaka, September 1-15, 2001.
    82. Binalaksmi Nepram, South Asia’s Fractured Frontier, Mittal Publishers, New Delhi, 2002, page-153.
    83. Motiur Rahaman, Prothom Alo, Dhaka, December 10, 2002.
    84. Weekly Friday, Dhaka, June3, 1988.

  2. Raw at War-Genesis of Secret Agencies in Ancient India

    Columnist Gp Capt SM HALI examines the historical capacity of Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) of India to conduct clandestine operations


    Espionage, euphemistically called the second oldest profession of the world finds a mention in the Indian Vedas, one of the most – if not the most – ancient of the human texts. References to espionage are also discernible in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Greece and China. The Chinese sage Sun Tzu is considered by European scholars to be the first to study and analyse the whole question of espionage on scientific lines, and to set it down in a text book Ping Fa, The Art of War. This view is, however, not substantiated by cogent facts since there is ample proof of the greater antiquity and soundness of the system of Secret Services enunciated by the early Indians.

    Varuna, one of the chief gods of the Vedic pantheon is considered to be a forerunner of Secret Services. Magha, one of the most erudite and lucid poets and pragmatic thinkers, unequivocally asserted that statecraft cannot exist without the assistance of espionage. He writes:-

    ‘The statecraft in which even a single step is not taken in contravention of the science of dandaniti {(i.e. the law of danda (the rod)} which provides decent living (to the officers) and in which liberal grants are given in recognition of services rendered, does not shine to advantage without (the employment of ) spies, just as the science of grammar does not shine without Papasa Bhasya (the introductory portion of Patanjali’s Mahabhasya), though it is provided with Nyasa (a commentary of that name) which strictly follows the words of the Sutras (of Panini), a good vrtti (explanatory work) and an excellent Bhasya (advance work of explanation, discussion and criticism)’.

    – (Sisupala – vadha, 2.112)

    Secret Agencies in ancient India were not conceived of as an instrument of oppression but as a tool of governance. Secret agents were considered as ‘eyes of the king’.

    Indian history illustrates that ancient Indians had gained great expertise in this secret art. The techniques and operational methods adopted by them were highly advanced, and can be usefully emulated today. From the spasas of Varuna, the fore-runners of the modern globe-trotting spies (the etymological affinity of the two terms is noticeable) to Chanakya’s final manifestation of this art in the Arthasastra which is in fact a systematic codification of a wide variety of scattered information copiously found in the Epics, – the Mahabharata and the Ramayana – the Puranas and literary works of Bhasa, Kalidasa, Magha and Bana; and the Tamil Sangam literature, transcends unprecedented heights in this discipline.

    The vision of the Arthashastra, is truly breath taking, its practical utility timeless and the clarity of its exposition unique. The techniques of manipulating public opinion and creating disinformation, propounded by Chanakya anticipated modern intelligence systems by several centuries. No wonder then that the nearly 2500 years old lessons in deceit, guile, hypocrisy, machination, and gore taught by that Master strategist, Chanakya alias Kautilya (literally meaning ‘crooked’) was adopted in toto by India and its chief intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

    While laying the foundation stone of RAW, India’s late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi approvingly quoted Louis F Hallis, when she said that its objectives should be the ‘Ability to get what one wants by whatever means: eloquence, reasoned arguments, bluff, tirade, threat or coercion, as well as, by arousing pity, annoying others, or making them uneasy’.

    RAW is basically a Secret Service established to perform clandestine operations based on the Chanakyan principles of deceit and guile. It has successfully destabilised neighbouring countries, disintegrated independent states and backed the most notorious guerrilla organizations to achieve its ends. If it is compared to other intelligence agencies of the region, it emerges as an aggressive, cold-blooded and ruthless institution, engaged in the most macabre deeds.

    The organization and structure of RAW will be discussed in the second part of this paper. But to appreciate its working we must, first examine the origin and organization of India’s ancient secret agencies.

    Origin and Organization of Secret Agencies in Ancient India

    The origin and development of Secret Agencies in ancient India is linked to the geopolitical conditions of the times when India was dotted with small states attempting to grab each other’s territory and wealth. The art of espionage was thoroughly mastered, and almost all ancient Indian literary sources exhaustively dealt with this system. Spying came to be regarded as an indispensable feature and integral part of an efficient administration and of a sound foreign policy. It kept the rulers posted with the activities, afflictions, and operations of political adversaries: their disloyal and disgruntled elements, fifth columnists and foreign agents in their midst, also the strength and intentions of all foreign power. Espionage was considered to be as important an institution as diplomacy, and was sought to be governed by certain definite rules and usages. In Chanakya, the secret service department became a permanent feature of the state and was organised in the most ‘uninhibited manner’.

    While Chanakya presents a highly developed and complicated system of governance including an all-pervasive espionage system, references to it are found in pre-Mauryan literature, too. The Mahabharata refers to a mythological tradition on the origin of the dandaniti and the art of espionage, which was handed down from the past. It expounds ‘Brahma, the creator, himself composed a work comprising 1,00,000 chapters relating to dharma (religion), artha (economy), kama (sexual desire) and moksa (spiritual salvation) – the four aspects of life.’ Brahma’s compilation, according to the Great Epic, included subjects of behaviour towards counsellors, of spies, the indication of princes, of secret agents possessed of diverse means, of envoys, and agents of other kinds, conciliation, fomenting discord, gifts and chastisement; deliberations including counsels for producing disunion; the three kinds of victory, first, that which served righteously, secondly, which was won by wealth, and, thirdly, the one obtained by deceitful ways; chastisement of two kinds, namely, open and secret; the disorder created in the hostile troops; inspiring the enemy with fear; the means of winning over persons residing in the enemy territory; and finally, the chastisement and destruction of those that are strong.’

    No other civilization can claim such an antiquity for the techniques of war, diplomacy, intrigue and espionage and on such compulsive terms.

    In short, Varuna and other deities of the Vedic pantheon heavily depended on their secret agents. Manu, Kamandaka, Yajnavalkya and Chanakya, besides the later digest writers, deliberated on the art of espionage, while Chanakya perfected the art and recommended the organisation of secret agencies in the most unabashed manner. Professor Ghoshal suggests that the Mauryas followed the Arthasastra tradition in four respects, i.e. precautions in recruiting spies, countrywide espionage, safeguards against false reports by secret agents and enlistment of the services of loose women.


    The modest origin of secret agents in the form of Varuna’s spasas brought about the imperative need for effective and vigorous espionage in an institutionalized form. The blue-print on espionage prepared by Chanakya has remained a model for successive generations. Various aspects of the organization of a secret agency as discussed in complete detail in the Arthasastra are briefly touched upon here.

    * Category of Agents. The Arthasastra mentions two wings of ‘secret service’, viz. ‘samstha’ and ‘sancara’. The agents belonging to ‘samstha’ were stationed in the Establishment financed by the State, whereas the ‘sancaras’ moved from place to place depending on professional requirements. The spymasters of the two wings headed their respective cadre of agents, and controlled their operations. The members of one group were not aware of the existence of the other. This classification of Chanakya has been followed in India throughout the successive centuries.

    * Recruitment of Secret Agents. A study of Arthasastra, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Manusmriti, Kamandaka and Sukra reveals that there was no fixed source of recruitment of secret agents. Modern intelligence services generally resort to three main sources of recruitment, the academic world, the armed services and the under-world. This was also the pattern followed in ancient India.

    * Training. After recruitment, the secret agents were put through a rigorous training in the techniques of adopting disguises, changing appearances, science of signalling, secret writing, detection and identification of criminals, manipulating public opinion and creating dissensions in the enemy ranks.

    * Control and Supervision. The complicated, comprehensive, all-pervasive and ubiquitous institution of spies in ancient India necessitated very close and personal supervision of the ruler or his most reliable officers. It must have been difficult for the king to personally handle the comprehensive and complicated department of intelligence. According to the Arthasastra, the department of external affairs, which was covering military intelligence was managed by the king with the help of his foreign minister and the Commander-in-Chief. The agents detailed to cover the senior officers of the central government certainly reported to the king directly. In the far-flung areas of extensive kingdoms and in view of poor means of communication, the action specially in times of war had to be taken by men on the spot and not by the king who may be at a place far distant from the field of action. In foreign countries the spies were kept under the control and supervision of ambassadors who scrutinised their reports and directed intelligence operations. According to Chanakya, the institution of spies as an organization did not function under a unified command. The spies and secret agents worked under their respective heads of department, and also directly under the king.

    Techniques of Espionage

    Before discussing the working of RAW, it would be worthwhile to briefly examine some of the techniques of espionage employed by the ancient secret agencies of India.

    * Motivation and Recruitment of Sources. Motivation of persons to cater intelligence is directly proportionate to their weakness for sex and money, besides the burning desire of revenge or insatiable hunger for power. The Spymasters of ancient India exploited these weaknesses to their fullest advantage, and even the modern intelligence agencies heavily depend on these considerations. Chanakya advocated that the weak should be subjugated by means of conciliation and gifts, the strong by means of dissension and force.

    * Selection and Infiltration of Targets. Chanakya, in a very subtle manner and with an intimate knowledge of human psychology, selected his targets in foreign lands depending on their weaknesses and motivation. He advised secret agents to concentrate on targets:-

    * Among those who are dissatisfied with the rulers or had been humiliated or exiled;

    * Who have not been compensated for their expenditure;

    * Those who have been deprived of their rightful inheritance to office;

    * Whose women have been molested by force;

    * Who were wrongly imprisoned;

    * Whose property had been confiscated;

    * Who are prone to blackmail due to some weakness.

    Double-Agent Operation.

    A ‘Double-Agent’ is a spy who works for the opposition while pretending loyalty to those who employ him. this technique is an indispensable facet of agent-running and was extensively practised in ancient India. Chanakya suggested that secret agents should not refuse pay from the targets for working with them as their employees. This was to allay the misgivings on the part of the targets. ‘Double-Agents’ were used for creating dissensions and confusion among the confederates of the enemy. They floated false documents, got them seized from the possession of the enemy’s army chiefs, and thus weakened the enemy. ‘Double-Agents’ were used to winning over the confidence of their adopted masters by sacrificing a few exposed, treacherous, disaffected or inefficient spies.

    * Payment of Sources Encouragement of secret agents with money and honour was considered an imperative necessity. The sources were paid both in cash and kind, besides receiving extraordinary courtesies and favours. It was also recommended that secret agents not only be rewarded for the job done by them but, also, in the event of repeated mistakes, silent punishment-death-be awarded to them.

    * Communication of Intelligence Intelligence not properly and promptly conveyed and which cannot be acted upon loses its value and validity. Besides this, the Arthasastra, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kamandaka and Kathasaritasagara all recommend the use of coded language and signals.

    * Interception of Mail Interception of messages, signals and letters by postal censorship; monitoring and tapping telephones; and breaking codes is the standard practice of modern intelligence agencies. In the ancient period, since intelligence was communicated through pre-determined signals and with the assistance of pigeons, secret agents must have made elaborate arrangements to intercept these messages.

    * Assessment of Information. The Arthasastra cautions against the placing of reliance on agents without proper corroboration. It is repeatedly emphasised that all aspects of a report must be gone through, including the source of information, the mode of its collection and the past performance of a source before it is accepted. Briefing and debriefing of secret agents was an elaborate exercise, and they were trained to be precise, accurate and truthful in reporting.

    * Working Under ‘Cover’. The institution of espionage in ancient India, like modern times, required secret agents to work under some kind of ‘cover’ to preserve secrecy. Chanakya institutionalized the art of working under the most ingenious ‘covers’. The most common disguises recommended by him were those of ascetic, mendicant, merchant, artisan, wandering minstrel, artiste, cook, barber and shampooer, bath and toilet attendant, deaf, dumb, eunuch and prostitute. Chanakya recommends the use of women as effective tools of espionage particularly those who were engaged in harlotry.

    * Counter-Intelligence. A counter-intelligence operation is directed at discovering the identities and methods of foreign spies and intelligence officers working for the opposition. One of the most important duties of the Secret Service in ancient India was to counteract the activities of such agents operating within the country. Chanakya recommends that secret agents should discover foreign spies by operating at the places of entertainment, conclaves of people, among beggars, in gardens and public places, and the houses of prominent citizens.

    Disinformation and Dissension.

    Manipulation of public opinion is as important an object of the State today as it was in ancient India. It is used to create disharmony and distrust among the enemy’s friends, ill-will among his allies, loss of confidence in their leadership and disruption by psychological means his capacity and will to fight. Chanakya had perfected the technique of disinformation and highly eulogised the use of dissension in enemy’s ranks for winning a battle without any military action. His winning an extensive empire for his student Chandragupta Maurya without fighting any mentionable battle is aweÑ, and one may be excused to add: admirationÑ, inspiring feat, unparalleled in history. The Sanskrit Classical drama Mudrakshasa has tried to depict it dramatically but, at best, has only partially succeeded.

    * Sabotage. The technique of sabotage, which the political strategists consider as the penultimate means to vanquish an adversary, had been greatly perfected in ancient India. Secret practices for sabotage were advocated by Chanakya to ensure victory. As a preface to sabotage, he suggests the creation of an atmosphere congenial to arousing terror, fear, demoralization, disappointment and loss of confidence among the enemy ranks. Prior to launching a full-scale assault on the enemy fort, Chanakya suggests implementation of secret measures to weaken its defences not only physically but in all respects. These include prevention of sowing the fields, destruction of the standing crops and cutting of the enemy’s supply lines.

    He also advises free and uninhibited use of poison in the articles used by the enemy. His detailed and scientifically valid knowledge of the subject has earned for him a place in Arabic medical literature, that knows him as Ibn Shanaq (son of Chanak). Some of the secret stratagems advocated by Chanakya include the use of smoke with properties seriously affecting the vision, and, arson or setting fires within the enemy fort.

    * The employment of Visakanyas (Poison-damsels). Secret Agencies in ancient India had perfected very ingenious techniques to subserve the interests of their monarchs. Besides using the nascent technological advancement available to them, they exploited human weakness for sex to achieve royal objectives. Visakanya is a unique feature of the Indian genius to poison the monarch. These venomous beauties can be classified, as follows:-

    * A damsel whose body is saturated with gradual doses of poison, and who is likely to transmit poison from her body to another person coming in contact with her;

    * A woman who treacherously captivates the heart of a person, and then mixes poison in his food or drink;

    * A girl who is, one way or the other, so much poisoned or infected with disease that she is likely to convey her poison or disease to the person coming in contact with her. A woman suffering from Venereal disease or, in the latest situation one suffering from Aids is a Visakanya of this kind.

    What is not possible by deployment of force is possible by the use of stratagem.The black cobra was defeated by the stratagem of the crow and the golden chain.

    — Chanakya


    The first part of this article briefly traced out the history of secret services in ancient India. Its chief progenitor was Chanakya, whose classic, the Arthasastra, not only provides a fairly graphic account of the activities of spies in the Mauryan and post-Mauryan polity but lays the foundation for the ‘statecraft’, guile and unscrupulous practices advocated by this master strategist.

    He goes on to recommend, ‘In the work of espionage, all methods are admissible Ñ snooping, lying, bribing, poisoning, using women’s wiles and the assassin’s knife. To a weak king menaced by strong neighbours, Chanakya’s advice was to rely chiefly on spies and wage what he described as a ‘battle of intrigues’ (mantra yuddha) and ‘secret wars’ (kuta yuddha). The spies, in order to achieve their objective, were to practice all kinds of fraud, artifice incendiarism and robbery. Their objective was to demoralize the enemy’s troops by circulating false news, and seduce the allegiance of his minister and commanders. The underlying idea seems to have been to keep the strong neighbour preoccupied with domestic troubles thus making it impossible for him to launch a foreign expedition. From the days of Chanakya, the rules of business of espionage have not changed, at least the basic principles remain as before. The development of science and technology has only given fresh impetus and tools to the art of spying.

    Evolution of RAW

    Origins in the Directorate of Intelligence Bureau, created by the Raj in November 1920 Ñ during the Khilafat and Swaraj movements Ñ out of the old Criminal Intelligence Department (CID). In 1933, sensing the political turmoil in the world which eventually led to the Second World War, the bureau’s responsibilities were increased to include the collection of intelligence along India’s borders. In 1947, after Independence, Sanjeevi Pillai took over as the first Indian Director. Having been depleted of trained manpower by the exit of the British and Muslims, Pillai tried to run the bureau along MI 5 lines. Although in 1949, Pillai organized a small foreign intelligence set-up, the inefficacy of it was proved by the Indian debacle in the Indo-China War of 1962, and the cry of ‘not enough intelligence available’, was taken up by the Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Chaudhry, after the 1965 Indo-Pak war.

    It was towards the end of 1966 and the beginning of 1967 that the concept of a separate foreign intelligence agency began to take concrete shape. In 1968, after Indira Gandhi had taken over, it was decided that a full-fledged second security service was needed. R. N. Kao, then a deputy director of IB, submitted a blueprint for the new agency. Kao was appointed as the chief of India’s first foreign intelligence agency named as ‘the Research and Analysis Wing’ or RAW.

    RAW takes shape

    Having started humbly as a Wing of the main Intelligence Bureau with 250 personnel and an annual budget of Rs 2 crore (by a rough estimate), in the early seventies, its annual budget had risen to Rs 30 crores while its personnel numbered several thousand. In 1971, Kao had persuaded the government to set up the Aviation Research Centre (ARC). The ARC’s job was aerial reconnaissance. It replaced the Indian Air Force’s old reconnaissance aircraft and by the mid-70s, RAW, through the ARC, had high quality aerial pictures of the installations along the Chinese and Pakistani borders. By 1976, Kao had been promoted to the rank of a fullfledged Secretary responsible for Security and reporting directly to the Prime Minister. His rise had raised RAW to become India’s premier intelligence agency. RAW agents operated in virtually every major embassy and high commission.

    RAW’s objectives

    The objectives of RAW according to Asoka Raina’s famous book Inside RAW (Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 1981) have been:-

    * To monitor the political and military developments in all the adjoining countries, which have, direct bearing on India’s national security and in the formulation of its foreign policy.

    * Secondly, RAW watched the development of international communism and the schism between the two communist giants, the Soviet Union and The Republic of China. For as in other countries both the powers had direct access to the Communist Parties in India.

    * Thirdly, the supply of military hardware to Pakistan mostly from European countries, the USA and China, was of high priority.

    * And last but not the least, the presence of a large ethnic Indian population in foreign countries, provided a powerful lobby. These countries could back a favourable policy in international councils, motivated by the ethnic Indian group.

    The Organization

    RAW has been organized on the lines of the CIA. The following chart (source: Inside RAW by Asoka Raina) signifies the organization of RAW and is self-explanatory.

    Training of RAW Agents

    Recruitment: Initially, induction in RAW relied primarily on trained intelligence officers who were recruited directly. These belonged to the external wing of IB. However, quite a few were taken from police and other services to fill the cadres of RAW owing to its sudden expansion. Later RAW began recruiting promising fresh graduates from the Universities directly. The criteria for selection are fairly stringent.

    Basic Training: Basic training commences with ‘pep talks’ to boost the morale of the new recruit. This is a ten days’ phase in which the fresh inductee is familiarized with the world of intelligence and espionage and alienated from the spies of fiction. Common usages, technical jargon and classification of information are taught. Case studies of other agencies like CIA, KGB, Chinese Secret Agency and ISI are presented for study. He is also taught that an intelligence organisation does not basically identify a friend from a foe, it is the country’s foreign policy that do.

    Phase – II: The fresh recruit’s training continues and he is now posted in some remote outpost, attached to a Field Intelligence Bureau (FIB). His training here lasts for a period of six months to a year. He is given a first hand feeling of what it was to be out in the cold, in the danger area conducting clandestine operation. During night exercises, under conditions of absolute realism, he is taught infiltration and exfiltration. He is instructed to avoid capture and if caught, how to face intensive interrogation; the art of reconnoiter, making contacts, and, the numerous skills of operating an intelligence mission. At the end of the field training, the new recruit is brought back to the School for final polishing. Before his deployment in the field, he is given exhaustive training in the art of self-defence, an introduction to martial arts and the use of technical espionage devices. He is also drilled in various administrative disciplines so that he could take his place in the foreign missions without arousing suspicion. He is now ready to operate under the cover of an Embassy to gather information, set up his own network of informers, moles or operatives as the task may require.

    Functions of RAW

    The functions of RAW vary according to the target. Some functions for obtaining strategic intelligence are outlined below:-

    Collection of Information: Emphasis is laid on obtaining information essential to Indian interests. Both overt and covert means are adopted.

    Collection of Information : The vast myriad of data is sifted through, classified and filed. The modern computer network in the 13-storey bombproof building situated at Lodhi Road, New Delhi, is a great help.

    Aggressive Intelligence: The primary mission of RAW includes aggressive intelligence which comprise espionage, psychological warfare, subversion, sabotage, terrorism and creating dissension, insurgency and, ultimately, insurrection to destabilize the target country.

    Modus Operandi

    Foreign Missions: Foreign Missions provide an ideal cover and RAW centres in a target country are generally located inside the Embassy premises.

    Multinationals: RAW operatives find good covers in Multinational organizations. NGOs and Cultural programmes are also popular screens to shield RAW activities.

    Media: International media centres can easily absorb RAW operatives and provide freedom of movement.

    Collaboration with other agencies: RAW maintains active collaboration with other secret services to meet its ends in a particular target country. Its contacts with KGB of the former Soviet Union, KHAD, the erstwhile Afghan agency, Mossad, CIA and MI6 have been well-known. A common interest being Pakistan’s Nuclear Programme.

    Third Country Technique: RAW has been very active in obtaining information and operating through third countries like the Middle East, Afghanistan, UK, Hong Kong, Mayanmar and Singapore.

    Spotting and Recruitment: RAW operatives are on the lookout for local recruits to serve their ends. Acting on the Chanakyan principles, they tend to exploit human weaknesses for wine, women and wealth, and, at times resort to blackmail. Separatist tendencies and ethnic or sectarian sensitivities are also well-known grounds for manipulation. Armed Forces personnel remain a primary target. Those journalists, intellectuals and politicians harbouring and preaching goodwill and better Indo-Pak relations also make suitable targets for inadvertent and unconscious recruitment by RAW agents.

    Major successes of RAW

    Creation of Bangladesh: The Bangladesh operation, beginning with sowing seeds of dissension, leading to the Agartala Conspiracy, creation of Mukti Bahini and under its cover sneaking into East Pakistan for guerrilla operations to blow up bridges and other installations damaged the morale of Pakistani troops and India won the war even before the battle began, thanks to RAW as its agents had infiltrated every nook and corner of erstwhile East Pakistan. The paragraph entitled: ‘RAW takes shape’, in the initial part of this article, amply demonstrates the causal chain of events.

    Plan to assassinate General Zia-ur-Rahman: According to the September 18-24, 1988 issue of the weekly Magazine Sunday (Calcutta), RAW was on the verge of assassinating Bangladesh’s President General Zia-ur-Rahman (with Mrs Gandhi’s approval) when the Congress government fell. RAW briefed the new Prime Minister Morarji Desai about it who was appalled at the idea and stopped the murder. General Zia continued to rule Bangladesh for many more years. He was assassinated after Indira Gandhi returned to power but RAW pleads innocence.

    Poornima: Project Poornima was the name given India’s Nuclear Programme. The task to keep it ‘under tight wraps of security’ was given to RAW. This was the first time that RAW was involved in a project inside India. The rest is history as India managed to surprise the world on 18 May, 1974 by detonating a 15-Kiloton plutonium device at Pokharan.

    Kahuta’s Blueprint: According to the September 18-24, 1988 issue of the weekly Indian Magazine Sunday, RAW agents claim that in early 1978, they were on the verge of obtaining the plans and blueprint for Kahuta nuclear plant that was built to counter the Pokharan atomic blast, but the then Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai not only refused to sanction the $ 10,000 demanded by the RAW agent, but informed Pakistan of the offer. According to the report, Pakistanis caught and eliminated the RAW mole.

    It must be noted that the author of ‘Ham Jang Nahin Hone Denge’ held the external affairs portfolio at that time.

    Sikkim: Encircled by Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and West Bengal in the Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim presented a lucrative target to the Indians. It was ruled by a Maharaja. The Indian Government had recognized the title of Chogyal (Dharma Raja) for the Mahraja of Sikkim. After their kill in East Pakistan, in 1972, RAW was given the green signal to go ahead with the operation of installing a pro-Indian democratic government there. In less than three years, with the manipulation of RAW, Sikkim became the 22nd State of the Indian Union on April 26, 1975.

    Maldives: To bring the smaller Independent States/countries in the Indian sphere of influence with the use of RAW, the case of Maldives makes an important example. In November 1988, the Eilam Peoples’ Liberation Front comprising about 200 Tamil secessionists on the pay roll of RAW were tasked to stage the drama of an uprising on that peaceful island. At the request of the President of Maldives, Mr Mamoon Abdul Qayyum, Indian Armed Forces ‘quelled’ the insurgency engineered by themselves and thus tried to sneak into the administrative mechanism of that peace-loving country.

    Operation Chanakya: This was the codename given to the RAW operation in Occupied Kashmir to create rifts among the various Kashmiri Mujahideen groups, suppress the uprising and bring the Kashmiris under total Indian subjugation. According to Tariq Ismail Sagar’s book RAW, (Milli Book Depot, Lahore, 1997) in 1991, RAW operatives entered the Srinagar Valley in the guise of freedom fighters. They resorted to loot, rape and arson of Kashmiri Pundit families to give the popular non-communal uprising a bad name. Operation Chanakya gained momentum when Mossad provided its experienced Katsas to train RAW operatives. They did gain initial successes but when later actions of Operations Chanakya failed, RAW commenced an intensive propaganda to blame ISI.

    Monitoring Pakistani Telecommunication: Raw operatives boast that at one time its monitoring complex had managed to break through Pakistani Telecommunications and were listening in to all telephonic conversations held by important Pakistani leaders.

    RAW’s Failures

    Although RAW has had many successes, it has also committed a number of blunders. Some of these are discussed below:

    Promulgation of Emergency: Whereas the IB Director, A. Jayaram had advised Mrs Indira Gandhi against promulgating the Emergency, Kao, Mrs Gandhi’s handpicked man and RAW’s head, supported it. This proved to be a fatal mistake. He continued to feed the PM reports of its popularity and that no excesses were committed. How disastrous it proved for Kao’s benefactor is a matter of history.

    Operation Blue Star: This was the codename given to the storming of the holiest Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple of Amritsar in 1984. Although it was a domestic matter and IB’s concern, yet RAW was pulled in under the pretext of a foreign element’s (allegedly Pakistani) involvement. RAW failed miserably as it could not assess the strength of Bhindranwale’s forces. What was to be a 5 hours’ operation stretched to 5 days and tanks had to be brought in and Indian Army suffered heavy casualties. Ultimately Indira Gandhi had to pay with her own life as she was gunned down by her Sikh bodyguard in retaliation to Operation Blue Star. Kao, the Prime Minister’s Security Adviser resigned within 24 hours of her assassination.

    Kee us ne mere qatl ke ba’d Jafaa se tauba,
    Haae! Us zood pashemaan kaa pashemaan honaa.
    Ah! The remorse of the one
    Who after finishing me,
    Took the vow never to be cruel again.
    So soon did he repent!

    — Ghalib

    Mujib-ur-Rahman’s Assassination: RAW operatives claim that they had advance information about Shaikh Mujib-ur-Rahman’s assassination but they failed to prevent it. It is interesting to note that despite its role in the creation of Bangladesh, RAW failed to annex it.

    It was a classic case of the cropping up of a double dilemma: Yak na shud do shud.

    Mauritius: Mrs Gandhi was so keen to see Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam continue as the Prime Minister of Mauritius that RAW was tasked to oversee his reelection campaign. Despite heavy investments, RAW failed by a wide margin.

    Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka had been marked for special attention after it had permitted Pakistani aircraft to land for refuelling there after India had stopped the over flight rights of Pakistani flights to and back from East Pakistan. Sri Lankan President Junius Jaywardhene’s aim of turning his country into an Asian Tiger did not suit India at all. Stung by its failures in the Indian Punjab, RAW attempted to make up in Sri Lanka. RAW started training militants to destabilize the Pearl Island but in the bargain, such a monster was unleashed that even the landing of Indian troops as a peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka failed badly. Eventually, Rajiv Gandhi became a victim of the muddling in Sri Lanka.

    RAW seems to be a congenital enemy of the Gandhi family.

    Soft Target: Zuhair Kashmiri and Brian Mac Andrew’s well-known book Soft Target (James Lorimer and Comp., Publishers, Toronto, 1994) provides details of RAW’s botched operations in Canada to malign the Sikhs there for their role in the Khalsa movement and make them suspect in the eyes of the Canadian authorities. On 23 June, 1985 Air India’s Flight 182 was blown up near Ireland and 329 innocent lives were lost. On the same day another explosion took place at Tokyo’s Narita airport’s transit baggage building where baggage was being transferred from Cathay Pacific Flight No CP 003 to Air India’s Flight 301 which was scheduled for Bangkok. Both aircraft were loaded with explosives from Canadian airports. Flight 301 got saved because of a delay in its departure. Initially RAW was successful in pointing the finger at Canadian Sikhs but the Canadian authorities soon concluded that it was a RAW ploy.

    RAW’s Primary Target: Pakistan

    Pakistan remains RAW’s primary concern. It runs thousands of agents and spends millions of rupees in its operations against Pakistan. It has made a three-pronged attack against Pakistan in an attempt to destabilise it:-

    * Propaganda

    * Espionage, and

    * Subversion

    RAW is totally committed on all these three fronts and is engaged in launching covert operations in consonance with India’s hostile foreign policy. The Jain Commission Report, released by India in 1997, acknowledges that RAW did sponsor the terrorist activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eilam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and violent intervention in Bangladesh. All aspects of Pakistani activities, economic, military, industrial and cultural receive a close scrutiny of RAW. It considers Sindh as the soft under-belly of Pakistan and has therefore made it the prime target for sabotage and subversion. Ashok A Biswas, a Delhi-based research scholar, in his recently compiled study RAW – An Unobstructive Instrument of India’s Foreign Policy, (as quoted by Pakistan Observer in ‘A RAW deal for South Asia, 03 May, 1998) states that ‘the aim of RAW is to keep internal disturbances flaring up and the ISI preoccupied so that Pakistan can lend no worthwhile resistance to Indian designs in the region.’ He concludes, ‘RAW over the years has admirably fulfilled its task of destabilizing target states through unbridled export for terrorism. The ‘Indian Doctrine’ spelt out a difficult and onerous role of RAW. It goes to its credit that it has accomplished its assigned objectives. The Indian government spelling out the task for RAW in this regard has stated, ‘Pakistan should be so destabilized internally that it could not support the ‘Kashmir cause even morally, diplomatically or politically’. Keeping the size of Pakistan in view, the task seems a difficult one for RAW. But it appears, RAW has taken it as a challenge and is working assiduously and speedily to accomplish this task’.

    No wonder, with the wily Chanakya as its mentor and the machinations preached in his Arthasastra as their bible, RAW is well equipped to continue waging its war of propaganda, sabotage and subversion. It is for its prime target ‘Pakistan’ to be wary of its macabre game plan of continuing war by ‘other means’ and continue exposing RAW’s heinous designs against us, which are a blatant, utter and naked violation of all human values. And not the least the people and the leadership of India; for as the great poet Ghalib said:

    Hue tum dost jiske,
    Us ka dushman asman kiyun ho

    With a friend like you,
    Who needs a foe!


  3. India’s unconventional war strategy

    Dr SHIREEN M MAZARI takes the cover off the raw facts about RAW in SOUTH ASIA

    The publication of the Jain Commission Report for the Indian Government has confirmed what many in South Asia had suspected all along: That Indian intelligence services Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been fomenting violent destabilisation within the domestic polities of the South Asian states. This helps to explain why dissenting political movements in countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan – as well as in the other South Asian states – suddenly became more militant and violent in their political behaviour. Why did India feel the need to get into this form of activity within its neighbouring states? The answer to that question lies in understanding India’s power ambitions.

    Seeking regional hegemony and recognition as a major global actor since independence, India initially relied on military force to expand its borders as well as intimidate its neighbours into accepting Indian diktat. India’s military moves into Kashmir and Goa emboldened it enough to get embroiled in a military encounter with China in 1962. The ensuing defeat at the hands of the Chinese as well as the stalemated war with Pakistan in 1965 made India rethink its overt military tactics in order to assert its hegemony regionally.

    Thus it shifted its focus vis-a-vis South Asian states and China (as reflected in the refuge given to the Tibetan dissidents and the Dalai Lama) to covert interventions aimed at destabilising the domestic polities of its neighbours. It was for this purpose that RAW was created in 1968. The extent of RAW terrorist activities in neighbouring South Asian states is only now formally coming to light with the publication of the Jain Commission Report which establishes a clear link between the Indian government and the LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka which eventually led to the murder of Rajiv Gandhi.

    However, RAW began its activities much earlier in what was then East Pakistan. The short-sightedness and neglect of Bengali sensitivities by successive Pakistani governments since independence provided the perfect milieu for RAW to lay the seeds for wrecking Pakistan from within .

    Bangladesh: RAW facts

    The Indians played upon Bengali sentiments in the aftermath of the 1965 Pakistan-India war through RAW so that when opportunity struck the Indians were well-prepared. It was RAW that gradually converted Sheikh Mujibur Rehman from being a staunch supporter of Pakistan as a student leader to envisaging himself as the possible ‘Father’ of a new nation – Bangladesh. Indian sources, including journalists, have put on record how much before 1971 RAW had established the network of a separatist movement through ‘cells’ within East Pakistan and military training camps in Indian territory adjoining East Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini were all in place organisationally to take advantage of the political trouble in 1971 and carry out acts of sabotage against communication lines so that Indian forces simply marched in at the ‘right’ time. RAW agents provided valuable information as well as acting as an advance guard for conducting unconventional guerrilla acts against the Pakistani defence forces. A Bengali, who was a Mukti Bahini activist, Zainal Abedin, has written a revealing book which includes his personal experience in Indian training camps, entitled RAW and Bangladesh. It was the post-fall of Dhaka period which exposed the Indians’ true intentions and made Abedin realise that It was evident from the conduct of the Indian Army that they treated Bangladesh as a colony … It is now evident that India had helped the creation of Bangladesh with the aim that it would be a step forward towards the reunification of India.

    Because Mujib returned, Indian forces could not remain in Bangladesh permanently and so it fell on RAW to initiate other fronts to undermine the sovereignty of Bangladesh. RAW has since been seeking to create Indian dominance culturally, ideologically and economically in Bangladesh.

    In addition, RAW has also created another insurgency force: The Shanti Bahini (Fighters for Peace). This force comprises the Chittagong Hill Tracts Hindu and Buddhists tribesmen (the Chakmas) and the intention is to bleed the Bengali military and keep the border area tense. The Chakmas used to embarrass the Bangladesh government especially when the latter protested over Indian policy on the sharing of waters’ issue.

    All in all, when the international community is increasingly condemning overt war as an instrument of state policy, India has already sought an alternative, indirect and covert mode of warfare through RAW which seeks to destabilise and weaken the states of South Asia from within. Given the changing nature of war one should be prepared for more RAW activities since politics is increasingly becoming the ‘continuation of war by other means’ – and RAW has evolved the expertise on ‘other means’ in South Asia.


  4. RAW and Bangladesh

    Lt Gen (Retd) SARDAR F.S. LODI writes about RAW’S activities in Bangladesh

    RAW AND BANGLADESH is an illuminating book written by Mr. Zainal Abedin, a senior Journalist of Bangladesh and published by Fatema Shahad in November 1995. It is printed by Madina Printers and distributed by Madina Publications, 38 Banglabazar Dhaka – 1100, Bangladesh.

    Mr. Zainal Abedin is a former student leader and a freedom fighter who crossed over to India in 1971 for military training, joined the Mujib Bahini and fought for the freedom of Bangladesh alongside the Indian Army. Mr Abedin holds a masters degree and a BEd.

    In the book Mr Abedin ponders over the events of 1971 and ‘one particular incident chastises me the most’, he writes, It was in April 1971 in the district headquarters of Noakhali, his home district, where the freedom fighters were gathering, that he met his neighbour. A middle-aged, mature and sober person, his most staunch supporter and
    admirer. ‘He got hold of my hand and took me to a nearby restaurant’. Narrates Mr Abedin, ‘As we sipped tea, he started narrating the history of pre-1947 Bengal. He mentioned gory details of how the Hindus used to treat the Muslims and explained the reasons for creation of Pakistan. He said that struggling for one’s right is different from break up of the country. He stated that India would first weaken us by breaking our unity and then exploit us. He added that his life time experiences had told him that India would never be sincere to Muslims. With tears in his eyes and hands trembling with emotions he quipped, ‘Are you again going to make us the slaves of the Hindus?’.

    Mr Abedin admits that he did not give any serious thought to the urging of his neighbour at that time as he was too young and emotional. ‘The said question now haunts me often’, he writes. ‘The realization of what lay in store for us started soon after I crossed over to India. The attitude of our Indian handlers and trainers indicated that they treated us (the Freedom Fighters) not as friends but as agents. The real Indian face lay bare after the surrender of Pakistani forces, when I saw the large scale loot and plunder by the Indian Army personnel. The soldiers swooped on everything they found and carried them away to India. Curfew was imposed on our towns, industrial bases, ports, cantonments, commercial centres and even residential areas to make the looting easier. They lifted everything from ceiling fans to military equipment, utensils to water taps. Thousands of Army vehicles were used to carry looted goods to India. History has recorded few such cruel and heinous plunders. Such a large scale plunder could not have been possible without connivance of higher Indian authorities’.

    From the conduct of the Indian Army it was evident that they treated Bangladesh as a colony. That was the time the question asked by his neighbour seriously surfaced in Mr Abedin’s mind. He feels that ‘India through her notorious deeds has proved time and again that she is not our friend but an arch roguish foe’, which has posed a grave threat to the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.

    ‘It is now evident’, writes Mr Abedin, ‘that India helped the creation of Bangladesh with the aim that it would be a step forward towards the reunification of India’. Soon after the creation of Bangladesh, India let loose all forces at her command to cripple the newly born country. Their aim was to precipitate its collapse and eventual merger with India to realize part of the Brahmanic dream about ‘Akhand Bharat’. The most significant player of this heinous game is India’s notorious intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing commonly known as RAW. Established in 1968 and still ‘eating into the vitals of Bangladesh’.

    The author explains the main sources of inspiration for India’s intelligence agencies and her foreign policy – the ancient pundi-cum-political, Koutillaya, Prime Minister of Chandra Gupta. In his book ‘Arthshastra’ written about 300 BC Koutillaya laid down three guidelines: when your country is weak pursue the policy of peace; when your country becomes militarily strong follow the policy of war; when another state seeks your help, apply double standards. In his book Koutillaya has recommended six principles as the basis for foreign policy. These deal with peace, war, neutrality, military preparedness, formation of alliance and duel policy. Koutillaya’s final dictum is. ‘Power is the ultimate truth and the main aim of an organised state should be to obtain power’.
    The author shows how Mrs Indira Gandhi was an ardent follower of Koutillaya and subscribed fully to his policy of waging ‘battles of intrigues’ and ‘secret wars’ to achieve her unholy objectives. She created RAW, a secret intelligence agency functioning directly under the Prime Minister to pursue her ambitious but nefarious agenda particularly in the South Asian region.

    The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), explains the author, was raised in September 1968 from the foreign Intelligence Desk of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Mr Rameshwar Nath Kao was appointed its first director and assigned the task of collection, collation and analysis of intelligence from beyond India’s national frontiers. A ‘Special Operations Branch’ was included in its organisation for conducting secret and covert operations. RAW started with a staff of 250 persons and an annual budget of Rupees two crore. It expanded rapidly and by 1990 had a staff exceeding 8 thousand persons and a budget of Rupees 500 crore. Its present budget is around Rs. 1500 crore. It has its own aircraft and helicopters, the headquarters is located in large eleven storey building in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. The present director is Mr. A. S. Siyali.

    RAW has its own agenda particularly concerning neighbouring countries and has great influence in formulation of external policy of India. Since the last few years RAW has become so powerful and influential that it has emerged as a major player in the internal politics as well.

    Besides the usual functions as an intelligence agency, RAW is relentlessly working for attainment of the following objectives. One, to extend Indian sovereignty over unprotected and vulnerable smaller neighbours. Two, to enhance Indian influence particularly in the Indian Ocean region militarily, politically and culturally, so as to project and develop India as a future super power. Three, to implement the Brahmanic dream of establishment of ‘Akhand Bharat’.

    The book explains how RAW’s popularity, acceptability and influence increased manifold after its success in disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 and annexation of Sikkim in 1975. However, its image suffered some setbacks due to debacle in Sri Lanka during 1987 and its failure to have Pakistan declared a terrorist state. Nevertheless it retains its image as the country’s premier intelligence agency wielding considerable influence in the formulation of foreign policy and internal security.

    The book goes on to explain the cardinal principles of RAW inspired foreign policy. Which is to exert influence on other countries under the cover of friendship and co-operation: resort to threat and coercion to achieve desired objective when necessary; insist on policy of bilateralism etc. RAW attains these objectives abroad by conducting extensive espionage activities by the under cover diplomats and staff posted in Indian Missions abroad; recruiting leaders and other important persons; putting pressure or luring through incentives; brain washing intellectuals and spreading cultural influence; promoting internal clashes and developing separatist movements; influencing the government, members of parliament and government officials; forming pressure groups by spreading false, and distorted news; arranging assassination of important personalities etc.

    The author explains the espionage set up of RAW in and around Bangladesh. Inside the country the prime centres are Indian High Commission at Dhaka and Deputy High Commissions at Chittagong and Rajshahi. Another RAW organisation operates around Bangladesh with its regional office at Malibagh, Calcutta. It has an annual budget of Rs. 20 crore and supervises the conduct of espionage and special operations inside Bangladesh. Its three regional offices are located at Darjeeling in the North Shillong, in the North East and Agartala in the East. Bangladesh is therefore very well covered from all sides.
    RAW agents employed in Bangladesh can be divided into three broad categories. One, trained Indian nationals who come as diplomats, journalists, businessmen, students, cultural activists, literature etc. Two, Bangladesh nationals for a variety of motives including financial rewards, business interests, ideological considerations (some Hindus). Three, officials of multi-national organisations, NGOs, business houses etc.
    The book vividly describes how RAW operated in the former East Pakistan and helped in the creation of Bangladesh. After that it has consistently tried to destabilise the new country politically and financially with the aim of merging it with India as planned by the Indian National Congress. This fact is well illustrated by a letter written by Mr. Nehru on 23 May 1947 to Mr Ashrafuddin, a congress leader from Comilla quoted by the author and attached as an appendix to the book.

    ‘The Congress had stood for the union of India and still stands for it’. Wrote Mr Nehru, ‘But we have previously stated that we are not going to compel any part against its will. If that unfortunately leads to a division then we accept it. But inevitably such a division must mean a division also of Bengal and Punjab. That is the only way to have a united India soon after. If we can have a united India straight away without such a division, that will of course be very welcome’.

    This book is written by a highly educated man who was a student leader, a freedom fighter, a politician, and is now a journalist of great standing in his country. It is written with great perception and knowledge, quoting accurate facts and figures to illustrate his point of view. It should be read by our policy planners and all those concerned with the well-being and prosperity of South Asia. The book does show India’s policy, present attitude and future plans concerning her small neighbours.


  5. RAW in the Freedom Struggle of Bangladesh

    April 29 2005

    Shastra Dutta Pant

    The treaty had two main points. India will have its control over foreign and defence matters and Bangladesh would open its market for Indian products. Even after this‚ Indian newspapers continued to lobby for the merger of Bangladesh into India.[30] If European countries can become a united Europe‚ why can’t India go to status-quo-ante‚ or the situation prior to 1947[31]. Such were the views expressed in those newspapers.

    Bangladesh which has an area of 55‚598 sq. mile had a population of 118 million in 1990. A decade later the figure reached 126 million. Per capita income of Bangladesh is US $ 380 and its economic growth rate is 3.9 percent. Average life span there is 62 years‚ literacy rate is 39 percent and poverty is 35.6 percent. Though the land in Bangladeshi is very fertile‚ it‚ being located in extremely lowland on the bank of Brahmaputra and Ganga‚ frequently suffers from the floods. These water problems also contribute to poverty. Though the people are highly industrious‚ poverty has stood in their way of building a prosperous society. Because of this‚ Bangladesh has been turned into one of the most poorest countries in South Asia. In case the earth’s environment becomes unbalanced‚ snow in the northern part gets melted and sea level rises‚ nearly half of the country will be submerged. In the country with 98 percent of the people speaking Bengali as their mother tongue‚ 88 percent are Muslims‚ 10 percent are Hindus and 1.1 percent are Buddhists and Christians. Till the 12th century‚ the South and Southeast Asian region was at its peak of Aryan civilization and was known as Banga-desh. The Muslims from the Middle-East made attacks at the end of the century and converted the Hindus into Christians forcibly. The Muslims of Bangladesh and the Hindus who continued to remain in Bangladesh and others who fled the country to the mountainous region were of the same country or clan. Had the attackers not changed their names and castes at the time of conversion‚ it would have been easier to trace down the lineage even after seven or eight hundred years. The Bengali language‚ the descendant of Sanskrit‚ however‚ continues to be spoken as a common language.

    This is a matter of sorrow that some extremist elements who do not try to understand religion in its right sense have used religion as a tool for playing one against the other. Everyone wants to see that many Taslimas would be born‚ all would understand the essence of religion and all would treat each other with a sense of love and brotherhood. Just because of the religion, East Bengal in 1947 became a part of Pakistan. India and Pakistan got into war on Dec 3‚ 1971 and on Dec 15‚ Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation.[29] A total of about one million people were reportedly killed during the civil war and ten times the number had to leave the country for India as refugees. Survived under the patronage of the erstwhile Soviet Union and India‚
    Bangladesh has already had a lot of differences with them. Border disputes and differences over water resources are the areas where India and Bangladesh have locked their horns. The Bangladesh episode corroborates the view that the imported politics will not work. The politics crafted by the people vis-à-vis the country’s soil and geography is‚ in fact‚ democratic. Bangladesh‚ which is almost on all sides surrounded by India‚ has 21 districts. It spends nearly two percent of its national income in defence. Sixty-seven percent of the total land is arable and paddy‚ jute and tea are the staple crops which absorb about 75% of the workforce. Oil and natural gas near the ocean top the list of minerals‚ while major industries include fishery‚ cement‚ jute‚ textile and chemical fertilizers. Industry absorbs 11% of the workforce‚ while the service sector absorbs 15%. In 1999‚ the average life span of man was 54 and that of women was 53. The population growth rate is 2.8%.

    Following the independence of Bangladesh‚ it signed a seven-point secret treaty with India. According to the treaty‚ all types of employees including civil employees appointed during the Bangladesh civil war should be granted permanent status‚ other employees also could be appointed only by the Indian administrative service‚ a certain number of Indian soldiers will continue to remain in Bangladesh despite independence‚ Bangladesh will not have its own army‚ for its internal security‚ it will have only militias from among the freedom fighters who will work under the Indian military command‚ the trade between the two countries will be kept open and free‚ and matters pertaining to foreign affairs will be dealt only after close consultation with the Indian foreign ministry.

    The treaty had two main points. India will have its control over foreign and defence matters and Bangladesh would open its market for Indian products. Even after this‚ Indian newspapers continued to lobby for the merger of Bangladesh into India.[30] If European countries can become a united Europe‚ why can’t India go to status-quo-ante‚ or the situation prior to 1947?[31] Such were the views expressed in those newspapers.

    The kind of treatment or relations India would like to have with Nepal is just the same. After the monarchy refused to succumb to the pressures of India for the sake of independence and sovereignty‚ India has gone at this institution ever since 1963 (2019 BS) and following the emergence of RAW‚ the attack has further intensified. India has a honey tongue but a heart of gall towards this institution ever since.

    As per the grand design of SD Muni‚ the Maoists and the Nepali Congress have served up the illogic that there should be an option left for the people to choose between the monarchy and republic. 5.3 RAW’s Efforts to Create Bangladesh Time is very powerful. Sometimes it so happens that an event taking place in one country may serve a threat to the politics and defence of another country. The political collapse of Russia created ripples in West Europe and in Nepal that brought about a change. The political disorder arising out of such ripples can be addressed only through political talks. Such works can be carried out with the help of spies in different countries. India had already fought a “thine-mine” war with Pakistan.

    India was full of revenge against Pakistan. It wanted to weaken this country. East Pakistan was the main source of income for Pakistan. India had taken a calculated move to dismember it and weaken it. RAW entered East Pakistan and began inciting it against Pakistan. As a result of this‚ anti-Pakistani sentiments flared up here. The people‚ muktibahi (freedom fighters) and Pakistan itself were not aware of this for many years to come. One year before embarking on the operation in Bangladesh‚ a strategy was already framed to work in favor of Mujib. Shankar Nayer disguised as Colonel Menon had worked as a bridge between Mujib and RAW.At the beginning‚ the conspiracy could not achieve success. India declared to take action against 28 persons involved in the conspiracy on charge of coup d’etat. The names of RAW’s Colonel Menon and Major Tripathy were also published. After the first phase of the conspiracy came unstuck, joint-director PN Benarjee himself girded up his loins and spread a network of 100 spies in Bangladesh. He created cells along the borders and Menon continuously remained in his contact. Kader Siddiqui of East Pakistan was re-christened as Tiger Siddiqui and was brought into contact with RAW on behalf of the muktibahinis. After this‚ RAW provided trainings to hundreds of these freedom fighters in secret places. Weapons were also provided. Till they were strong enough to fight with the Pakistani army‚ this was not disclosed to anyone except Tiger Siddiqui.

    So may be the case with Nepal. Except one in the Maoist movement‚ nobody may be aware of such conspiracy because if the secret comes out of the closet‚ people will throw their guns. Everybody loves his or her country. I think Maoists also love. When the people of Bangal came to know of this after independence‚ they started to hate India. Thereafter‚ the relations between the two countries soured and got muddied like the flooded waters of the Ganges. Of course India brought Pakistan to its size‚ but in the long run‚ it proved a boomerang for it. One million people turned enemies. The Kashmir problem appeared stronger. Those who think ill of others will never find themselves better-off. This is the truth.

    India should understand that centrifugal force also has same value as in the centripetal force. It may split over three dozen pieces if India fails maintaining balance with the neibours. 5.4 President Ayub Khan out of frustration delegated many of his powers to Yaya Khan and made an announcement to hold the elections on October 5‚ 1970. Immediately after this‚ RAW took stock of the special operation carried out in Bangladesh. It was only one day before the independence of Bangladesh that a Pakistani officer had known of the conspiracy.

    After knowing that Pakistan was irate and got very provoked by the incident that it would teach Bangladesh a lesson that would never be blown over‚ RAW offered a suggestion to its chief and prime minister Mrs Indira Gandhi‚ as per which she had traveled around the world trying to gain support of the global community. She had appealed to the world to support her intervention in Bangladesh as her country was unable to cope with the pressure of a million plus refugees and it was urgently necessary to calm down the situation. On the other hand‚ Mujib‚ as per the Agartala conspiracy case of 1966‚ had put forth six-point demand with Pakistan. The demands were as follows: 1. Pakistan would make its constitution federal and guarantee full autonomy to East Pakistan. 2.The federal government would take care of only defence and foreign matters‚ and in everything else‚ full autonomy will be granted. 3. Either to establish two central banks if the case is made one‚ or to maintain separate cases. 4. The right to collect taxes and revenue will be granted to the states and the center will be entitled to a small portion of it. 5. Economic‚ fiscal and legal improvement will be made. 6. East Pakistan will be entitled to keep para-military forces. Pakistan could not get even a wind of the tricks and shenanigans of India and had to suffer. If Pakistan had accepted the above six demands timely, there would have been its grips over East Pakistan. Similarly‚ the “Mutual Cooperation Agreement Between the Governments of Nepal and India” was presented to Nepal on April 1‚ 1990. But at that time‚ Nepal showed the sagacity and refused the proposal. But‚ as regards the domestic matters‚ it was a blunder to not allow to contest elections with the same symbol. Had the case been otherwise‚ the nation would not have to face the kind of crisis it is facing now.

    RAW continued to receive information about hundreds of incidents after the Agartala conspiracy of 1968. Later the election in Pakistan was held on the same date as designated by RAW and the majority of the seats in parliament were captured by the East Pakistani candidates in favor of RAW. In such situation anything RAW wanted to get done could be easily done. Now in Nepal‚ the same purpose lies behind the passage of the citizenship bill and delimitation of electoral constituencies not on the basis of political division but on the basis of population. Article 105 of the Constitution has been inserted with the same motive. 5.5 Though the Awami League unfurled the flag of victory after the elections of 1970‚ it had already got a hint that the majority attained through the crutches of foreigners would not count for much. 5.6 RAW had already got a tip-off that a military team led by Lt. General Tika Khan was heading for Chittagong well before the departure had taken place. Immediately after this information was received‚ an urgent notice was sent out. There was written ….Advise Menon……to bring in…………our friend…..….Muzib and …….. Tazuddin …….[32] Immediately‚ Tazuddin and other leaders entered India and formed a government there. After this‚ a message that “the bird was caged” was forwarded. On the other hand‚ when Pakistan knew of the military action‚ RAW decided to make surgical intervention and accordingly a contingent of plainclothes soldiers was also dispatched. The contingent included the Nepalese soldiers from the Gorkha regiment.

    The Mukti Bahini was only in name. In fact it was full of the Indian army. It had caused a significant damage to the Pakistani army. Some 25 thousand soldiers‚ 21 submarines and 600 bridges were lost in the war. It is because the Bahini had imported soldiers numbering 100‚000. 5.7 In the second phase‚ yet another military action was taken. RAW had formed a central level coordination committee in order to make it more effective. The committee consisted of the foreign secretary‚ IB military deputy chief and those from the South Block and Air Force to coordinate the action. Yet another coordination committee was also formed with secretaries of the ministries of defence‚ home‚ finance and foreign affairs whose member secretary was RAW director Kao. Both these committees were under the close scrutiny of the prime minister.

    All the people‚ regardless of their caste‚ class‚ section‚ profession or party‚ become united in India when it comes to safeguarding national interests. And it is not bad either. But‚ on the contrary‚ RAW does not allow its neighbors to become organized or united. Those who kick their national interests for petty interests and get caught in a bait offered by others are themselves anti-national. Those who kill hens that lay gold eggs every day with the hope of getting all eggs at one go are simply fools. At present Nepal abounds in such fools. Even the bigger political parties have a majority of such fools. For instance‚ the Labor Act‚ which failed to get through and the Citizenship Act‚ which could not be amended‚ can be taken as a case in point. We can’t say for sure that there were no such persons even among the constitution framers. The subsequent outcome of this coordination committee was that the administrative decisions were freed of red-tapism which characterizes the Indian bureaucracy. On the other hand‚ Pakistan removed Tika Khan and appointed Mallick as the governor as a result of which RAW got an opportunity to consolidate itself. Analysts are of the opinion that the change of the governor basically lay at the dismemberment of East Pakistan. This may serve as an important example for administrators. The high-ranking officials or administrators of Nepal can learn significant and serious lessons from such events. Stung by losing East Pakistan‚ Pakistan declared a war against India. The president‚ the prime minister‚ defence minister and finance minister of India at this time were out of the country. RAW without loss of any time gathered all these dignitaries. The army received an order of “Advance” and for 12 days at a stretch they fought on the western border of Punch and Chaso. The prime minister Gandhi declared that the war in Bangladesh has become a war on India. 5.8

    RAW would provide trainings to 2‚000 guerrillas in Bangladesh every six weeks. That the Maoists have also received such trainings has already been confirmed. Though the country’s patriots are not fully assured that this has come to the notice of our feeble intelligence. 5.9 A plane of the Eastern Command which was instructed to bombard the quarters of the governor returned for not being able to identify the house. It succeeded only after RAW made available the detailed information including a map and other things about the quarters. 5.10 Even after the independence of Bangladesh‚ RAW did not leave the country. The disturbances and unrest there began to take a nasty turn. Consequently a one-party government was formed on Feb 04‚ 1974. Then the RAW got a wind that there was a possibility of a coup and therefore informed Mujib of it. But he remained assured that such a coup would not take place since the persons including Zia-ur-Rahman were his disciples. However‚ a great massacre took place that lasted just three minutes. This was followed by yet another massacre. As a result‚ Bangladesh was pushed back‚ and continued to remain poor and deprived. The same thing repeated in Nepal also with the resulting backwardness‚ poverty and widespread deprivation. A revolution can be sustainable and the country can pick up momentum only if it is carried out by its own people.

    All revolutions launched with the help of crutches of other countries are self-destructive and are bound to have the same fate of Bangladesh. Nepal should understand this well. All revolutions‚ rebellions‚ people’s war or whatever have taken place during the six-decade long political history of Nepal‚ there is a hand of foreign conspiracy. They are far from rewarding or gratifying for the country. The present state of governmentlessness can be logically construed as a result of such situation. 5.11 This applies everywhere that long‚ continuous efforts will pay off. Though this sentence sounds pleasing‚ the same sounds harsh in the case of RAW since its objectives are always driven with the objective of causing harm to or destroying others. As far as allowed by its powers‚ it wants Bangladesh‚ Sri Lanka‚ the Maldives and Nepal to suffer the fate of Sikkim‚ and if this is not possible‚ to make them Bhutan. If this could not be done and if these countries continued to become sovereign‚ independent and prosperous‚ the dreams of becoming the great Chakravarti Bharatbarsha will be shattered.

    That is why‚ in order to fulfill its vested interests‚ RAW is indulged in many activities such as Chakma (Shanti Bahini)‚ LTTE (Sri Lanka)‚ Jammu-Kashmir and the Maoists (Nepal). All these outfits have been operating from the Indian soil. They have enjoyed not only food‚ shelter and clothing‚ they have also received trainings‚ guns and ammunition. The Shanti Bahini guerrillas to be used against Bangladesh alone have received trainings from 25 different camps in Tripura of India. Yet another camp is in Dehradun and two are in Uttar Pradesh.[33] It is estimated that the number of those fighting against Nepal is much greater. Furthermore‚ a place has also been prepared for the Chakma refugees. In case the concerned country embarks on suppressing the guerrilla warfare created by itself‚ it (India) also appeals to the world community to discontinue foreign assistance‚ grants and loans to such country on charge of human rights violation. It had recommended discontinuation of foreign assistance by making a film about Chakma warfare. After failing to make a dent into sovereignty of Bangladesh‚ the Chakmas have been incited to have a separate nation and capture the Chittagong port so that it could be used for north-east states of India. RAW is always on the lookout for shortcomings or weaknesses‚ excuses and slogans. It has also incited the Nikhil Banga Civil Organization‚ Bangal Liberation Tiger‚ etc to carve “Bangabhoomi” out of Bangladesh as a separate state with one third of the total land. 5.12 As Bangladesh was surrounded by India on three sides and by water on one side‚ India‚ after the independence of Bangladesh‚ had taken a stand that there was no need for it to have a separate army. It had also served up a logic that India‚ being a friendly country‚ could pose no threat to Bangladesh. But clever Mujibur Rahman did not budge from his stance of building an army and also succeeded in it. And this became the cause of his murder. For 18 times‚ he escaped the attempts on his life but he could not save himself from the 19th attempt. In fact‚ in this age of ours‚ army has become an indispensability to safeguard the state’s independence‚ sovereignty and national integrity.

    Had Sikkim had a strong army‚ it would not have been so easy for India to annex it. Just because Sri Lanka had a powerful army‚ it was able to stand up to the Indian pressures. But‚ to the contrary‚ even for quelling a petty rebellion‚ the Maldives‚ for not having an army‚ had to invite the Indian army overnight. Had Bangladesh agreed to not have an army‚ it would have been gradually reduced to the state of Bhutan and Sikkim. If that were the case‚ Nepal and Sri Lanka would be the only countries to bear the brunt of India. That’s why‚ India‚ despite being the one of the poorest country if looked at from people’s level‚ continues to make whopping investments on defence. 5.13

    After RAW failed in its bid to merge Bangladesh into West Bengal‚ it has been trying to fish in troubled waters by raising the issues of Hindu‚ Muslim and Bengali language and culture‚ and that of nationality. By inciting the Chakma indigenes‚ it has created a domestic conflict. This has intensified to the extent of demanding a separate homeland as has bee done by the Tamils in Sri Lanka. So RAW hopes that in case this issue picks up momentum as planned‚ Bengal may become one unified state. But RAW should also understand that if it gets into such a risky game‚ there may also emerge yet another independent‚ wholesome Bangladesh consisting of East and West Bengals. This analysis cannot be given a short shrift. 5.14 Problem with Bangladesh Bangladesh also suffers from the problems of border encroachment.Bangladesh‚ surrounded on three sides by India like Nepal‚ has many border problems with India. Under the pretext that many Bangladeshis have entered India rather than taking up the issue of smuggling‚ the border has been fenced with huge barbed wires. Farrakka dam and disputes over downstream benefits‚ issue of Chakma rebellion‚ Bangabhoomi activities‚ the problem of Indian immigrants‚ smuggling‚ border clashes which often take place‚ abduction of Bangladeshi citizens and intervention in its sea are the major problems of Bangladesh. 5.15

    Like in Nepal‚ educational materials in Bangladesh also are likely to encourage Indian dominance. Sub-standard Indian publications enter the country without any checks. So-called intellectuals and businessmen having a lust for money are importers of such items. The provisions for tax-free customs and for making available books on credit for 6-8 months to the businessmen has crippled the ability of these countries to compete. For indigenous publications they are provided with 3-25% in commission‚ whereas the Indian publications provide them 40-80%. This is why the businessmen naturally tend to give more priority to the books of Indian publications. Educational institutions in Nepal are rife with RAW agents.[34] Since the governments of these countries impose tax on newsprint nine times more than on the books‚ indigenous publications automatically become more expensive and it is all because of the RAW.

    In fact‚ the reverse should be the case. [35] Behind the fleeing of Bangladeshis who had shed their blood and tears for the independence of their country lies the plundering and loots by the Indian army who had entered Bangladesh with a view to ‘liberating’ it. Whatever they could lay their hands on were looted. Everything from the ceiling fan to spouts of taps were not left. Hundreds of public trucks and the vehicles from businesses and industrial estates were loaded with the plunder. The scholars there argue that there cannot be such a large scale plundering without the support of upper echelons of India.[36] India treated Bangladesh as a colony. If India had given a fair deal to Bangladesh‚ nobody would have said anything against her. But India‚ through her notoriety has proved time and again that she is not our friend but an rubbish foe.[37] 5.17.1.Bangladesh (Water Politics)Besides the Ganges and Brahmaputra‚ 11 other rivers also flow down Bangladesh whose total capacity is 82‚000 cusec. Bangladesh has used these rivers. But as they continued to be exploited by the people of India in the north of Bangladesh‚ it had a serious impact on all aspects including agriculture‚ industry and energy sectors of Bangladesh.
    The dam over the Muhara river can be taken as an example. Some 1‚100 acres of land of Bangladesh required for the dam has been under the control of India‚ just as it did in the case of Tanakpur in Nepal.[38] Similarly‚ India has also forcibly seized the 12 sq. mile of Silhat‚ Bangladesh for the dam constructed over the Kusihara river. 5.17.2. Farrakka Dam India is creating scenes by raking up the issue of the upper riparian country rights from the Farrakka dam‚ which is 17 kms from Bangladesh. In fact that water flows down from Nepal. Just the opposite‚ with regard to Nepal‚ India is frantically crying for its lower riparian country rights and has even gone to the extent of inciting donors to prevent them from providing loans to projects for generating hydropower and for irrigation from the rivers with their source in Nepal itself. India’s such attitude has caused Bangladesh an annual loss of some Rs 8 billion. Similarly‚ Nepal also has got to cope with an annual loss of some Rs 30 billion through India’s forcible intervention and dishonesty in such rivers as Rapti (Sikta)‚ Karnali‚ Seti‚ Kankai‚ Arun‚ Mahakali‚ Koshi and Gandaki. 5.17.3. India has sought to construct a canal linking the Ganges and Brahmaputra from Jogipopa of Assam to Subarna Sinri of West Bengal. The link canal will be 324 km long‚ one km wide and 30 feet deep. The proposed canal will be 30 km north of the Farrakka barrage. While constructing this canal‚ a 60-feet high dam should be built on the Bangladesh side. This will absorb all the waters of all the 11 rivers and of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. From this India will generate hundreds of thousands of megawatt electricity‚ use the water for irrigation and even the army will take advantage of it. On the other hand‚ 161‚280 acres land of Bangladesh will be submerged and 700‚000 people will be turned homeless. The entire country will be divided into two blocks. Unless Bangladesh agrees to abide by these conditions‚ it will continue to be as in the case of Farrakka.

  6. RAW’s Machination In South Asia

    Shastra Dutta Pant (Nepal)

    His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev had‚ on the occasion of the 53rd Democracy Day on Feb 19‚ 2003‚ said: “Peace is our need‚ multiparty democracy is our commitment‚ patriotism is our base and the resolve to make the Nepalis happy is the dharma (or essence) of our politics.”

    People will directly experience the fruits only if our development projects gain speed in an unobstructed way. Such fruits can be experienced only if all political parties‚ the civil society and government forge an understanding and maintain coexistence. The habit of making suspicions and mutual recriminations will be removed only if we practise good moral conduct and honesty. Spiritual thinking and moral education will enhance honesty and dedication to the nation. Only in such condition will democracy flourish

    The main purpose behind writing this book is to enhance the feeling of patriotism‚ make the Nepalese people happy and remove hurdles standing in the way. Nepal wants to have good‚ friendly relations with India. We don’t have any ill-intention to hurt India or to show unfriendly behavior. It is the democratic as well as natural right of a nation to express its problems and sufferings. At this point of time‚ the Indo-Nepal relation is deep‚ bitter as well as suspicious. Nepal’s formal relations are with the government of India but reality stands far removed.

    Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Great, not only unified Nepal into a nation‚ but also worked out plans for its sustainable development and security. The successors of the great king bound with the Vedic rules to conduct the government in consonance with the people’s aspirations relentlessly safeguarded the nation. As a result‚ Nepal saved itself from being colonized and remained independent.

    Even today‚ it has been proved that none except the monarchy can protect democracy and human rights‚ and keep the country independent and sovereign. The monarchy has never abused power. The power lying with monarchy is just like the paddy kept in a granary‚ which is‚ when needed‚ taken and filled when empty.

    Notwithstanding other things‚ we must acknowledge that the Rana oligarchy that lasted for 104 years efficiently saved the nation‚ nationality‚ national self-dignity and national identity.

    During the 30-year old Panchayati democratic dispensation‚ not only was our nationality consolidated‚ Nepal also carved a distinct identity of its own in the world. As a result‚ pillars of physical infrastructures were erected. It is because of the state’s concern in basic goods that the people could buy things at cheaper prices. This was a time when the people could have good‚ sound sleeps even in the courtyard or open space without any fear. But today the country’s situation is deteriorating unimaginatively it is degenerating day by day.

    The people who had extended their share of contribution to bring about changes in the country 13 years ago are now repenting. Full employment‚ high quality of life‚ physical facility‚ adequacy of goods and services‚ poverty alleviation and balanced development all turned into dreams. Today the people have their only one wish- independence‚ sovereignty‚ integrity‚ democracy and development. The barbarism of the last one and half decade has pushed the country a centuary back. Our living standard has alarmingly deteriorated.

    The hope with which the people had contributed their share to bring about political change in the country was dashed when the governments formed thereafter could not live up to it.

    The situation became more and more complicated. The government failed in providing good governance‚ peace and security. Politics was employed as a means of amassing wealth rather than as a means for people’s service. Works are being carried out against the laws‚ rules and the Constitution. Unethical trend is all pervasive. Dissensions within the parties are growing and factions and sub-factions have been formed.

    Individualism has become dominant to the extent of affecting political purity and democratic development. People have panicked. Signals are being received from all quarters that the nation and nationality are at stake.

    Corruption‚ commission-mongering‚ high prices‚ black-marketeering and crimes have raised their heads on a large scale. Every sector including administration has been politicized or politically divided. Such trend has discouraged qualification and ability to compete. Because of such discouragement‚ the policies of privatization‚ globalization‚ democracy‚ liberalism‚ democratic-socialism turned out be counter-productive. Decisions have become prejudiced‚ politically-motivated and discriminatory. Consequent to this‚ development‚ expansion and improvement of multilateral infrastructures required for revolutionizing the national economic development is not taking place.

    The country’s economy is continuously on the downward trend. Productive and service-oriented sectors are passing through a very confusing state. The number of the people reeling below poverty line has increased. Nepal has become one of the most deprived nations of the world. The sectors already attaining self-reliance have now fallen off and the burden of loans has grown bigger unnaturally. The irregularities have made an upward swing‚ hobnobbing with the annual national budget. Industrial enterprises are getting closed down‚ have gone into the hands of foreigners.

    Trade deficit is snowballing. No long-term policies have been devised‚ as should be desirably done by a welfare state‚ to uplift women‚ Dalits and oppressed communities and to ensure balanced development of remote areas. With the implementation of foreign policies against the principles of non-alignment‚ neutrality and Panchasheel‚ the problems relating to border‚ Bhutanese refugees‚ water politics‚ and trade and industry have taken a nasty turn.

    Known as a model of unity in diversity in the world‚ the country is gradually slipping into the trap of communalism. National defence system has started shaking with the rise of internal dissensions and external interference. Briefly speaking‚ all sensitive issues that have a close bearing on the ordinary people including nationality have not been given a damn.

    And what lies at the bottom of this all is the weak politics steeped in vested interests and external interference. There are basically two reasons why Nepal has not been able to make headway- India and western consultants. The first one has been detailed in this book. India is seeking its role even in the internal matters of Nepal. The ordinary people have not taken this palatably.

    Rather the organized parties‚ intellectuals following in their footsteps and mediapersons have not been able to stand up to it‚ being sensitive to the nation. If all these parties‚ the civil society and the media become united‚ the outside interference can do us nothing at all. My duty‚ my dharma‚ is to take this message to everyone‚ change their mind and contribute to upgrading the people’s quality of life by making use of our indigenous means and resources independently.

    Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) is an agency that is always on the lookout for a role for such interference. It analyzes the situation and works out plans accordingly. We will further go down if we walk at the signal of the others.

    We can get the country to the height of progress and prosperity provided that we forge unity among ourselves and move ahead by devising policies about politics‚ economics and development.

    Finally‚ I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all friends and those who have helped me for their invaluable suggestions and encouragement.


    Chapter-1 Introduction to Intelligence
    Chapter-2 State Polity and Inteligence
    Chapter-3 Organizational Structure of RAW
    Chapter-4 RAW’s Treatment Towards its Neighbors
    1. Movement of RAW in Sri Lankan Civil War
    2. Movement of RAW in Bhutan
    3. RAW and Defence System of the Maldieves
    4. RAW and Pakistan
    5. RAW in the Freedom Struggle of Bangladesh
    6. Role of RAW in Sikkim Operation
    7. RAW and Nepal

    Chapter-5 Nepal-India Relations
    Nepal-India Panchangi Relations

    – Relatins Between the Governments of Nepal and India
    – Relations Between the Parties of Nepal and India
    – People-to-People Relations Between Nepal and India
    – Relations Between the Bureaucracies of Nepal and India
    – Nepal’s Relations with India’s RAW

    Chapter-6 Attitude and Intention of RAW Towards Nepal
    Chapter-7 RAW‚ Nepal Game Plan and Citizenship Bill
    Chapter-8 Movement of RAW in Sikkim: Lessons for Nepal
    Chapter-9 Tyrannized Areas of Nepal
    Area-One Intentions
    Area-Two Border Encroachment
    Area-Three Water Politics
    Area-Four Tyranny in Defence System
    Area-Five Micro Action Macro Design
    Chapter-10 Intelligence System in Nepal
    Chapter-11 Suggestions to Resolve Problems
    a. Things Both Nepal and India Should Follow
    b. Things to be Followed by India
    c. Things to be Followed by Nepal
    d. Things the World and UN Should Do

    Reference Materials

    Chapter One
    Introduction to Intelligence

    Every society regardless of time and space has destructive elements with evil character. There is no dearth of persons seething with anger‚ hatred‚ jealousy‚ envy‚ temptation‚ revenge and ambition. Even the persons calling themselves influential and scholars or intellectuals suffer from a bizarre tendency of seeking to enhance their self-image by subjugating all others. Just like this‚ every nation nurtures the whims of subjugating other nations and wrapping them around its little finger by commanding their loyalty.

    So the state also can be likened to individuals in terms of the negative qualities in question. Evil thinking‚ evil behaviour and evil trends are existent in the state since it is nobody but individuals who run the state.

    To get better of the distorted mindset‚ many saints and sages have spent their years in penance and carried out investigation into it. They arrived at a conclusion that there was no alternative to the light of knowledge to remove such ill-trend. They interpreted the existence of God in a refined form. Though God or the Supreme Being is one at whose beck and call the world throbs‚ for reasons of the people being settled in different areas‚ many religions came into being.

    Man is so irrational that he is indulged in violence and earns enmity over the same religion. For example, Gautam Buddha who contributed to building a peaceful society by putting an end to wars‚ violence and weapons gave a new turn to the existing religion. But the followers’ of the same man, out of foolishness, have resorted to wars‚ violence and killings‚ ironically in the protection of the same religion.

    Sages and saints described material goods and sex as the two major factors contributing to the growth of unsocial elements and pursued various ways to get freed of them. They taught and explained to the world about heaven and hell. They dwelt on rebirth, and virtues and vices. They also taught that all material objects are perishable and the only stable thing is Supreme Being (Sarva khalu idam brahma). They further elaborated that the Supreme Being is so widespread (Neti neti para brahma) that its knowing is beyond comprehension. This is why an extensive publicity has been made for thousands of years to link oneself with the Supreme Being and not to run after the material wealth and sexual desire.

    Furthermore‚ our thinkers of yore created Vedas‚ Sub-Vedas‚ Codes‚ Upanishads‚ Vedang (Branches of Vedas)‚ histories‚ Purans (character building holy scriptures) and philosophies. They worked out different plans to put into practice the principles enshrined in these holy scriptures. Purans and histories were used to teach the people moral values as the moving schools.

    In every settlement‚ they constructed temples and preached the people about what is God. The people were advised to stand in awe of God and not to commit any immoral or unethical acts. They caused to install the Panchayan God in every household and developed the practice of pondering over God and death at mornings and evenings. They commenced different types of feast and festivals and gave rise to the practice of going to far-flung areas on pilgrimages.

    Such pilgrimages are found in every religion- Hindu (four dhams)‚ Buddha (Lumbini)‚ Muslims (Mecca)‚ Christians (Vatican City). They also developed the practice of performing such rites as bratabandha‚ marriage‚ birth‚ death‚ sporting sikha‚ sacrificial fires‚ coronations( taking oaths ceremony) and conducting investiture ceremony.

    Moral education like Panchatantra was begun to be taught at schools. Despite all these things‚ ill-thoughts deeply rooted in human mind could not be removed it could only be minimized. It is essential to keep society safe from such distortions and anomalies. And it is the state’s responsibility to keep the people safe from these things‚ for which it needs prior information. This very approach of collecting information is known as intelligence. Without effective intelligence‚ the state in the modern age becomes emasculated and useless.

    Checks on Distortions

    Today’s society is fraught with distortions and anomalies in various forms. Narcotics trade is booming with an adverse effect on human mind. Piles and piles of chemicals likely to cause an adverse impact on the environment and obliterate the entire human beings‚ arms and ammunition‚ nuclear weapons‚ bio-chemical weapons and hydrogen and atom bombs have been produced. Theft‚ smuggling‚ loots‚ dishonesty and black-marketeering are on the rise. Acts of arson‚ vandalism and violence can be noticed everywhere. Terrorism is all-pervasive. Corruption in the form of taking bribes has caused a stir.

    Needless to say‚ persons holding high offices should be honest with high level of integrity. Such persons should muster courage to take actions against the employees under him or any other persons in case they are found taking or giving bribes or abusing their authority. Clean image of such persons will instil a sense of fear into persons lower them. This will‚ in turn‚ ensure protection of the helpless in society. Corruption and abuse of authority will not be allowed to rule the roost.

    But today Nepal is placed in an awkward situation. The country’s prime minister and his family members themselves have taken bribes. The ministers holding important portfolios have taken bribes. MPs or people’s representatives too are not an exception. Those on the opposition have taken bribes either through collusion or through bargaining.

    The policemen who are entrusted with the responsibility of containing corruption themselves collect money on weekly basis and hand over it to their seniors. Even the police chief has amassed inestimable wealth. The judicial sector is no better than customs or VAT (Value Added Tax) department. There is a glaring example of the high-ranking justices compelling the parliament to frame laws with no power to subject them to face corruption charge. The verdicts made by this body established with the noble objective of ensuring the rule of law in clear violation of laws are now in thousands. The Office of the Auditor General‚ the Public Service Commission and the Election Commission are also cast in the same mould.

    Similarly‚ several such incidents have been noticed in the military service also. Immorality and corruption are rampant in the trade and industry sector. Teachers and students are in corruption. There is not even a single sector on which we can rest our faith.

    The need to put checks on all these distortions gave rise to the birth of intelligence agency. According to Markendeya Puran‚ the king must possess six attributes and conduct eight deeds. A small simal (a kind of cotton bearing tree) seed may grow into a big tree and a small spark may cause a huge fire. Similarly‚ enemies and unsocial elements may bring about destruction at an opportune moment if they are allowed to raise their heads. To protect oneself from such elements‚ the state should tone up its intelligence system. Just as air gets into the living beings and keeps them alive‚ the king also must be able to understand the real conditions of the people inside and outside the country through espionage (Markendeya Puran).

    Rishis and Munis tought us that revenge and use of force will only enlarge such unwanted activities. If the money to be used on wars is replaced for building a moral man by means of education the society might change.


    Intelligence means peering at others for one’s own security. Now this definition has expanded to include the acts designed to weaken others‚ subjugate them and get them wrapped around one’s own finger. On the other hand‚ copying of others’ technology and skills and keeping others in deprivation even after one has become prosperous also falls within the framework of intelligence.

    Since this approach helps to formulate strategies upon analysis of the related data‚ several intelligence agencies have been tagged before or after the word with “Research” and “Analysis”. The present world policy of “colonialism” and “neo-colonialism” match with the practice of “world emperor” and “horse sacrificial fire” prevalent during the mythological period of the oriental philosophy.

    In oriental political system‚ a number of words have been coined to refer to the acts of a spy. These words include gudavekshan (digging out mysteries)‚ chatur (shrewd)‚ jaasus (spy)‚ sujhabujhi (wise)‚ char (informant)‚ chewa or chewi (one who provides secret information)‚ vartahar (messenger)‚ sulsule (secret agent)‚ etc‚ while the westerners use such words espionage‚ counter espionage‚ intelligence‚ spying‚ under-cover work‚ fifth columnist‚ foreign agent‚ secret agent‚ secret service and mole to describe the act of intelligence.

    Any attempt to obtain secret information about an actual and potential enemy which might be used against the same or any other enemy is known as intelligence. Any secret of concealed action performed within are controlled by an actual and potential enemy for the purpose of weakening or destroying his defense (The Encyclopaedia America‚ Vol. 10‚ Page 504-506). Any enemy agent engaged in sabotage of similar activities would be considered as spy (Ibid).

    Military Spy

    In fact‚ in modern times‚ spies are used mostly in wars and areas associated with it. This means‚ spies are used by the military. When there is a possibility of outbreak of a war‚ war strategies are to be worked out in a highly confidential manner. For example‚ during the Falkland war‚ the British government had to detain informally several times BBC news reporters and correspondents after they leaked out several secret plans or strategies of the army.

    The army pursues different processes in the course of collecting secret information which are as follows:

    Situation making

    Information collection

    ·Time management

    Military intelligence is getting more and more complicated in these days as compared to the past. With the unprecedented development of electronic media‚ hostility has expanded even to the extent of waging a star war. The coming of sub-marines has added a new dimension to the naval war.

    Building of warheads and of nuclear and biological weapons has made the espionage not only highly complicated but also dangerous and expensive. For poor countries‚ intelligence work now borders on impossibility. With the growth of industrialization‚ mechanization‚ communication and of weapons to inflict great damage and destruction‚ such things as intelligence and counter intelligence are virtually beyond the capacity of such countries no matter how important and significant they are. The poor countries are treated as slaves but in a revised form.

    The developed countries out of neo-colonialist mentality have pursued the policy of keeping the poor countries poor and making them dance to their tune. The poor countries have been so suppressed that they have not been even able to raise their heads.

    Besides‚ they have even created weapons-markets by dividing the people on the basis of party‚ caste‚ gender‚ ethnicity‚ settlement‚ profession‚ religion‚ customs and language. Nepal has fallen victim to such diseases. They sabotage the physical infrastructures‚ the social system and the politics which have already taken roots. By imposing blockade‚ they exert economic pressures. The December-7 incident of Pearl Harbour of the United States of America is often taken as an example of failure.


    Written history is fraught with the movement of spies. Our Vedas and Purans also have a number of incidents with regard to good governance‚ war and intelligence. Conspiracy also falls within the definition of intelligence. It won’t be an overstatement to say that the great epic Mahabharat is a collection of conspiracies. There were ‘secret armies’ in the ancient Egypt. The holy Bible mentions the sending of 12 spies by Moses. The team included women also.

    In modern times‚ intelligence (Char) is taken as an important organ of government. It is said that there were 30‚000 spies in the French-Persian war. Napoleon had given it the first priority.

    Prior to the outbreak of the World War I‚ the world nations had already strengthened their intelligence service. The United States of America had framed the Intelligence Act way back in 1917. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in the USA only after the enactment of the Internal Security Act‚ 1950‚ Emergency Power Continuation Act‚ 1952 and Espionage and Sabotage Act‚ 1954. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is considered as the best center for providing correct information and statistics there.

    After the World War I shook the very foundation of the world‚ espionage took on more and more modern forms.

    Agency and Training

    Any organization requires necessary manpower for its proper operation. Trained persons equipped with necessary skills can carry out works more effectively and efficiently than those without any formal training. And to become a spy‚ one must have a flair besides special trainings and skills. An individual wanting to work as spies should be adventurous and possess ability to sing and dance and be frolicsome. He should be light-hearted and be able to live a simple life. He must be multi-dimensional‚ alert and stand-by round the clock. Northen Hale of America and Sir Robert Powell fall into this category.

    Spies deserve to be highly paid and provided with adequate facilities but those who are fired with patriotic feelings may not need so much money. Those who are not loyal to their own country may do espionage for the enemy and may get paid by the both sides. Highly selfish persons may betray the party he is involved in at any time. There is no dearth of such people in Nepal. Such persons may ditch both sides to get their vested interests fulfilled.

    Almost all nations the world over have made necessary arrangements for selecting highly-motivated‚ mature individuals and provide them advanced trainings. Such trainings should not be provided to all and sundry. It is simply because that their slight mistake may spell a great disaster for the nation. The Germans had conducted advanced trainings for the spies. It was not an enjoyable task to spy on Hitler and the Nazis. Rather it was an uphill‚ precarious task fraught with dangers.

    It was a profession which could even claim life. In the American Civil War of 1861-65‚ a man who stole a vehicle‚ blew up a bridge and broke into the enemy’s area was hanged as a spy. Any foreign agent who openly collects information cannot be called a spy‚ but if the same thing is done in a secret way‚ this is called espionage. This is both punishable as well as criminal.

    In fact‚ both the ambassador and the military attaché of Embassies are “honorable spies.” International laws do not label espionage as crime‚ though every country has its own laws relating to espionage. Nepal has also such laws. Information with regard to science and technology also are as valuable as military information.

    Cold War (USA-USSR)

    During the cold war period‚ espionage between the United States of America and the erstwhile USSR intensified. When the atmosphere was charged with mutual suspicion and fear‚ the Soviet Union downed the U-2 spy plane of America and captured the spy alive. The similar incident involving an American spy plane has recently taken place in the People’s Republic of China. Even today‚ the rich and developed countries through a whopping investment are intensifying their espionage activities.

    Art of Intelligence

    A spy must be equipped with the knowledge and skills of code language. He should be well-conversed with the art of shorthand. He should possess such things as secret radio‚ special vehicle‚ diplomatic knowledge‚ fake passport‚ birth and marriage certificates‚ citizenship‚ etc. The art of understanding the information dissemination system of the enemy is indispensable for espionage.

    Security and Democracy

    Intelligence had a major role in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 also. With the collapse of the Union‚ the world has become unipolar. That America shall have a dominant presence with the liberal economic policy‚ privatization,globalisation and multiparty democracy sweeping round the world‚ as predicted by the intellectuals‚ is proving wrong. Communism has taken a rebirth in the world’s competitive politics. Therefore‚ the rumor that espionage will make its exit does not hold water. The situation in this area is just as same.The importance of the state intellegence services is not reduced, till there is not a borderless state concept, universe as one country.

    Chapter Two

    State Polity and Intelligence

    Man‚ by nature‚ is a wicked animal. Had man truly adhered to dharma‚ ethics‚ there would have been no need of the police‚ the army‚ the judiciary and administration. In other words‚ there would have been no need of the state polity. Not only is man wicked to mankind‚ he has proved to be destructive also. Had there been no existence of man‚ the earth’s eco-system would remain in a balanced form. The beautiful earth would continue to remain beautiful with greenery.

    Since the very genesis of the earth‚ many civilizations came and went on the world stage. We have inherited the remnants of the past civilizations and are living in the present age of civilization. Our Vedas and Purans‚ Ramayan and Mahabharat are teeming with examples of both divine and demonic characters.

    Though there is difference between these two characters‚ the exits of the two make the same result‚ that is‚ conflict and war. In war‚ every effort is made to wreak havoc against the enemy and safeguard oneself from suffering heavy damages. This kind of rivalry exists in a pluralistic polity but in a subdued form‚ while terrorism is an extremist expression of it.

    Those who would like to get involved in conflict and wage war‚ it is urgently necessary to get the hang of the next party’s weaknesses‚ understand their strategies and to create chasms and contradictions between them. One who finds out the conspiracies woven by the opposition side is called “char” or spy. Espionage or spying is an art‚ a very old art. In the oriental political system‚ studies on the art of char have been in practice since a long time. In Panchatantra also‚ attempts have been to impart knowledge about this through animals and birds. Kautilya‚ in his Economics‚ has stated several types of espionage which are as follows:



    This espionage belongs to the first category and is primarily psychoanalytical. Such spies possess the ability to get into the minds of others and understand their feelings. They often change their dresses depending on situation. They pretend to be students or teachers by taking up such professions. These spies may enjoy the privilege of directly informing the central minister or the king. They analyze potential harms and threats to the state or the institution of monarchy and supply secret information. Aghori Baba was this type of spy during the rule of late king Mahendra of Nepal.


    The spies belonging to this category are Sanyasis and beggars. They wander about every house under the pretext of asking for alms. They are intelligent and well-educated. They stay in ashrams‚ maths or temples outside the village. They especially work among the farmers and try to command their loyalty. Others disguised as sadhus or saints also come to meet them. They provide the holy men with food‚ clothes and money for medical treatment. Then they take back the information to the concerned officers of the central level.


    Spies of this category may be farmers or house owners or those who have already set up their houses. As these people have taken up espionage as a profession‚ they spend most of their time in understanding the wrongs and rights in the villages. They participate in assemblies‚ seminars‚ users’ groups‚ pubs or any forum they may come across. They want to give the impression that the state is doing well for the farmers and the people involved in other professions and inform the concerned body of those who oppose state policies.


    These spies are involved in trade and industry and in this capacity‚ they carry out their activities in the business community. On the one hand‚ they study adulteration‚ blackmarketeering and hoarding of essential commodities‚ while on the other‚ they take special initiatives to make the businessmen act as wanted by the state. For example‚ they may issue press releases and statements stating that taxation policies and budget statements are good.


    The spies belonging to this category exhibit abnormal or unruly behavior. They shave their heads‚ put on ear-rings and wear long‚ matted hair. They demonstrate such a behavior that is normally not accepted by society. They sometimes go without food‚ sometimes sit for penance and sometimes take unusual foods‚ thereby drawing the attention and winning the hearts of the people.

    Thus they try to extract information. They often give good presents and conduct special pooja (worshipping). They call themselves Siddhababa (Enlightened)‚ ascetics or ones who can make predictions by reading hands and faces. They also frequently collect donations or alms by fist for some noble work in cities. They win the hearts of people through predictions about their profits and losses‚ penalty‚ fire and fear of thieves and things that are destined to happen. Thus they try to know the reality and supply the information they receive to the concerned authority or persons.

    All these five spies have a status of their own and do not share information among themselves at all. Possibly one spy may always be spying on another. These are separate institutions. Besides‚ Chanakya [Kautilya] also considers the following four types of spies as useful:



    The spies of this category are proficient in palmistry and hypnotism. They carry out their activities by using the art of hypnotism.


    Those who have exceptional physical strength‚ special players‚ wrestlers‚ judo fighters‚ karantist‚ mountaineers‚ adventurers and those who do not fear even to fight with violent animals are appointed as spies by providing additional knowledge on espionage. Such spies are often used in places where dangerous works are to be carried even at the risk of life.


    These spies are chosen from among those who are very cruel‚ unsocial‚ lethargic and even may go to the extent of doing anything to their own family or relatives. If need be‚ they may also go to the extent of poisoning their family members or kith and kin to death.


    The spies fitting into this category are especially widows‚ the women who have been left neglected or dancers. They with some pretext go into houses and gather information.

    The last four types of spies in question spy on those who run the country by appointing them. Such spies particularly spy for the crown prince‚ ministers‚ royal priests‚ army chief‚ heads and members of constitutional bodies‚ departmental chiefs‚ zonal chiefs‚ district judges‚ border guards and those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of putting brakes on corruption. They are concerned only with high-ranking officials.

    They get mingled with the grassroots people to confirm the facts available. They are even sent to the houses of senior officials to work as cooks or servants and hence the name “Rasad.” They even work as baby-sitters‚ massagers‚ house cleaners‚ house maids‚ singers‚ dancers‚ and sometimes as fallen women‚ and find out the Achilles’ heels of those whom they are spying. After 1950 (2007 BS)‚ many foreign people had entered the Nepal Royal Palace as teachers. Several of them have already retired after holding high offices‚ but are yet to give a kick to espionage.

    Such spies often take their stipend from the both sides. Families of such spies are taken care of by the same king or ministers who ask them to do so.

    10. Special Spy

    Good rulers often appoint other spies also to keep a close tab on these spies. Such special spies are recruited to know whether the spies appointed are doing their work properly as instructed in an enemy state‚ whether they are safe or not or whether they have teamed up with the enemy and are making money from both sides or whether they are betraying the nation.

    The post of spy becomes instrumental in operating the state machinery properly. The absence of right implementation of the espionage system will spell disaster for all sectors. The country becomes unsafe. Malgovernance will take a precedence. Immorality and characterlessness will rule the roost. Corruption becomes all-pervasive. Injustice becomes rampant.

    Spies are always needed to test loyalty to the nation of civil servants‚ the army and the police‚ high-ranking officials and those serving the constitutional bodies. They should be kept satisfied with both money and respect.

    Providing pre-information on time about the potential conspiracy against the nation‚ the institution of monarchy and government constitutes the main duty of spies so that the state system can function effectively and properly. The nation must be able to acquire information about the loyalty of civil servants and those with a streak of rebellious nature. In order to maintain the purity of the civil servants‚ other techniques or methods also can be employed. Kautilya has prescribed the four methods for this which are as follows:


    Dharmopagha: Relationships should be further improved with the amatya (equivalent to the post of minister in former times) or constitutional official who is to be examined. If he is found guilty of committing blunders or crimes‚ the king or government‚ many say‚ should relieve him of the post he is holding. But there are other views also.

    A negative agenda enticing him may be presented. If he denies the accusations vehemently and resorts to scolding‚ he should be considered as just or else wrong. Similarly‚ the army chief‚ ministers‚ constitutional personalities‚ departmental heads also should be subjected to scrutiny. Such examination is often carried out keeping in mind the principles of religion.

    Arthopagha: As in Dharmopagha‚ officials are baited with wealth. Their fascination with it will indicate that they are not civil servants and therefore deserve to be given walking papers. If otherwise is the case‚ he should be considered as right person.

    Kamopagha: Under this‚ a beautiful woman full of sexual urge is chosen. If the person subjected to examination becomes sexually excited or motivated towards her‚ he is considered unfit.

    Bhayopagha: This is the fourth technique employed to know the inclination of man. If some official sticks to his work without being deviated whatsoever despite the warnings that his and his family’s life is in danger in case he could not do the work‚ he should be considered as a good official. But if the opposite happens to be the case‚ he should be regarded as unfit.

    Which officials should be transferred and where and who should be demoted or promoted may be done on the basis of the reports of the spies. According to Kautilya‚ those who pass through the test of Dharmopagha should be appointed in judicial service and those who emerge clean through Arthopagha should be appointed under the finance ministry. Similarly‚ those passing through the test of Kamopagha should be installed in posts that have to maintain public relations like social organizations‚ city offices or vihars and those who get through the test of Bhayopagha should be appointed as faithfuls by the king.

    Those who can bring correct reports‚ understand right things and make others understand properly should be appointed to the post of amatya or minister. Only such persons should be given priority in elections. Only this will ensure good polity in the country with no injustice‚ corruption‚ oppression‚ characterlessness and favoritism. The nation will move towards progress and prosperity on a greater scale. The people will then become prosperous.


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