He retired from service on August 31, , and his first article appeared in a newspaper on Sep 1, ! He has been a prolific writer since, with his columns appearing regularly in newspapers and on online sites like Rediff. He has written several books, but this one captured the most attention in the public. The book traces the origins of RAW from its inception, and is divided into chapters, each of which covers a broad topic, such as the Indo-Pak war of and the creation of Bangladesh, the terrorism in Punjab, terrorism in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as political leaders like Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, Chandrashekhar, and political events like the Bofors scandal, assassinations of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. B Raman measures his words carefully.
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The hype over the book and the author himself did have their influence on me. Finally, ended up reading the Kindle version. Why do I say that? It has its importance, there are facts revealed which were unknown hitherto and new perspectives on our polity, intelligence apparatus and incidents.
It is the unbridled sanctimonious importance that he grants himself and constant attempts to blame everyone else is one of my pain points. The other agony I had to experience throughout the work is his fawning obsequiousness of the Gandhi Family. He almost grants the entire bouquets of goods that happened to India and the Intelligence community to Indira and Rajiv Gandhi and the anything bad to everyone else!
I mean if this was how a intelligence officer was enamored by a political family, what is the guarantee that it has not affected his sensibilities and decision making abilities? Fathom this: He credits Indira Gandhi for her role in the successful intelligence operations during war and many quoted incidents later. However, no such words of praise are directed towards VP Singh or Chandrashekar for their support to the intelligence agencies during the Khalistani movement or in Kashmir.
All success after Indira credited only to the intelligence officers while they duly deserve while every success earlier has been lavishly credited by the author to Indira and her son.
Even after his retirement, there are instances he quotes where successful diplomatic maneuvers were credited to PVN Rao and Manmohan Singh. However, there are no words of praise for AB Vajpayee for his role in Pokhran-II tests or other successful diplomatic victories. Maybe this ensured his dislike for Vajpayee and Hindu organizations. Worst and most unexpected of a intelligence officer is like mainstream media, he squarely blames the rise of Islamic terrorism in India to the demolition of Babri Masjid!
As I read through his analysis of post Babri incidents, a sense of despondency crept inside. If this is how our ace intelligence officers analyse issues in a partisan manner, would it be any different today? The threats have increased.
Ways to target India have grown manifold. But have our intelligence officers and their apparatus upgraded themselves? Or do they still believe that making notes regularly is good enough to thwart terrorist attacks? Few amusing incidents Eg. I have always loved to read about the working of Intelligence agencies and their role in real. Alas, the Indian versions are too costly hence waiting for the low cost edition to be out sometime.
Dont want to read about the survival capacity of a Dodo :- If anyone has the above info on these two works, please do let me know.
The Kaoboys & R&AW: Down Memory Lane