19 June, 2021

Secret Histories

Slightly over-the-top on some issues, but insider accounts of the rot within are always a good read

Secret Histories
Raman’s credentials are impeccable. Having joined RAW at its inception in 1968, he spent 26 years with the agency, seven of them in Paris and Geneva.

Raman is not sure who coined the term ‘Kaoboys’, but among the three persons he mentions, T.N. Kaul seems the most likely. The book covers a wide gamut of events under seven PMs. His adulation for Indira and Rajiv Gandhi are matched only by his veneration for the first five RAW chiefs. This often results in hard-to-digest claims and conjectures. Raman claims for RAW a major share of the credit for the creation of Bangladesh, the biggest coup being the tip-off from a mole in Gen Yahya Khan’s office about a pre-emptive strike by the Pakistani air force on December 3. RAW immediately alerted the IAF and informed Indira Gandhi. Thanks to the warning, the strike failed, he writes. Modern armies do not depend on moles to warn them of enemy attacks; they have other means, like air defence radars etc. In ’71, preparations for war had begun in April itself. Significantly, Mrs Gandhi was in...

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