Sunday, December 9, 2007



A summit of the Group of 15 nations of the Non-Aligned Conference, which discusses economic issues, was to be held in New Delhi in 1993 when Shri Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister. The administration of Mr.Bill Clinton, then in office, mounted an exercise through President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to sabotage this summit. Some leaders of member-countries, including Mr.Mubarak, informed Shri Rao that they would not be able to attend the summit due to domestic preoccupation. The real reason was the US pressure not to attend. The summit had to be postponed since it would not have had the minimum quorum of 12. It was held next year after reducing the quorum requirement to five heads of State or Government and three deputy heads. This came to be known as the five plus three formula.
2.The postponement of the 1993 summit due to US machinations and the collusion of Mr.Mubarak with the US caused considerable embarrassment for Shri Rao and India. Despite the postponement, Dr.Mahatir Mohamad, the then Malaysian Prime Minister, and President Suharto of Indonesia visited Delhi to express their solidarity with the Government of India at the time of its discomfiture. Policy-makers in Delhi even now remember the role played by Mr.Mubarak in sabotaging the proposed New Delhi summit of 1993. That was one of the reasons why, when a subsequent summit of the Group was held in Cairo, Shri A.B.Vajpayee, the then Indian Prime Minister, did not attend it.
3.How many of us remember the campaign carried on by the Clinton Administration against Malaysia and Dr.Mahatir Mohamad? Dr.Mahatir became a persona non grata with the Clinton Administration because of his independent political and economic policies. He was one of the very few Asian leaders not invited to the US so long as Mr.Clinton was the President. He followed independent policies not only vis-a-vis the US, but also against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other US-dominated international financial institutions. When the economies of South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines collapsed in 1997, the Malaysian economy remained largely unaffected, thanks to the vision of Dr.Mahatir.Even after the crisis broke out causing panic and demoralisation across South-East and East Asia, he maintained his independent line and resisted many of the ideas emanating from US-dominated financial institutions.
4. After having realised that Malaysia and its leaders could not be bullied, the US administration changed its policies after Mr.George Bush took over as the President in 2001. Dr. Mahatir was invited to Washington DC after 9/11. The relations have since improved, but even now the Malaysian political leadership resists US-inspired ideas, which it fears could be detrimental to its national interests. A good example is its opposition to US-inspired ideas for strengthening maritime security in the Malacca Strait.
5. What I had stated above would illustrate two things. Firstly, it is not correct that Malaysia as a State has been ill-disposed towards India. Secondly, it has a proud political leadership, which has not hesitated even to defy the world's sole super-power when it felt it was necessary to do so in its national interests.
6. It is important to remember this because in the wake of the recent demonstrations by a large number of Malaysian citizens of Indian origin in Kuala Lumpur and the visit to India of an important leader of the Hindu Rights Action Front (HINDRAF), a coalition of Indian-origin organisations in Malaysia, all sorts of bizarre ideas have been floating around for being tough with Malaysia in order to protect the interests of the Indian-origin Malaysians. Any idea of using the big stick against Malaysia---- even the very talk of it--- could not only damage the State-to-State relations between the countries, but prove detrimental to the relations of the Indian-origin Malaysian citizens with the Muslim Malay majority. If we think we can cow down Malaysia through such strong talk, we are mistaken---- as the US and China learnt in the past.Let us not hurt the sentiments of the proud leadership in Malaysia by indulging in such talk, even if we don't follow this up.
7. India has four main interests with regard to the Indian-origin Malaysian citizens: Firstly, that they progress economically and get their due share of the national cake; secondly, that the Malaysian authorities refrain from actions such as the demolition of Hindu temples and idols, which hurt the sentiments of Hindus not only in Malaysia, but also all over the world; and thirdly, that the Indian-origin Malaysians maintain harmonious relations with the Malay Bhumiputras and the Chinese-origin Malaysians. These interests should be taken up informally through back channels anbd not through public statements.
8. India should not give any impression that it has been showing belated interest in these issues--- after having remained oblivious of them for years--- because of the agitation of the HINDRAF. The HINDRAF is not the only representative of the Indian-origin Malaysians. One does not even know the background of its leaders and the extent of following they have in the Indian-origin community. The Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), which is part of the ruling coalition, and some non-political opinion-makers of the Indian-origin Malaysians have shown signs of discomfort and concern over the manner in which the leaders of the HINDRAF have been agitating and projecting India as the mother country, which should come to their help.
9. A group of Malaysian Tamil writers, which had recently visited Tamil Nadu, had disagreed with the kind of picture being painted by the HINDRAF leaders. It would be unwise for India to let itself be influenced by the rhetoric of the HINDRAF leaders. The Malaysian Government has been unwise in trying to project the HINDRAF leaders as sympathisers of the LTTE and as acting at the behest of Hindutva elements in India. We will be equally unwise if we treat them as the sole and genuine representatives of the Indian-origin people and let ourselves be influenced by their rhetoric.
10. Hindus all over the world have genuine reasons for anger over some of the policies of successive Malaysian Governments as pointed out by me in my previous article titled "Root Causes of Hindu Anger in Malaysia". As good friends and well-wishers of Malaysia, we have a right to expect that Kuala Lumpur will address these causes. But we have no right under international law to act as the de jure protector of the interests of the Indian-origin Malaysians.
11. During the Cultural Revolution in China under Mao-Zedong, the Chinese authorities assumed aggressive postures as protectors of the interests of the overseas Chinese all over the world. The ultimate result: The overseas Chinese population was viewed in many countries as having extra-territorial loyalties to China. By our words and statements, we should not unwittingly create similar suspicions about the Indian-origin communities abroad.
12. When Mr.Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, many felt concerned over the high-profile interest taken by his Government in cultivating the Indian-origin diaspora abroad and over its implications for India's relations with countries where these people live and for the future well-being of the Indian-origin communities themselves. A well-argued article on this subject was written in 2003 by the late Shri J.N.Dixit, former Foreign Secretary, who subsequently became the National Security Adviser to Dr.Manmohan Singh. A copy of his article is annexed. (10-12-07)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi,and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


Diaspora conference: doubtful decisions and dual loyalties

By J.N. Dixit

The much-publicised Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, or Indian Diaspora Day, was celebrated this month with the government playing host to hundreds of overseas Indians.
The objective of the conference was to affirm that the Indian people and government now acknowledge that the Indian diaspora has become a significant factor in the country's external relations as well as domestic politics.
The diaspora is being perceived as a possible source of influence and inputs, both abroad and in India, serving Indian interests.
A number of policy decisions were announced, indicating the government's appreciation of the incremental role being played by Indians abroad. One of the most important decisions was granting of dual citizenship to certain categories of Indians living abroad who have acquired foreign citizenship.
The government had earlier decided to issue persons of Indian origin (PIO) cards to overseas Indians. During the last four years, the government had also extended privileges and facilities with regard to grant of visas and education in technical and professional institutions for children of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and so on.
The decision to grant dual citizenship has been opposed on various grounds, which are rooted in some fundamental questions.
The first question is how granting Indian citizenship to PIOs who have acquired foreign nationality would serve India's substantive interests. What are the motivations of Indians abroad for demanding dual citizenship and of the Indian government for granting it?
The presumption or anticipation is that giving dual citizenship to Indians will give them a greater sense of identity with India. Secondly, privileges such as travel, acquisition of property and extension of educational facilities would result in their becoming more obligated and involved in the developmental and economic progress of India. Thirdly, grant of such citizenship will increase their commitment to India in the countries where they reside.
This raises the question why such decisions should be on a quid pro quo basis. Is citizenship an issue to be settled on the basis of a bargain?
The objectives behind the decision can be met without the grant of dual citizenship if the government is sufficiently flexible in providing facilities to PIOs and the latter are sufficiently emotionally committed to their linkages with India and India's causes.
The fact that the Indian community abroad insists on dual citizenship implies that they predicate their involvement with India on New Delhi granting them privileges of citizenship despite their having acquired foreign citizenship voluntarily. This does not show much of a commitment or involvement with India.
The other reason why this is an avoidable gesture is because it is being granted on a selective basis. It is not being extended to all Indians who are foreign nationals living in all parts of the world. Out of 20 million Indians living in different parts of the world, dual citizenship is likely to be granted to 4.5 to 5 million Indians living in Western Europe, the U.S., Canada and other prosperous countries like Japan and Australia.
PIOs in other parts of the world will not be eligible for this facility. Then, again, the grant of dual citizenship is a conferment of facilities and privileges without obligations on the part of Indian beneficiaries abroad.
They will not be part of political processes of India. There will be no obligation on their part to serve the Indian government if it becomes necessary. They can detach themselves from obligations towards India by claiming their basic national identity with a foreign country.
Leaving aside some marginal economic and social benefits, the grant of dual citizenship results in the phenomenon of ambiguous loyalty amongst those who get it.
The resentment and angst the large numbers of PIOs in other parts of the world would feel about this selective grant of dual citizenship can create tensions in Indian communities abroad as well as problems for India's foreign policy. This is apart from the fact that a fair segment of Indian public opinion does not see any justification for the grant of dual citizenship.
Out of 184 countries that are members of the U.N., only about 40 countries allow dual citizenship to their communities living abroad. Apart from aberrations resulting from dual loyalties, travel and property facilities resulting from the grant of dual citizenship can create problems of security and socio-economic tensions within India.
This is particularly so in a poor country like India where the proposal would give benefits to well-to-do Indians living abroad whose only merit is their having gone abroad and become rich.
This decision is rooted in many of the political parties in India, particularly the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), depending on funds from foreign nationals of Indian origin living in the more prosperous countries of the world. India could have avoided this decision, which is based essentially on narrow short-term motivations.
A majority of the Indian community in the Gulf is unhappy with the decision regarding selective grant of dual citizenship.
Two other decisions announced also smack of ad-hocism and lack of reason. The "Pravasi Bharatiya Samman" was awarded to a number of persons of Indian origin. No doubt all the awardees are eminent in their respective spheres of achievement, but an award by the Indian government to a PIO should primarily be for activities by the individuals concerned that have served India's cause or Indian interests.
PIOs, who might have established educational institutions in India or contributed to the social and developmental projects benefiting the people, should have been chosen for the honour. There is no rationale for conferring this award on persons like Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul who have lived all their lives abroad and whose only claim to the award was their international stature.
Then there is the decision to give facilities to children of PIOs to get admission in Indian technical and scientific institutions. This will be at the cost of Indian students who have to face tough competition to get admission to these institutions.
How justified is it to extend this facility to children of PIOs who are in any case well to do and live in countries where such facilities are available? The obvious reason behind the decision is to help children of PIOs who are not sure of making it to foreign institutions through competition.
Another question requiring an answer is the quantity and extent to which the Indian diaspora has contributed to India's economic development in terms of investment, building of infrastructure or augmenting India's economic growth.
Barring a few individual cases of NRIs building educational institutions in some places near their alma maters in India, one has not seen any significantly broad trend of NRIs and PIOs being involved in the building of India. Had there been some emerging trend over the last decade, the hoopla at the disapora conference here would have been justified.
Vast sections of PIOs even from North America and Western Europe -- the major beneficiaries of the Pravasi Bharatiya exercise -- had kept away from the conference and were critical of its proceedings as being a purely partisan exercise by the BJP.
It is a pity the government forgot Jawaharlal Nehru's advice to the Indian communities abroad in the years following the country's independence to integrate themselves fully with the people of the countries of their adoption, as their first loyalty should be to the country of their choice.
Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was in direct contradiction to those words of wisdom of Nehru.
(The writer is a former foreign secretary)
--Indo-Asian News Service


Open expression of Indian concerns over the alleged discrimination against Malysian citizens of Indian origin by the Government of Malaysia has been ill-advised. The expression of Indian concerns has come from Shri M.Karunanidhi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Minister For External Affairs, and even the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh.
2. Their comments have evoked strong ripostes from two Ministers of the Malaysian Government---- Mr.Nazri Aziz, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Syed Hamid Albar, the Foreign Minister. The Foreign Minister has pointed out that the recent demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur were by Malaysian citizens of Indian origin and added that Malaysia would deal with its citizens according to its laws and no other country should interfere in its "domestic" matter. He said: "I hope there is no misunderstanding of what is happening here. If they are talking about Indian citizens, we would understand the concern, but what happened involves Malaysian citizens."
3. There are three categories of Indians or persons of Indian origin in Malaysia. The first category consists of Indian citizens, mainly from Tamil Nadu, going on short visits----either as tourists or to visit their relatives. Malaysia attracts a large number of Indian tourists. The short-term visitors do not face any problems provided they go with valid travel documents.
4. The second category consists of Indian citizens----again mainly from Tamil Nadu--- who go to work there as limited-term contract labour. One would find a large number of Indian contract labour in jobs such as bearers in restaurants, porters etc. This category consists of two groups----those who go with valid employment orders and travel documents and those who go on tourist visas, overstay there and manage to get jobs without valid papers. These illegals often complain of ill-treatment by the Police and the immigration authorities when their illegality is detected. Where limited-contract workers from India----legals or illegals----have genuine grievances against the Malaysian authorities, the Government of India and our diplomatic mission in Kuala Lumpur have every right to take them up with the Malaysian authorities. Consular conventions give them the right to do so.
5. The third category consists of persons of Indian origin and their descendents, who migrated to Malaysia during the British colonial rule to work in the plantations and other jobs and who have since taken up Malaysian citizenship.If they have any grievances against the Malaysian Government, they have to take them up directly with the local authorities. If their grievances are of a serious nature and if the Malaysian authorities are indifferent to them, they have every right to take them up with Malaysian and even foreign human rights organisations. However, consular conventions, which apply only to Indian citizens, do not give the Government of India any right to take up their case officially. The Government of India has no locus standi in the matter.
6. Of course, in the light of the friendly relations between India and Malaysia, the Government of India can informally take up the matter with the Malaysian authorities, but this has to be done tactfully so as not to give the impression that the Government of India is seeking to intervene in the internal affairs of Malaysia.
7. Malaysia has the Malays, who are the sons of the soil, and Malaysian citizens of Chinese and Indian origin, who had migrated during the British colonial rule and taken up local citizenship. The Malaysian citizens of Indian origin constitute about ten per cent of the population and the Malaysian citizens of Chinese origin about 25 per cent. The remaining 65 per cent are the Malay sons of the soil. The Malay Constitution adopted at the time of Malaysia's independence had itself provided for special treatment to the Malays in matters such as education and employment. This treatment was expanded under the Bhumiputra policy vigorously pursued after the violent anti-Chinese riots of the 1960s.
8. What is perceived by the Malaysian citizens of Chinese and Indian origin as the unjustified indefinite continuance of these special privileges to the Malays has come in for criticism from them from time to time. After the violent anti-Chinese riots of the 1960s, which were provoked partly by the overtly activist policy of the Chinese in Malaysia and even by the Chinese authorities during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese have been more careful while raising this issue and China avoids giving rise to any suspicion of interfering in the internal affairs of Malaysia.
9.The current agitation in Malaysia by Malaysian citizens of Indian origin on the question of the alleged discrimination against them is not an agitation by the Indian-origin community as a whole, but by the Hindu members of the community, who constitute about 75 per cent of the community. The remaining 25 per cent are largely Tamil-speaking Muslims plus a small number of Sikhs. The indications are that the non-Hindu component of the community has kept away from the agitation. The agitation is spearheaded by a coalition of non-governmental organisations called the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF). Significantly, they don't call themselves the Indian Rights Action Force.
10. They have two kinds of grievances. The first relates to their social and economic hardships due to the indefinite continuance of the policy of special treatment to the Malays even 50 years after Malaysia became independent. The second relates to the demolition of a large number of Hindu temples by the local authorities on the ground that these were got constructed illegally by the migrants from India in Government or municipal land. It is alleged that the Malaysian authorities, who did not act against them for decades, have now suddenly started demolishing them in disregard of the feelings of the Hindus. More than the economic and social grievances, what seems to have triggered off the current agitation is the anger over this demolition.
11. These grievances should be taken up by them through local organisations of Indian-origin people and NGOS in a responsible manner. However justified their grievances may be, this is not a matter on which India can take a public stand in support of the agitators.Some of the leaders of the agitation have been irresponsible in issuing threats of the Tamils emulating the LTTE if their demands were not conceded. This literally amounts to blackmail and no Government can succumb to such blackmail.
12. Any open expression of Indian support to the agitators can not only damage India's friendly relations with Malaysia, but can also cause a polarisation between the Malays and the Malaysian citizens of Indian origin and between the Hindus and Muslims in the community of Indian origin. This will be detrimental to India's interests and to the interests of the community of Indian origin itself. (1-12-07)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For Chi


It is important for the Government of India not to take a public stand in criticism of the policies of the Malaysian Government towards the Malaysian citizens of Indian origin, which have led to considerable anger in the community of Indian-origin Malaysian citizens, resulting in a huge demonstration. Since these persons are Malaysian citizens, the Government of India has no locus standi in the matter and expression of open concern by the Governments of India and Tamil Nadu could prove counter-productive.
2. At the same time, well-wishers of Malaysia and advocates of close India-Malaysia relations cannot but be disturbed over the reports, which keep coming in at regular intervals for some months now, over recurring instances of disrespect for Hinduism and disregard for the feelings of the Hindus in different parts of the country. It has to be highlighted that in Malaysia Hindu religious festivals are respected. Diwali, for example, is a public holiday for all Malaysians and the Hindus celebrate it with the same gusto as their co-religionists in India do. So too other Hindu religious observances, which are of special significance to the Tamils, such as Thai Poosam and the fire-walking associated with it.
3. In spite of such examples of the generous attitude of the authorities towards their Hindu citizens, there have been growing signs of disquiet, if not anger, in the Hindu community due to two reasons. The intellectual sections of the community feel preturbed over what they allege to be attempts to deny the historic influence of Hindu religion and culture over the evolution of civilisation and culture in Malaysia. Ever since Pakistan became independent in 1947, history has been re-written in Pakistan and Pakistani children are being taught that civilisation and culture came to the sub-continent with the advent of Islam, as if there were dark ages in the sub-continent before Islam came.
4.It is alleged by some of these Malaysian Hindu intellectuals that there has been a similar attempt in Malaysia for some years to project as if civilisation and culture came to Malaysia only after Islam came to the country and to deny the impact and role of Hinduism before the advent of Islam.The pre-Islamic role and influence of Hinduism was equally strong in Malaysia and Indonesia. The Indonesian Muslims feel quite comfortable with this influence.They retain the impact of Hinduism and Hindu culture. They have preserved the impact of Ramayana and Mahabharata on their art forms and proudly exhibit them to the foreign tourists. It is a tribute to the tolerance and generosity of the mindset of large sections of the Muslim civil society in Indonesia that Bali has continued to maintain the pristine purity of its Hinduism and that Christians have done well in many walks of the Indonesian society.Of course, there have been instances of shocking brutality against the Chinese, but these were not due to religious reasons. These were due partly to economic jealousies arising from the Chinese dominance of the local economy in certain areas, partly to the past association of the Chinese with the pro-Beijing Indonesian Communist Party and partly to suspicions that many of the Chinese still have extra-territorial loyalty to China.
5. In contrast to this, in Malaysia one finds that while the impact of contemporary Hindu religion and culture (Bharata Natyam, Tamil films, Tamil language etc) is proudly admitted and even displayed in the promotional films of their Tourism Department, the pre-Islam impact of Hindu religion and culture is sought to be down-played. One finds few references to the Ramayana and Mahabharata traditions, for example.I have heard in seminars attended by me some highly-respected Malay Muslim intellectuals living abroad express their disquiet over the direction Islam is taking in their country. One of the examples cited by them is the down-playing of the pre-Islam Hindu influence. In Malaysia itself, Mr.Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister, has had the courage to express his disquiet over what he sees as the growing Arabisation of Islam in Malaysia.
6. It is also alleged that the policy of preferential support to the Bhumiputras (sons of the soil) discriminates not only against Malaysian citizens of Indian and Chinese origin, but also against Bhumiputra Christians. According to the critics, many natives of Malaysia embraced Christianity during the British colonial rule, but they are not doing as well as the Bhumiputra Muslims.
7. The second reason for the anger is seen more amongst Hindu Malaysians in the lower strata of the Hindu society. Their anger arises from frequent instances of demolition of Hindu temples in the plantation areas and elsewhere built by their ancestors. These temples are allegedly demolished on the ground either that they were illegally constructed or that the land on which they were located was required for a public purpose. Their representations against the demolition have reportedly had no effect. More than even the demolition of the temples, what has angered them is the fact that the authorities bulldozed not only the temples, but even the idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses kept inside, after rejecting their plea to hand them over to them so that they could keep them in their houses or send them to their ancestral villages in Tamil Nadu for re-installation.
8. The Mariamman tradition is very strong among the sea-faring Tamils. They look upon Goddess Mariamman as their protecting Diety. Tamil fishermen, before they set out to sea, pray to Mariamman. Tamil Hindus, who went to South-East Asia, before the advent of Islam, used to take idols of Mariamman in their boats or ships. Whenever they reached a place, they would instal the idol and build a temple over it. That is why one finds a number of Mariamman temples all over South-East Asia where Tamil Hindus have gone over the course of their history. It is alleged that many of the idols thus bulldozed were of Mariamman brought by their ancestors from their native villages in Tamil Nadu hundreds of years ago.
9. The perceived failure of the authorities to heed the sentiments of these Hindus and of the Malay Muslim elite to support the Hindus have aggravated the anger. In India, there are many instances of violation of the religious and other human rights of the Muslims and excesses committed agains some Muslims. Large sections of the Hindu elite---- writers, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers etc--- have been in the forefront of those rushing to the protection of the Muslims. Similarly, in Pakistan, there are many instances of the violation of the religious and other human rights of the Hindus. Sections of their Muslim elite immediately take up their grievances and try to protect them.
10. Barring some exceptions such as Mr.Anwar Ibrahim, one hardly hears of the Malay Muslim elite taking up the case of the aggrieved Hindus and demanding that the causes of their anger should be addressed.Many Malay Muslim intellectuals are in the forefront of those demanding that the root causes of the anger of the Muslims in different countries should be identified and addressed if we have to vanquish jihadi terrorism. They also rightly stress the need for a hearts and minds approach to the angry Muslims.
11. But, I have never heard them talk of the need to identify and address the root causes of the growing anger of the Hindu citizens of Malaysia and to adopt a hearts and minds approach to them. The time has come for an introspection by all sections of Malaysian society in order to contain and remove this anger.
12. It has to be mentioned that one notes with concern that the leaders of the present agitation of Indian-origin Malaysians in Malaysia have been using excessive rhetoric. Such rhetoric will damage their credibility and introduce an element of poision in the inter-ethnic relations. This must be avoided. (6-12-07)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )

China has been increasingly concerned over what it views as a US-inspired revvying up of the Tibetan issue in the months preceding the Beijing Olympics of August,2008.
2. This concern, which was there even before, has gone up ever since the recent high-profile visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the US and Canada and the honours given to him in the US----particularly the award of the Congressional Medal of Honour at a Congressional function, which was attended by President George Bush. Even though the Americans projected it merely as an expression of their respect and admiration for a spiritual and humanitarian leader with no political significance, the Chinese suspected that the honours concealed a desire to needle China on the Tibetan issue.
3. As the Olympics approach, what the Americans are up to in Tibet has become a more worrisome question for Chinese policy-makers than what the Americans are up to in Taiwan.Beijing has not treated the Congressional Medal of Honour as a one-event issue to be criticised and forgotten. It continues to express its concerns and unhappiness in various subtle ways. The recent Chinese refusal of permission to US naval ships transiting to and from Japan to touch Hong Kong---which was a significant departure from the post-1997 policy of allowing them to halt in Hong Kong--- is believed to be an outcome of the Chinese unhappiness over the Dalai Lama issue.
4.On November 21,2007, China cancelled a permission given months ago to the US naval aircraft-carrier USS Kitty Hawk and some support ships to dock in Hong Kong to enable the sailors to spend the Thanksgiving holidays on shore, but it reversed its cancellation, when it realised that it had already given permission months ago. By the time the refusal was reversed, the ships were already on their way to Japan and hence did not dock in Hong Kong.
5.Subsequently, Pentagon officials were quoted by the media as alleging that Beijing also turned away two minesweepers seeking refuge from a storm and a US military flight to resupply the US consulate in Hong Kong. They were quoted as claiming that the Chinese Government has formally notified the Pentagon that it is refusing a request for a port call in Hong Kong over the New Year's holiday by the guided missile frigate USS Reuben James.
6. While neither US nor Chinese officials have connected these refusals to the Dalai Lama issue, non-governmental analysts have.The "Washington Post" of November 25,2007, has quoted Prof.Shi Yinhong of the People's University in Beijing, as saying as follows: "The U.S. selling weapons to Taiwan is an old issue, and China expresses its dissatisfaction constantly on that. By blocking the warship (USS Kitty Hawk) and its support vessels, China just hoped to use its reluctance, changing its attitude, to tell the United States that China is unhappy with Bush over his decision to personally present the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama."
7. The Chinese concerns have further increased following the pronouncements of the Dalai Lama over the selection of his successor. Just as the Chinese Communist Party has imposed a Panchen Lama of its choice on the Tibetan people, it is determined that when the Dalai Lama dies, his successor would be chosen by a religious process controlled by the party in which the Tibetan exiles would have no role.
8. To pre-empt the Chinese imposing a Party-selected Dalai Lama on the Tibetan people,the Dalai Lama has started discussing in public the various options available to him and the Tibetan people. During a visit to Japan in November,2007,the Dalai Lama was reported to have told the "Sankei Shimbun" newspaper that the Tibetan people would not support a successor who was selected by China. He added: "If the Tibetan people wish to uphold the Dalai Lama system, one possibility would be to select the next Dalai Lama while I am still living. Among options being considered are a democratic selection by the high monks of Tibetan Buddhism, or the appointment of a successor by myself."
9.Subsequently, the Dalai Lama was reported to have told journalists in the margins of an inter-faith conference at Amritsar on November 27,2007, as follows: "If my death comes when we are still in a refugee status then logically my reincarnation will come outside Tibet." He added that in view of the difficulties that could be faced in following the Buddhist tradition of choosing his re-incarnation, his successor could be selected by election, like the pope; by seniority, or could take over in the traditional way (reincarnation), but outside Tibet.
10. In a strong criticism of the Dalai Lama's views, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said:"The reincarnation of the living Buddha is a unique way of succession of Tibetan Buddhism and follows relatively complete religious rituals and historical conventions.The Dalai's remarks obviously violated the religious rituals and historical conventions."
11. Beijing has strong reasons to be concerned over the fact that the Dalai Lama has started talking of other options after his recent visit to the US. It strongly suspects that the idea of a pre-emptive strike at Beijing on the succession issue must have been suggested to him by his followers and advisers in the US. Beijing seems to be worried that his US advisers might persuade the Dalai Lama to announce who would be his successor on the eve of the Olympics just to draw international attention away from the games.
12. The attempts of the critics of China and supporters of the Dalai Lama in the US to organise a boycott of the Olympics in protest against the continuing violations of the human rights of the Tibetans has not picked up momentum. They are now focussing on preventing the Olympic Torch being allowed to touch the US.The Olympics Organisers have reportedly chosen San Francisco as the US City where the torch will be taken in April,2008. The supporters of the Dalai Lama have started a campaign to pressurise the local municipal authorities not to agree to this. "The torch should not be permitted to be used as a propaganda vehicle for the communist dictatorship in China," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who in August,2007, co-sponsored resolutions calling for the US to boycott the Olympics over China's role in Darfur and its human-rights violations at home. In a letter to Mr.Gavin Newsom, the Mayor of San Francisco, an organisation called the San Francisco Tibet Coalition has said : "Your welcoming of the Olympic torch would suggest ... that you are ready to turn your back on a unique opportunity to promote legitimate international concerns and ... take a stand for justice in Tibet and China."
13. Aware of the Chinese unhappiness over the award of the Congressional Medal of Honour to the Dalai Lama, the Government of India was recently reported to have advised Ministers of the Government and senior Government officials not to attend a function in New Delhi in honour of the Dalai Lama after his return from the US. The organisers of the function had reportedly notified that one of the objectives of the function would be to congratulate His Holiness on the US honour. The Government of India does not want any wrong impression that the supporters and well-wishers of His Holiness in India are acting in tandem with those in the US. (4-12-07)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies.E-mail: )


In the wake of the widespread non-violent protest movement against the military junta by large sections of the monks and students in August and September, 2007, the Myanmar military Junta, under international pressure, gave the impression of responding at long last to international concerns over its policies. Pressure from China also played an important role in this matter.
2. It allowed Mr.Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Special Representative on Myanmar, to visit the country twice and meet not only senior officers of the Junta, including Gen.Than Shwe, but also Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader under house arrest. It appointed Col. Aung Kyi, Labour Minister, as an intermediary to interact with Suu Kyi and allowed Mr.Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, also to visit the country. It claimed to have released most of those arrested in connection with the agitation.
3. Now, confident that it has crushed the protest movement effectively and that the international focus on Myanmar is no longer as intense as it was from August to October,2007, the Junta has once again reverted to its long-held stand that Myanmar will have democracy on its terms and in the colours decided by it and that Suu Kyi will have no role in the transition to democracy or in the governance of Myanmar as and when democracy is restored. Its interactions with her will be not on strategic issues of Myanmar's future and its transition to democracy, but on tactical issues relating to the containment and management of the anger of its people over its policies.
4. The Chinese pressure was confined to nudging the Junto to respond to international concerns. It was not related to the people's aspirations. The Chinese worries were and are not over the suppression of the people by the Junta, but over the likely negative impact of a worsening situation in Myanmar on its image in the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics of August,2008. The Chinese were also worried that if the saffron revolution succeeded in Myanmar, it could next spread to Tibet. Thus, the signs of a slight opening up of the country and a more responsive Junta, which we saw in the wake of the protest movement, were a tactical move by the Junta, with a nod from Beijing, to prevent its being swept away by a combination of domestic and international storms. Now that the Junta feels that the storms have weakened and are unlikely to regain force in the near future, it is back to its unrelenting opposition to a restoration of democracy, with Suu Kyi playing a role in the transition.
5. This became evident at a press conference organised by the Junta at Naypyidaw, the new capital, on December 3,2007. It was addressed, among others, by Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan, the Information Minister, Mr.Khin Yi, the national Police chief, and Aung Kyi, the Junta-designated intermediary with Suu Kyi. The salient points made by them were as follows:
Kyaw Hsan:The protests were the work of "bogus" monks organised by exiled dissidents and the US."Actually, the August-September protests were trivial for the whole country.It is found with sound evidence that ex-convicted bogus monks got joined with anti-government groups inside and outside the country.Those unrests and violence, not participated by the majority of the people and the majority of monks, have been put under control." The Government would stick to its own road map to democracy. There is no timeline for completing the charter.There would be no role for Aung San Suu Kyi or her National League for Democracy (NLD)."No assistance or advice from other persons is required." No changes to the National Convention's work would be considered. "It is not reasonable or fair to amend those principles adopted by the delegates."
Khin Yi:The protesters had hoped to overthrow the Government. "The demonstrations and protests were planned and conspired months ahead to topple the Government." He accused a non-governmental organisation called the Forum for Democracy in Burma of working with exiled dissidents to orchestrate the protests, and said the US Embassy had also helped train the activists."The American Centre held a three-day training course on infiltrating and organising the public.The uprisings dissolved within a very short time frame simply because the general public did not take part and our security forces were able to make pre-emptive strikes."
Aung Kyi: His three meetings with Suu Kyi had yielded "positive developments," but he declined to elaborate.6. While international organisations, media and elite have gone silent, supporters of the pro-democracy movement in the US have continued to keep the focus on Myanmar and its Junta. A special hearing on the subject was held by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom at Washington DC on the same day on which the Junta had organised its press conference. The hearing was addressed by Rev.Ashin Nayaka, of the International Burmese Monks' Organisation, who is now a visiting Fellow at the Columbia University, Mr.Aung Din, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Burma, and Mr.Jared Genser, President of human rights group Freedom Now. The salient points of their presentations were as follows:
Ashin Nayaka: "Myanmar's Buddhist monks are prepared to face another bloody confrontation with the ruling military government if the international community fails to force the Generals to accept democratic reforms."Monks were a "symbol of hope" for reforms in Myanmar but were "forcibly disrobed, assaulted and killed" by the military Government. "If this continues unaddressed, further bloody confrontation is unavoidable.The very existence of monastic life is being destroyed by the evil military regime and it will face bloodshed again, if the international community, including the UN Security Council, cannot find a collective and effective way to stop this evil regime from killings and arrests." He had been working closely with U Gambira, the leader of the Alliance of All Burma Buddhist Monks and key leader of the September protests arrested by the military government last month. He expressed regret that pressure by the international community on the military government had eased even as serious questions remained over the number of monks forcibly disrobed, imprisoned and killed following the protests. "Where has the global outcry gone? This should be of grave concern for all governments worldwide. This is a moral crisis that Americans must stand for."
Aung Din: The US should appoint a full-time sanctions coordinator for Myanmar as it did in the late 1990's against Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's regime accused of genocide. This would enable coordination of global sanctions against Myanmar's military Government.Citing the Australian Government which had targeted financial sanctions against 418 Myanmar citizens, including 40 businessmen, he asked the US Government to impose restrictions on more Myanmar businessmen who provided money to the military Government leaders and their families.
Jared Genser: He wanted that the US should consider imposing sanctions, such as those used against a Macau bank accused of money laundering for nuclear-armed North Korea, on a Southeast Asian state-owned bank suspected of links to Myanmar's military rulers.The US move against Banco Delta Asia in Macau is believed to have forced North Korea back to the negotiating table. According to him, a State-owned bank in one of the ASEAN countries was playing a similar role in backing the military Junta in Myanmar and US action against it might have an impact on Myanmar. He added: "Anecdotally in conversations with diplomats in ASEAN countries, I know there is a deep concern about the prospects of the United States doing to a state-owned bank what happened to Banco Delta Asia in Macau because of its laundering of North Korean funds." He did not name the bank.
7.The sanctions imposed till now have been directed mainly against the Junta and other Army officers. Suggestions for sanctions against Myanmar and foreign businessmen backing the Junta are now being made . In addition, sections of Burmese political exiles have been advocating that the US should also use the Beijing Olympics for keeping up pressure on China to make the Junta change its policies. Non-governmental elements in the US and West Europe have already been linking the human rights issue in Darfur in the Sudan and Tibet to the Olympics. They want that the issue of Chinese support to the Myanmar Junta should also be linked. They feel that while a call for the boycott of the Olympics by the participating Western countries would not work, a call for the boycott of the Olympics by the Western media in protest against Chinese policies in respect of Darfur, Tibet and Myanmar might. They want that even if the Western media is disinclined to boycott the Olympics, it could at least down-grade the coverage of the Olympics. These Myanmar exiles are also considering the issue of an appeal to foreign tourists not to go to Beijing to watch the games.
8. In the meanwhile,groups of students and monks inside Myanmar have not allowed themselves to be demoralised by the repressive policies of the Junta. They are now canvassing support for a non-cooperation movement similar to the movement started by Mahatma Gandhi against the British in India. This would involve a boycott of services and products of companies associated with the Junta.
9.India faces a strategic as well as an ethical dilemma in Myanmar. The strategic dimension arises from the importance of Myanmar for the internal security of our North-East and the need to counter the Chinese presence and designs in Myanmar,particularly in its North. The ethical dimension arises from India's status as a successful democracy, its long association with Myanmar political leaders and people and the fact that under Suu Kyi, the Myanmar people have been emulating the non-violent methods of Gandhiji. We will be betraying the memories of Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other freedom-fighters if we fail to support a Gandhi-inspired movement in Myanmar and instead support a military Junta, which rules the country in its interests and not in the interests of the people.
10. The startegic path need not exclude the ethical and vice versa. A mix of ethical and strategic parameters should govern our policy-making. Presently, the ethical parameters hardly have any influence in the policy-making on Myanmar. This position has to change and ethical parameters should play an important role. A beginning in this direction can be made by expanding the Myanmar language broadcasts of the All India Radio in order to provide for more time to political and economic issues, by allowing the leaders of the Myanmar exile movement in different countries to visit India in order to interact with our leaders, people and media and starting telecasts specially beamed to Myanmar. Our private TV channels should also play an active role in this.
11.Suu Kyi and her supporters are trying to prove that Gandhiism has still got relevance and can work in restoring to their people their dignity and freedoms. We should not prove them wrong by continuing with our present policies. (4-12-07)
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

Born on 14-8-1936; Graduated in Chemistry from the Loyola College, University of Madras in 1955. Studied journalism in the Department of Journalism of the University of Madras in 1956-57. Joined the southern editions of the “Indian Express” as Sub-Editor in 1957.
Appeared for the All-India and Central Services competitive examinations of the Govt. of India in 1960 and got through. Joined the Indian Police Service in 1961 and allotted to Madhya Pradesh.
Joined the Government of India in New Delhi on deputation in 1967. Served in the Ministry of Home Affairs as an internal intelligence analyst in 1967-68. Moved over to the Cabinet Secretariat as an external intelligence analyst in September 1968; resigned from the Indian Police Service in 1984 after being permanently absorbed in the Cabinet Secretariat; and retired as Additional Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, on August 31,1994. Was the head of the Counter-terrorism division of the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external intelligence agency, from 1988 to 1994.
Have since settled down in Chennai (Madras).Director, Institute For Topical Studies,Chennai, since October,1994.
Was Convenor, Chennai Chapter, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) from December,2002 to November 14,2005 and Distinguished Fellow in charge of the International Terrorism Watch Programme of the ORF between December 12,2003, and November 14,2005. Was a Member of the Central Advisory Committee, ORF, New Delhi.
Was a member of the Special Task Force on the revamping of the intelligence apparatus of the Govt. of India in 2000 and served as a member of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) of the Govt. of India from July,2000 to December,2002.
Write regularly on subjects of topical interest having a bearing on national security and terrorism in many Indian newspapers and journals and current affairs web sites as well as for Asia Times, Hong Kong. Regular columnist to the “Indian Defence Review” of New Delhi and serve on its board of honorary editorial consultants. Associated with the South Asia Analysis Group (SAAG),New Delhi, since October,1998. All my articles appear at the web site of the SAAG at and the “Outlook” online edition at . Write occasionally for Often interviewed on terrorism on English (24 * 7 , Sahara TV, AAj Tak and Door Darshan) and Tamil (Sun TV and Jaya TV) TV channels and on the Hindi programme of BBC radio.
Attended in November,1997, the Manila Forum jointly organised by the ASEAN and the European Union and was a member of its working group on Cultural Diversity and Regional Peace.
Have attended a number of seminars on terrorism in India and abroad. Represented India on the Working Group on Terrorism and Transnational Crime of the Council on Security Co-operation Asia-Pacific (CSCAP). Attended meetings of the Working Group at Kuala Lumpur (Feb,2002), Shanghai (May,2002),and Bangkok (November,2002). Attended a Workshop on Terrorism of the ASEAN Regional Forum at Vientiane in March,2003.
Invited by the Panel on Terrorism of the US House Armed Services Committee to testify in June,2002. Invited to speak on terrorism at the University of California, LA, (Feb,2002), Rice University, Houston (Feb.2002), Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Singapore (March, 2002), Atlanta University, Athens, USA, (November,2002), and Boston University, USA, (November,2002).Was invited on a lecture tour of the USA again from July 10 to 28,2003. Attended a seminar on terrorism organised by the Regional Centre For Strategic Studies, Colombo, in July,2003.
Was invited to attend the Jerusalem “summit” on “Building Peace On Truth” from October 12 to 14, 2003, organised by the Michael Cherney Foundation, the National Unity Coalition for Israel, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Jerusalem Municipality.
Was invited by the House International Relations Committee of the US Congress to testify on cross-border terrorist challenges facing India and their implications for US counter-terrorism policy at a joint hearing of its sub-committees on Asia and the Pacific and on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Human Rights held at Washington DC on October 29,2003.
Attended the third India-China-Russia Non-Governmental Trialogue on Security-related issues at New Delhi on November 6 and 7,2003, at the invitation of the Indian Institute For Chinese Studies, New Delhi, and spoke on co-operation in counter-terrorism. Attended its fourth trialogue at Moscow on September 1 and 2,2004, and spoke on terrorism.
Was invited to speak on “Non-Military Approaches to Terrorism—the Indian Model” at the General Conference of the Council on Security Co-operation Asia & Pacific (CSCAP) held at Jakarta from December 7 to 9, 2003.
Attended an ORF—Rand Corporation strategic dialogue at New Delhi on December 10 and 11,2003, and led the discussion on terrorism.
Participated in a round table on “Iraq and the War on Terrorism” organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, at New Delhi on December 16,2003.
Attended the Indo-US Workshop on the Use of Science & Technology in dealing with Terrorism held at Goa from January 12 to 15,2004 under the joint auspices of the National Institute for Advance Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, India, and the US Academy of Sciences and acted as one of the discussants.
Participated in a joint symposium organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), New Delhi, and the American and the Australian Jewish Committees(AJC) at New Delhi on February 3,2004, and presented a paper on Global Counter-Terrorism and the Role of Democracies.
Was invited to speak on co-operation against international terrorism at an Indo-Israeli-US conference on Strategic Co-operation held at Herzliya, Israel, on February 16 and 17,2004, under the joint auspices of the Jewish Institute For National Security Affairs (JINSA) of Washington DC and the Institute For Counter-terrorism Policy of Herzliya.
Participated in a round table on “Changing Trends in S.E.Asia” organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs, New Delhi, at New Delhi, on March 10,2004.
Spoke on Indo-US Co-operation in Counter-Terrorism at the conference on Indo-US Strategic Co-operation held on April 1 and 2,2004, at the Sigur Centre For Asian Studies of the George Washington University, Washington DC, USA.
Organised an International Workshop on International Terrorism in S.E.Asia and its Implications For South Asia on behalf of the ORF at New Delhi on April 28 and 29,2004.
Spoke on “Terrorism in S.E.Asia” at a seminar on S.E.Asia organised by the Indian Institute of Advanced Study at New Delhi on May 3,2004.
Spoke on May 30,1994, on the War On Narcotics at the annual dinner of the Rainbow Foundation, Colombo, a prestigious non-governmental organisation of Sri Lanka which holds a contributory dinner on May 30 of every year and contributes the proceeds to organisations which are active in the field of anti-narcotics.
Participated in a regional conference organised by the UN Foundation and the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies of New Delhi at New Delhi from July 1 to 3,2004, and spoke on Effective Action Against Terrorism. The conference was meant to make recommendations to the High Power UN Panel on ‘New Threats to Security’ set up by Mr.Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General.
Presented a paper on “Muslim Separatism in India” at a conference on “Ethnic Minorities And Great Power Strategies in Asia” organised by the Asia-Pacific Centre For Security Studies, Honolulu, from October 12 to 14,2004.
Presented a paper on “Maritime Terrorism---An Indian Perspective” at a conference on National Security in a Changing Region organised by the Asia Pacific Conferences & Event Management of Singapore at Singapore on October 28 and 29,2004.
Organised three Workshops in October-November,2004, under the International Terrorism Watch Project of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF)--- on “the Recent Intelligence Failures in the USA, the UK and Russia and Their Lessons for India” in October,2004; “The North-East: the Problems & the Options” in November,2004; and “Maritime Counter-Terrorism” in ovember,2004.The first two were national Workshops attended by experts from India and the third was an international Workshop attended by experts from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, the USA and the International Maritime Bureau, London.
Organised a Workshop on Naxalite (Maoist) Violence in India at Chennai on January 28 and 29,2005.
Represented India at the International Summit on Terrorism, Democracy and Security held at Madrid from March 8 to 10, 2005. The summit had been jointly organised by the Club of Madrid, the Governments of Spain and Norway and the Municipality of Madrid.
Attended a seminar on terrorism organised by the Directorate of Net Assessment of the office of the Chief of the Integrated Defence Staff at New Delhi on March 22 and 23,2005, and spoke on Future Terrorism.
Attended a conference on Indo-US Security Co-operation organised by the Indiana University Bloomington,US, from April 21 to 23,2005, and spoke on Indo-US Co-operation in Counter-Terrorism.
A member of the Study Group on the Root Causes of International Terrorism set up by the Council on Security Co-operation Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and attended its first meeting at Bangkok on April 26 and 27,2005, and its second and final meeting at Kuala Lumpur on August 9 and 10,2005..
Was invited to address the plenary session of the Fifth International Conference on the Global Impact of Terrorism organised by the Institute of Counter-Terrorism (ICT), Herzliya, Israel, from Sept. 11 to 14,2005, on “International Terrorism: An Indian Perspective”. Was also a member of its Panels on Aviation Terrorism, State Involvement in Terrorism and the Implications of the London Explosions.
Attended a conference on terrorism jointly organised by the Islamic State University of Jakarta and the Institute of Defence Analysis (IDA) of Washington DC, which was held in Bali, Indonesia, from October 19 to 21,2005, and presented a paper on “From Internet to Islamnet: Net-centric Counter-terrorism”
Attended a conference on “Asia and Global Security” organised by the Orient Institute of the Lisbon University from November 14 to 16,2005, and presented a paper on “International Jihadi Terrorism And Europe: An Indian Perspective”.
Attended a Round Table on International Terrorism organised by the Globe Research of Rome at Rome on February 4 and 5,2006, and spoke on International Jihadi Terrorism in Central Asia.
Attended a conference on Terrorism organised by the Intelligence Summit of Washington DC at Washington DC from February 18 to 20,2006, and delivered a keynote address on ‘Progress in the War Against Terrorism: An Indian Perspective.”

Attended a conference on “Globalisation And Security” organized by the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies of Singapore at Singapore from March 14 to 16,2006, and spoke on “Impact of Globalisation on Threat Perceptions in South Asia.”
Attended a conference on International Homeland Security organized by the Royal United Services Institute, London, on May 10,2006, and spoke on the “Evolution of India’s Counter-Terrorism Capabilities”.
Spoke on “Al Qaeda in South Asia---Emerging Trends” at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, on May11,2006.
Attended a conference on South Asian Security organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, at Muscat, in collaboration with the Sultanate of Muscat from April 20 to 22,2007.
Participated in the 21st Asia-Pacific Round Table at Kuala Lumpur from June 4 to 7, 2007, and spoke on “The Campaign Against Terrorism”.
Visited the University of Sichuan, Chengdu, China, from August 26 to 31,2007, at the invitation of the Centre for West China-South Asia Studies for discussions on security for the Beijing Olympics of August,2008.
Participated in discussions on “Terrorism & Media” at a seminar in Kuala Lumpur from November 5 to 7,2007, organized under the auspices of the Institute For Defence Analysis of Washington DC.
Regularly deliver talks on terrorism, Pakistan, internal security etc at the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, National Defence College, New Delhi, Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Tamil Nadu, and the Army War College , Mhow, Madhya Pradesh.
Author of three books: “Intelligence---Past, Present And Future” and “ A Terrorist State As A Frontline Ally”, both published in 2001 by the Lancer Publications, New Delhi and “The Kaoboys of R&AW---Down Memory Lane” published by the same publishers on July 30,2007. Listed No.5 in the List of Best-sellers of Non-Fiction by “India Today”. Summary of reviews given below.Have written over 1000 articles since 1994. Presently writing my fourth book “Terrorism: Old & New, Today and Tomorrow”. Expect to complete it by December 31,2007. Likely publishers: Lancer Publications.
Founding member of the Chennai Centre For China Studies, which was inaugurated by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Madras on March 14,2007. Its web site is at

The Kaoboys of R&AW: Down Memory Lane Rs.795/-

"What is most interesting about this book, especially from the viewpoint of people who have an instinctive suspicion of intelligence agencies, is the openness with which the author discusses certain issues and the positions he takes on them." •- The Hindu

"It has an extremely good flow and is non-put-downable." •- U.S.I. Journal

“The book is replete with material that should force a re-assessment of the operations of intelligence services by our policy-makers and political leaders. Whether that will happen is difficult to tell. While many would like to see the deficiencies noted in the book disappear, still others would merely like to see them disappear from the public discourse. Raman's anguish, so evident in the book, appears partly the despair of one who holds very little hope that things will change, even while arguing that much is needed. ?" •- India Together

“It is a pity that we are yet to imbibe the culture of recording intelligence operations for posterity.” •-

“While the CIA was assisting R&AW against China, it was aiding Pakistan against India to ensure that where was no further division of Pakistan; R&AW was getting some cooperation from the French SDECE but it did not prevent the French from running a mole in India’s PMO; R&AW was working with the Soviet KGB and the Afghan KHAD and at the same time it had links with the Israeli Mossad. R&AW had a liaison with the Chinese MSS (Ministry of State Security) too.” •- Freedom First

"The book can appropriately be described as an insider's account of the functioning of the R & AW during 1968-1994...Raman’s book is a timely and valuable contribution which deserves the attention of decision makers at the high levels of the government ." •- Deccan Chronicle

"Three things make this book remarkable, candour and honesty, fair judgement, and moral courage...The book is a tribute to RN Kao, ...But it is much more than that. It is a mirror of how we excelled and faltered as a nation and the role played by the R&AW in it. And it is worth reading for this single reason." •- South Asia Analysis Group

“The book underlines the fact that an emerging power aspiring to take its place by 2020 among the leading powers of the world has to have an external intelligence agency with the ability "to see, hear, smell and feel far and near". Such an agency has to have the ability to operate imaginatively and daringly, analyse lucidly, anticipate unfailingly and manage unanticipated crises effectively.Above all the agency should have the courage to tell the truth as it needs to be told without worrying about the consequences.” •- The New Strait Times

"Flushed with a discretionary fund of some Rs 1,500 crore, RAW has been conferred spectacular operational freedom. But as former RAW operative B Raman has revealed in The Kaoboys of R&AW, most of these privileges have been flagrantly , sometimes criminally, misused." •-
Times of India

“Raman's book could not have come at a better time…Raman's book is candid in many respects. He says the R and AW has only partly fulfilled the purposes for which it was set up by Indira Gandhi and Kao.” •-

"...they have also printed it - gadzooks - on art paper! Ever heard of such a thing?" •- Business Standard

" A very honest book!" •-

" A stinging critique of India's most exclusive private club by an ex-high priest...Once you are able to look beyond the masala stuff that is de rigueur for any book by a spymaster, there is a very dark and daunting message. And its in black and white." •- Hindustan Times

Touching a raw nerve. •- The Tribune

The book conveys a sense of the Intelligence world as it really is mostly shades of gray, instead of black and white. •- Deccan Herald

B. Raman, a former R&AW spy, ... points out that one of R&AW’s major drawbacks has been “a lack of man management…especially in the later years, where R&AW should have been blended into a team, there’s a clear absence of an esprit de corps.’’ •- The Telegraph

There are two ways to look at this book. One is to pick up a few ‘scoopy’ details and highlight them, the other is to look at it as a textbook and learn from “memory lane” about intelligence collection and analysis and even covert operations. •-

"...insider account of the rot within are always a good read." •- Outlook

"Raman is fair to the legacy — he was himself a Kaoboy — and chronicles both the achievements and failures of RAW in a reasonably objective manner." •- DNA

In a new offering from India's premier publishing house on strategic affairs, B Raman, …pries open the black box with hard-hitting scrutiny… A treasure trove of unknown information and incidents that mark a much misunderstood and maligned agency, this book is a frank account… •- Asia Times Online

"Raman’s work is exceptional because for the first time we get an insider’s analysis of the success and failures of the secretive Indian external intelligence agency…Raman’s book, apart from being full of juicy stories will remain a textbook for those interested to study and understand the first years of India’s external intelligence agency." •-

"A startling glimpse into the working of India’s External Intelligence Agency." •- India Today

"B. Raman’s book on RAW is peppered with stunning, and sometimes amusing, anecdotes." •- The Indian Express

Author: B Raman
ISBN: 0-9796174-3-X
Pages: 304
Features: Size 6x9in