‘India’s robust security apparatus has withstood the test of time’

The fact that IB did not become a Stasi or a Gestapo … speaks about the strength of its operational fibre, says Prabhakar Aloka

GN Bureau | July 18, 2022


#Prabhakar Aloka   #espionage   #crime   #terrorism   #literature   #fiction   #Intelligence Bureau  
Author Prabhakar Aloka
Author Prabhakar Aloka

Prabhakar Aloka (IPS 1986), with a three-decade stint at the Intelligence Bureau, has now turned to penning thrillers. First there was ‘Operation Haygreeva’. Now there is the sequel: ‘Operation Sudarshan Chakra’ (Penguin Random House India).

The latest is a gripping espionage saga that shares an insider’s expert view of India’s counter-terror and counter-insurgency through the protagonist, Ravi Kumar and his team of young recruits.

Ravi Kumar, head of the Central Counterterrorism Command (C3) of the Intelligence Bureau, is haunted by the partial success of ‘Operation Haygreeva’. He and his team of young recruits – Mihir, Cyrus and Jose – exposed designs of a hitherto-unknown terrorist outfit, the Lashkar-e-Hind (LeH), responsible for the Mumbai train blasts. But the mission they had staked their lives on remains significantly unfinished.

The LeH’s leader, Tabrez, had managed to escape to Pakistan. Looking to expand the scale of his operations and strike back at India in previously inconceivable ways, Tabraz becomes the lynchpin of a sinister K2 plan of Pakistan’s ISI to leverage different socio-political anxieties and create a vast network of radicalised minds penetrating deep into Indian society, to destabilise the delicate fabric that holds the nation together.

Despite having faced severe personal trauma, Ravi and his team come together to launch deft counterterror and counterintelligence maneuvers, codenamed Operation Sudarshan Chakra, putting everything, including their individual safety, at risk.

On the occasion of the new publication,
Governance Now spoke with Prabhakar Aloka:

You have vast experience in intelligence and counter-insurgency. Any particular reason for you to pen your experience through fiction? Any memoirs of some interesting cases in the pipeline?

There is varied perception about the work of a spy who attempts to unravel deliberately hidden facts. Be it ‘Atharvaveda’, or ‘Book of Joshua’, or ‘Arthashatra’ of Kautilya, or ‘Thirukkural’ of Thiruvalluvar, ancient and modern literature emphasises spy as an indispensable instrument of governance. Work of a spy is sublime. The transcendent nature of work can be best explained through a fiction. A memoire or information may not delve into tribulations which form a major part of vocation of aspy.

Your book highlights the re-emergence of insurgency and the Khalistan movement. How well do you think we are prepared to nip it in the bud?

India has a robust security apparatus which has withstood the test of time. The agency could blunt various onslaughts on the Republic by undertaking structural and procedural reforms consistent with the democratic ethos. The fact that it did not develop into a Stasi or a Gestapo at the time of Independence, despite the existence of situation relevant for such transition, speaks about the strength of its operational fibre. The Indian agencies stand tall among their peers in terms of philosophical moorings and competence.They have necessary wherewithal to tackle emerging threats.

The story of ‘Operation Sudarshan Chakra’ also highlights the personal compromises one has to make in your line of professional commitment. Does this affect the quality of work or life?
 
A spy has to take different ‘avatars’, sometimes inconsistent with his beliefs and learning. These could be psychologically disruptive. Training and commitment helps overcome unsettling situation with aplomb.

It’s said, 'once a spy always a spy. Does this hold true for you?

The foremost attribute of a spy is awareness about the environment – both proximate and distant. An active spy emphasises near environment. The focus of attention of a former spy may shift to spatially or temporally distant environment. Awareness remains associated lifelong.

‘Sudarshan Chakra’ is known to be a divine weapon. Why did you pick this particular name for your second title?
 
Precision in action is the hallmark of an efficient spy. A spy makes effort to accomplish task with certainty and without any collateral damage. Sudarshan Chakra embodies all attributes of result a spy aspires to achieve.

The book is up for screen adaptation. Please tell us more about it.

Two seasons of eight episodes each has been envisaged. It is work in progress.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Jal Jeevan Mission: 6.70 crore households provided with tap water connections

Since August 2019, Government of India, in partnership with States, is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to make provision of potable tap water supply every rural household by 2024. As many as 6.70 crore households have been provided with tap water connections in the 35 months, since Aug

Cloud inclusivity: Ensuring highly regulated organisations are ready for a cloud-first world

Over the last few years, cloud has been able to create a special place for itself amongst fast moving, competitive and growth-led organisations. As the technology became an imperative, it has undoubtedly created unique business opportunities and isbecoming an anchor for innovation for leading businesses gl

1.29 crore voters chose NOTA in five years

None-of-the-above, or NOTA – the option introduced for voters in 2013 when they don’t want to support any of the candidate – has made some progress. In the past five years, NOTA has secured 1,29,77,627 votes in state assembly elections and Lok Sabha election, according to an analysis by t

India committs to reduce Emissions Intensity of GDP by 45% by 2030

India stands committed to reduce Emissions Intensity of its GDP by 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2030 and achieve about 50 percent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030. The country’s India’s updated Nationally Determined Contributi

5G spectrum auction grosses Rs. 1,50,173 crore

The government had put 72,098 MHz spectrum to auction, of which 51,236 MHz (71% of the total) has been sold with bid amounting to Rs. 1,50,173 crore. Adani Data Networks Ltd has obtained 400 MHz spectrum in mm wave band (26 GHz). Bharti Airtel Ltd has obtained 19,867.8 MHz in 900, 1800, 2100

Delhi has been getting hotter since 2020

A steep rise has been recorded over the past three years in pre-monsoon surface air temperature, land surface temperature and relative humidity in Delhi/NCR, whereas there is no such increase in relative humidity. This is a cause of concern, Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state (independent

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter