Table of Contents

   A spy and a gentleman
   Doyen of Indian intelligence
   Czar of India's Counter
   Life and Times of R.N. Kao
   The Legend Called RN Kao
   RN Kao's World View
   RN Kao's Major Feats

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



RN Kao's World View

Pt. RN Kao engaged in a lively correspondence with his junior, B. Raman in his retirement years. His world-view as per this correspondence was:


Kao believed Americans were not necessarily anti-India but their priorities were different, determined by their perception of national interests. According to him Americans followed their chosen line of action with stubborn determination, India could get hurt in this process. He observed that Americans were not to be trusted in matters concerning Pakistan as they would not touch Pakistan for anything it does to India. He was once advised by a CIA director to ensure that Techint’s use by India against Pakistan should not come to the knowledge of State department. Another dimension about his observation about US was that it had longstanding guilt complex about China, borne out of long history of American Methodist missionary activities in China.


Kao held that problems with Pakistan were acute, requiring urgent attention, while those with China were more intractable and India would have to be prepared for a long haul. Kao felt increase in China’s armed might and its modernization were a cause of alarm for India. He believed economic prosperity in China would lead to political liberalisation.

Pakistan :

Kao attributed anti-Indian hostility of Pakistan government to its military oligarchy and senior bureaucrats, since it was a question of survival for them. He listed China and North Korea as countries which have helped Pakistan achieve missile capability. He wanted India to have good intelligence capacity about what Pakistan was doing, so that India could thwart its adventurist actions with full might. B. Raman quotes him as saying, “Pakistan deserves to he declared a rogue state. How I wish that geography could be changed and we should leave Pakistan alone to stew in her own juice”.

National Security:

Kao lamented absence of, long-range planning and ad-hocism in India’s national security management. He did not believe mere availability of data was substitute for adequate policy formulation. He decried the role of human right groups in India in selectively highlighting the issue, saying advanced countries used this as another stick to beat India with on handling insurgencies in Kashmir, Punjab and North-East. He wanted India to follow China’s example, which ‘snubs them and cynically ignores what they say’.

Kao was fully aware about the dangers posed by Muslim fundamentalist groups to South India, saying most people in Delhi were abysmally ignorant about it. Infact Israelis since, 1992 had been drawing India’s attention to the dangers of Islamic extremism in Tamil Nadu.

Society and Politics:

Kao felt happy that despite the march of globalization and liberalization India had not lost its bearings. He welcomed BJPCongress cooperation in national security and supported empowerment of OBCs and Dalits. Kao saw sense in the formulations that anti-Hindu secularism practised by so-called secular elite could lead to a counter-elite backlash. He was worried about deinstitualisation, menace of megascams, political uncertainty. Kao admired Hinduism, arguing, ‘If anything distinguishes our religion from others, it is the spirit of tolerance. And, to my mind, magnanimity is only an extension of tolerance’. --(Compiled by Sentinel Desk)

Source: Kashmir Sentinel



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