As a nation we love a lot of things. We are suckers for mainstream Bollywood masala. We like conspiracies and the various theories around them. We like to discuss how petty politics is and how rotten our leaders are. We love concluding that our nation has ruptured beyond all repairs. We like repeat telecasts of news that strip legends of their aura. We like to see our heroes fall. We like congregating in small gossip groups in train compartments, smoking corners in air-conditioned office complexes, tea stalls in tier-II cities and Baristas and CCDs in metropolitans.
In short, we love to gossip!
AS Dulat, is the latest one to capitalize on this mind-set of ours. Shri AS Dulat served in Kashmir as Joint Director Intelligence Bureau from 1988 to 1990 which can be termed as the most troublesome time in the valley. AS Dulat then moved to Intelligence bureau where he was promoted to the rank of Special Director and after that he assumed the role of the chief of Research and Analysis Wing of India. He was also appointed to the PMO to advice on Kashmir affairs from 2001 to 2004. A man of such impressive profile got to be a storehouse of information, a lot of which can be termed classified information. Sanjay Baru leaked information. K Natwar Singh leaked information. But Is Mr. Dulat a Sanjay Baru or Natwar Singh? While Mr. AS Dulat has every right in the world to ‘leak’ information but shouldn’t that be done with some caution?
While some of his revelations aren’t exactly shocking. Everyone knows that Vajpayee was of the opinion that Gujarat riots could have been averted and the situation could have been handled much better. His video where he tells Modi to follow the Raj-Dharma is quite popular, so I wouldn’t term it as a disclosure. Vajpayee was the leader of the coalition of which National Conference was a part of. If he wished to make Farooq Abdullah the vice president of India, it was completely his prerogative and was possibly because of some coalition compulsions. But again a non-expose kind of expose.
But revealing information like “The NDA government goofed up the IC-814 Hijacking” in my humble opinion is not the best thing to do. Let us look at the expose from the eyes of a non-Indian. Does it not reflect badly upon us and on our crisis handling abilities? Let us look at the expose from the eyes of Pakistan or any potential enemy? Do they not get to know about our weak points and vulnerabilities with such revelations?
A question that comes to my mind is “Wouldn’t revelations like these compromise ongoing and potential future operations?
And if it was actually a goof up was AS Dulat sitting over the information to write an all-time best seller about it? Doesn’t his integrity and responsibility as a high office holder come into question?
Another gem of a revelation is that “Indian intelligence agencies regularly pay separatist leaders, Hurriyat leaders and mainstream Jammu and Kashmir political parties including the National Conference”. Now doesn’t that affect the ongoing peace processes in the valley? Does it not alienate the separatist forces which are anyway looking for an opportunity to run away? Would any radical leader bestow its trust in RAW if they get to know that everything that they are talking about will be documented in full details in a book someday.
I am writing this article as a concerned citizen of India. There are some truths that do more damage than good. There are some facts that must remain concealed. Every citizen of this country has the right to express his opinions freely and fearlessly. But every citizen must also understand his/her duty towards the nation, its integrity and its overall security. The only good thing about this episode is that Modi and co. didn’t go down on their knees to stop AS Dulat from going into the media like Sonia Gandhi and co. did in the case of Natwar Singh’s expose.