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Saturday, Oct 23, 2021
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Narayanan Must Make Way For A Successor

Our neighbour sacked its NSA for telling the truth; we carry on with one despite lapses and gaffes

Narayanan Must Make Way For A Successor
Narendra Bisht
Narayanan Must Make Way For A Successor
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
The office of the National Security Advisor (NSA) is of recent origin. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru would have been appalled at the thought of an NSA in his office. The 1962 military debacle, caused by a complex Chinese game of diplomacy, military power and regional assertiveness, was a warning signal that Indian foreign policy was high on ideology and non-alignment but deficient in power quotients. The then defence minister, V.K. Krishna Menon, who had left the armed forces unprepared and the nation open to shame, was forced to resign.

But the real issue remained unaddressed—an institutional mechanism to coordinate all aspects of Indian national security policy, encompassing defence, diplomacy and intelligence. Indira Gandhi devised a system rooted in her insecurities, with a powerful principal secretary, a less than charismatic foreign minister (except when from the minority community, for instance, M.C. Chagla and Swaran Singh) and a hand-picked foreign secretary who really reported to her. But at least this involved an integrated...
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