Rameshwar Nath Kao (R.N Rao) The India's SPYMASTER .

  • Did you know that there's a hawk-eyed man behind our country's intelligence system, who laid the foundation of R&AW and came to be known as the first Indian spymaster?
  • A master of espionage, an enigmatic man who maintained a network of spies throughout the world, he was photographed a few times only in his whole life.
  • Born in 1918, in Benares (Varanasi) in a Kashmiri Pandit family, Kao completed his MA in English literature from Allahabad University and joined the Indian Police Services in 1939. J
  • Just before India's independence, he joined the Directorate of Intelligence Bureau (IB), founded by a British civil servant in the 19th century.
  • In 1957, Ghana had gained. Its then president requested Indian P.M Jawaharlal Nehru to help build his country's intelligence agency.PM Nehru then sent Kao to Ghana, where he formed FSRB(Foreign Service Research Bureau ).
  • The war in 1965 with China & Pakistan had necessitated a separate intelligence agency in India. So far, India's intelligence totally depended on the Intelligence Bureau.
  • In 1968, PM Indira Gandhi took a decision to bifurcate the Intelligence Bureau and appointed R. N. Kao as its head. Kao carried out extensive research on the intelligence system of various countries and came up RAW.
  • As for the name, he picked Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) to give an impression of an academic organization. With 250 sharp minds, that Kao handpicked from the IB, R&AW was launched on 21st September 1968.
  • It was then that PM Indira Gandhi asked Kao to prepare a strategy to help Bangladesh. During the Bangladesh liberation war of 1971.
  • According to a former R&AW official, R. K Yadav, it was Kao who devised a plan to ban flights from West Pakistan to Bangladesh with soldiers on board.
  • Apparently, Kao got one of the R&AW agents to hijack an Indian Airlines plane from Srinagar to Lahore. The hijackers were portrayed as a Kashmiri separatist.
  • While all the passengers were safely sent back to India, the hijackers blew the plane at Lahore airport.This gave India a chance to ban overflight of Pakistani aircraft over the country, making it unable to send troops.
  • Kao was convinced that a military coup was being planned against Bangladesh PM Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. To warn him, Kao arrived in Dacca (now Dhaka) disguised as a betel-nut exporter and met Rahman.
  • During their hour-long meeting, Kao tried hard to convince him that his life was in danger but Rahman refused to believe him.
  • Just a few weeks later, the same military officials that Kao had warned Rahman against, invaded his residence with tanks and killed him along with his family and personal staff.
  • Famous for leading a fiercely guarded life, Kao always refused to write his memoirs, perhaps for the reason that he knew way too much. He also shied away from making public appearances or giving interviews.

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