RN Kao worked behind the scenes, helped build R&AW: Lt Gen Naravane

Pune, December 21, 2019: “The world of intelligence is not about glamour but its is about the unknown, the unseen and the unheard. It is about the people working behind the scenes who collect pieces of nuggets together to make a jigsaw puzzle. Rameshwar Nath Kao was one such officer who worked tirelessly in private for national security and helped build up India’s external intelligence agency- the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW),” said Lt. Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane, Vice Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, during the launch of the book- R. N. Kao Gentleman Spymaster, authored by Nitin Gokhale organized by the Pune International Centre (PIC) today at College of Engineering Pune (CoEP).

Dignitaries including Vappala Balachandran, Former Special Secretary, R&AW Chairperson, Jayant Umaranikar, IPS (Retd), Author Nitin Gokhale, National Security Analyst and Prashant Girbane, Hon. Director, PIC were present at the event.

“All military operations and intelligence go hand in hand. The military would not be able to gather any information without the support of such intelligence agencies including R&AW,” said Naravane.

According to Vappala Balachandran, Kao will be remembered for his contributions in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 and role in ensuring Sikkim’s merger with India. “Kao was meticulous and worked without confronting the ideology of R&AW as he would hand-pick right men for the job.”

Balachandran also said that the records of intelligence of 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars prepared under R.N. Kao should be declassified.

“There should be periodic declassification of certain records, which are more than 20 years old like the crisis with Pakistan or independence of Bangladesh or even the attack on Golden Temple by Indira Gandhi and how she was forced to do it. But those, which are sensitive and create misunderstandings should be avoided. There should be an amendment in the law and a policy to make certain records identified,” he said.

Jayant Umaranikar said “R.N. Kao was an institution himself, who had the talent vision and enterprise. He will be remembered in the world of intelligence. He was loyal to his subordinates and that was what made him different.”

Nitin Gokhale stated, “The book is about the memories of individuals who knew Kao and his personal life. But there are documents-transcripts of tape-recorded conversations with Kao, on three crucial files on Bangladesh, the merger of Sikkim and Indira Gandhi’s assassination, which will not be open until 2025 as per his instructions.”