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Historical: IPS cadre – The new vehicle for Peace and Development

Nagaland News

Modi-Shah duo depending a lot on two IB sleuths

Nirendra Dev
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 13: AK Mishra, the peace emissary in Naga peace talks, has a historical role to perform.
Of course he will be aided by two in-service officials Mandeep Singh Tuli, IB Joint Director, and AK Dhyani, Director North East Division. Like Mishra, Tuli is also of IPS background and grooming and linked to India’s elite intelligence wing ~ the IB.
Mishra is of Rajasthan cadre, 1987 batch, and Tuli of Sikkim cadre and much younger than Mishra, as he belongs to 1999 batch. Dhyani, of course, is a civil official.
In media terminology, it is often said that the Northeast region is a home to many untold stories waiting to be told. In terms of the perspective of intelligence studies, Northeast India is still a puzzle and perhaps even a virgin land.
We know ivory tower expertise by the executive/bureaucracy ~ let us include both IAS and IPS fraternity and also political leadership ~ and also the media often offers many stereotypes and myths about the Northeast region.
This should be dispelled. Now whether intelligence agencies have added to the complexity of the region is anyon’s guess. No region like the Northeast India and vibrant communities like Nagas in the world perhaps have been as conflict-ridden as this region. There are diverse topography, cultures and of course socio-economic traits and socio-religious divisions.
For the media these could be simple Masala. It goes without stating that for intelligence agencies and officials, these factors are very much serious challenges as they have also fuelled disturbances.
Thanks to New Delhi’s ways of handling things, there is a perceived sense of alienation, faulty policies, scarce resources and of course ‘interference’ by neighbours ~ both small and large ones.
Former Nagaland Chief Secretary AM Gokhale had his reasons to say (in the late1990s), “New Delhi still thinks like Aurangzeb’s Delhi.” Here Aurangzeb symbolised an image of a ruthless and an unreasonable administrator.
Where does a Department like the IB fit into all these? After Central security forces, if any Department as a unit is seen with suspicion by Nagas, it is these intelligence wings.
Late JB Jasokie, former CM, understood certain complexities well. Once he told me, “I am sure very soon IB officials will tell you to inform them first before you come to interview us. They may even suggest questions.”
Like any newcomer in the field, I would smile and be impressed with the veteran politician’s sharpness.
There is of course another version: “Well, our job is thankless. When we save hundreds of incidents and terror attacks, no one thanks us. But when something wrong happens, the first usual screaming is – intelligence failure.”
But now PM Narendra Modi and his trusted Home Minister Amit Shah have reposed faith in a retired IPS man, Mishra. Of course, his predecessor RN Ravi too was from IPS cadre and things did move under his stewardship definitely.
A senior Naga politician when asked remarked rather aptly, “History has provided ample pportunity and a rare occasion to AK Mishra to deliver. Along with peace parleys with NSCN-IM and NNPG, now he has to handle ENPO matters too. He should deliver and Nagas will remember him for long.”
Mishra is known to his colleagues as a workaholic and a cool customer in terms of gathering intelligence.
Both these qualities suit the Modi-Shah duo’s scheme of things. At times, Mishra’s gentleman type approach could be misread as a sign of basic weakness but he has the firmness of a true cop.
Till 2020, Tuli – a Sikh gentleman who also served in Imphal, was posted as Deputy Director (NE Desk).
There will be little to dispute that both Tuli and Mishra have been picked up personally by Shah for the important assignment.
The grapevine in Delhi is that Mishra has been able to do his best in Naga peace talks notwithstanding challenges.
Delivering the right information and perhaps more importantly the right analyses ~ staying away from any media glare and major rows ~ on the conflicts has been a challenging task for these cops.
In the ultimate, the roles of these officials as the true servants’ of the motherland, the Indian Government and thus the Constitution must not be lost.
Skeptics could dub some of their actions anytime as ‘nationalist prism/lens’. Some optimists nevertheless feel developmental and constitutional triumphism will work finally.
Just as a social worker concurs when he says ~ the structures privileging the ‘greed’ of a few at multiple levels and the so-called unjust systems would be defeated at the end of the day.