Have you read about the legendary Bappa Rawal? The person credited for throwing out Arabs from not only Chittorgarh but also extending the Indian rule up to Iran during the ancient period. Bappa Rawal’s actions speak of his greatness, of the wars he fought for justice and harmony of his people. Similarly, the master strategist and a warrior in a sense, the current NSA of India –Ajit Doval is known for his active roles that he has been playing since more than five decades of his national service.
Born to a brave Indian soldier –Major G.N. Doval in 1945, Ajit Doval joined the Indian Police Service in 1968. As soon as he entered the services, he was given responsibility to tackle the Mizo National Front (MNF) insurgency. His god gifted, charismatic negotiation skills and backbreaking work for the nation resulted in winning over six out of seven Laldenga’s commander. Doval also spent years incognito in Burma to serve the Mizo National Army. Only after six years of his service, he became the youngest police officer to receive the meritorious Police Medal.
Following the counter-MNF task, the extraordinary current NSA of India was given the responsibility to merge Sikkim in India successfully and peacefully. He is said to have played a historical role as an undercover agent in Sikkim. His efforts resulted in the winning of the pro-India Sikkim Congress Party (SCP), leader of SCP Lhendup Dorji became the Prime Minister of Sikkim and asked the Indian parliament for intervention in his contention with the king of Sikkim. India responded with the movement of the Indian Army into the state and conducting the referendum, which resulted in the merger of Sikkim with India with more than 95 per cent people wanting to integrate with the country.
During the Khalistan insurgency, when the Khalistani insurgents captured the purest of pure land –Golden Temple, the Indian Army officials were unaware of the strength and the positioning of the enemy in the temple. The situation became more critical because of the entrapped civilians and a Romanian Diplomat Liviu Radu inside the temple. Once again, Doval was called to spy in the temple. He took an avatar of an ISI agent who presented himself as the friend of insurgents who will help them in fighting the Indian government. He passed on the complete information to the military, resulting in killing of all the terrorists then and there, and setting free the temple of all evils. Following the event, he was awarded Kirti Chakra for his services and became the first Police Officer to receive military honor.
Ajit Doval also played an important role in the successful negotiations in the Indian Airlines flight IC-814 plane crisis which happened on 24th December 1999. Moreover, he is known to have prevented around 15 Indian plane hijackings from 1971 to 1999. He held several important positions within the Intelligence Bureau (IB), finally retiring from active service after serving as the chief of IB in 2005. Since then till 2014, Ajit Doval actively participated in the development of the national security aspect within the public space. He even became the founding director of public policy think tank Vivekananda International Foundation.
When Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014, he was made the fifth NSA to the Prime Minister. Since then, our extraordinary NSA India has changed the whole idea of how India thinks of operating its national security. His tenure started with a severe threat to the life of almost four dozens of Indian nurses when ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) captured Mosul. Once again, his extraordinary negotiation skills proved to be fruitful, and all the 46 nurses came back to India safely.
In the past five years, NSA India has changed the national security paradigm forever. Earlier, Ajit Doval was only known to the defence and national security enthusiasts. He first came into mass public notice after the Surgical Strike-1. Following the Uri attack, he is said to be the one who motivated the Indian political leadership to answer Pakistan in the way it was required. Thus, letting the Indian armed forces to take revenge of the martyrs of Uri by entering Pakistan and destroying terrorist launch pads. Following Uri, Pakistan was again given a hard reply when we lost 40 of our CRPF soldiers. Only a few days after the Pulwama attack, Doval is set to have planned the strike in close cooperation with the Indian armed forces.
Amidst all the credit bestowed upon him for things that people claim he has done for the nation, he has also been criticized by some section of media and security domain experts. One of the significant criticism he has faced is for the role that he played during and following the Pathankot air force base terrorist attack. His claim of living in Pakistan as a spy for seven years incognito has been challenged by several journalists. An article published in The Print dated 10th October 2018 claimed Doval lived in Pakistan legally and legitimately in the Indian mission in Islamabad as head of the commercial section.
Interestingly, he is often seen alongside PM Modi while travelling to foreign nations. His negotiation skills are said to have been continuously bringing in several fruitful results when it comes to the conclusion of important bilateral strategic decisions with foreign nations. From national security to diplomacy, when it comes to the questions of national importance, the NSA of India is known to do miracles. That’s why he is often referred to as the James Bond of India. People close to him refer him as a real patriot who can do anything for his people –his countrymen!