When I picked up a national daily for my Sunday morning do-a-read across all newspapers early this week; I was horrified to read a front page article about the alleged misuse of an institution such as the Intelligence Bureau by the Prime Minister’s Office to pacify the agitated BJP alliance partner Mahrashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) in Goa. This unprecedented act was confirmed by the now former Minister of the ruling government Ramakrishna (Sudin) Dhavalikar.
I am finding this very hard to believe, but if it is true that IB officers could actually stoop so low, then this is a serious misuse of the Prime Minister’s Office and an equally criminal misuse of the office of the IB.
IB cannot and must not be used to settle political scores and bully an alliance partner not to leave the current ruling alliance.
Political parties are known to use the various government machinery to attack or scare its political rivals – Congress has misused the CBI to its own advantage on some occasions, therefore it is no surprise that BJP will also use CBI. But to use the Intelligence Bureau to score political upmanship is unheard off.
The little knowledge I have of the IB, leads me to believe that the MGP minister must have mistaken the officers as IB officers, or the IB officers are not working on the brief of their seniors but on their own.
IB and R&AW represent the internal and external security interface of the country. They are the real shadows that fight a war that is not seen or heard to lay citizen of the country. “A true patriot is one who does his duty to the nation without expecting a pat on his back and accepting a kick in the rear,” expressed a Senior IB officer to me when we sat at the Press Club in Delhi; this was over a discussion on patriotism in this country.
To me an IB and R&AW officer is a soldier that cannot even come out and say that she/he is a soldier of the country. The live dual lives most of the time. They do this because their nation is above all.
Their prime role is to work towards generating intelligence and using information in the interest and security of the country. They are not pawns to be used to favor political parties in power or threaten rivals.
IB officers visiting the MGP minister and asking him and his political party not to break-away from the current ruling alliance is violation of their duty and service towards the nation. It is shocking that the IB officers even opted to do such an act, if it is true.
Conversing with politicians, analyzing political outcomes – these are normal IB activities in the country and across different states. This surprises no one. But to openly advise a political party on the orders not of another political party by the PMO office is downright unthinkable.
Congress now asking for a President’s rule in the state based on a media report is equally ridiculous. In fact what they should be asking for is a probe into the allegations made by the MGP minister, so that they IB officers who allegedly approached the MGP minister are questioned and the truth is told to the public about their intent and mentor.
As a journalist I demand a probe into the allegations made by the MGP Minister. It is a serious question mark on the sanctity of an organization like IB. If they can be pawns for small political games, they will be a serious threat to the nation in bigger international political games. More importantly, if it is true, than the bureaucrat and politician in the PMO office must also be held accountable.