We have seen in movies like James Bond how interesting, adventurous and threatening the lives of spies are. Here we bring the list of such real life spies who are considered to be the masterminds in the history of India. The people, who made the nation proud with their daring missions and services. Take a look:
Ravindra Kaushik, who was popularly known as ‘The Black Tiger’ as named by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was one of the biggest mastermind of Intelligence unit in the Indian history.
Kaushik was fond of Art and Theatre in his early twenties. His performance in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow drew attention of RAW, after which his was roped in as a part of Indian Research and Analysis Wing. Kaushik’s all Indian documents were destroyed and he was sent to Pakistan when he was just 23 years old. He was well trained with Islamic verses and Quran and well versed in Urdu, to camouflage himself in the Pakistani culture. It was 1975, when Kaushik managed to infiltrate into the Pakistani territory and enroll himself in Karachi University as a law student, Nabi Ahmed Shakir.
It is said that ‘Keep your friends close, but enemies closer’; The way Kaushik infiltrated so deep inside the Pakistani army, is indeed notable. This is the point that makes Kaushik the most powerful spy in the Indian history – Kaushik not only managed to get into a college but also entered the Pakistani army after completing his graduation. He began as a Commissioned officer but soon got promoted as a Major and kept on passing information to Indian Intelligence unit.
He passed on all sort of valuable information to India for four years from 1979 to 1984 before his cover was blown. In 1985, another spy who reached Pakistan when Kaushik’s stint ended, exposed everything after being caught. Kaushik lost his life due to pulmonary tuberculosis after spending 16 years in Pakistani jail.
Another mastermind who managed to get in Pakistan in guise of Mohammad Aslam was Mohanlal Bhaskar. Bhaskar was an under cover agent who provided his services in Indian Intelligence agency, Research and Analysis wing. Mohanlal Bhaskar started his stint at RAW in April, 1967. Reports say that he managed to sneak across Pakistani border more than 15 times within a span of one year. Bhaskar kept passing information to India from the other side of the border.
However, luck did not favor Bhaskar as he was betrayed by one of his fellow colleague who was also present in Pakistan on a similar mission. In 1968, along with several other Indians who were suspected to be spies by Pakistani authorities, Bhaskar was also put behind the bars after a counter-intelligence operation. It was later revealed that the person who helped Pakistani intel trace down Bhaskar was a double agent who worked for both – India and Pakistan. Later in 1971, Simla Accord that was signed between India and Pakistan came as a relief for Bhaskar. As a part of exchange of prisoners between the two nations, Bhaskar’s name featured in the list of Indian prisoners who were supposed to return home.
But it was not easy there. While India was looking for ‘Sohanlal Bhaskar’, Pakistan came up with a name fiasco and said they had captured ‘Mohanlal Bhaskar’. Finally after reaching out to Swiss embassy, Bhaskar returned to his homeland after spending 14 years in jail in Pakistan in 1974. Bhaskar later retained the name ‘Mohanlal’ forever.
Kashmir Singh is another pride in the Indian history. Singh started his career in Indian Army and served there for four years, before taking up spying as a part time job. As per his contract, Singh was paid Rs. 400 a month for his work. Singh entered Pakistan with the name of Mohammad Ibrahim and passed on crucial information including number of Pakistani army deployed at the Line of control or India-Pakistan border. Singh also passed on pictures of Pakistani army’s strategic locations to India. He was arrested by Pakistani intelligence unit and jailed for 35 long years but never did he utter a word about his spying job there. Singh’s cover was blown in a similar way like Ravindra Kaushik.
Another spy was sent by Indian Intelligence to Pakistan when Singh was about to return to his homeland. The spy was soon caught by Pakistani authorities – who managed to extract information about Kashmir Singh from him. This landed up Singh in jail in Pakistan for more than three decades, where he went through third-level torture. Singh never had a visitor or seen the light of the day for three decades during his time of imprisonment.
Finally in the year 2008, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Human Rights, Ansar Burney helped Singh release on humanitarian grounds. Singh, who was then 60-year-old, received a hero’s welcome when he returned to India. A procession was organized with drums and foods alongside road when he returned back to his village.
Kashmir Singh finally admitted of spying after he stepped in the Indian soil. He further admitted that he passed on valuable information which helped in Indian defence too.
Saraswathi Rajamani played a huge role in India’s freedom movement as well as in Indian Intelligence unit. Rajamani was highly influenced by Subhash Chandra Bose and joined Indian National Army or ‘Azaad Hind Fauj’ in 1942 when she was just 16. Impressed by her outstanding performance, she was hired in the Intelligence unit of India. She is also the first woman to be a part of such high level department in the country.
Along with other female colleagues, Rajamani went around dressing up as a boy to gather intelligence from top sources.
In the name of ‘Mani’, Rajamani would dress as a young boy to hide her identity. The most daring mission in Rajamani’s life was rescuing her colleague who was captured by the Britishers. Dressed as a dancer, Rajamani managed to sneak into the place where her colleague was kept; she drugged the British officers and rescued her colleague. Rajamani was shot in leg while escaping, however, she managed to flee.
Rajamani suffered due to cardiac arrest and passed away in January 13, 2018.
He is the hero who is still providing his services for the nation. India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is someone who can send chills down the spines of enemies. Also known as ‘Indian James Bond’, Ajit Doval converted to Muslim and stayed in Pakistan for 7 years. Ajit Doval graduated from University of Agra in 1967 and took up IPS training a year later. After this, he led anti-terror operations in high tension areas like Punjab and Mizoram.
Doval’s most daring mission was his stint as undercover agent in Pakistan. Doval, who lived as Pakistani Muslim in Lahore, monitored Pakistan Intelligence and ISI and passed on crucial information to India. Followed by this, Doval was later appointed Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan for 6 years after which he returned to India.
As Narendra Modi took over the throne of Prime Minister in 2014, he took no time to bring in Ajit Doval as country’s National Security Advisor. Doval’s high level skills and unmatched intelligence honored him with several awards including second highest peacetime gallantry award, Kirti Chakra.