December 22, 2021videonational securityconstitutionalism

Interrogating the Deep State

My conversation with Josy Joseph at the Bangalore Literature Festival

Welcome to Nitin Pai’s cyberspace. You are in the structured section of my domain where I have my blog posts, newspaper columns, updates on my teaching and research, and other things you had always been warned about.

The organisers of Bangalore LitFest invited me to have a conversation with Josy Joseph on his new book Silent Coup - A History of India’s Deep State. It’s a lively conversation and you might enjoying the hour of watching it.

Manish Tiwari is among the few MPs who has been tenaciously proposing to put intelligence agencies under a governance framework.

Some of the points I made about the governance of intelligence agencies are laid out in this column. I have found K S Subramanian’s books (especially this one) and articles most useful resources in my study of the history of India’s intelligence and policing. EPW has a curated article (2019) on surveillance laws drawing from A G Noorani’s writings. There are other books by former R&AW and Intelligence Bureau officials that give the inside story on many operations and controversies.

We have fewer good resources on the history of economic agencies that have also long been used for political purposes: income tax department, customs department and the enforcement directorate. Books are waiting to be written.

To read about more things like this, you can check out my published raw notes and my massive archives.

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