Normal life, with its laughter, film tickets and small miseries of love, is an interval between some violent deaths. Death in places that are no places of death. How long the interval lasts depends on how much sense intelligence agencies are able to make out of endless streams of whispers, rumours, codes and agonised confessions in hidden thrashing rooms.
Internal security is not about stopping a man with a suspicious bag on the railway platform. It is, in reality, about trailing the destinies of the man and the bag long before they have come together. The means that are employed by a democracy to gather such information are explained forever in the words. In the recent past Indian intelligence have a source of amusement? For long, as M.K. Dhar, a former official with the Intelligence Bureau said it all in his book Open Secrets the IB was used by the politicians to spy on the sex lives, scams, corruption, scandals etc of their rivals. After Brigadier Surinder Singh exposed that his warning on Kargil was ignored by the army, two friends who were on their way to meet him knew that they were being shadowed by agents of military intelligence.
The journalists always encounter government spies before the Union Budget is announced. The Budget is a national document until it is presented in the Parliament. There are different levels of intelligence gathering and shadowing is a small part of IB. It has its own gravity, own shady interrogation cells but its core functions are subtle. It has no official powers to make arrests or conduct raids. Its larger mandate is no to dramatically infiltrate terror organisations but instead to detect if terror groups have infiltrated a population. The job involves long agonising studies of the society and reading hundreds of pages of reports, most of them meaningless. Sometimes an IB officer analyses a situation instead of sending reports on clandestine conversations. The job is largely less thrilling than it is made out to be because reality has that quality. And it is this real world that IB officers inhabit. That'swhy despite being considered a prestigious posting for the Indian Police Personnel, it is not a glamorous place. ?The moment an officer is posted here he tries to leave?, a retired IB official says. ?An IPS officer in state police is attended to by many orderlies. But the moment he joins the IB he has to stand in the queue for milk, for his son'sadmission, for everything. He cannot make money here. In fact it is in the nature of your job to pay for information and there is not much to give away. The department does not want your expense account to much larger than your salary and your salary is not much.?
The challenge of an IB officer is to befriend informants not always through the lure of money but through the warmth of real friendship. But now-a-days, everything is blown into a thrilling international terrorist act while the truth is that terror is increasingly homebred. That'sthe reason why there have been so many intelligence failures. IB is losing touch with human informers. Informants are highly specialised. There are sources who pass tips only about car thefts or burglary; in terrorism related cases, past successes have been chiefly because of dedicated human informants. But the arrivals of eaves-dropping technology have made the police depend disproportionately on gadgets and ignore human contacts.
The war against mushrooming modules of terror is essentially a local battle because the link between larger groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba and local youth are if any. The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has at its disposal a fleet of aircraft that fly near the border. Today intelligence agencies are realising that plots of operations like Mumbai serial blasts are hard to find in the air. Grassroot contacts are vital for such missions. But these are contacts that had to be nurtured during the days of normalcy. The other main problem is corruption which is deep rooted in the country. Those were the days when the Delhi Police and Bombay (now Mumbai) Police were on top of the sincerity and honesty but with the change of time the police of these two states are the most corrupt and our leaders are responsible for it. To blame Pakistan and see towards USA all the time, first set the home then handle Pakistan with an iron hand otherwise get ready for another Partition.