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Security analyst K Subrahmanyam no more

Renowned strategist K Subrahmanyam died of a heart attack on Wednesday,at the age of 82.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
February 2, 2011 7:24:03 pm

Renowned strategic expert K Subrahmanyam,whose recommendations in the aftermath of Kargil conflict led to a revamp of the country’s intelligence network,died in New Delhi on Wednesday following a heart attack.

Subrahmanyam,82,is survived by his wife,three sons and a daughter. He was suffering from cancer and diabetes but his end came after a heart attack,family sources said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed grief over his death. Describing him as “the doyen of the strategic affairs community in India”,Ansari said he remained “one of the key architects of our security policy doctrine. He was instrumental in sensitising policy makers and citizenry to strategic issues and helping formulation of policy options to tackle them.”

Condoling his death,Singh said he had made important and lasting contributions to the evolution of India’s defence,security and foreign policies. “His work outside the Government is perhaps even more impressive and he spearheaded and developed the field of defence studies in the country.”

A prominent global strategic affairs analyst and former Indian civil servant,Subrahmanyam had headed several committees,including those on the 1971 Indo-Pak war and the Kargil conflict. He was the founding Director of security think-tank,Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

He also headed the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Global Strategic Developments and was Chairman of India’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

A premier ideological champion of India’s nuclear deterrent,Subrahmanyam was appointed the Convenor of the first National Security Council Advisory Board (NSCAB) by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.

The NSCAB drafted India’s Nuclear Doctrine which now governs all policy aspects relating to usage and deployment of the nuclear arsenal.

Interestingly,Subrahmanyam declined the honour of a Padma Bhushan in 1999,stating that bureaucrats and journalists should not accept government awards.

As the Chairman of the Kargil Review Committee,he had analysed the perceived Indian intelligence failures during the 1999 conflict and made recommendations that led to large-scale restructuring of Indian Intelligence.

During the 1971 crisis in East Pakistan,he was vociferous in supporting India’s intervention and his views came in for strong criticism from Pakistan government as well as the then US Secretary of State,Henry Kissinger.

Born in January 1929 in Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu,Subrahmanyam studied in the Madras Presidency College and topped the Indian Administrative Service in 1950-51. He was appointed a Rockefeller Fellow in Strategic Studies at the London School of Economics in 1966. On his return,he was appointed Director of the IDSA.

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