Within six months of the Emergency, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) apprised then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of the excesses unleashed by her son Sanjay Gandhi and told her that public anger was rising.
A 1949-batch IPS officer of the Andhra Pradesh cadre, T V Rajeswar, was part of the team that had prepared the feedback. Gandhi ignored the warnings and lost the reins of power to the Janata Party in 1977.
She stormed back to power in 1980, thanks to infighting within the Janata coalition, and her engineered wave of “garibi hatao”.
One of the first appointments she made after returning to power was making the Andhra-cadre IPS officer the chief of the IB.
“He was very close to Mrs Gandhi. She trusted him,” said a former IB officer.
Rajeswar went on to become the first IPS officer to hold a constitutional post when he was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Arunachal Pradesh in 1983 after his retirement.
On Sunday, Rajeswar died at the age of 91 after prolonged illness at his Khel Gaon home in New Delhi. It drew curtains on a career that saw some of the most tumultuous years of Indian history — the Emergency, the first non-Congress government and the rise of militancy in Punjab.
Rajeswar was born on August 28, 1926, in Salem, Tamil Nadu. After completing his MA in Economics from Presidency College, University of Madras, he joined the Indian Police Service in 1949. He joined the IB in 1962 as an assistant director.
Rajeswar was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2012. He is survived by a son and a daughter, Sujatha Singh, a former IFS officer.