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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 47 New Delhi November 10, 2018

In Praise of Ajit Doval, Super Sleuth and Political Strategist

The Doval doctrine now has a political dimension and the nation had better be grateful for it

Monday 12 November 2018, by Badri Raina

Ajit Doval must indeed be a talented man. Until the other day what we knew was that he was the National Security Adviser to the Narendra Modi Government. What we also knew was how his no-nonsense “Doval Doctrine” has so conclusively put down militancy in the Kashmir Valley, dented and even reversed the people’s alienation, brought peace to our border areas and told Pakistan where they get off.

Then we discovered that Ajit Doval’s exceptional merits may have obliged the highest of the land to place him at the head of the Strategic Policy Group, with even the Cabinet Secretary occupying a number two position at the conference table. Thus, Doval’s talents have now come to be used in matters that go beyond any narrow conception of ‘national security’.

There are many good nationalists in the republic who feel that our armed forces ought to have a much larger place in the country’s political leadership. Ajit Doval has nicely come to fill a gap between the civil and military nodes of authority, thus allowing our political leadership to cater to what they believe is the public appetite for military leadership and solutions without weakening their own position in any way.

Indeed, it is not for nothing that Doval’s talents now seem rather more overtly to expand into the public-political sphere.

At an address recently, Doval has with admirable frankness expounded the political equivalent of the “Doval Doctrine”. He has warned the body politic that any shift in public mood away from a strong and stable political arrangement in the forthcoming general elections towards a riff-raff Congeries of diverse political forces will spell disaster for the country.

He has forthrightly opined that the country needs ten years of a no-nonsense stable and strong governance in order to scale further new heights of glory. Any temptation, therefore, to dislodge such a prospect in the name of devolution and democracy, by inference, must be seen as an impulse of great and grave recklessness inimical to the national interest.

Clearly, thus, Doval has conscientiously taken upon himself a task of patriotic counselling which many might have felt did not belong to his specific placement in the governmental scheme of things. Surely, the political leadership of the day must feel indebted to Doval for voicing what is, as far as we may deduce, their own considered political ideology.

The story of India’s forward march has been replete with the services rendered by out-standing public servants; Ajit Doval has added a dimension calculated to strengthen the realm more boldly against purveyors of subaltern ideas whose ill-considered passions on behalf of excessively republican persuasions only end up damaging the Bharat of nationalist dreams.

It is to be hoped that the many parties now in opposition to the present stable and strong government will take heed and back off from their seemingly concerted putsch to dislodge the existing salutary arrangement. For now, as Doval seems to hint, considerations of equity and openness had better yield to those of security and centralised economic consolidation.

The people must be taught to wait in the larger national interest.

(Courtesy: The Wire)

The author, who taught English literature at the University of Delhi for over four decades and is now retired, is a prominent writer and poet. A well-known commentator on politics, culture and society, he wrote the much acclaimed Dickens and the Dialectic of Growth. His book, The Underside of Things—India and the World: A Citizen’s Miscellany, 2006-2011, came out in August 2012. Thereafter he wrote two more books, Idea of India Hard to Beat: Republic Resilient and Kashmir: A Noble Tryst in Tatters.

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