The Research and Analysis Wing of India, popularly known as RAW, came into existence in the year 1968. Known as the secret intelligence team of India, it was established as an attempt to get rid of the foreign threats. Talking about the people associated with it, commonly known as a spy, are the real unsung heroes of the country. Without making noise about their existence and identity, they tend to save thousands of lives because of that one right piece of information. Having said that, being a spy is not an easy job. A RAW agent has to deal with sensitive information at the constant risk of getting caught and killed.
Bollywood, too, has celebrated the spirit and valour of all such heroes through various films. From Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger starring Salman Khan to Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi starring Alia Bhatt. While some have been fictitious, many of them were based on real-life incidents. The latest one to join the bandwagon is John Abraham’s RAW (Romeo Akbar Walter), a film that is set against the backdrop of the India-Pakistan War of 1971. But before it hits the big screens, here’s a list of some of the real-life spies, who deserve all the honour.
1. Mohanlal Bhaskar
Mohanlal Bhaskar, once in his speech on Bhagat Singh, said, “We have eaten the grain cultivated with your blood, it has nurtured the seeds of martyrdom in us.” Sticking true to his words, Mohanlal got converted to Islam, underwent circumcision and took the name, Mohammad Aslam. Reportedly, he was then sent to Pakistan to extract information on the nuclear program. However, his mission was failed due to an alleged betrayal by an associate, who worked as a double agent for both India and Pakistan. As a result of the same, Mohanlal had to spend 14 years in jail.
2. Rameshwar Nath Kao
He is the man to credit for making RAW where it stands today. Although there is not much information available about this gentleman, it is believed that he was in charge of Jawaharlal Nehru’s security.
3. Ravindra Kaushik
Known for his avid love towards acting, Ravindra Kaushik was a theatre artist. He was 21-year-old when some RAW officials spotted him at one of his performances and hired him. Ravindra was familiar with Urdu, Islamic religious texts and the terrain of Pakistan. He reportedly then changed his identity to Nabi Ahmed Shakir, joined the Pakistani Army and got married to a local girl. Between the years 1979-1983, Ravindra kept passing valuable information to the Indian army, say reports. However, his cover was blown and he was arrested in 1985. After spending 16 years in jail, Ravindra was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and took his last breath in 2001.
4. Ajit Doval
We all know him as the current National Security Advisor of India and a close associate of PM Narendra Modi. But did you know that Ajit Doval served as an undercover Indian spy for seven long years? As per reports, Doval posed as a Pakistani Muslim and passed some extremely valuable information to the Indian government.
5. Kashmir Singh
Being enlisted as a spy for RAW, Kashmir Singh entered into the territory of Pakistan as Mohammad Ibrahim. Reports suggest that he was hired to spy for the country’s military intelligence in Pakistan. However, Kashmir Singh was caught and spent 35 years of his life in solitary confinement but not even once did he admit being an Indian spy. All for the sake of his patriotism. In 2008, he was released on humanitarian grounds.