Those who know Shiv Shankar Menon will vouch that he did lots of things, substantial in the immediate neighbourhood and widespread in South Asia, but without making things public. Twenty per cent of Menons job was visible, while 80 pc of his job was not known to the public, says Sheela Bhatt.
National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon has relinquished office to become a free man, after outstanding service of more than four decades.
He had become Indias fourth NSA in January 2010. He had resigned on May 15, 2014, a day before the election results, but was asked to continue till today with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as is the normal practice.
Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi has surprised many by inviting SAARC leaders for his swearing-in ceremony, loudly announcing his arrival on the national platform. Menon and his boss, Dr Singh, had a different style; they were subtle.
Those who know Menon will vouch that he did lots of things, substantial in the immediate neighbourhood and widespread in South Asia, but without making things public. Twenty per cent of Menons job was visible, while 80 pc of his job was not known to the public.
As NSA he not only advised Dr Singh on internal security and external security, but he also handled the nuclear issue away from public gaze, as he is expected to.
Menon was, in his early days, posted at the Department of Atomic energy in Mumbai. It was an added advantage to his current job. Sometimes the New Delhi establishment underestimates the good thats happening without coming to public attention. As power shifts in New Delhi, its once again time to note a normal but important thing.
Indias nuclear arsenal has dual control. At every step its taken care of by tightly laid down command and control system. Its under lock with two keys at every step and it lies entirely in responsible hands, with civilian authority holding the upper hand.Menon continued to maintain the system without disturbance.
Even now, when democracy has arrived in Pakistan, its nuclear arsenal has more military control. India has in the last 10 years checked and double-checked the reliability of its arsenal. In the last few years, almost every month India has tested some high technology or the other.
Menon has many critics and more than the usual number of adversaries in the capital, but power sat pretty on his shoulders. This man walked the corridors of power using his mind more than the heart. He used to say, There is nothing personal here.