Rameshwar Nath Kao was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family that migrated from Srinagar to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Famously known as RNK, he was amongst India's foremost intelligence officers. They had played an instrumental role in building the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), which looks after the country's external security.
Kao held prestigious positions in the Indian bureaucratic spectrum. During his career, he has held Secretary to Prime Minister Nehru and as a security advisor to Rajiv Gandhi. He was also the founder of the Aviation Research Centre and the Joint Intelligence Committee. Kao was an intensely private man, and after his retirement in the 1980s, he was photographed publicly only twice.
Kao's Contribution During 1971 War
Kao's meetings became increasingly frequent with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the 1960s when the tension had begun between India and Pakistan. R&AW played a crucial role in creating Bangladesh after the Pakistani Army ordered Operation Searchlight. India's external intelligence gave training to Mukti Bahini.
After mass killings and rapes began in East Pakistan, India started arming their local population and capitalising on the citizens' frustration. During the war, India had solid intelligence that the Indian Air Force could bomb the room where the East Pakistani Cabinet was in session. The naval commandos were ready to chip off the last ship in the Chittagong harbour.
Merger Of Sikkim In India
After India declared victory on Bangladesh on December 16, 1971, Kao maintained a close connection to the newly formed State. Moreover, Prime Minister Gandhi sent Kao to Dhaka in May 1975 to alert Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of his impending assassination by some people in his Army. Even though R&AW was founded in 1968, the organization and Kao are credited with creating a new nation due to their high efficiency and professionalism. Kao has played a crucial role in the merger of Sikkim in India in 1975 before competing forces from China could set their foot in the state.