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India loses modern Chanakya

In the demise of Krishnaswamy Subrahmanyam (82) on February 2, India had lost its premier strategic expert and doyen of security studies.

He died after a prolonged lung and cardiac ailment in Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Earlier, he fought against the disease of cancer and survived.

He was often called ‘The Chanakya of Modern India.’

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said Mr Subrahmanyam was India’s leading strategists on security matters.

“His distinguished career spanned many decades as a civil servant, who maintained the highest traditions of the bureaucracy through honesty, dedication and exceptional abilities,” he said.

At the time of the death, Mr Subrahmanyam was the Chairperson of the Prime Minister’s ‘Task Force on Global Strategic Developments.’

He founded the ‘Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses’ and later became a Consulting Editor for The Times of India. His articles in journals and opinion pieces in prominent Indian newspapers influenced India’s Foreign and Defense policies with a realist perspective.

His was the architect of India’s nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998.

Born in a family of modest means on January 24, 1929 in Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu), Mr Subrahmanyam obtained his postgraduate degree in Chemistry from the Madras Presidency College.

He was a Visiting Professor at the St John’s College (Cambridge University) and served on several United Nations panels and study groups. He was the Chairperson of the Kargil Review Committee formed after the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan.

He refused to accept the high Civilian Award of ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1999, saying that Governments cannot measure the work done by journalists and bureaucrats.

He is survived by his wife Salochana, three sons and a daughter.

His sons are also distinguished member of public service. They include Jaishankar (the current Indian Ambassador to China) Vijay (Secretary in the Central Government) and Sanjay a famous historian and Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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