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Meet Ajit Doval, India's real-life James Bond

Name's Doval ::
He spent seven years undercover in Pakistan, recruited rebels as informants in disputed Kashmir, and once disguised himself as a rickshaw driver to infiltrate a militant group inside India's holiest Sikh temple.
Now some consider Ajit Doval the most powerful person in India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Doval as National Security Advisor ::
Modi picked Doval as his National Security Advisor, a position that holds more sway than the ministers of defense and foreign affairs.
It puts Doval in charge of talks with arch-rival Pakistan.
He visits arms manufacturers to discuss strategic capabilities, and orchestrates the response to militant attacks, liaising daily with Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, the nation's top diplomat.


India's James Bond ::
Among the most famous concerns his part in the 1988 military operation that flushed Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
According to Karan Kharb, a retired army officer who was one of the National Security Guard commandos involved, Doval posed as a rickshaw puller to gain entry to the temple.
He convinced the militants holed up inside he was a Pakistani operative who'd come to help them in their goal of establishing an independent country called Khalistan.


Doval 'Magic' ::
Indian commandos had stormed the temple twice in the previous four years, including an assault in 1984 that left hundreds of soldiers and pilgrims dead, prompting outrage among Sikhs worldwide and triggering the assassination of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered the strike.
This time, police had estimated there were no more than 40 people inside the temple, but Doval revealed there were at least 200, convincing the government to drop plans for a raid and instead cut off the water and electricity amid scorching heat, according to Kharb.
Nine days later, the militants surrendered.


Early Life ::
No government website carries Doval's profile. A biography provided during a lecture he gave in August 2015 in Mumbai stated he was born in 1945 in Garhwal, Uttarakhand, and graduated with a master's degree in economics from the University of Agra in 1967 before joining the police force.


Modi's favourite ::
Doval's influence with Modi has drawn criticism from opposition politicians and fueled discontent inside Modi's administration.
After retiring from the Intelligence Bureau, Doval founded the Vivekananda International Foundation in 2009.
In 1972, he moved to the Intelligence Bureau, where he spent three decades, including stints in the restive regions of northeast, Jammu and Kashmir, and the UK.


India hits punches below its weight ::
"India has a mindset that, where it hits, it punches below its weight," Ajit Doval said at the August 2015 lecture. "We have to increase our weight and punch proportionately."


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