National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon on Wednesday said undue importance should not be attached to the leaked sections from the Henderson Brooks Report on India’s 1962 war with China. He was responding to a question on the government’s “reluctance” to declassify the report, after delivering a talk here on India’s security environment.
Pointing out that sections of the report — published by Australian journalist Neville Maxwell — had also been leaked earlier, Menon said that the sections were “known history” that essentially traced an operational report. “I don’t think that the sections are critical to national policy… we shouldn’t dignify an operational report as the truth,” he said. Menon said governments were also expected to be reluctant to be open about issues that are “live”.
During the talk organised by the State Planning Board, Menon said while the country was going through a phase of increasingly challenging internal security issues, it had a better capability to handle the challenges. The country has also come a long way in terms of food and energy security but there’s a paradox — the more secure the citizen is, there’s a higher sense of paranoia over security.
“There’s a paranoia fuelled by our expanded definition of security. We demand more from the state and these demands are amplified by 24/7 news channels and social media,” he said.
Pitting a rise in the number of communal incidents and gender crimes against the falling number of cases of “organised violence”, Menon said traditional policing had to evolve to meet the new challenges.