Rising Chinese intervention & stealth in India’s neighbouring nations & along the international border has become a rising concern for India. Other than its ever-growing partnership with Pakistan, it’s the secret activities carried out by China that are a source of worry for India. But, after decades of sleeping over the issue, the centre is finally taking cognizance of it.

The Narendra Modi government will revive the Special Service Bureau (SSB) which is the erstwhile avatar of the Sashastra Seema Bal. The National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has written to the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) chief R.N. Ravi & Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi to work our detailed plans to revive the SSB.

The SSB was created right after the 1962 Indo-China Warto keep an eye on China (& possibly also as a measure to make sure India doesn’t commit the same mistake again that Nehru did). The aim was to recruit foot soldiers in bordering states who would act as eyes & ears for the government in case of any suspicious Chinese activity.

China has recently gone very active on the border with India,& in neighbouring countries. Opening up of a new rail & road trade route with Nepal linking Guangdong, Tibet & Kathmandu, the under-construction Shigatse-Gyirong rail link, & the plan to build a tunnel under Mount Everest has made the Indian establishment very wary of Chinese motives. Also China is rapidly investing in Myanmar & Bangladesh.

With Pakistan’s ISI ever active to create ruckus on our western border, it is imperative that India has a cogent & apt counter to the two nations. SSB is definitely the answer. It has thousands of locals who are well trained in intelligence-gathering, firearms & combat role. These locals also counter Chinese propaganda on the ground.

The new SSB is expected to have more sophisticated training & deeper penetration. Reviving the SSB is not an easy task, & will be time consuming as well, yet the indications from the government are very positive. The Narendra Modi government has been particularly bold in countering China – from incorporating a dedicated Mountain Division to deploying tanks &Sukhoi jets to the much gutsy effort to deploy BrahMos missiles in Arunachal Pradesh – China is now aware of an India that knows how to show its might!


Vinayak Jain