South Asia and Beyond

Rashtriya Rifles: India’s Bulwark Against Insurgency

NEW DELHI: It’s been at the heart of India’s counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism operations for three decades now. Rashtriya Rifles, which draws troops from different branches of the army, has been carrying out operations against terrorists in close coordination with the J&K police and the paramilitary. It has a strong intelligence network across the Kashmir Valley and is embedded in its rural hinterland. Troops of the Rashtriya Rifles have been leading from the front against the proxy war launched by Pakistan. Last week in an anti-terrorist operation in J&K’s Handwara, five security personnel laid down their lives. They included four personnel of 21 Rashtriya Rifles and a police officer. In this episode of Simply Nitin, StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale describes the circumstances under which the Rashtriya Rifles was formed and why it’s unique.

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Nitin A. Gokhale

Left to himself, Nitin A. Gokhale would rather watch films and sports matches but his day job as a media entrepreneur, communications specialist, analyst and author, leaves him little time to indulge in his primary interests. Gokhale in fact started his career in journalism in 1983 as a sports reporter. Since then he has, in the past 41 years, traversed the entire spectrum across print, broadcast and digital space. One of South Asia's leading strategic analysts, Gokhale has moved on from conventional media to become an independent media entrepreneur running three niche digital platforms—BharatShakti, StratNewsGlobal and Interstellar—besides undertaking consultancy and training workshops in communications for military institutions, corporates and individuals. Now better known for his conflict coverage and strategic analyses, Gokhale has lived and reported from India’s North-east for 23 years between 1983 and 2006, been on the ground at Kargil in the summer of 1999 and also brought us live coverage from Sri Lanka’s Eelam War IV between 2006-2009.    An alumni of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Hawaii, Gokhale now writes, lectures and analyses security and strategic matters in Indo-Pacific and travels regularly to US, Europe, Australia, South and South-East Asia to take part in various seminars and conferences. Gokhale is also a popular visiting faculty at India’s Defence Services Staff College, the three war colleges, India's National Defence College, College of Defence Management and the IB’s intelligence school.