Comments on the Book

"I am glad to know that Mr Vappala Balachandran, former Special Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India is releasing a compendium of his published essays and lectures in the area of security.

We had the pleasure of hosting him in April 2009 to deliver a lecture to senior Singapore police officials on the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack and its implications on urban security. He was part of the two-man "High Level Committee" appointed by the local government in Maharashtra to enquire into the police performance in handling the attack. We were impressed with his analysis of the background of the attack, its special features and the lessons to be learnt from such incidents. His insights were most useful to us when preparing our own security plans and having these tested through counter-terrorism exercises in a similar urban setting.

I am sure his book will offer valuable perspectives to the law and order authorities not only in India but elsewhere in the world too. I convey my best wishes to him."

~ Khoo Boon Hui

Former Interpol President (2008-12)

Senior Deputy Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore 

Director Institute of Leadership and Organisation Development & Senior Fellow Civil Service College


"Mr. Balachandran’s work is a valuable resource for policy practitioners and scholars alike. Over the last few years, he has helped his readers effectively to comprehend contemporary security challenges. His recommendations reflect pragmatic thinking with an open mind and a deep careful study of options.

In the absence of qualitative platforms of interface between scholarship and practitioners in India, ventures like these undertaken with personal initiative remain the only way to influence insular and opaque corridors of the policy world."

~ Luv Puri
Political Journalist

(Luv Puri has worked for The Hindu and UN on political issues for
several-years. He authored a book - Across the LOC- in 2010 and has
also written for various scholarly and international affairs
publications. He is also a recipient of several fellowships including


"This long-awaited collection of V. Balachandran's writings on security, policing and politics constitutes a remarkable achievement. Unlike the generality of publications by professionals in the field, Balachandran's volume is neither anecdotal nor autobiographical, representing instead a series of thoughtful and original meditations on the advantages and limitations of India's police and intelligence services, which are placed in a global context and made the subject of a range of innovative recommendations. Of interest to policymakers and historians as much as the general reader, this book not only gives us a unique insight into the making of India's practice of national security, but should also begin a new debate on its future."

~ Dr. Faisal Devji
Reader in Indian History
St. Antony's College
University of Oxford
Oxford OX2 6JF