Uncovering TV ‘Defence Specialist’ RSN Singh’s RAW Credentials

Col Singh’s recent contentious comments on Prophet Muhammad have drawn a lot of flak on the internet. 

4 min read
Col Singh’s recent contentious comments on Prophet Muhammad have drawn a lot of flak on the internet.

A former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer, who recently stirred controversy as a guest speaker on Times Now channel by making controversial comments about Prophet Muhammad, was on Tuesday described as “incompetent” and a “non-performer” by some senior colleagues who oversaw his work in India’s external intelligence agency.

The channel was forced to distance itself from the army man’s views on Islam, as a police complaint was also lodged against him.

In a heated exchange on the supposed love jihad in Kerala, he made outrageous comments about Prophet Muhammad which upset many people, across communities.

The outrage led to the channel’s editor-in-chief Rahul Shivshankar to offer an apology, distancing himself and the news channel from Singh and his views, which were incidentally expressed on Shivshankar’s own primetime show.

“I was anguished hearing about our girls being taken to Syria and being made sex slaves and I made that statement,” is how Col (retd) RSN Singh responded to The Quint’s query about what led to the comment being made.

All he had to say about the comparison he made regarding the Prophet and his wife was that he was merely stating a historical fact and that a nine-year-old girl is his granddaughter’s age.

Read up on Wikipedia...What have I said that is not mentioned in history? Should people stop reading history now?

On the topic of love jihad, Singh said, “So much in life is governed by religion and a girl should be made aware of what her life will be like after marriage”.


Following the comment, many began wondering if Singh’s credentials were even legitimate while some demanded he be penalised for his frivolous comments.

Veteran journalist Coomi Kapoor also wrote in the Indian Express that Singh had an infamous, brief stint with RAW and the Army which he has learned to exploit to his advantage.

Uncovering TV ‘Defence Specialist’ RSN Singh’s RAW  Credentials
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter @rawrkyadav)

Singh defended his credentials stating that he started out in the Army and served at the Line of Control (LoC), Siachen, Sri Lanka and during Operation Bluestar. It was his expertise in the border areas and Pakistan that made the RAW seek him out. He added that he was “a strategic analyst”.

I challenge Coomi to tell me what my tenure in RAW was... If she’s a journalist, can she tell what did I handle in RAW or if I got my commendation or whether I wrote a book?

‘Singh is No Expert’

Speaking to The Quint on condition of anonymity, a former top RAW officer said that Singh’s brief stint at RAW was “unremarkable” and his position in India’s external intelligence agency became “untenable” when his performance was recorded to be well below par.

Singh served in the Army before moving to the RAW where he worked on “assessing” and “analysing” military movements in neighbouring nations. His primary area of research was Bangladesh where he studied the movements of that country’s army. In RAW, his position was that of an officer on special duty which is equivalent to a deputy secretary in the organisational hierarchy.

He was by no means an expert and was eased out of RAW for non-performance and incompetence, a top official told The Quint.

Journalist Saba Naqvi had also quoted a past indiscretion by Singh in her Times of India article, where he called Kashmiri youth the illegitimate children of militants.

“Recently, a former RAW man, a regular on TV channels, crossed every line of decency when he suggested that Kashmiri youth oppose India as they are the illegitimate offsprings of militants from across the border. Imagine the outrage in India if this was ever suggested to another community group. This is not the first time this individual has spoken of the “qaum” (community) being in a particular way.”

A former RAW officer, who Singh said had a vendetta against him, also vetted Singh’s credentials as being dubious.

Former diplomat KC Singh also called RSN Singh’s credentials “dubious”.

All this led to the Maharashtra Muslim Awami Committee to lodge a complaint against Singh which Congress spokesperson Salman Nizami shared.

Singh said that he received a commendation certificate for a “difficult operation” he conducted for a month in 2001, as an Officer on Special Duty (OSD).

However, a senior journalist who has been covering security and international agencies for over two decades told The Quint that Singh was deputed to the RAW for two years where he was asked to monitor the growth and development of the Bangladeshi Army. However, he was asked to leave before the end of his stint for being a non-performer.

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