Punjab’s Last Standing Spies


Punjab’s Last Standing Spies

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza


lose to the climax of Kabir Khan’s Ek Tha Tiger, Research & Analysis Wing agent Salman Khan rides a bike on a runway to evade baddies. The desi 007 is trying to get on a plane being piloted by Katrina Kaif, a Pakistani intelligence agent, so the two forbidden lovers can live happily ever after. Salman, the consummate Indian spy, jumps off the bike and lands straight into the arms of Katrina to live the dream.

The last thing one expects of a Salman Khan film is for it to mirror reality. But the actual life of a RAW agent is so far from the depiction in the film as to be laughable. The real-life spies employed by India’s elite intelligence agency, lead obscure lives in mofussil parts of the country. Unlike Salman Khan, they are forgotten by their employers and defeated by their fates.