by Jose Manimala

For weeks, God's Own Country is rocked by a mega Watergate type scandal. It eclipses even the rapidly re-emerging COVID and the Galwan crisis in the sensational media. Tabloids are having a field day. A Malayali Mata Hari, Swapna Suresh, and her huge smuggling syndicate suddenly grab the entire media attention. Women, Gold, Spies, and Smugglers. A Robin Moore thriller is in the making. Of course, this juicy potboiler is aptly named Dubai.

Suddenly former Media darling Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan becomes a no go. A beleaguered CM fights an all-out but losing war on all fronts. New Delhi's noose is tightening around Trivandrum every day. Skeletons are steadily tumbling out of the closet. Conspiracy is spreading far and wide. As always the national security angle is ignored.

Both opposition Congress and BJP are baying for blood. Pinarayi's rivals inside and outside CPM, say Mr. Vijayan's fall is imminent. A decimated Politbureau wants to replace Mr. Pinarayi with KK Shailaja. But after losing Bengal and Tripura, PB is toothless.

Fortune may smile on Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Pinarayi’s arch-rival. Kodiyeri’s China leanings are notorious However, at least for now, Pinarayi is the one-eyed King in the land of the blind.

Firebrand BJP politician Sobha Surendran, former CM and Saritha scam fame, Oommen Chandy, and an old warhorse, O Rajagopal have kept sinister silence.

IAS cadre is seething over continuous trampling over them by con artists with fake credentials.

Impoverished, unemployed Kerala youth, already reeling under the double whammy of COVID and sudden loss of Gulf Oasis who are fuming to see swindlers’ ultra-luxury lifestyle and fat paychecks. All from taxpayers' money.

To capture Communal but traditionalist, Muslim league fortress, North Kerala, Left Front courted Islamic fanatics. We now reap a bitter harvest.

After their terrible routing in Syria and Kashmir, ISIS increasingly shifts their focus and attention to Kerala. Kerala is a favourite ISIS recruitment centre,

A dubious China-funded leftist feminist organization cheer Swapna Suresh as the New Hail Mary!

Dubious, predatory women like Swapna Suresh misuse, misinform police, Women's Commission, and sometimes even judiciary. Often, falsely accused Men's families are destroyed forever. It has a paralyzing, lasting effect on society. An overhaul of the system and built-in safeguards are necessary. But, who will bell the cat?

Femme Fatales like Swapna Suresh is always a double-edged sword. Great spymasters turn them into assets, moles, or double agents. ‘Honey Trapping' is practiced by spy agencies to extract sensitive information for a very long time.

Honey traps, seducing and then blackmailing a target into working for you, are probably as old as sex. In ancient times Emperor used such Sirens to weaken Kings. Sex and seduction have been used in espionage ever since.

The overpowering allure of sex makes you lose your mind, and this is what a crafty intelligence handler will employ. It was sex that persuaded the Israelite Samson to reveal to Palestinian Delilah that his long hair was the secret of his supernatural strength.

Remember Niira Radia, the ruthless siren who seduced hapless politicians and businessmen to enrich her foreign bank accounts. She had physical relationship with powerful, unattractive men and got rich by breaking the rules.

China always outsources their low-end dirty work to Indian Leftist Sisterhood. It ranges from Maoists to Ecowarriors. Women increasingly take the violent armed struggle to topple our Federal Government. Arundhati Roy and other Chinese fifth columnists cheer martyrdom in the war against New Delhi as the ultimate salvation of Indian womanhood.

Though Mao bit dust, His violent class struggle is alive and kicking in India.

Ironically, Maoism has few takers in the new Capitalist China. But China's hand in Indian troubles were never investigated or exposed.

Pakistan based terror groups use 'honey trapping' as their most preferred method to lure youths in Kashmir to join terrorism and to use them as human carriers for delivering arms from one place to another or acting as guides to infiltrating terrorists.

Indians are easy to bait. Always an inhibitive, repressive, and of course, a hypocritic society. Being sex-starved, Indians are good targets for a honey trap. Please see the following case studies.

As a grave security matter, spies, smugglers, and terror affiliates must be placed in separate maximum-security prisons to prevent leaks. Also, informers should be planted amidst them. 

In the 1950s an Indian diplomat was honey-trapped in Moscow. Nehru let off the young diplomat with mild caution. In 1950, the first Indonesian president, Sukarno, visited India. India declined his request for women. We committed a costly blunder in sexual diplomacy. Next year, when Sukarno visited Pakistan, cunning Pakistanis gave him a feast of sexually adept Pak sirens. See, for some women, they turned the largest Muslim country's support in their favor.

Later to counter ISI, Indira Gandhi gave free hand to RAW. But we have a disappointing track record against the Chinese. Inventors of honey trap.

The most deadly aspect of honey traps for India is its extensive use by Chinese intelligence. There have been several instances of Indian officials - of RAW and the Indian Foreign Service - who have been trapped in China.

Manmohan Sharma, a senior RAW officer, was alleged to be in a romantic affair with his Chinese language teacher.

In October 2007, a 1975 batch Research and Analysis Service (officer Ravi Nair was called back from Hong Kong for his 'friendship' with a Chinese female spy.

In May 2008, a senior Indian Embassy official in Beijing was called back to New Delhi for falling to the Chinese honey trap.

RAW officer Rabinder Singh became a mole of CIA and flew to the US despite being under RAW surveillance. Singh escaped to the US through Nepal in 2004. He now stays in the US.

Ashok Sathe, another RAW official also defected to the US. Sathe was said to be behind the burning down of the RAW office in Khurramshahr in Iran.

KV Unnikrishnan, RAW's Madras station chief in 1987 was honey-trapped by the CIA. The US spy service threatened to reveal Unnikrishnan's compromising photographs with a Panam air hostess. 

The case of Madhuri Gupta, an Indian diplomat in Islamabad, is unique in the sense that usually women play the bait to trap male officers. But Madhuri Gupta, 53, posted as the second secretary (press and information) at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad, crossed the thin line. She was arrested on April 22, 2010, by the special cell of Delhi Police for passing on sensitive information to ISI. 

Honey traps continue in the modern world. Sexual relationships are usually free, but you are forever obliged to the foreign power often inimical to Indian interests.

Guidelines are provided to Indian Foreign Service and intelligence officers on overseas missions. These include keeping personal obligations to minimal, being sensitive towards foreign intelligence agencies, and non-disclosure of information voluntarily that could be detrimental to foreign and security policies. 

Sadly Trivandrum gold smuggling case shows us that Kerala Ministers and bureaucrats broke serious diplomatic guidelines and rules deliberately. This time, I hope our federal agencies will pursue this smuggling case’s espionage angle and outflow of antiques and vital info to India's external enemies to the very end.

The investigation should reach syndicate's highest echelons.

This case has serious national security implications. Trivandrum hosts vital Aerospace, defence, and scientific installations.

This is a forever war.

Jose Manimala Pala tracks military and aerospace issues closely. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN