SpyCast 4.4.23
Ep 581 | 4.4.23

“Indian Intelligence & Cyber” – A Conversation with Sameer Patil, ORF Mumbai

Show Notes


Sameer Patil (Twitter; Website) joins Andrew (TwitterLinkedIn) to discuss intelligence and cybersecurity in the world’s most populous nation. He formerly worked in the NSC Secretariat in the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi.  

What You’ll Learn


  • Cybersecurity in the world’s largest democracy
  • The breakdown of India’s intelligence agencies
  • Cybersecurity among the world’s second largest internet user base
  • India’s relationships with China and Pakistan


  • Imperial legacies
  • Borders of the mind

Episode Notes

You know about the covert action using a Trojan Horse described in The Odyssey by Homer and The Aeneid by Virgil; you may even know about Sun Tzu’s chapter on “The Use of Spies” in the Art of War; but do you know that the Ancient Indian Sanskrit text Arthashastra is littered with references to espionage and intelligence – from recruitment to cover identities, through to seduction for secrets and disinformation. 

This week’s SpyCast dovetails into the long and venerable history of intelligence in South Asia, by bringing it smack bang up to date, with a discussion on cyber with Sameer Patil.


The origins of the phrase “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” are revealed in this episode...my, how times have changed…

Guest Bio

Sameer Patil is a senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, India’s premier think tank, and a top twenty think tank outside of the United States, he is an expert on the intersection between cybersecurity, counterterrorism, and national security. Previously, he served as the Assistant Director of the National Security Council Secretariat at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi. He has a PhD in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and is the author of the 2022 book Securing India in the Cyber Era, and is his work has been cited in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Financial TimesThe Wall Street Journal, and many other news agencies.

Quote of the Week

"So, it's a very unique relationship because if you see both the countries, uh, in a sense emerged as modern nation states at around the same time. India attended independence in 1947 the Chinese Communist party emerged victory years from a protracted civil war. In 1949 and. Initial periods of both the countries, as modern nation states were very cordial relationship, very friendly relationship in fact, we had a very populous slogan at that time, which is known as “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai,” which means India, China, Brothers - Indians and Chinese are brothers together. But by the late 1950s, many of the issues started to unravel." – Sameer Patel.




Beginner Resources


*Featured Resource*

  • Securing India in the Cyber Era, S. Patil (Routledge, 2022)


  • JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA and the Sino-Indian War, B. Riedel (BIP, 2015)
  • Intelligence Elsewhere, P. Davies & K. Gustafson (GUP, 2013)
  • India’s External Intelligence, V.K. Singh (ManasPub, 2007)


*Wildcard Resource(s)*