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Brajesh Mishra

Brijesh Mishra
Brajesh Mishra in 2001
1st National Security Adviser of India
In office
November 1998 – May 2004
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded by Post created
Succeeded by J N Dixit
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
In office
June 1979 – April 1981
Personal details
Born 29 September 1928
Died 28 September 2012 (aged 84)
New Delhi
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party (1991–98)
Parents Dwarka Prasad Mishra
Occupation Diplomat, politician
Known for India's first National Security Adviser

Brajesh Chandra Mishra (29 September 1928 – 28 September 2012) was an Indian diplomat and politician, best known for serving as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's principal secretary and National Security Adviser from 1998 to 2004.[1][2][3][4]


  • Early life and family 1
  • Diplomatic career 2
  • Principal Secretary and National Security Adviser 3
  • Final years and death 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life and family

He was born on 29 September 1928, and died on 28 September 2012. Mishra's father, late Dwarka Prasad Mishra, was a former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.[5] His father was considered a staunch politician from the Congress Party and very close to Indira Gandhi though they fell out later.[6]

Diplomatic career

Brajesh Mishra joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1951. He served as chargé d'affaires in Beijing after the 1962 Sino-Indian War and was India's ambassador to Indonesia. He was also Ambassador and India's permanent representative in Geneva. Mishra's last posting was as India's permanent representative to the United Nations from June 1979 to April 1981.[7]

As Permanent Representative, he voiced India's position on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the Sixth emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly, but his disagreement with that position was part of the reason why he joined the United Nations in 1981 and served as United Nations Commissioner for Namibia till June 1987.[8][9][10]

Principal Secretary and National Security Adviser

In April 1991, Mishra joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and became head of its foreign policy cell.[11] He resigned from the party in March 1998 on becoming principal secretary to the Prime Minister. After Brajesh Mishra, the post of principal secretary to the Prime Minister became such a powerful one that it eclipsed the status of cabinet ministers. As Vajpayee's troubleshooter, he was one of the most powerful principal secretaries the PMO had ever seen.[12]

From November 1998 to 23 May 2004, he was also the first National Security Adviser and was instrumental in creating an institutional structure for national security management.[13] He was from the same All India Services batch as K Subrahmanyam, widely considered as the doyen of India's strategic affairs community, and made him the first Convenor of the National Security Advisery Board where they worked closely on many issues.[14]

He was the key motivator of foreign policy and principal spokesman on all major issues. And the opportunities for him were endless. From Pokhran-2 to Kashmir, and from Vajpayee's historic visit to Pakistan to engaging the United States in a strategic dialogue, he was behind a never-ending series of foreign policy and security manoeuvres.

Final years and death

After demitting office, Mishra had initially expressed reservations against the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. Following this, then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh briefed specially to address his concerns about the deal. However, support to nuclear deal was Mishra's last tribute to Vajpayee. [15] Thereafter, Mr Brajesh Mishra extended his support and publicly endorsed the deal. This position of his was at variance with the Bharatiya Janata Party's, the party to which he once belonged to and in whose government he had been the National Security Adviser of the country, which was opposed to the deal.

In 2011, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan (the second highest civilian award).[16]

Mishra died on 28 September 2012 at Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj in New Delhi.[17]


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External links

  • Articles at Outlook India on Brajesh Mishra
  • Brajesh Mishra's Interview with
  • Brajesh Mishra (1928–2012) – An Assessment by B Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India
  • Man who was ‘Bharat sarkar’ – Gopalkrishna Gandhi
  • Brajesh Mishra: India's First Intelligence Tsar
Preceded by
Post created
National Security Advisor
Succeeded by
Jyotindra Nath Dixit
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