M. K. Narayanan

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M. K. Narayanan
Mayankote Kelath Narayanan - Kolkata 2013-01-07 2702 Cropped.JPG
Narayanan in 2013
24th Governor of West Bengal
In office
24 January 2010 – 30 June 2014
Preceded by Devanand Konwar
3rd National Security Advisor
In office
January 2005 – January 2010
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Preceded by J. N. Dixit
Succeeded by Shivshankar Menon
Director of the Intelligence Bureau
In office
April 1987 – December 1989
Personal details
Born (1934-03-10) 10 March 1934 (age 80)
Spouse(s) Padmini Narayanan
Residence Raj Bhavan, Kolkata

Mayankote Kelath Narayanan (born 10 March 1934) was the 24th Governor of West Bengal, a state in Eastern India.[1] He was formerly the country's third National Security Advisor (2005–2010), assuming the role after the demise of his predecessor Jyotindra Nath Dixit in January 2005.[2]

Early life[edit]

M. K. Narayanan hails from Kelath family at Ottapalam, Palakkad, a district of the state Kerala.[3]

Narayanan completed his graduation from Loyola College, Chennai. He is married to Padmini Narayanan and the couple have a son, Vijay, and a daughter, Meena. Their son-in-law Ajit Nambiar is Chairman and Managing Director of BPL Ltd.[4]


M. K. Narayanan joined the Indian Police Service in 1955 and passed out as the best all-round officer of his batch. After a brief stint as Sub-Divisional Police Officer in the erstwhile State of Madras, he went on deputation to the Intelligence Bureau in February 1959. The rest of his service career was spent under the Government of India, mainly in the Intelligence Bureau during which he dealt with a whole range of issues concerning internal and national security.

He headed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) from 1987 to 1990, before heading the Joint Intelligence Committee. He became Chief of the IB again in 1991, before retiring in 1992. He was the Special Advisor for Internal Security to the Prime Minister of India beginning in May 2004.[5]

He is alleged to plant his staunch supporters as RAW and IB chiefs. He grew infamous when he wanted to sack the then RAW chief C. D. Sahay. He began systematically undermining Sahay; he planted his own man, Hormis Tharakan, former Kerala police chief who was occasionally deputed to RAW, as Sahay’s eventual successor. The then NSA, J. N. Dixit, countered that Narayanan himself had not been sacked when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated (Narayanan was the IB chief), and that no intelligence heads rolled after the Kargil intrusions were discovered[6]

He presided over a post-Rabindra Singh (a RAW joint secretary suspected of being a double agent, defected in 2004. Singh was handing RAW secrets over to the USA, to where he fled from Kathmandu via Vienna once he was discovered) defection enquiry that has not damaged a single officer’s career; in some cases, the opposite has happened.[7] Shashi Bhushan Tomar, the last man to see Rabindra Singh after the latter’s car was searched as he left RAW HQ in Delhi on 19 April 2004. Tomar, suspect colleagues, tipped Singh off that he was under RAW surveillance, enabling the double agent to evade his stake-out and escaped and Tomar is now posted in New York.[8]

On 24 Jan 2010 he became the governor of West Bengal. He took over from Gopalkrishna Gandhi who had a few disagreements with the CPM-ruled West Bengal on critical issues like violence in Nandigram and Singur. He was awarded with the Gusi Peace Prize 2011.

On 27 June 2014 he was quizzed by CBI over controversial AgustaWestland Deal. On June 30, he tendered his resignation from the post of Governor of West Bengal.[1]


Narayanan offered to resign on 30 November 2008 over the attacks in Mumbai that killed nearly 200 people, but his resignation was not accepted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He experienced heavy criticism after the Mumbai terrorist attacks due to his preoccupation with Sri Lanka and the LTTE, instead of what others considered to be India's chief threat: Kashmiri insurgents and Pakistan.[citation needed]

According to the Outlook magazine, Narayanan asked investigative agencies to go slow when they zeroed-in on Hindutva organizations for Samjhauta Express bombings in 2007.[9]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Devanand Konwar
Governor of West Bengal
24 January 2010 – 30 June 2014
Succeeded by
D. Y. Patil
Preceded by
J. N. Dixit
National Security Advisor
January 2005 – January 2010
Succeeded by
Shivshankar Menon
Preceded by
H. A. Barari
Director of the Intelligence Bureau
1987 - 1989
Succeeded by
R. P. Joshi