In this episode, father and daughter, Iain and Jane Craigie talk about life in India from 1969-72, holidaying in India’s hill stations, into the Hindu Kush and Afghanistan. Their return to India in February 2020, and why GCHQ had, and still has, an interest in the region.
The conversation spans who the intelligence ‘targets’ were - India and Russia - and how the terrain made ‘listening’ extremely challenging. Iain and Jane also talk through the Indian caste system, the religious tensions, which still exist, and how you identify a spy at a cocktail party!
NB - addendum - East Pakistan became Bangladesh (not West as Jane said in the podcast).
Welcome to the spy who raised me podcast conversations between the daughter and her father. Yes, you've guessed it, he was a spy. Hi, I'm Jane Craigie and I'm recording this podcast with my dad Ian Craigie over zoom. Because we're still in lockdown. So dad sitting outside in the sunshine and you'll be able to pick up the birds tweeting in the background. So how are you dad? Yeah, I'm good. I'm good. It's lovely. The temperatures good. The sun's out. The birds are all asleep and the new oxygen birds are appearing out of little nests. I've just watched a spiral, hitting return in the gutter. Right. It's got a little That's lovely. Well, today we're going to be talking about your time in India, which was from 60 1969 through to 1972. And we'll talk through what you did while you were out there, and a little bit about life in India at that time. And also, it was a time when my little sister Emma was born. So she's got an exotic story to tell and that she was born in, in New Delhi in the early 1970s. So I'm gonna ask that for a little bit of context to why GC HQ and British intelligence was interested in India and why you were based there at that time. Yeah, I think that was quite a time of change and 69 through 272 And our main interest for us, or China was doing China, China's a big, restless, populous nation. And at that time they were looking for, for places they could annex so that they could move in and move some of their population because they had a huge population in that town. 7070 7172. And they were interested in Tibet for one thing, which was, which was under contention, and they just liked the thought that they could build up a buffer between themselves and other, probably hostile countries by annexing these these places, so Tibet and and 1959 was more or less than next by China. That was at the time that the Dalai Lama went into exile. So it gave the Chinese an opportunity to, to move in and virtually takeover. And it was to Cassie, which was, which was on the southern side of China. And they had, they had great ideas about Jakarta. That was one of the targets we had when we went to India. We had to survey that particular area to see what was happening and how successful the Chinese had been in moving in and establishing bases. There was also Taiwan, which was, which was part of their scheme. And they actually are next that and 1971 at the time we were in Yeah, but they also had had Manchuria In their sights, Manchuria, that was not a developed country, but it had it had huge coal reserves and fertile ground. So the Chinese were looking at that they were expanding, expanding quite rapidly. So, they needed energy. So, they must have thought well, we can, if we can do some work and Manchuria, we can get, we can get what we need in terms of expanding our industrial base. So, that basically was was what we were there for. And the situation was that it was very much try and see because with the Himalayas and with the prevailing weather conditions, and north of India and and further north into China ception Conditions weren't that good. So we had, we had to try and try and find out when it was suitable, convenient, sensible to try and try and pick up some of these transmissions to try and put it into some sort of intelligence structure that people could understand and give indications as to what chain Jamie's hopes and aspirations were in that area. And that also, geographically and also, you know, fast forward a decade, we had the situation of the Russians invading Afghanistan. So that whole area was not just of interest to the Chinese, but it was also of interest to the Russians. At the time that you were based in New Delhi. Were was Russia a target for you, as well as Russia, Russia was the target but it was it was the second Transcribed by https://otter.ai [This note may be incomplete because it was exported before processing was finished.]