A Coven of Spooks

March 2nd, 2015|Categories: Magazine, Outlook|Tags: |

Espionage in India has a long pedigree. Rigvedic hymns invoke Agni as the deceiver of foes, with spies detecting and catching criminals. Kautilya classified nine different types of spies—a fraudulent disciple (kapatikachhatra), a recluse (udasthita), a householder (gri­ha­paitika), a merchant (vaidehaka), an ascetic (tapasa), a colleague (satri), a firebrand (tikshna), a poisoner (rasada) and a