K. Subrahmanyam, an Indian journalist.

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k. Subrahmanyam

K. Subrahmanyam (19 January 1929 – 2 February 2011) was an Indian journalist, and former civil servant.

Early Life

K. Subrahmanyam was born on 19 January 1929, Madras, India. In 1950, he got his MSc degree in Chemistry, from the University of Madras, and he scored rank 1 on the Indian Civil Service Examination, in the same year. In 1951, he was appointed to the IAS.

As a Rockefeller Fellow in Strategic Studies, he attended the London School of Economics in 1966. After he returned to India, he got the job of director of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). He held the position until 1975.

In favour of India intervening in the East Pakistan crisis in 1971, Subrahmanyam was one of the leading voices. He believed India had no choice but to intervene militarily because of the refugees flooding into India and the Pakistani army’s mass human rights violations.


He was a frequent columnist and commentator for a number of international and Indian newspapers. He worked as a consulting editor and policy expert for multiple Indian publications after he retired from government service in the late 80s. Some of them were The Tribune, The Economic Times, and The Times of India.

When India conducted the ‘Shakti’ nuclear tests in 1998, he was on the editorial board of The Times of India, which famously withheld his opinion while condemning the weapons test. In two volumes, he compiled some of his press writings.

During the Atal Bihari Vajpayee era, he served on the National Security Council Advisory Board (NSCAB).

Later he held several honourable positions all over India, include, Members of the Joint Intelligence Committee in New Delhi, the fourth member of the Board of Revenue, the Home Secretary, the Additional Secretary in Cabinet Secretariat, New Delhi, and the Union Secretary for Defence Production.

He wrote 14 books with a few co-authors.


He died on 2 February 2011, New Delhi, India.

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