Brajesh Mishra
Mishra in 2001
1st National Security Advisor of India
In office
19 November 1998 – 22 May 2004
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byJ. N. Dixit
9th Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India
In office
19 March 1998 – 22 May 2004
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byN. N. Vohra
Succeeded byT. K. A. Nair
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
In office
June 1979 – April 1981
Personal details
Brajesh Chandra Mishra

29 September 1928
Died28 September 2012 (aged 84)
New Delhi, India
Cause of deathHeart failure
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party (1991–98)
ParentDwarka Prasad Mishra (father)
RelativesSudhir Mishra (nephew)
Known forIndia's first National Security Advisor and prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's principal secretary
AwardsPadma Vibhushan

Brajesh Chandra Mishra (29 September 1928 – 28 September 2012) was an Indian diplomat from the Indian Foreign Service and politician, best known for serving as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's principal secretary and National Security Advisor from 1998 to 2004.[1][2][3][4] He received Padma Vibhushan for his contribution[5][6]

Early life and family

He was born in Hindu Brahmin family[7] on 29 September 1928 to Dwarka Prasad Mishra, who was a former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.[8] His father was considered a staunch politician from the Congress Party and very close to Indira Gandhi though they fell out later.[9]

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.[10]

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 resigned from IFS and joined the United Nations in 1981; serving as 6th United Nations Commissioner for Namibia from 1 April 1982 to 1 July 1987.[11][12][13]

Principal secretary and National Security Advisor

In April 1991, Mishra joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and became head of its foreign policy cell.[14] He resigned from the party in March 1998 on becoming the 9th Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India. After Brajesh Mishra, the post of principal secretary 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.[15]

From November 1998 to 23 May 2004, he was also the first National Security Advisor and was instrumental in creating an institutional structure for national security management.[16] His batch as an Indian Foreign Service officer was the same as the Indian Administrative Service batch of K. Subrahmanyam, widely considered as the doyen of India's strategic affairs community, and made him the first convener of the National Security Advisory Board where they worked closely on many issues.[17]

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 maneuver.

He is stated to have played a major role in pushing and supporting the Bhutan to undertake Operation All Clear.

Final years and death

After demitting office, Mishra had initially expressed reservations against the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal. Following this, the then prime minister, Manmohan Singh briefed specially to address his concerns about the deal. However, support to nuclear deal was Mishra's last tribute to Vajpayee.[18] Thereafter, 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 Advisor of the country, which was opposed to the deal.

In 2011, he was awarded Padma Vibhushan (the second highest civilian award).[19]

Mishra died on 28 September 2012 at Fortis hospital, Vasant Kunj in New Delhi.[20]


  1. ^ "The Name Is Mishra, Brajesh Mishra". 4 September 2000. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  2. ^ "Brajesh Mishra is still listening in". Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Scrap national security adviser's post: Brajesh Mishra – India – DNA". 20 January 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Devil's Advocate: Brajesh Mishra on Atal vs Advani – Politics News – IBNLive". 3 February 2010. Archived from the original on 30 August 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2010.
  5. ^ "Padma Vibhushan for Brajesh Mishra; Padma Bhushan for Surendra Singh". ORF. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  6. ^ Bagchi, Indrani (25 January 2011). "Former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra awarded the Padma Vibhushan. Former foreign secretary and PM's special envoy on the nuclear deal, Shyam Saran awarded Padma Bhushan. - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  7. ^ Joshi, Manoj (28 September 2012). "Brajesh Mishra, former National Security Advisor, passes away". India Today. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  8. ^ "DKPA : Stamp Calendar - Stamps Issued by India in August 2001". 27 October 2009. Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Former Foreign Minister Natwar Singh pays tribute to Brajesh Mishra". India Today. 30 September 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  10. ^ "Permanent Representatives of India to the United Nations" (PDF). un.intl/india. Retrieved 21 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "UN Debate". The Age (Australia). 14 January 1980. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  12. ^ Dikshit, Sandeep (30 September 2012). "Brajesh Mishra, strategic czar of Vajpayee era, passes away". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  13. ^ Srinivasan, T P. "Brajesh Mishra: Steely determination and a kind heart". Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  14. ^ Malhotra, Jyoti (29 September 2012). "Brajesh Mishra combined guile with generosity as India's first NSA". Business Standard. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  15. ^ "Brajesh Mishra: India's first NSA, Vajpayee's troubleshooter". Hindustan Times. 29 September 2012. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  16. ^ Gupta, Arvind. "Brajesh Mishra's Legacy to National Security and Diplomacy". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  17. ^ Mishra, Brajesh. "Annual Krishnaswamy Memorial Lecture" (PDF). Global India Foundation. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  18. ^ "Mishra's last tribute to Atal - Support to nuclear deal to preserve mentor's legacy". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Brajesh Mishra, Azim Premji, Montek in list of 128 Padma awardees". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  20. ^ "India's first National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
Preceded byOffice established National Security Advisor 1998–2004 Succeeded byJyotindra Nath Dixit