Some Lesser Known Facts About Ravindra Kaushik
- Did Ravindra Kaushik smoke?: Yes
- Did Ravindra Kaushik drink alcohol?: Not Known
- He was born and brought up in Sri Ganganagar, a town close to the international border with Pakistan.
- Ravindra’s father, JM Kaushik had served in the Indian Air Force, and after his retirement, he started working at a local textile mill.
- His family used to live in the old city, close to the mill in Sri Ganganagar.
- After his schooling from a Government School in Sri Ganganagar, Ravindra went to a private college, SD Bihani College, in Sri Ganganagar.
- Ravinder grew up as a teenager between 1965 and 1971 when India went to war with Pakistan, instilling in him the sheer level of patriotism.
- While in college, Ravindra developed an interest in dramas and theatres. Soon, he became popular for his mono-acting and mimicry.
- While talking about Ravindra Kaushik, Sukhdev Singh, one of his college friends, says-
He was one of the most popular students during his school and college days.”
- Talking about Ravindra Kaushik’s first contact with the RAW Officers, Rajeshwarnath Kaushik, younger brother of Ravindra, recalls-
It was probably his mono-act in college in which he played an Indian army officer who refused to divulge information to China that caught the attention of intelligence officers.”
- RAW offered him the job of an Undercover Indian Agent in Pakistan.
- Soon after completing his Bachelors in Commerce, Kaushik left for Delhi to join RAW; entering a world of intrigue and danger.
- Kaushik had to undergo extensive training in Delhi for two years; where he was trained to act as a “resident agent.” He was taught Urdu, given religious education and acquainted with the topography and other details about Pakistan.
- In 1975, Kaushik was sent to Pakistan on a mission. He converted to Islam and was given the alias Nabi Ahmed Shakir. To show him a pure Muslim, Sunnat (circumcision) was also performed on Kaushik.
- In Pakistan, Ravindra Kaushik was shown a resident of Islamabad.
- Soon after Kaushik entered Pakistan, he got admission in Karachi University.
- After completing his LLB from Karachi University, Ravindra Kaushik was inducted into Pakistan Army where he became an Auditor in the Military Accounts Department of Pakistan Army. Soon, he rose to become a Major.
- While serving the Pakistan Army, Ravindra Kaushik came into the contact of a Muslim girl named Amanat, who belongs to a well off family. Soon, they got married and went on to have a daughter.
- Reportedly, Kaushik had visited India three to four times during his tenure as an undercover agent in Pakistan; he would reach Delhi via Dubai.
- Ravindra Kaushik’s nephew, Vikram Vashisth, says-
In 1979, he carried out a major operation that won him accolades from his bosses. His code name was changed to “Black Tiger,” in recognition of his services.”
- The title “Black Tiger: was given by India’s then home minister S.B. Chavan.
- From 1979 to 1983, Kaushik passed on several valuable information to RAW.
- It was all going well with Kaushik until 1983 when his cover was inadvertently blown out by another Indian agent called Inayat Masiha; who was caught by Pakistan as he was crossing the border. During interrogation, Inayat Masiha broke down and revealed his purpose. He identified Black Tiger and Kaushik was arrested immediately on charges of espionage. At that time, Kaushik was 29-year-old.
- In 1985, Kaushik was awarded the death sentence. However, in 1990, it was converted into life-term. He was kept in various jails in Pakistan including Sialkot and Kot Lakhpat; where he spent the last 18 years of his life.
- He had spent 26 years of his life away from his family and home in unfavourable conditions.
- He was buried behind the Central Jail in Multan.
- During his imprisonment, Kaushik secretly sent out half a dozen letters to his family; telling them of the barbarism he was subjected to. In a letter, he asked:
Kya Bharat jaise bade desh ke liye kurbani dene waalon ko yahi milta hai?”
- In another letter, just three days before his death, Ravindra Kaushik wrote a bitter note:
Had I been an American, I would have been out of this jail in three days.”
- Since 1987, both Kaushik’s brother and ailing mother had made several efforts to urge the Indian Government to secure Kaushik’s release from Pakistan custody. They wrote several letters but got no response. In one such letter, Amladevi wrote to the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee–
Had he not been exposed, Kaushik would have been a senior army officer of the Pakistan government by now and (continued in) the coming years (serving India secretly).”
- According to his brother, Rajeshwarnath Kaushik, the only thing that the Indian Government did after Ravindra’s death was to send his parents some money every month as pension. The family first got ₹500 a month, and after a few years, they began receiving ₹2,000 a month until 2006, when his mother Amladevi died.
- Ravindra’s family claimed that the storyline of the 2012 Bollywood film “Ek Tha Tiger,” starring Salman Khan, was based on the life of Ravindra Kaushik. The 2019 Bollywood film “Romeo Akbar Walter,” starring John Abraham was also slated to be loosely based on Ravindra Kaushik’s life.
- Cherishing the memories of his brother, Rajeshwarnath Kaushik says-
He will always remain important for me, but for the country, he was just another agent.”