Ravindra Kaushik, ‘The Black Tiger’- India’s Greatest Spy
‘The Lives They Lead. The Secrets They Keep.’ The world of a spy is full of secrecy, stupor camouflaged, and torture. Yet these atrocities don’t get as an obstacle towards the path of patriotism. A spy or a secret agent is a person who keeps a secret watch on a person or thing to obtain useful information and in this case, for their nation. The tales of their bravery and gallantry cannot be confined to words and recites in the heart of their people forever.
One such eternal tale is of Ravindra Kaushik also known as The Black Tiger, an Indian secret agent considered to be one of the greatest spies of the bygone era who was able to penetrate through the ranks of the Pakistan army. Unfortunately, his story is left behind and forgotten beneath the sands of time. Kaushik was an undercover RAW agent deployed in Pakistan until he was arrested and died in captivity. Thanks to this modern era of biographies that the director Raj Gupta has decided to essay the life story of this legendary hero onto the big screen. The much-needed movie to shed light on the perfidy life of Indian Spies and the faith that follows.
Ravindra Kaushik: The Black Tiger
Kaushik was born on 11th April 1952 to a Brahmin family based in Sri Ganganagar in Rajasthan. His father also served in Indian Air Force before his retirement. Kaushik was a man of great talents especially in the field of acting. During his younger years, he joined theatre and used to perform at several stages to represent his incredible acting skills. Among his much performance, one is the national level dramatic meet of Lucknow where he stole the sight of RAW officials. Impressed by his acting skills these officials first got in touch with him and requested him to join the force. At the tender age of 23, Kaushik went undercover for the Indian intelligence agency. He was an agent in disguise from India send to infiltrate the Pakistani Army.
Before posting in Pakistan, Ravindra Kaushik went through rigorous training for the period of two years, which involves learning Urdu, getting acquainted with the Quran and other Islamic religious texts. He also learned the topography of Pakistan. In 1974, he was sent to Pakistan where he went on to complete his LLB from the Karachi University. Upon his arrival to Pakistan, Kaushik’s records were destroyed back in his hometown and he gained a new identity of Nabi Ahmed Shakir. Later he joined the Pakistani army and then became a commissioned officer. Soon he was promoted to the rank of a Major. During this period, Ravindra Kaushik fell in love with a local girl Amanat and married her from whom he had a son.
Imprisonment and The Life After
During the time span of 1979 to 1983, he passed on important information to India without getting caught. In 1979, he went on and performed a major task; it was such a dedication that gained him a new name of The Black Tiger by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. It was the year 1983 when a raw agent named Inyat Masiha went to visit Kaushik but was caught by Pakistani officials. During his interrogation, he revealed the secret identity of Kaushik. The black tiger was arrested and sentenced to death, whereas the punishment later shifts to life imprisonment in 1985. He spent 18 years in the Pakistani cell and died in captivity.
“Kya Bharat jaise bade deshon ke liye kurbani dene walon ko yahi milta hai?” – Ravindra Kaushik.
While alive, Ravindra Kaushik often sneaked several letters to his family in India where he revealed the torture he received during the first two years. He also talked about the trauma he suffered. However, despite all the pleas by his family since 1987- being 18 years in prison, Kaushik received no help from his motherland and died on foreign soil. After all the struggle, sacrifices, and compromises, his fate remained just the same as the rest of our spies. It was the November of 2001 when India lost its gem to pulmonary tuberculosis and a heart attack. Kaushik died in the New Central Multan Jail of Pakistan.
Upon hearing the news of his death, Kaushik’s father died of shock and heart attack soon followed by his mother Amladevi. His younger brother holds the Indian government accountable for their death. There is no much story about his wife after his captivity, though it was released that his son died somewhere around 2012.
We do believe like every other hero, he must have too celebrated his death and died proudly and honored though it makes us despise the government for doing nothing for its soldiers while they did everything. Like all real spy sagas, his sacrifice too remained unknown and unacknowledged.