Most of the present generation would not even have heard a man called Ravindra Kaushik. He was born in 1952 in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan to a Punjabi family. He was just a teenager and was very enthusiastic in acting and performing in theatre. He wanted to be a good actor and a famous personality, but he never realised that his acting craze would take him to a completely different world and he would have to act in his real life too.
For the every first time the Indian Intelligence spotted the boy during the national drama presentation and his graduation in 1975. No one knows who approached Ravindra Kaushik or how he was made to join the Indian Intelligence. This became the turning incident of his life.
In 2001 this man died in Pakistan but ensured all the secret letters of his was passed on to his mother in India. It wasn’t difficult for him to pass the secret letters and documents across the border to his mother since that is what he was trained to do 30 years back when he first became the undercover agent.
His letters revealed all the inside story of what his life was in the last thirty years.
Ravindra Kaushik joined the Indian Intelligence when he was just in his teenage and was trained to become a SPY and work as an undercover agent for the Indian Intelligence Bureau and Research and Analysis Wing.
He was just 23, when he got complete training on how to be a spy, his mission was to enter Pakistan and pass the secretive information to India. For which he learnt to speak Urdu, got acquainted with the Muslim culture, books and practices and even underwent circumcision which is a topography in Pakistan. He was sent to Pakistan in 1975 and all his records in India were destroyed without any trace. There was no proof that a man called Ravindra Kaushik existed and was an Indian citizen.
His new life started when he landed in Pakistan as Nabi Ahmed Shakir. He joined the Karachi University in Pakistan and studied LLB to create a story that he was from Pakistan before he could join the army. He was trained so well, so he could clear the military assessment and get selected in the Pakistani army. Likewise he was selected in the army and even got promoted to the rank of MAJOR!
From the year 1979 to 1983 he passes on critical information to the Indian Intelligence and the Pakistani army did not have a clue. Because of his extreme intelligence he was named “The Black Tiger” by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself. The information provided were so critical that the Indian Intelligence came to know that they were many insiders within the country who were helping the Pakistani army. They were many political leaders who were hand in glove with separatists, terrorists who mainly worked on occupying Kashmir and disrupt peace in the valley.
During his days in Pakistan he had met a girl called Amanat, they both fell in love with each other and got married. He and Amanat also had a son later.
Everything was going well until 1983, when the Indian Government decided to get in touch with Nabi Ahmed. They sent another spy called Inyat Masiha, he was a undercover RAW officer who came to collect few information from Nabi Ahmed. But the suspicious moves by these two men were soon caught by the Pakistani Intelligence and Nabi Ahmed was immediately arrested and taken into custody. The Pakistani army tortured Ravindra Kaushik for 2 years in prison in most brutal ways and forced him to reveal his true identity. But not once did Ravindra Kaushik reveal a word about him or the Indian Intelligence.
The Pakistani army could not extract any information from him and so he was sentenced to death in 1985. But the Supreme Court then changed the sentence to life imprisonment.
Kaushik spent the next 16 years of his valuable life in many prisons including Mianwali and Sialkot. He was humiliated and tortured in prison and put in filth conditions. After few years due to extreme unhygienic conditions, Kaushik contracted Asthma and even Tuberculosis. His condition got worse day by day with no treatment and facilities and developed heart disease and suffered extreme trauma. He was in the New Central Multan Jail when he was recognized with heart disease. He wasn’t able to recover from the extreme illness and breadth his last in the year 2001.
His ultimate sacrifice for the country even today inspires hundreds of RAW officers and army people who recognize him as “The Black Tiger”. It is told that during his stay in prison he had secretly written his experiences in life, the hardships he faced and how he never gave up the spirit in him. He is still buried behind the Central Multan Jail in Pakistan and was never able to return to his mother land.
Ravindra Kaushik will always be remembered as the greatest SPY India ever had and for his invaluable contribution to the country without seeking any recognition.
Salutes to the great man!!!