Ravindra Kaushik, also known as “The Black Tiger,” is known as one of India’s greatest spies who penetrated the ranks of Pakistan’s military. This article will explore the life of Ravindra Kaushik, his journey as a spy, and how he became a forgotten hero of India.
Ravindra Kaushik, born on April 11, 1952, in Sriganganagar, a Rajasthani town adjacent to the Indo-Pakistan border, was a remarkable spy who infiltrated the Pakistani military and reached the rank of Major.
He worked for the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and spied against Pakistan from 1975 to 1983. In this article, we will look at the story of Ravindra Kaushik and how he went from being an ordinary theater artist to becoming India’s greatest spy.
Ravindra Kaushik was born and brought up in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, on April 11, 1952. His childhood was set against the backdrop of the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971. Ravindra Kaushik’s father was a LIC agent, and his mother was a housewife. He had three siblings, and the family was a typical middle-class family.
Ravindra Kaushik Education and Career
Ravindra Kaushik was an excellent student and completed his studies in Rajasthan. He went on to graduate from DAV College, Kota. After completing his studies, he went to Delhi to pursue a career in theater. He was an outstanding performer and made a name for himself in the theater community.
He was known for his excellent acting skills and his passion for the arts. It was during this time that he was recruited by RAW to spy for India against Pakistan.
Becoming “The Black Tiger”
Ravindra Kaushik’s recruitment by RAW was a turning point in his life. He was given intensive training in espionage, including the Urdu language, which he needed to communicate effectively while in Pakistan. He was given a new identity as Nabi Ahmed Shakir and sent to Pakistan to gather intelligence.
He was able to penetrate the ranks of the Pakistan Army and eventually rose to the rank of Major. His code name was “The Black Tiger,” and he was considered one of the greatest spies in Indian history.
Recruitment by R&AW
Kaushik’s life took a turn when he was spotted by officials from India’s foreign intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) during a theater performance in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow.
Impressed by his skills, R&AW recruited him as a spy, and he underwent extensive training in spycraft, including communication skills, weapons handling, and codes and ciphers.
After completing his training, Kaushik was sent to Pakistan on a mission. He adopted the name Nabi Ahmed Shakir and managed to infiltrate the Pakistani army. He gained the trust of senior army officials and provided valuable intelligence to R&AW for nearly a decade. He also married a local woman and had two children with her.
Captured and Imprisoned
However, Kaushik’s cover was blown in 1983 when another undercover agent sent by R&AW to get in touch with Kaushik revealed the true nature of his work during an interrogation by the Pakistani forces. On the instructions of Pakistani intelligence officials, the agent, Inyat Masiha, disclosed Kaushik’s identity, and he was captured and imprisoned.
Ravindra Kaushik soon caught the attention of the Pakistan Army, and he was recruited as a commissioned officer. He quickly rose through the ranks and eventually became a Major. During his time in the Pakistan Army, he passed on crucial information to RAW, which helped India in several critical operations.
Tortured and Forgotten
Kaushik was subjected to brutal torture in Pakistani custody for two years. His family was not informed about his whereabouts for several years. Despite repeated efforts by the Indian government, Kaushik was not released, and he spent most of the last 16 years of his life in prison.
He was denied consular access and basic human rights, and his health deteriorated over time. Kaushik died in prison in 2001, and his body was never returned to India for a proper burial.
The High Cost of Espionage
Ravindra Kaushik’s story is a tragic reminder of the high cost of espionage. Spies risk their lives to gather intelligence and protect their countries, but their service often goes unrecognized, and they are forgotten once captured. Kaushik’s sacrifice for his country was not honored either alive or after death.
After eight years of working as a spy in Pakistan, Ravindra Kaushik’s secret identity was exposed. In 1983, another RAW undercover agent sent to meet him revealed the true nature of his work during an interrogation by the Pakistani forces. He was arrested, tortured, and kept in jail for sixteen years. In 1985, he was sentenced to death for spying, but the punishment was later reduced to life imprisonment.
Despite his untimely and unfortunate end, Ravindra Kaushik’s story has inspired several movies, books, and documentaries. He is remembered as a brave and dedicated spy who put his country before his own life. His exploits have also been a source of inspiration for future generations of RAW agents.
Despite the hardships he faced, Kaushik never revealed any information about his handlers or his activities as a spy. His dedication to the cause of Indian intelligence and his unwavering loyalty earned him the respect of his fellow agents and the Indian government.
In India, Kaushik is remembered as a hero who sacrificed his life for his country. His story has inspired several books, movies, and TV shows, including the movie “Ek Thi Daayan,” which is loosely based on his life. His legacy serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by intelligence agents and the crucial role they play in safeguarding national security.
Kaushik’s life and legacy have also sparked debates about the ethical and moral implications of espionage. Some argue that the use of undercover agents and espionage is necessary to protect national security, while others criticize the practice as being unethical and a violation of human rights.
Regardless of one’s stance on the issue, there is no denying that Kaushik’s bravery and dedication to his country have left an indelible mark on India’s intelligence history. His legacy serves as a reminder of the importance of national security and the sacrifices made by those who work tirelessly to protect it.