Ravindra Kaushik who served in (R&AW) ,famously known as Black Tiger was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan on 11 April 1952 in a Brahmin family.
Ravindra during his graduation days used to do drama plays and during this time Kaushik displayed his talent at the national level dramatic meet in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, which was witnessed by officials from the Research and Analysis Wing. After which he was contacted and offered a job of being an undercover Operative for Research and Analysis Wing in Pakistan.
After agreeing to work for R&AW Kaushik was given extensive training in Delhi for two years. He underwent circumcision so he could pass as a Muslim. He was taught Urdu, given Islamic religious education and acquainted with the topography and other details about Pakistan. Being from Sri Ganganagar, a city near Rajasthan’s border with Punjab, he was well versed in Punjabi, which is widely understood in Punjab and Pakistan as well., India. In 1975, at the age of 23, He was sent to Pakistan.
Kaushik was given the cover name “Nabi Ahmed Shakir” and entered Pakistan in 1975. He was successful in getting admission in Karachi University and from where he completed his LLB. He then joined Pakistan Army as a commissioned officer and eventually promoted to the rank of a major. While living in Pakistan under his cover he married a local girl named Amanat, the daughter of a tailor in one of the army units, and with whom he fathered a boy .
From 1979 to 1983, while working as an officer, he passed on valuable information to R&AW which was of great help to India. He was given the title of ‘Black Tiger’ by India’s then home minister late S. B. Chavan.
In September 1983, R&AW sent a low-level operative, Inyat Masih, to get in touch with Kaushik. However, Masih was caught by Joint Counterintelligence Bureau of Pakistan’s ISI and blew Kaushik’s cover. Kaushik was then captured, tortured for two years at an interrogation center in Sialkot. He was given the death sentence in 1985. His sentence was later commuted to a life term by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He was kept in various jails in various cities, including Sialkot, Kot Lakhpat and in Mianwali jail for 16 years. He managed to secretly send letters to his family in India, which revealed his poor health condition and the trauma faced by him in Pakistani jails.He also adresses his thoughts on his country and department. In one of his letters he wrote:
“Kya Bharat jaise bade desh ke liye kurbani dene waalon ko yahi milta hai?” (Is this what people who sacrifice their lives for a big country like India get?”
In November 2001, he was caused with pulmonary tuberculosis and heart disease in Central Jail Mianwali in Pakistan.
He served for Research and Analysis Wing from 1975 to 1983.
“Writing about magic is harder than writing about spies because you’re dealing with something that doesn’t really exist.”-Anthony Horowitz