Ravindra Kaushik

Ravindra Kaushik (11 April 1952 – November 2001) was a Research and Analysis Wing agent, who spied against Pakistan from 1975 to 1983.

Ravindra Kaushik
Ravinder Kaushik former RAW agent.jpg
Ravindra Kaushik
Born(1952-04-11)11 April 1952[1]
DiedNovember 2001(2001-11-00) (aged 49)[2]
Other namesBlack Tiger
Alma materUniversity of Karachi
Known forSpying for R&AW
Criminal chargeEspionage
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment
(m. 1976)
Espionage activity
Allegiance India
AgencyResearch and Analysis Wing
Service years1975–1983
AliasNabi Ahmed Shakir

Also named as The Black Tiger, he is considered as one of India's greatest spies.[2]

He penetrated the Pakistan Army and reached till the rank of Major.[3][4]

Early lifeEdit

Ravindra Kaushik was born in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan on 11 April 1952 in a Brahmin family. His father, J. M. Kaushik, was an Indian Air Force officer; his mother Amla Devi died in 2006.[5] He did his graduation from S. D. Bihani P. G. College, Sri Ganganagar, earning a B.Com and was involved with theatre acting while in college when he was recruited by the R&AW.[6]

Recruitment in Research and Analysis WingEdit

Kaushik was trained in Delhi for two years to be an undercover Operative in Pakistan. He was also trained to live life as a Muslim and was taught Urdu language. Being from Sri Ganganagar, a city near Rajasthan's border with Punjab, he was well versed in Punjabi, which is widely understood in Punjab (India) and Pakistan as well.[7] In 1975, at the age of 23, he was sent to Pakistan.[2]

Activities in PakistanEdit

Kaushik converted to Islam, underwent circumcision and was given the cover name "Nabi Ahmed Shakir".[7] After successfully getting admission in Karachi University, he completed his LL.B. After his graduation, joined Pakistan Army as a commissioned officer and was eventually promoted to the rank of major.[8] He married a local girl named Amanat, the daughter of a tailor in one of the army units, and fathered a boy who died in 2012–2013.[7][9]

From 1979 to 1983, Kaushik worked as a Pakistani army officer. As trained at R&AW, he was sending valuable information to R&AW which was of great help to India. He was given the title of 'Black Tiger' by the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi.

Death and aftermathEdit

In September 1983, R&AW sent a low-level operative, Inyat Masih, to get in touch with Kaushik. But, Masih was exposed by Joint Counter-intelligence Bureau of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and blew Kaushik's cover.[2] Kaushik was also 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.[7] 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. 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?)[2]

In November 2001, he succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis and heart disease in Central Jail Mianwali in Pakistan.[2]

According to Ravindra's family, Indian government had refused to recognise him and had made no effort to help him.[2]

Ravindra's family claimed that the storyline of the famous Bollywood flick Ek Tha Tiger released in the year 2012 was based on the life of Ravindra and asked for credit in the movie titles for Ravindra. But the director Kabir Khan denied their claim.[10] Romeo Akbar Walter, a 2019 Indian film written and directed by Robbie Grewal is loosely based on his activities in Pakistan, John Abraham plays the role of Ravindra Kaushik in the film.

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

  • S Hussain Zaidi; Brijesh Singh (2018). Dangerous Minds: Eight Riveting Profiles of Homegrown Terrorists. Penguin Random House. pp. 61–63. ISBN 978-93-86495-99-0.
  • Presley Thomas (6 December 2009). "The real life behind a 2002 spy thriller". Hindustan Times.


  1. ^ "Salman Khan's new movie in controversy again". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "India's forgotten spy – Agent's family fights an impossible battle". Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Story of RAW agent, Ravinder Kaushik, who worked as a Pakistan Army Major - Forgotten hero". The Economic Times. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  4. ^ "India's soldiers in shadows: Remembering Ravindra Kaushik's supreme sacrifice for nation - All you need to know about 'Black Tiger'". TimesNow. 10 August 2022. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  5. ^ Umak, Lokesh. "Ravindra Kaushik on sacrificing his life for India". Weekendreads. Retrieved 18 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ rashid, sumaira. "Ravindra Kaushik, 'The Black Tiger'- India's Greatest Spy". The Indianness. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d "Late spy's kin fight for reel life credit". Archived from the original on 24 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "Story of RAW agent, Ravinder Kaushik, who worked as a Pakistan Army Major - Forgotten hero". The Economic Times. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  9. ^ "The real life behind a 2002 spy thriller". Hindustan Times. 6 December 2009. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Dead RAW agent's nephew takes Salman's Ek Tha Tiger producers to court". 27 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.