New Delhi: While the nation is thronging to movie theaters in overwhelming numbers to see Bollywood super star Salman Khan kick butt in style in ‘Ek Tha Tiger’, it is important to know the lesser known facts about the real ‘Tiger’ of India who lived every day of his life to save the lives of his countrymen.
Meet Ravinder Kaushik, a trained theater artist and more than that a thorough patriot whose desire to save the nation took him to Pakistan as a spy at the time when Pakistan was plotting hard to start a war with India.
Ravinder was sent to Pakistan by RAW as Nabi Ahmed where he did a course in law and then after, joined the Pakistan Army. Later, he was promoted to the rank of a ‘Major’, fell hopelessly in love with a Muslim girl and married her.
Between 1979 and 1983, he sent secret information from Pakistan to RAW which helped a great deal to the Indian defense forces. The data that he sent came handy to the Indian soldiers in killing at least 50 Pakistani troopers in Pahalgaon. For that matter, he was conferred with the title of ‘Black Tiger’ by the Indian government in tenure at that time.
Unfortunately, Ravinder was caught by Pakistan and he was awarded death sentence which was later reduced to life time imprisonment. During his entire lifetime, he was brutally tortured in the various prisons he was kept. His letters to his homeland revealed the dreadful living conditions and barbaric acts of the officials in the Pakistani jails which made him contract pulmonary TB and Asthma. In one of his letters to his family, he wrote "“Kya Bharat jaise bade desh ke liye kurbani dene waalon ko yahi milta hai? (Is this the reward a person gets for sacrificing his life for India?)” but the government failed to rescue him and even provide proper funds to Ravinder`s family to lead their lives.
On 21 November, 2001, India’s Black Tiger breathed his last and was buried behind the jail at Mianwali in Pakistan.
Ravinder Kaushik is a man who did not repent even once on his decision to give a good 30 years of his life to his country. Most heartfelt thanks to the Black Tiger for saving thousands of lives.