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Ravish Kumar – People´s journalist in the cacophony of fake news and Bikau media

Ravish will be remembered in history as an inspiring example of an uncompromising commitment to the citizen’s rights of freedom and dignity in an avowed democracy.

Ravish Kumar, popularly known as Ravish, has emerged in the last few years as the conscience keeper of the nation. He occupies the place in the hearts of millions who sit before the TV sets every evening at 9 PM to watch him speak their thoughts and express their agony about the shrinking space of media and the rampant spread of fake news.
His viewers are spread over all continents. Wherever in the world, Hindi is spoken, understood, there Ravish has his fans. They watch his shows, read his blogs and circulate these among the network of their friends. Thus ravish has now become the daily news in India.

Awards and Recognition

His work has brought him many distinguished awards, the latest being the Roman Magsaysay Award from the Philippines based Magsaysay Foundation. In 2016, he has been chosen as the best journalist by the Bombay Press Club. He received the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2013 and again in 2017. In the same year, he also received the Kuldip Nayar Foundation Journalism award.  There are literally dozens of other awards that have been showered on him. During the selection process for the First Gauri Memorial Award, the Jury Members unanimously came up with his name. What is about this 43 years old young man, coming from a Bhojpuri background, educated entirely within India and engaged in journalism in Hindi— and not English, like the founder of NDTV Pranav Roy – that has caught the imagination of the entire nation?

Ravish- The person, the scholar, the anchor

Ravish is not an aggressive news-TV anchor. One has never heard him shout at the persons with whom he is in a discussion. Ravish has the ability to listen very intently to everyone he engages with. He puts into his silence a rather strange kind of skepticism, the independence of his thoughts.  He does not use his position as the show-anchor either to belittle or to bolster-up the ego of his respondents. In all his shows, he is aloof and alert at the same time, empathetic and skeptical at the same time. And, in between his sentences, he comes up with a unique kind of smile that has now become the brand icon for Ravish. It is the smile of a sensitive person who knows that the media in India has caved in, has hit the rock-bottom, has become a theatre of noise and empty-posturing. His smile is a mix of scorn, frustration, irony and non-violable independence of his mind. It seems to say, “I know what you are up to, but I know you are wrong.”
Ravish comes to his studio well prepared. He is an avid reader and when he reads anything, he reads it carefully. He had once called me on his ‘Prime Time’ show for an hour-long discussion on language diversity in India. That morning, some of my books were getting released in a Delhi auditorium. I noticed that he attended the entire programme; and when he left quietly, he left a number with a friend asking me to call. After my book release event was over, I did so. He then asked me to come to the NDTV studio for recording a conversation. I thought his questions would be based on what he had heard in the lectures that morning. I was pleasantly surprised to see in his hand two of my books. Our discussion made it amply clear that he had read both of the books quite deeply. And, these were not light reading. He must have spent at least a week pouring over them. This, I thought, was quite unusual. I have been interviewed by many other journalists. But, in very few cases, I have seen them come really so well prepared. Ravish was simply the very best among them.


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June 2024


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