Hailing from a small town of Motihari, Bihar, Ravish Kumar’s journey has been exceptional. He joined NDTV in 1996, where his primary job was to sort out letters that knocked on NDTV’s mailbox. The work wearied him, he said.
Although he ascended in his career, and became a field reporter and later a studio anchor, sometimes when he looks up at an airplane, he regrets not being a pilot he shared. Throughout his career, he has remained faithful to his job, and this staunch attitude gave him lots of adherents, and more than that triggered his foes.
Kumar has been very critical of the current Modi-led government, but when approached he says, he has been critical of the previous UPA government too. Kumar has an unusual style of anchoring which clicks everyone with its brand of heterodoxy. He has a composed manner of speaking, but he never minces his words. They come out freely and fearlessly as a flower blooms out of its bud.
His show “Prime Time With Ravish”, is a huge sensation in the field of journalism. His criticism of the present government on issues of mob lynching, economic failures, and the extreme right-wing politics created a ruckus for the patrons of BJP, who, in turn, made intimidating remarks on his gallant views on these issues, which bother a significant set of audience.
Why is the disapproval towards the government policies considered anti-national? Kumar says, “I am not anti-national in fact I am pro-national”, he continues ahead, “Even a staunch BJP affiliate would sometimes disassociate with some policies administered by the government but would not mention it as being from the same group, so I become the voice of these people who tend to remain silent, then how am I an anti-national?”
Media is considered as the fourth pillar of our democracy, but today’s lapdog media or ‘Godi media’ has induced a serious threat to our democracy. In this ‘Godi media’ era, Kumar has been a piercing light in the darkness surrounded, this light is enlightening to us but piercing to the ruling regime and its defenders. While addressing the Q&A session on “Bharat Ki Baat, Sab Ke Saath” event at Central Hall, Westminster in London, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he considers criticism as a gold mine and it helps the government to be aware and remain on its toes. Then why threaten Ravish Kumar for providing gold mines to the government?
Kumar’s job-related series in his Prime Time report has raised the concerning voice of the unemployed youth of our country, reports on demonetization and ground reports on election, and his prime time debates are some of the commendable works he has done as a journalist. He has always been respectful while criticising the governance of India’s supremo Narendra Modi.
His debates are not chaotic and have a fruitful outcome, unlike other news channel’s loud debates on unvarying topics, which are communal in a sense. He is playing the role of an opposition in today’s time, the same as he did during UPA’s rule. Kumar says that during the UPA era, opposition leaders such as Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prakash Jawdekar used to call and request him to invite them for debates. Now, after coming to power, they have boycotted NDTV, attributing to the criticism of the government on his show. Perhaps they should have considered criticism as gold mine like Mr Modi.
The award citations call Ravish Kumar a sober, clear thinking and informed anchor who has been outspoken about the non-factual and lie-based reporting, which is seen in abundance today.
To me, his future journey imitates a sloop stuck in high winds, wild tides, and bad weather, but I think he will survive and sail through.
I congratulate him for his achievement of Ramon Magsaysay award, and for serving the nation all these years through his free voice.