Following the resignation of Prannoy Roy and Radhika Roy from RRPRH as directors, veteran journalist Ravish Kumar quit NDTV India. The business tussle which continued for the last 10 years, resulted in Gautam Adani buying a large chunk of the company’s shares.
Ravish Kumar ended his 26-year-long stint with the channel on 30th November. He joined NDTV in 1996 as a reporter, and from there he rose to become the executive editor of the channel. Recipient of several awards, Ravish Kumar had created a niche for himself in an otherwise ‘English speaking’ laden arena.
Many regard Ravish’s resignation from NDTV as the final nail in the coffin of television coverage of news. Ravish Kumar had earlier appealed to the nation to stop watching television news to save democracy.
At a time when news media has become synonymous with a prime-time entertainment show, Ravish Kumar maintained the sanctity of news, journalism, and democracy. As the rest of the Indian media, Hindi, English, and regional languages alike, dived into the facade called ‘Prime Time Debates’, Kumar stuck to his journalistic roots to amplify the voice of the underprivileged, downtrodden, and oppressed classes of the society.
Ravish Kumar was born in a modest Bihari Brahmin Family in 1974. He completed his schooling in Patna and then made his way to Delhi for his higher studies. Moving from a small city to one of the biggest in the world was no less than a cultural shock for a young Ravish Kumar. In several of his interviews, Ravish Kumar opened up about the disparity of the two cultures.
In Delhi, Ravish Kumar completed his graduation from Deshbandhu College, which is affiliated with Delhi University. It was at this time that he discovered his fear of English. Hailing from a small town, Ravish did not know how to speak English. The fear of English-speaking people was so intense that he lived in Govindpuri, which was far from all the ‘English-speaking people’.
“They taught me English, how to eat at a table, how to talk to girls, and how to wear a tie. By the end of my BA, I was still not good in English, but I went on to enroll for an MA in History.”
Shift to Journalism
Before venturing into journalism, Ravish Kumar tried his hand at civil services but could not find much success there. After finishing his BA, Ravish enrolled in MA for his higher studies and that is where his perspective changed.
While studying History at Delhi University, Ravish Kumar was heavily influenced by the late Parthasarathi Gupta. He was regarded to be one of the best history teachers in the country. PSG’s lectures on the concept of urbanisation shaped Ravish’s perspective toward the city.
It was in Delhi that Ravish Kumar met his future wife, Nayana. While pursuing his M.phil Ravish came in contact with Nayana Sengupta and their relationship blossomed. Later he would have to rebel against his parents to marry her.
Tryst with NDTV
Ravish Kumar joined NDTV in 1996. His first job at the channel was of sorting out mails. Through his hard work he went on to become a TV reporter and a Studio anchor. When Ravish Kumar resigned, he was the Senior Executive Editor at NDTV.
Ravish Kumar had always been vocal about his disdain for the ‘star’ culture in newsrooms. He lays immense importance on reporting as comapred to debating. While the rest of mainstream Indian media continued to buy the popular agenda and reflect the same through their content, Ravish stuck to his roots of covering the issues of those in need.
Ravish Kumar became a household name with his shows like Ravish ki Report, Hum Log, and the Prime Time.
Kumar has been awarded on several national and international forums for his unapologetic love and passion for the job.