Stories about Bengaluru's underworld made journalist Ravi Belagere famous
BENGALURU: Journalist Ravi Belagere (60) became a household name with his unique and engaging style of writing. His tabloid ‘Hai Bangalore’, started in 1995 and published from his Padmanabhanagar office in the city, was once the most read. Belagere’s column ‘Paapigala Lokadalli’, a series on the Bengaluru underworld opened up the dark world to the public like never before.
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The popularity of the column prompted him to bring out a book in the same name in two parts, which were also best sellers. His another book D-Company on Dawood Ibrahim chronicles his attempts to meet the latter and his conversations with former underworld don Muthappa Rai. From police officers to politicians, writers to wrestlers, celebrities to singers, scandals and scams, underworld, crime, sports, literature, the tabloid covered everything.
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Apart from publishing his own tabloid, he tried his hand in television and silver screen. Crime Diary, episodes of crimes narrated in Belagere’s voice aired on a private channel, was one of the very first crime programmes for the Kannada audience. He even headed a private television channel owned by mining barons but quit soon.
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A native of Ballari in North Karnataka, Belagere did his MA in History and Archaeology from Karnataka University. He came to Bengaluru in 1984 and worked in a publishing house for some time before joining a Kannada daily that had wide circulation in North Karnataka.Ravi Belagere has authored over 50 books and translated some. His latest book Raj Leela Vinoda had stirred up a controversy.
He also launched O Manase, a fortnightly magazine, but it did not run for long. His writing brought him many accolades which include the State Sahitya Academy Award, Shivarama Karanth award, Karnataka Media Academy Award, Rajyotsava award and more.
Meanwhile, he also started Prarthana Education Society which runs a school. The Society does not accept donations from students/parents. He opened a book store called BBC (Belagere Books & Coffee) at Gandhi Bazaar in the city. When BBMP wanted to evict vendors from Gandhi Bazaar, he sat with them in protest.
Belagere acted in a few films and in a tele-serial as well. In his films too, he mostly played the role of an underworld don. According to his website, Belagere was attracted by Leftist ideology but kept himself away from movements and protests as he was disappointed.