BENGALURU: Noted journalist and writer Ravi Belagere (62) passed away early on Friday morning at his office on the premises of Hai Bangalore!, a popular Kannada tabloid, in Bengaluru, after a massive heart attack. He was rushed to a private hospital, where he breathed his last. He is survived by two wives, two sons and two daughters.
Known for his writing style, Belagere was honoured with many awards, including the Karnataka Sahitya Academy award, Kannada Rajyotsava awar, Karnataka Media Academy award and many more. Also an educationist, Belagere started Prarthana School, where his mortal remains were kept for the public to view, before being taken to the crematorium.
In a tweet, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said he was saddened by Belagere’s demise, adding that he was a popular journalist, writer and anchor who ran educational institutions too. "I pray to the almighty to give courage to his family and fans to bear the loss," he tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol said, "Belagere was a good journalist and writer... he was also a philanthropist, who has done social work, including providing free education for the needy. His demise is a big loss to the field of journalism."
Some of his bestsellers include the Kannada translation of John Dalvi's Himalayan Blunder, Nee Hinga Nodabyada Nanna and Indireya Maga Sanjaya. Belagere started his career as a History lecturer and worked at Ballari, Hassan and Hubballi before heading to Bengaluru in 1984.
The veteran journalist was also associated with the people and families of gangsters of the Bheema River banks. Belagare penned a book on the real-life story of the gangsters, titled Bheema Theerada Hanthakaru, which was published in 2001, and turned into a bestseller.
T Malagond, a senior journalist who had helped Belagere communicate with the gangsters of Indi, said, "Ravi Belagere's first visit to Vijayapura in 1996 was only with the intention to report on the gang wars in his weekly tabloid. He did extensive research and risked his life to meet the gangsters between 1996 and 2000."