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Ravi Belagere, Editor of Popular Kannada Tabloid 'Hi Bangalore!', Dies of Cardiac Arrest at 62

Hi Bangalore editor Ravi Belagere. (News18 Kannada)

Hi Bangalore editor Ravi Belagere. (News18 Kannada)

Belagere, who was known best for the tabloid Hi Bangalore! founded in the mid-1990s, suffered a heart attack while in his office late Thursday night and died the following morning. He was 62. He is survived by two wives, two sons and two daughters.

Deepa Balakrishnan

Prominent Kannada tabloid editor and television anchor Ravi Belagere died on Friday morning in Bengaluru after suffering a cardiac arrest the night before. He was 62 and is survived by two wives, two sons and two daughters.

Belagere, who was known best for the tabloid Hi Bangalore! founded in the mid-1990s, suffered a heart attack while in his office late on Thursday night and died the next morning. He is survived by two wives, two sons and two daughters.

A man who believed in playing with controversy, Belagere's tabloid proved a disruptor in the print world upon its launch in 1995 for the way it treated each story. His forte was telling crime stories and he told them with all their drama and sensationalism, often interviewing those convicted or accused of serious crimes.

Belagere believed that he attempted to humanise criminals and bring out their versions in his stories. However, opinion on that is divided as many believe he ended up glorifying these criminals and left an adverse impact on society.

Hi Bangalore! was so popular that it launched Belagere to instant fame. Legend has it that autorickshaw drivers would wait on the streets for its latest edition to come off the press and they sold like hot cakes.

Other than dabbling in print, Belagere also anchored the popular show 'Crime Diary' on (the then) ETV Kannada for almost three years for five days a week.

The man who thrived on telling crime stories, however, found himself on the wrong side of the law on several occasions. Three years ago, he was accused of attempting to murder a colleague. He was also hauled up for breach of privilege for a report published about an MLA.

"He was basically a good man, but popular writers won't all become role models. He used to write everything in a tantalising way with his command and mastery over language," recalls HR Sireesha, a senior journalist who had worked with him briefly.

As senior journalist Krishna Prasad noted on his Twitter handle 'Churumuri', Belagere had once said the praise he valued most was 'sakkathagi barithane' (roughly translated: 'the bugger writes so well!). This was the one comment he received most from rickshaw drivers, according to Belagere.

Belagere had come to Bengaluru from his hometown of Ballari with just Rs 380, but went on to become a household name due to his tabloid.

The writer had once remarked that his friends would tease him saying that his office was his "Brindavana". It comes as ironic then that he suffered a cardiac arrest resulting in his death while at his desk in the middle of the night.


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