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Jose L. Cuisia Jr., chairperson of Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, shows the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardees, from left, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Kim Jong-ki from South Korea, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from the Philippines, Ravish Kumar from India, and Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, for Emergent Leadership, during an event in Manila, Philippines (Photo: AP)
Jose L. Cuisia Jr., chairperson of Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, shows the 2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardees, from left, Angkhana Neelapaijit from Thailand, Kim Jong-ki from South Korea, Raymundo Pujante Cayabyab from the Philippines, Ravish Kumar from India, and Ko Swe Win from Myanmar, for Emergent Leadership, during an event in Manila, Philippines (Photo: AP)

Ravish Kumar showed mirror of reality to those in power: Rahul Gandhi

  • Kumar is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which is Asia's premier prize
  • Rahul Gandhi said Kumar getting Ramon Magsaysay award 'is a matter of pride for journalism'

New Delhi: Several leaders from various political parties on Friday hailed senior journalist Ravish Kumar for winning this year's Ramon Magsaysay Award, with Congress' Rahul Gandhi saying he showed the mirror of reality to those in power without getting scared.

Kumar, 44, who is NDTV India's senior executive editor is one of India's most influential TV journalists, the award citation by the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation said.

He is among five individuals who were declared winners of the award, which is Asia's premier prize and highest honour and celebrates greatness of spirit and transformative leadership in Asia.

"Ravish Kumar, who without fear, without changing, showed the mirror of reality to those in power, getting Ramon Magsaysay award is a matter of pride for journalism. Many, many congratulations!" Rahul Gandhi said in a Facebook post.

Congratulations to Ravish Kumar for being a brave exception in Indian journalism, Gandhi added in a tweet.

"I know many more like him are waiting to stand up and fight this onslaught on India and its institutions," he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who won the Magsaysay Award in 2006 for "emergent leadership", PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were among those who joined Rahul Gandhi in congratulating Kumar.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi hailed him as a journalist who dares to speak the truth and keeps the flame of criticism alive. "I respect his patience," she added.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win! Congratulations @ravishndtv on your success! You have made India proud. Keep up the good work!" Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted.

Kejriwal said he was delighted to hear the great news of Kumar being announced as 2019 Ramon Magsaysay awardee.

"I welcome Ravish to the club of Magsaysay awardees and hope to see his brave journalism go from strength to strength in these difficult times. Many congratulations my friend. Well done," Kejriwal said on Twitter.

People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba described Kumar as one of the few driven by integrity in a sea of media channels that have struck a "faustian bargain" to distort the truth.

"Glad that he's been honoured with 2019 Ramon Magsaysay award. Takes guts to speak up & stand out," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister said.

Swaraj Abhiyan leader Prashant Bhushan said no one deserves the Magsaysay award for journalism more than Ravish Kumar.

"At a time when most journalists have become lapdogs and cheerleaders of those in power, Ravish has shown what real journalism of courage is. Raising real issues and speaking truth to power," Bhushan said in a tweet.

Several other top Congress leaders such as Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and general secretary Jyotiraditya Scindia also congratulated Kumar for winning the prestigious award.

Kumar, born in Jitwarpur village in Bihar, joined New Delhi Television Network (NDTV) in 1996 and worked his way up from being a field reporter.

After NDTV launched its 24-hour Hindi-language news channel - NDTV India - targeting the country's 422 million native speakers of Hindi, he was given his own daily show, "Prime Time".

The programme "deals with real-life, under-reported problems of ordinary people", the citation of the award said.

"If you have become the voice of the people, you are a journalist,"it said.

As an anchor, Kumar is sober, incisive, and well-informed, it said.

His more important distinction, however, comes from the kind of journalism he represents, the citation added.

"In a media environment threatened by an interventionist state, toxic with jingoist partisans, trolls and purveyors of 'fake news,' and where the competition for market ratings has put the premium on 'media personalities,' 'tabloidisation,' and audience-pandering sensationalism, Ravish has been most vocal on insisting that the professional values of sober, balanced, fact-based reporting be upheld in practice," it said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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