Belagere vs Bhat spat in television free-for-all

The front page of 'Kannada Prabha' on Tuesday, in which a Hubli journalist claims to have broken a story long before 'Hi! Bangalore' editor Ravi Belagere, who is claiming credit for it from the makers of the film, 'Bheema Teeradalli'

PALINI R. SWAMY writes from Bangalore: A veritable dogfight has broken out in Bangalore between a 24×7 Kannada news channel owned by the MP, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and the owner-editor of a weekly Kannada newspaper.

On the surface, the dispute is over credits for a recently released Kannada film.

But, deep down, the spat has served as a platform for some unabashed shadow-boxing between two leading Kannada journalists that has already seen plenty of bile being spilled on the tabloid editor’s parentage, his sexual exploits and financial dealings, not to mention his journalistic vocabulary and targets.

And everybody from film folk to co-journalists have been happily indulging in a slugfest that has also become a TRP battle between the two leading Kannada news channels.


When the Kannada film “Bheema Teeradalli” opened last Friday, Ravi Belagere, the editor of the popular Hi! Bangalore  tabloid popped up on the No.1 Kannada news channel TV9.

He claimed it was he who had unearthed the story of Chandappa Harijan, on whom the film had allegedly been based, but he had neither been consulted by the film makers nor acknowledged in the credits or compensated for it.

All through the TV9 show, the film’s producer, director and actor hemmed and hawwed on where they had suddenly found the inspiration for the film while Belagere, a regular face on Ramoji Rao’s ETV, tore into them.


The moment the two-hour TV9 show ended on Saturday, the scene of action shifted to Suvarna News 24×7, Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s news channel whose editor-in-chief is Vishweshwar Bhat and whose friendship with Ravi Belagere has seen better times.

(Belagere used to write a weekly column for Vijaya Karnataka edited by Bhat and Bhat played a guest role in a film produced by Belagere that didn’t quite see the light of day.)

Ravi Belagere (centre), in happier times with Vishweshwar Bhat, at the mahurat of the film 'Mukhya Mantri, I love you', in Bangalore in November 2007

For months, the two Bangalore journalist-friends turned foes had been at each other throats, more in private than in public. It’s been open season since the film row broke.

On one night on Suvarna News, Pratap Simha, the news editor of Kannada Prabha (a Kannada daily owned by Chandrasekhar and edited by Bhat) and who had been the attacked in a cover story in Belagere’s publication earlier, threw a series of challenges to the tabloid editor.

On another night, the publisher of a competing tabloid pulled out love letters allegedly written by Belagere. A telephone caller, who claimed he was a police inspector, called Belagere “loafer” and “420” on-air.


Ravi Belagere again reappeared on TV9 to explain the many photographs and videos he had shot to prove his “intellectual property rights” over the disputed film, but the film’s key men had parked themselves in the Suvarna studios.

In between, Kannada Prabha jumped in to the action.

On page one on Tuesday, it led with the account of another journalist T.K. Malagonda, who claimed he had written about Chandappa Harijan long before Belagere, and that he had provided all the information and photographs to him and that he had not been acknowledged for his effort—the very claim Belagere was making.

On Tuesday night, Suvarna News went one step further. As the two-hour show went on, a crawler ran on TV screens: “If who have been harassed by Ravi Belagere, please dial 080-40977111.”

A long and famous friendship, it seemed, had come to an end in full public view.

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27 Responses to “Belagere vs Bhat spat in television free-for-all”

  1. sunitha Says:

    Being a senior journalist Ravi Belagere should know that everybody has their rights to express. there are many versions of Ramayana & Mahabharat.everybody have tried to interpret the characters of these to epics from their own point of view, this makes them get renewed again and again.Moreover the content of the most controversial movie is unfit to be discussed ,it’s a waste of time

  2. asha Says:

    Both V Bhat and R Belagere are culprits here…when they were bum chums, did they not know about each others dealings and deeds….for us the poor hapless readers and viewers of these tabloids/newpapers/tv channels, this is free entertainment…I wish more journalists fight with each other and wash their dirty linen in public so that they stand exposed and we get entertainment of a different kind…in fact suvarna should rope in B K Shivaram, the police officer who Ravi Claims is very close to him and ask him some pointed questions on why Shivaram used to take RB on night beat when he was a ACP….that would add some extra spice to the tv show and also Suvarna can invite Agni Sridhar, a one time under world don and a reformed(?) journalist(?) to also shed some light on RB’s dealings with the flesh trade in bangalore. We have some exciting times ahead….we will be back right after these messages :)

  3. G Says:

    …RB obba burudae basava and has built his business by blackmailing people and talking bullshit…VB obba chupa rustum and is shooting from PP’s shoulders. VB should grow a pair and sort the problem out like a man. ..We the kannadigaru are the misfortunes who have to bear these men on prime time TV..

  4. December Stud Says:

    Dang, I like them both….but I like one of them just a little bit more than the other ;)

    OK, now that I have added my useless comment, I hope this news is still active and alive for a few more months. This is indeed the kind of headline I expect to read in newspapers daily!!!

  5. suraj Says:

    Its sad that VB, PS using electronic media to settle the score on RB the debate on tv was one sided i think Rajeev Chandrasekhar, should step in to stop such thing or give the RB a to express Or counter the allegation made by PS

  6. Doddi Buddi Says:


    … RB comes off as a very sanctimonious AH on this matter.

  7. Honest Journalist Says:

    Some one invest huge money to one channel or news paper called owner of that firm. some come to there as employee but they use that channel or news paper as their own. i think here mistake is of the owner . how can he allow these people to use produce their agenda like this way even with out investment. good luck rajeev chandrashekhar good luck.

  8. vishwanath Says:

    As ur an journlist ask ur soul that u did not done any courpation in ur professional than we will support u

  9. Anitha Says:

    Ravi Belagere is the worst kind of journalist possible. Like Pratap Simha rightly put it on Suvarna News the other day, he is one big coward. A coward who will not write a word on a celebrity when he/she is alive but comes out with all possible lies once the person is dead.

    In his book “Paapigala Lokadalli” he writes about Kotwal and Jairaj but refrains from writing anything on Rai. Trust me friends, if Rai were to croak today, tomorrow this bum will unabashedly write all kinds of stories about Rai. He just doesnt have the guts to write the same when Rai is alive.

    If there is one thing I admire this joker, it is for his confidence. Confidence to pass off as his own, what he has actually copied from some one!!

  10. batta Says:

    Both have plenty to answer for

  11. Deepak Says:

    The question is which channel will pull of a coup by getting Belagere and Pratap Simha together for a debate. Simha has already challenged RB for a debate, if he doesn’t accept, it will be a loss of face for him.

  12. Pramod Says:

    Both wrote lots of books, guidelines on journalism. Role models for journalism. ಓದುವುದು ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ ಇಕ್ಕುವುದು ಗಾಳ

  13. asha Says:


    Well said…and VB comes off as a cut and paste journalist. I am yet to read anything original written by this guy.

  14. Deepak Says:

    @Asha – Forget VB look at his protege Pratap Simha, he is a better writer than RB on many counts.

  15. Honest Journalist Says:

    ವಿಶ್ವನಾಥ್ ಅವರೇ, ನನಗೇ ನೀವು ಕೇಳಿದ್ದಾಗಿದ್ದಾದರೆ ನಾನು ರೆಡಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಮುಖತಃ ಭೇಟಿಯಾಗಿ ನಾನು ಯಾರು ಎಂದು ಗೊತ್ತಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಆಗ ನೀವು ಬೇಕಾದಶ್ಟು ಎನ್ ಕ್ವೈರ್ ಮಾಡಬಹುದು. ಸೀನಿಯರ್ ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ (ಈಗ ಹಣ ಮಾಡುವ ಹುದ್ದೆಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದೂ) ನಲ್ಲಿದ್ದೂ ನಾನು ಇನ್ನು ಪರಿಶುದ್ಧನಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಕೇವಲ ಲಂಚ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳದಿರುವುದು ಮಾತ್ರವಲ್ಲ ಬೇರೆಲ್ಲಾ ವಿಶಯದಲ್ಲೂ ಪರಿಶುದ್ದನಾಗಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಮಾಡಲು ಅಸಾಧ್ಯವೆಂದಲ್ಲ, ಅಂತಹದ್ದನ್ನು ಮಾಡಬಾರದು ಎಂದು ಮನಪೂರ್ವಕವಾಗಿ ನಿರ್ಧರಿಸಿದ್ದರಿಂದಲೇ ನಾನು ಇಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕೆ ಇಳಿದಿಲ್ಲ. ಅಂತಹ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುವವರ ಸಹವಾಸವನ್ನು ಬಹಳಶ್ಟು ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಮತ್ತು ಲಂಚ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಪತ್ರಕರ್ತರಿಗೆ ಈ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನೇರವಾಗಿ ಮುಖಾಮುಖಿಯಾಗಿ ಬುದ್ದಿವಾದ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ಈಗ ಕೇಳುತ್ತೇನೆ ನಿಮ್ಮಲ್ಲಿ ನೀವು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಆತ್ಮಸಾಕ್ಷಿಯಾಗಿ ಭ್ರಶ್ಟಾಚಾರ ಮಾಡಿಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತೀರಾ ?

  16. Ashu Says:

    PS inviting RB for a public debate on any issue including geopolitics. Debating competition..How childish. May be he wants to keep an age old tradition alive and earn the titles of Vadiraja and Vadibrahma..:)

  17. Shekhar Says:

    Please dont purchase “Hi Bengaluru ‘of this week. Because it will be full of blasting VB and his team. Please dont waste your 15 Rupees. ( Sorry, I dont know the cost of “Hi Bengaluru” because I left reading it years ago.

  18. cinderellaman Says:

    @Ashu: Exactly my thoughts

  19. sanjeeva Says:

    RB is self-trumpeteer, bombastic. VB is dud. VK survived only because of few good columnists. Its headlines were horrible, funny and idiotic.

  20. chanakya Says:

    Sad thing is; VB and RB are two faces of a coin…VB is happily misusing RC’s channel to settle personal scores….this is worst journalism….

  21. asha Says:

    For those of you who are interested…here is an interesting article from Kendasampige…

  22. sudhir Says:

    It’s sad that two well known Kannada journalists are washing their dirty linen in public. Settle your differences in private and do what you are supposed to do as journalists: Report news and keep your views to yourselves

  23. Srini Says:

    The programme started off as “Bheema teeradalli…” but ended up at “BeLagere teeradalli…” !!! The discussion curtly turned from the movie makers’ defense at RBs allegations to a full fledged attack over RB. (Maybe they thought that attack is the best defence) But a very poor programme on the whole. It had only sensationalism, no proof and nothing much was discussed in an objective manner. I feel this to be more of a cold war between the TRP hungry news channels than the hostility between a few individuals. Sad to see that even the top two private kannada news channels have turned towards providing such cheap gimmicks and passing them off as exclusive panel disscussions. More reasons to avoid these (masala) news channels.

  24. darshan Says:

    after i saw in suvarna news,then oly i came to knw abt ravibelegeri. . .he is a roudi. . . .don. . i thnk he stil carry atleast 2 guns with him. . .

  25. nonda kannadiga Says:

    I am really pissed of both Bhat and Ravi belegere.
    Both of you are misusing and kind of doing rape of the journalism .

    Both of you are using valurable time and medium for your personal hatterdness . Shame on you ..

    Bhat is effectively using Pratap simha .
    No need to tel about Ravi belegere …a crook ..

  26. asha Says:


    Visit this bozo belagere’s website….( and check out his latest photos….he looks like a buffoon straight out of circus wearing all those flashy shirts on his shrunken frame. He can scare the shit out of little kids in Gandhibazar and can be used as a scare crow in devegowda’s farm :) After all the megative exposure that this guy received on Suvarna Jugalbandhi, he is going to be history pretty soon….V bhatt finally had his revenge

  27. Faldo Says:

    Too often members of the media pass judgment on people in other walks of life such as politicians, industrialists or lawyers, and offer sanctimonious advice on how they should behave. This time it seems the shoe is on the other foot.

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