R. N. Ravi is a retired 1976-batch Indian Police Service Officer of the Kerala cadre. He served as the 18th Governor of Nagaland from 1 August 2019 to 9 September 2021. Ravi was appointed as the 15th Governor of Tamil Nadu on 9 September 2021 by President of India Ram Nath Kovind.
R. N. Ravi, also known as Ravindera Narayan Ravi , was born on Thursday, 3 April 1952 (age 70 years; as of 2022) in Patna, Bihar. His zodiac sign is Aries. He did his post-graduation in physics in 1974. After pursuing his post-graduation, Ravi briefly worked as a journalist in New Delhi. In 1976, he cracked the civil service examinations, becoming an Indian Police Service Officer of the Kerala cadre. Subsequently, he received his IPS training from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Telangana.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper (dyed black)
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Not much is known about his parents & siblings.
Wife & Children
R. N. Ravi is married to Lakshmi Ravi. Together, they have three children, Rahul Ravi, Shefali Ravi, and Shamika Ravi (economist).
R. N. Ravi follows Hinduism.
Indian Police Service
As an IPS officer, R. N. Ravi, served the state of Kerala in various capacities. He also served the nation in various capacities. While serving in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Ravi led several anti-corruption campaigns against criminal syndicates like the mining mafias in India.
He has also served in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s domestic internal security and counter-intelligence agency under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. Being a member of the Intelligence Bureau, Ravi particularly served in the theatres of insurgencies and violence including the North East, Jammu & Kashmir, and Maoist-infected regions. Ravi coordinated with various central agencies to meet the intelligence needs of the country. Ravi retired from his service in 2012 as the special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB). Post retirement, he started writing columns in national dailies. While serving in the Intelligence Bureau, Ravi was often praised for his vast knowledge of northeast India.
In 2014, R. N. Ravi was appointed as the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. Heading the Intelligence Community, Ravi coordinated and guided several agencies to meet the National Security needs of the country. In August, the same year, Ravi was handpicked as interlocutor for the Naga peace talks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national security adviser Ajit Doval. Specialising in the dynamics of human migration in South Asia, Ravi extensively worked on the political sociology of the border population. He made significant efforts to bring several armed rebel groups into peace. He played a pivotal role in resolving the conflicts in the areas affected by ethnic insurgencies. He also helped the country’s international cooperation in counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing by making the genuine stakeholders integral to it. On 5 October 2018, Ravi was appointed as the Deputy National Security Advisor of India. In 2021, he resigned as the interlocutor for the Naga peace talks after serving in the post for several years.
Governor of Nagaland
R. N. Ravi was appointed as the Governor of Nagaland on 20 July 2019 by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. He was preceded by Padmanabha Acharya. He was administered the oath on 1 August 2019 by Arup Kumar Goswami, the acting Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, at Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan in Kohima.
Also serving as the interlocutor, Ravi had a fallout with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) led by Isak Muivah in 2020 as Ravi allegedly tried to manipulate and misinterpret the framework agreement that was signed in 2015.
He remained the governor of Nagaland till 17 September 2021 and was then appointed as the governor of Tamil Nadu.
Governor of Meghalaya (Additional Charge)
On 18 December 2019, R. N. Ravi was assigned additional responsibility as the Governor of Meghalaya; the post was left vacant after Tathagata Roy’s term ended as the governor. Ravi held the additional charge till 26 January 2020.
Governor of Tamil Nadu
R. N. Ravi was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu on 18 September 2021 by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind. He assumed the office of Tamil Nadu Governor on 18 September 2021.
His appointment was questioned by the ruling party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliances Indian National Congress (INC) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi, who alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party had a hidden motive behind his appointment. In April 2022, his move to refer Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict A. G. Perarivalan’s remission plea to the President was questioned by the Supreme Court, stating it was a wrong move as the state cabinet already made a recommendation in the case. On several occasions, Ravi had been criticised by the political analysts in the state for interfering in the administration of the government. He rejected 19 bills including the anti-NEET bill that were passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly from September 2021 to April 2022. On 31 May 2022, Ravi passed 21 pending bills in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
In January 2023, he walked out of the Assembly in the middle of the proceedings after Chief Minister MK Stalin moved a resolution in the assembly asking the Speaker to only take on record the speech prepared by the government and remove Governor’s portions in the customary address.
Writ of Quo Warranto Filed Against Ravi
In November 2022, a writ of quo warranto was filed in the Madras High Court against Ravi by the president of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Kancheepuram district, M Kannadasan. In the petition, M Kannadasan alleged that R. N. Ravi held an office of profit as chairman of the governing board of Auroville Foundation while serving as the Governor of Tamil Nadu. The president in the petition also quoted section 13 of the Auroville Foundation Act, 1988, which said,
The Chairman of the Governing Board shall be entitled to such salary and allowances and such conditions of service in respect of leave, pension, provident fund and other matters as may, from time to time, be fixed by the Central Government.”
He sought the disqualification of the Governor by quoting Article 158 (2) of the Constitution which says,
The Governor shall not hold any other office of profit.”
On 5 January 2023, the petition was dismissed by a bench of Justices ACJ T Raja and D Bharatha Chakravarthy of the Madras High Court, stating that the court could not issue a notice to R. N. Ravi as the Governor’s office had immunity under Article 361 of the Constitution.
‘Tamil Nadu’ vs ‘Tamilagam’
On 4 January 2023, during a programme in Tamil Nadu Raj Bhavan, R. N. Ravi suggested changing the name of the state from ‘Tamil Nadu’ to ‘Tamizhagam.’ His suggestion invited strong objections from various political parties including All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and stirred up a political storm in the state. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state unit has come out in support of it. Stating that ‘Tamizhagam’ meant the ‘abode’ or ‘land’ of the Tamil people and was the name of the ancient Tamil country, Ravi said,
Everything applicable for the whole of the country, Tamil Nadu will say no. It has become a habit. So many theses have been written — all false and poor fiction. This must be broken. Truth must prevail. Tamizhagam is a more appropriate word to call it. The rest of the country suffered a lot of devastation at the hands of foreigners for a long time.”
Walked Out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly
On 9 January 2023, R. N. Ravi created a stir after he walked out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly before the proceedings of the Assembly came to an end with the playing of the national anthem. Apparently, he decided to move out of the Assembly after Chief Minister MK Stalin moved a resolution in the assembly asking the Speaker to only take on record the speech prepared by the government and remove Governor’s portions in the customary address.
Stalin made the move after Ravi had skipped portions of the government-prepared customary address in the Assembly, becoming the first Tamil Nadu Governor to do so. R. N. Ravi had reportedly skipped words like Dravidian model and secularism. He also skipped describing Tamil Nadu as a haven of peace and mentioning the names of leaders like Periyar, BR Ambedkar, K Kamaraj, CN Annadurai, and Karunanidhi. Not only he skipped the portions in the customary address but also added certain aspects on his own.
As a Governor of Tamil Nadu, R. N. Ravi is entitled to a monthly salary of Rs. 3,50,000 plus other allowances fixed for Governors (as of 2022).
- After R. N. Ravi was appointed as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Chingwang Konyak, the President of the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party revealed in a media conversation that the Nagaland government was not happy with his functioning in the state. He also revealed that Ravi often interfered with government affairs during his tenure as the Governor of Nagaland.
- Apparently, the journalists of the Kohima Press Club (KPC) didn’t show up at the state farewell programme for Ravi as Ravi denied any interaction with the media despite numerous requests.
- As of 2022, R. N. Ravi is also serving as the Chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tamil Nadu.