Sunday, November 20, 2005

So long, Manju

Manjunath Shanmugam, my batchmate from IIML, gifted singer and friend, was shot dead last night by some antisocials in his business, in the district in UP, where he was a manager for IndianOil.

Manju was known to the entire batch as an awesome singer (especially for a song he used to sing with Badri aka Bhoja called Rama ho... ), with a natural feel for music and could light up your day by his presence.

I am filled with a mixture of shock, grief and anger, due to the suddenness & manner of Manju's death, but I guess the need of the present hour is something else.

He had a smile, forever on his face and invariably used to infect you with his. May god bless his soul.

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Blogger Sunil Prasad M said...

I happened to get to this blog by a link i received to Gavrav's blog by a mail.
Sad end indeed for a person who stood up for his values.
Hope his soul rests in peace. Cheer up.

11/21/2005 11:43 PM  
Blogger Doctor Bruno said...

I don't know what to say.........

We all knew that you have to pay a price for being honest, but of late, it seems one has to pay with his life for being honest

11/22/2005 5:15 AM  
Blogger D said...

will hope that Manju's sacrifice will not be in vain and that the media will not just sensationalize the story. pray that this will lead to a larger consciousness among fellow Indians & a firmer conscience.

p.s. pls try and keep the book related comments out of the comments to this post. you could either mail me or use any other post on my blog

11/23/2005 3:47 AM  
Blogger ShantanuDas said...

Dear Shripad,Dharmendra and other IIM guys

I had received the blog of Shripad by our internal email remembering Manjunath his senior in IIM Lucknow, who worked with us in IndianOil. The mail serves as an apt Obituary giving us all a glimpse of the person that our Manjunath was. I have posted it on our internal Discussion Forum website.

Someone must have probably heard you and today Times of India, New Delhi, carried a front page photo and news on Manjunath’s demise. CNBC too has dealt with that and I am told OTHER TVs too have picked up the case like AAJ TAAK.

I feel deep anger and frustration at what has happened and that such incidents continue to happen in India as you rightly pointed out about Satyendra Nath Dubey. I may tell you that this is not the first time an honest officer of Indian Oil has been killed by corrupt people of the society and their goons.

And there are more such instances found outside IndianOil too.

However you are very much right that nobody seems to care. Nobody seems to care at all. This society does not care at all. Life just goes on.

Today I read on TOI, New Delhi edition, that IIM Lucknow students and Alumni and all other IIMs in India are debating should they enter PSUs? Should they give their lives for such working conditions? Director IIM Lucknow himself is reported saying such things in TOI, New Delhi.

I write to you to share my views on what has happened and what we should do and I would like to contribute to your IIM debate of today as that debate does not concern IIMs alone but our Total Indian SOCIETY. You may like to share this with all your IIM Alumni and directors all over India and give me their feedback too if you want to as a citizen of India and not an employee of IndianOil.

We live in India, which is one of the 100 most corrupt countries in the world if I remember correctly some latest ranking of some study. We are all Indians. Here we see criminals get elected to the assemblies and parliament even from behind bars. Here we see law, Govt. and criminals having an unholy nexus that is holding our society to ransom in a vice like grip not showing any signs of letting go except for occasional lights at the end of the dark tunnel.

Here we see people not caring at all to do anything about all this. Why? – because nobody cares and everybody wants to save themselves.

And here WAS ONE MANJUNATH who cared. CARED ENOUGH TO DIE FOR HIS BELIEFS. Why? Because he was alone. He must have informed about this dealer to all concerned but probably he was not guided how to handle such dangerous people and in his eagerness for his crusade paid by his life.

Why did Satyendra Dubey Die? Because he was alone too.

Nobody wants to die, but can we afford to sit back let the corrupt practices go on and the Goons of this country take over? This is the question I ask all of you.

If capable brains from IIMs say what you are all saying today and want to be away from all this – this dark side of Indian Society, can our SOCIETY EVER IMPROVE?

I have always believed that HONEST People are in majority in this world and even in India. It is the corrupt that are always in minority. But because the honest people do not form groups and coteries and the corrupt ones do they are seen as majorities & they have power to influence everything around us through these unholy groups and links. That is why you will find Veerappans and Telgis and all the likes roaming around freely and being seen in fine company whereas the honest citizens of India cower and lie low.

Then there is that segment of honest people who support these people from the side because of some personal gains & fears. But these are basically honest and will not support for their personal gains if the system improves.

Actually you will find these corrupt people to be cowards if honest people can rise against them in unison.

So what do the honest people do? What do you all do? Easy to say you will not join PSUs. But tell me tomorrow even when you are working in pvt companies like say WIPRO or Infosys where you do not have to deal with corrupt Indians directly as part of your jobs, can you not fall prey to dacoits and hijackers and local goondas? What will you do about them? Do you not want to improve society? Should we keep on crying all the time and ask others to do it for us?

So instead of crying that IIM people should not join PSUs because the working environment is bad there, why do you not see this as a core issue that is plaguing our country from a long time and make some action plan to change all this for a better future, yours and our children’s?

Why not start some groups of likeminded people who can fight corruption jointly, in a right and proper manner and do something about all this? Help our society to improve? How this can be done is what I would like you all to debate upon.

IIMs are known to produce the best brains in INDIA among other such colleges and institutions. So why not the brains think of something to help change Indian Society instead of just wanting to run away and leave our poor society to fend for themselves?

Let the deaths of Manjunaths and Satyendras and so many before them wake us up into some action.

Warm Regards
Shantanu Das
Chief Information Systems Mgr

11/24/2005 9:54 AM  
Blogger ShantanuDas said...

Sorry the blog I refererred to was not by Shripad but by Mr Gaurav Sabnis. In my hurry I forgot to correct the name as the mail had come from him and he was not the author as I found out later.

11/24/2005 10:00 AM  
Blogger Badri said...


When you called me up, never did I realize that such bad and shocking news was in store. Such a sweet n wonderful person meeting this fate.

With every message I'm reading about Manju now, I'm able to feel that my values and morals are tightening a lot more. He used to pat me on the head and give me small lessons on campus along with some beaming laughter. He's done it again this time, just that he's left us all with tears instead of the usual smile.

Manju has given us time to think about the importance of commitment and the need to fight for justice. I pray to God that our sweet Machan smiles around in Heaven like he usually did on campus and I hope that all the culprits are nailed and deservedly punished. I will do whatever it takes to chip in on that front.

11/24/2005 10:07 PM  
Blogger ShantanuDas said...

Here is some official matter hosted on our internal web site (only for IOCians) by our Corporate Communication Group. I think I can share this info with all here.

Stunned looks, dazed expressions, questioning glances….eerie silence…followed by heated debates… It has been dark and desolate days as IOCians struggle to come to terms with the fact that one of their own has been brutally slain. As condolence messages pour in from all corners of the world (yes, his friends have sent us several e-mails from abroad), Manjunath’s untimely and tragic demise has left a void at IndianOil, which is not easy to fill.

Manjunath’s body was flown to his hometown in Kolar, Karnataka, for the last rites. Memories of beautiful times…tearful and sorrowful goodbyes…marked the cremation on 22nd November 2005. Visiting the bereaved family of Manjunath at Kolar, Mr. V C Agrawal, Director (HR), IndianOil, expressed the condolences of the IndianOil family and assured them all support.

Among the first to condemn this “ghastly act of mindless violence”, IndianOil Chairman, Mr. Sarthak Behuria, said in a separate message to Mr. Shanmugham, Manjunath’s father, “The IndianOil family was rudely shocked at the untimely and unfortunate demise of Mr. Manjunath, one of our dear colleagues. IndianOil has truly lost a bright and duty-bound officer. And your family, a loving son…At this hour of grief, the entire IndianOil family joins me in mourning the death of a committed colleague. We all pray to the Almighty to give you and your family the strength to bear this irreparable loss…”

In a special message to IndianOilPeople, Dr. N.G.Kannan, Director (Marketing), said, “The unprecedented brutal murder of our colleague, Mr. S Manjunath, has left all of us in a state of shock… In his untimely and tragic death, he has only made us more determined in our resolve to root out malpractices from our business…We must show to the world that IOCians will not bow down to criminals and tolerate threats from lawbreakers…the Management would always stand by our colleagues in the field, who are toiling hard to conduct business under the most competitive and difficult conditions…”

Manjunath, nicknamed ‘Machan’ by his batchmates, was a happy and passionate soul. He was as popular at IndianOil, as he was with his friends at college. A true IOCian, Manjunath displayed tremendous grit and determination in his fight to weed out malpractices. He was indeed a shining example of the true values that IndianOil stood for in the corporate and social milieu. May his soul rest in peace…


11/26/2005 6:20 AM  

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