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A tribute to Shanmugham Manjunath- the forgotten hero

Professional esteem is something which is being abandoned by many. Many opine that, to live optimally in this world and endure all the challenges, one has to often embrace instruments of survival. Decision making has undoubtedly shifted from ethical to unethical principles that often plague others’ lives. However, this article is a thoughtful narrative of a regrettable incident in the fear mongering insinuations of the present.

Shanmugham Manjunath worked as a manager for Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). He was murdered on November 19th, 2005 for sealing a corrupt petrol station in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, India. His journey as a manager began as soon as he post graduated with an MBA from India’s elite institution- Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L). His journey as an intellectual began right from his childhood. If I were to document and chronicle his journey right from his childhood, I am sure, I require a life-time. So, why was he murdered? For wearing a disciplinary hat? For religiously performing his duties? Well, these are some thorny questions to which perfect answers are unavailable.manjunath

Manjunath proved that management is not just about making Big Money. It is about standing for what is true and what is ethical. It is about embracing a sunny disposition when each and every emotion orchestrates an intricate suite of adversities. What India needs is officers and managers like Shanmugham Manjunath. In a world where everyone is on a relentless quest for a blue-sky state of mind, Manjunath found his true reckoning by performing his duties religiously. He was a product of culture driven by hope, solemnity and conformity. Indian officers should never ever abandon the principles of integrity and professional esteem come what may.

While India boasts of a rich diversity and all the more pleasant vibes, such incidents dwarf the nation’s image. Such incidents will instill not confidence but fear in the minds of sincere officers. It is not about suppressing such incidents but is about preventing such incidents. Decrying corruption is fine, but instant justice is necessarily the need of the hour. Indian judiciary system is pathologically slow. After ten long years, the criminals were arrested and sentenced for life. But, is this justice in the truest sense? How about instant justice? Is it a far cry?  Whatever the reasons are, the murders and conspirators are heartless paranoids.

Somewhere in heaven, Manjunath joined the avant-garde and elitist group of selfless crusaders. There are many unanswered questions and yet with a morsel of hope in the witticism, “Hope lies eternal”, I    sign off for the day with a heavy heart. May his soul rest in peace.

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