Today is 27/11. A day that is almost over at the time of publishing this post. For many, it may have been a day like any other. For some, it may have been a day marking a personal or professional milestone. But 27/11 is no ordinary day. It is a day that no Indian should forget for it was on this day, 8 years ago, that the issue of entrenched corruption in India was brought to the forefront like never before. It was the day that Satyendra Dubey was killed for exposing corruption.
Satyendra Dubey was a bright young engineer and project manager of the Golden Quadrilateral, one of India’s most ambitious road-building projects undertaken by the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI). In a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office in May 2003, he exposed the corruption and irregularities in the road building contracts issued by the NHAI for this project. In the same letter, he also requested for his identity to be kept a secret. The contents of the letter and his identity were ‘leaked’ by the Prime Minister’s Office and on 27 November 2003, he was shot dead in Gaya, Bihar. His murder sparked off an unprecedented public outrage in a country that is quite thick-skinned and immune to such callousness. It would not be incorrect to say that Satyendra Dubey’s was probably the first martyr against corruption in recent times