Remembering Satyendra Dubey

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.

Source: http://www.rediff.com/news/dubey.htm

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

Even 8 years later and forgotten by everybody save his family and a few people who tweeted about him or wrote about him today, there are some unanswered questions.

  • Would Satyendra have lived today if he had kept quiet or if his name had not been leaked out?
  • What if he had chosen to look the other way as many of us do?
  • What if he had chosen to remain ‘loyal’ to the organisation that employed him, the NHAI, and not fight for greater public good?
  • Why is the system unable to protect individuals like Satyendra Dubey?
  • Why do have so many anti-corruption movements now and then, and then forget about them after some time?
  • Why do we forget people like Satyendra Dubey?

Satyendra Dubey exemplifies ethics, morals, values, beliefs, personal choices, integrity…  all qualities that we admire and expect in our interactions with others. Unfortunately, it were these very laudable qualities that cost Satyendra Dubey his life. The name Satyendra, means ‘Lord of Truth’. Isn’t it ironical that Satyendra Dubey he was murdered for telling the truth?

Notes:

  1. For those who came in late and for those who have forgotten, you can read more about the Satyendra Dubey case here, here and here.
  2. I also came across this YouTube trailer of a documentary on Satyendra, which I recommend you to see.
  3. An earlier version of this post can be found here.

Update (April 8 2012): Crime Patrol, a serial aired on Sony Entertainment Television, aired an episode on Satyendra Dubey on April 6, 2012.

38 thoughts on “Remembering Satyendra Dubey

  1. It would have been lot better had we known Satyendra Dubey as a whistle blower sincere to his job and loyal to his country than remembering him on his death anniversary. How many Satyendra Dubey’s out there waiting to see them recognized alive than dead. They need protection, recognition and last not the least, massive public support.

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    1. I don’t like the term whistleblower as I feel it is equated with the word sneak, and therefore has negative connotations. But yes, people like Satyendra Dubey should be protected, recognised and feted and supported. Sadly, we are a nation that remembers and ‘celebrates’ death anniversaries.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  2. Trust Sudha to come up with this wonderful reminder! I am afraid I am one of those who had forgotten him. thanks for reminding me about his fight against corruption. Shared your post on FB.

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  3. I am also guilty of not remembering….sharing your post Sudha. Thanks for the gentle reminder…..keep doing it often…we are a nation which sleeps and forgets as easily.

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  4. Thanks for this blog Sudha. It is easy to forget in this media crazed nation. It is indeed a shame that whistle blowers and RTI activists such as Sheila Masood, Satish Shetty, Nadeem Saiyed met the same fate because they raised their voices. Who would dare to I wonder, after seeing their fates. Perhaps the Lokpal bill will meet an early death if noone dares use it.

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    1. I was actually not too surprised to see no mention of Satyendra Dubey in any newspaper on the 27th. However, I decided to wait till the end of the day to publish this post in the hope that someone might just write about him. But no, 26/11 had spilled onto 27/11 and the hangover is still there in the media.

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  5. Thanks for keeping Satyendra Dubey in our minds. But given the fate the other people who raised voice against corruption (aka whistle blowers) met, I am not sure how many more would come forward, even if they want to. Isn’t that sad?

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    1. Welcome here, A-kay, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. We Indians are not very brave people and only believe in commemorating people’s deeds (or misdeeds) after they are dead and then forget about about them. This post was as much for me as it is for those who read it to not forget those who actually stood up for something that they believed in and did not just write about it.

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    1. There seems to be no end to instances like this, isn’t it? And yet instead of changing oursselves and our attitudes, we want to trust yet another mechanism to solve our problems-the Lokayukta.

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  6. Just saw the episode on ‘Crime Patrol’ based on Satyendra’s murder case………..i have filled with Respect in my eyes for this man and getting angry with this bloody curropted Indian Government.

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    1. Welcome here, Avinash, and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Satyendra Dubey is a true martyr and we would all do well to remember the reason he was killed.

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  7. Satynedra Dubey is a true MARTYR of modern Inida. I too did not remember Satyendra unless I saw Crime Petrol episode last night. (It is realy shameful on my and our fellow contrymen’s part).

    This episode of corruption related to our Highways does not stop here at the construction stage. Also equaly it continuos as we are using them after substandard constrcution in toll collection. My brother showed me mind boggling corruption information in toll collection on Pune Bangalore Highway, which he has collected through RTI. Its a robbery in bright day light by these companies.
    definately I want to share this information with you all. Can anybodu help/suggest me how it is to be done.
    Last nut not the least, Well Done Sudha

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  8. After watching the program aired on sony tv, I truly this Satyendra Dubey was a champion! his life should not go waste. I truly feel like doing whatever i can to help india move forward against corruption. Hats off to this man! jai hind

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  9. Its true that corruption is in every corner of India,we have to remove the dirt out of the country then only India can be a superpower

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  10. i feel frustrated to think that i live in a country where the prime minister’s office so willingly plays hand in glove with the corrupt.the leak made by them was instrumental in his assassination and it was utterly disgraceful on the part of the pmo to shift the blame.my apologies to the martyr’s family as by keeping quiet,i too am a part of the system that killed the brave satyendra dubey.

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    1. Welcome here, Ishira and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Satyendra Dubey is an inspiration for me. He lived the cause, and unfortunately he died for it. His ethics and his conscience pricks my own and that of people like you. Too bad that the system does not protect and nurture people like Satyendra Dubey.

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  11. I appreciate his work and dignity.not just his work but his soul also shows his purity in character and life my salute to him.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Akanksha. Delighted to see you here. I wish more people like you would join in appreciating the ideals and values that Satyendra Dubey lived and died for. It should not be in vain.

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  12. Satyendra Dube was a man of honour. No threats were able to move him from the right path.
    Such officers can bring back the faith of public in our system.
    My salutes to him…. appreciate his honesty , courage to speak against the political and contractor mafia. It is also a matter of shame that his letter was circulated from PMO despite of his request to keep his identity secret. All officers responsible for this must be tried before court of Law.

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    1. I am a realist and I do not believe that the people who were responsible for leaking his letter will ever be punished or penalised. Unfortunately, as a society or a nation-state, we only pay lip service to high ideals. If we had actually followed them, Satyendra Dubey would have been alive.

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  13. i wUd dO d same. . whn it comeZ to fighting d corruptn without evn caring own’s lyf,i will do exactly what Satyendra did..cases like satyendra dubey’s gives us inspiratn 2 make india a better world 2 live..i m sure d youth will change all dese corrupted system..PM shud feel shameful for his deeds n failure of investigating dept. to find out whoZ d real culprit !! :/

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    1. Welcome here Isha and thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Satyendra Dubey simmers in my mind as no other contemporary Indian has. For his unnecessary sacrifice, his ideals and his bravery. He is the person I aspire to be—to stand by my principles and never back down from it.

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    1. Yes, Abhishek. Satyendra Dubey is that real and unsung hero of India. And we should all emulate him to be honest and brave and ethical. Thank you for stopping by here and commenting.

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  14. We should fight against him because he has always thought for our country and its people so being a citizen of this country we should also fight for him and give him justice .Does the same happen for any people being murdered in america or other developed countries ,this is the reason we are backward . raise your voice against the actual culprits (THE CORRUPTED INDIAN GOVERNMENT) who have planned the murder of satyendra dubey ….

    Reply ↓

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  15. You know if we seriously desire for a corruption-free society with decent political atmosphere, has to put genuine commitment in our own mindset, most of the communities (such as Bengali or Tamils) in this sub-continent are engulfed by ‘Culture of Poverty’, irrespective of class or strata, dwells in pavement or apartment. We are not ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption in this society at heart, decaying general quality of life, bad Politico-Governance, poor work place, weak mother language and continuous consumption of common Social Space. We love to become parents only by self-procreation (supported by lame excuses, followed by the very animal instinct) depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a caring society, fearless & dignified living. Never search for other positive alternative gesture, a passionate way of parenthood, stop giving birth to any child him/herself till the society improves up to the mark, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. A deliberate attempt to touch the core of the society, a direct participation. If a pure freedom is desired from vicious cycle of poverty, rotten capitalism need to involve ourselves in ‘Production of Space'(Henri Lefebvre) movement, quality & fair Politics would certainly come up. SB, India. Mo: +91 9051147375.

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