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
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?
- 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.
- I also came across this YouTube trailer of a documentary on Satyendra, which I recommend you to see.
- 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.