His Mission continues even after death. Manjunath Shanmugam continues to inspire the younger generation.
The IIM-Lucknow graduate and an Indian Oil Corporation employee was murdered by a petrol pump owner and his accomplices at Gola Gokarannath in Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh in 2005 for blowing the lid off a fuel adulteration scandal.
On Wednesday, his third death anniversary, thousands of students across the country organised candlelight marches and took a pledge to honour integrity and fight corruption — the principles for which Macha, as his friends fondly called him, sacrificed his life.
“People have not forgotten him. Manjunath sacrificed his life for his beliefs and ideals, which are so inspiring. I feel privileged to be part of this campaign,” said Rishanka Bawa, a second year student of Kamala Nehru College.
Another student Yashita Munjal said the “integrity pledge” is their homage to Manjunath. “The gathering shows he was a true youth icon.”
In Delhi, students of Kamala Nehru College, Sri Ram College of Commerce, PGDAV College, International Management Institute and Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India took the pledge and participated in the march.
Anjali Mullati, a volunteer of the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust, said hundreds of people from India, US and UK have also signed the pledge online.
A day before, in Mumbai, H Jaishankar of the Mysore-based Manjunath Shanmugam trust, said: “Instead of showering flowers in his memory, we thought we would so something more meaningful that follows the path of Manjunath’s life, hence this initiative to get young Indians to sign up to his values.”
Last November, the trust, set up by friends and the IIM alumni, had begun an all-India helpline to take calls from the public wishing to use the Right to Information Act to raise a query with the government. It is flourishing even today. It also gives an annual Integrity award to people rectifying corruption in public life.