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IIM-L prof books a hit

?We shall not let Manjunath vanish quietly into the night. We shall not give in to fear and murder without a fight.? THIS WAS one of the mails, sent by IIM-Lucknow?s Prof Debashis Chatterjee that had found its way in the in-box of various people across the globe. The provocation for the mail were six bullets that were pumped into IIM-L 2003 batch alumnus and an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) official Manjunath Shanmugham?s 27-year-old frame in Gola on the night of November 19.

india Updated: Nov 18, 2006 00:29 IST

‘We shall not let Manjunath vanish quietly into the night. We shall not give in to fear and murder without a fight.’

THIS WAS one of the mails, sent by IIM-Lucknow’s Prof Debashis Chatterjee that had found its way in the in-box of various people across the globe. The provocation for the mail were six bullets that were pumped into IIM-L 2003 batch alumnus and an Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) official Manjunath Shanmugham’s 27-year-old frame in Gola on the night of November 19.  Reason? Because, Machan, as he was nicknamed on the IIM-L campus, had dared to take on the corrupt oil mafia in Gola where he had gone on an inspection.

A day before Manjunath’s first death anniversary, news came that Prof Chatterjee’s book ‘Break Free’ that has been dedicated to Machan, has been raging hit overseas. The book has gone in for a reprint within a month of its release. In Korea as well as in most of South East Asia, Prof Chatterjee’s book, a Penguin publication, has been declared a best seller. 

Prof Chatterjee told HT (something that he has written in his book too), “In a business school your placement determines your worth in your peer group. Unlike his classmates, who landed with cushy marketing jobs in multinationals, Manjunath found himself in an unglamorous location in Lakhimpur Kheri in western UP supervising distribution of petrol and diesel in several filling stations on behalf of IOC. Now, Manju has outdone his classmates because of what he died for.” He added, “I am not his teacher anymore. Honestly, he is my teacher now.”

Inspired by his “teacher”, Prof Chatterjee has decided to drop the “leadership course” he taught at IIM-L. “I think as Manju demonstrated so effectively, leadership cannot be taught inside classrooms. It is displayed outside when the odds are heavily against you. That’s what Manju showed,” he added.

With his book dedicated to Manjunath doing phenomenal business overseas, Prof Chatterjee has decided to use the royalty to groom more Manjunaths.

“I would support some youngsters, financially and otherwise, who a la Manju, like a wild bird look beyond the nest for an adventure in the wilderness,” he said.

But it’s not Prof Chatterjee alone who inspired by Manju’s heroic act of standing up to be counted when it mattered the most are thinking on such lines. In fact, right from news channels to IIM and IIT students who have formed the Manjunath Shanmugham Trust, to IIM-L alumni association whose members are spread all over the globe, virtually everyone is actively involved in ensuring that Manjunath’s sacrifice inspires several others.

“At IIM-L campus, we are holding a seminar in Manju’s memory in the last week of November. This seminar is being supported by our global alumni network, Manjunath Shanmugham Trust and our students,” said Prof Dharmendra Sengar, chairman Students affairs at IIM-L. Several news channels are making a documentary on the IIM alumnus that would be telecast on Manju’s first death anniversary. Prof Chatterjee says he still hears Manju’s voice ring in his ears:

‘Sir, tell me what this life is if we have nothing to die for?’  Manju provided the answer too to his teacher who now has become “Manju’s student!”