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The Virtuous Vow

india Updated: Nov 18, 2008 23:22 IST
Chitrangada Choudhury
Chitrangada Choudhury
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Students from across India's top business schools and undergraduate colleges will pledge integrity on Tuesday evening to mark the memory of a slain alumni, three years after he was shot dead for battling petrol adulteration.

Manjunath Shamugan, 27, who studied at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow before joining the Indian Oil Corporation as a manager was shot dead by the petrol mafia in a little town in Uttar Pradesh, where he was posted. On his job, Macha, as his friends called him, refused bribes, and tried to end some of the ubiquitous dishonesty, which makes India, according to Transparency International's Global Corruption Index 2008, the 74th most corrupt nation among 180 countries.

"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," said H Jaishankar of the Mysore-based Manjunath Shanmugam trust, set up by his friends and IIM alumni. Last November, the trust 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, which is flourishing today. It also gives an annual Integrity award to people rectifying corruption in public life.

A court in Uttar Pradesh found all 8 accused guilty, and the main accused, the owner of the petrol pump's appeal against his death sentence currently waiting to be heard in the Allahabad High Court.

Turn to next page for the pledge


This pledge, in memory of Manjunath has been written by a management student, Sushant Pote, and can be found online at

To: Manjunath Shanmugam

I, a Citizen of India, know and acknowledge that integrity matters today more than ever: to me, to those in my life and to the wellbeing of all of the collectives of which I am a part.

I therefore commit myself to set an example through ethical conduct for the furtherance of integrity and to work against all forms of corruption that I come across in whatever ways possible to me.

I will not accept or offer any advantage, gifts or benefits that compromise my values of integrity.

I am prepared to explain honestly and be accountable for my actions when dealing with all spheres of society. Therefore, my actions will be transparent.

I will strive for high standards of service and ethical behaviour and promote these values in those around me.

Through the above actions I hope to promote the welfare of all our people.

This is my pledge as a responsible Indian Citizen.


The Undersigned