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Corruption Watch
Guys (gals?), I would like to start a thread to collect corruption related news items reported in mainstream INDIAN media. My concern is that it will immediately get hijacked by the individuals with agenda, causing the admins to shut it down. The idea here is not to gather dirt on one specific individual/leader/minister/party/organization but as a whole keep tab on news items pertaining to all corruption realted issues. I am proposing the "news folder" approach which would at least allow us to archive reference material in the thread.

I'm cut-pasting some guidelines (cut+paste from BRWink) for this thread:
  • PLEASE DO NOT post a news article without the proper heading and the URL.

  • PLEASE DO NOT post a news article without explicit mention of the source (Radio or TV channel name, time, program) along with the news.

  • PLEASE DO NOT post an entire article unless there is no archiving available on the news site. Should you post an entire article, give proper credit to the source; mention the date of the article, and the URL.

  • PLEASE DO NOT comment and/or discuss on the news articles posted in the news folder.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Governor favours death sentence for corruption

Source: [url="http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=60523"]http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.p...hp?newsid=60523[/url]

Quote:Express News Service

Pune, August 14: Maharashtra Governor Mohammad Fazal has advocated death sentence for people indulging in massive corruption.

‘‘Corruption needs to be removed at all levels and if necessary even the death sentence be considered as an effective deterrent,’’ Fazal said, talking to reporters at Raj Bhavan here today.

To a question, he said, there were bigger issues to be tackled than the issue of Common Civil Code. Implementing the code was a "near impossible task" under the prevailing conditions and would only cause a furore at this juncture, he added.

Fazal avoided commenting on the ongoing tussle between anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and the Minister for Civil Supplies Suresh Jain.

On the law and order situation in the State, he said, it was more upto the society to create law-abiding generation rather than being dependent on policing.

Citing his eight-month tenure, Fazal said, it was not possible to make any assessment of the State government’s performance in such short time.

The government was doing its best, but the fact remains, more needs to be done, he added. Maharashtra has very high potential for becoming the best state in India. "I want to see this happen and I am trying my best in this regard," he added

Corruption is every where, every street vendor in Delhi has to pay up. They are rounded up regularly by areas , taken to Tis Hazari Courts, where they line up pay a bribe to the judge and police chap, a few hundred rupees each and let go to resume the trade and be rounded up when the area's turn comes next. This type of income from unlicensed vendors, un-authorized construction, pimps, betting etc is what creates the value of a "thana" that the police denies but the "tanedar" and DCP pay for to get posted .

Vajpayee wanted to end the misery of these footpath traders by legalizing the trade and issuing a Rs 50 per month license but couldn't do it. He is supposed to be the PM and do "aar paar ki ladai with Pak". Roadside side shacks are setup by the powerful and rented out as shops .The police comes for "Hafta" or free goodies and if you don't oblige the renter is hauled up, not the guy who has put up the unauthorized shack. I know of a case where a guy very recently went to the "crime against women's cell". The DCP is normally a woman. His newly married sister was being harassed by the in-laws. The people below asked for Rs 10,000 to settle the case. The woman DCP knows all about this, may be even has a share. It is a pitiable situation. In this case it is easy to guess what happened.

PM can say, request and bring law but whenever someone tries to implement law they start rasta roko or rumours.

Have you seen any vehicle in Delhi which is without Press sticker? You can't touch people from Press,

one can't touch MP or MLA families and extended families and friend families whether he is in opposition or in power. Delhi police is still better.

To stop corruption one must put foot down and not to pay bribe, 90% times when people want to speedup the process look for easy exit.

I never pay bribe and never encounter problem getting my work done.

Best policy is act as you don't understand what he/she is asking, if they are bold enough to ask on face, start taking their name and don't hesitate to report also, it works.

Take action.
Kavi/Mudy: We don't have national leaders who will take the risk and do 'the right thing' - all pandering to particular groups with vested interest.

I agree with Mudy - refusing to pay bribe is the best way to stop this menace.
[quote name='Viren' date='Aug 19 2003, 12:05 AM'] Governor favours death sentence for corruption


<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />

Old Hindu law did suggest death sentence for certain forms of corruptions. You could of course escape death by paying a big fine.
I agree with Mudy. In my case I have not lived in India for the past 40 years, but i do go there every year and have to interact with various officials. I can truthfully say i have never given a bribe. It gets a little tense but nevertheless my job gets done in the end.

In my view the bribe giver is as much at fault as the bribe taker. If there were no bribe givers there would be no bribe takers. I know this may not work everytime, but Indians have a propensity to assume that in every case a bribe is necessary. It would be judicious to take the name of the official (ask for his business card) and the name of his superior (that will strike some fear in him - maybe) and maybe even take a polaroid camera or even better a digital camera(quick like a bunny take his picture before he can refuse). If your work does not get done tell him on the way out oh by the way ,I plan to write a letter to the next 10 officials in your chain of cammand, and remember i have your name, rank and serial number. I will ask you be removed from office. Furthermore , I have a second uncle twice removed who is assistant joint underscretary in the Ministry of redundant works who i am going to inform. (this is only as a last resort, he has probably heard this many a time before and may not be impressed)

Slowly but surely bribery will diminish as people refuse to pay bribes. It is merely a reflection of a servile behavior with low self esteem to think that everything in life is related to money. We have to get over that as a nation and not be so materialistic. Of course if we are trying to get something extra legal for the money the above wont work.
[url="http://sulekha.com/expressions/column.asp?cid=271421"]On Colonial Experience and Indian Renaissance by Prof Balagangadhara.[/url]
Granted that the yardstick may be skewed, it does make sense for India to work extra hard to get rid of this image as being a very corrupt country.

[url="http://www.rediff.com/money/2003/oct/07corrupt.htm"]Finland least-corrupt nation, India 83rd[/url]

Agencies | October 07, 2003 16:45 IST

Last Updated: October 07, 2003 17:03 IST
>>>Granted tha the yardstick may be skewed, it does make sense for India to work extra hard to get rid of this image as being a very corrupt country

Singapore ranked 5th what a joke.

During my one year stay in Singapore I have experienced more corruption than 10 years in India.

In India one can get away not giving anything but in Singapore it is difficult even your are Right.

Police is corrupt to its core, they are racist.
I do not know whether this is the appropriate thread but it is clearly a case where there is a fair degree of corruption going on.

[url="http://ww1.mid-day.com/news/city/2003/october/66335.htm"]Dawood's brother is King in Jail[/url]
Whether India is one of the most corrupt states is a matter of value judgement, but there is little doubt that the ordinary Ashok or Aftab is up against a formidable and callous bureaucracy. There must be an ombudsman office in each major metropolis as well as in each district who reports only to the Vigilance Commisioner in Delhi who in turn should report only to the Supreme court or some such independent body.

From the Pioneer, Sunday, November 9.2003 (url will change)

Quote:Kargil Heights of honesty

Vineet Khare/Devyani Ghosh/ Kargil Heights (Delhi)

A bulk of the audience at the inaugural show of the Om Puri-Revathy starrer Dhoop was inconsolable. But one man, and a petite lady, sat stoicly at the back, with no sign of emotion. They were Prof S K Nayyar and his late son Anuj's 'fiancee' Timmie. Dhoop is the true story of Mr Nayyar's struggle against a corrupt system to get a sanctioned petrol pump started in the memory of his son, martyred at a young 24.  

Martyr Anuj Nayyar's father Prof Satish Kumar Nayyar at Kargil Heights, a petrol pump in his son's memory. The urn next to the hoarding is his family's oldest possession - Vijay Kumar/Pioneer

Acknowledging his epic battle which took him over three years of insults, insinuations and humiliations from corrupt officials to get the petrol pump started. Sunday Pioneer visited the brave son's braver father at the gas station 'Kargil Heights' the next day.

He clarified in the very beginning: "My wife can not talk to you because I committed the mistake of taking her to the movie and all her wounds opened up. She was rushed to hospital midway from the show with chest pains. She is fine now."

He also stood like a wall between the photographer and the unique 'fiancee' who decided to live as Anuj's widow and who "after Anuj she is a major worry for me."

Watching the film, he admitted, was a difficult proposition despite the fact that he had presided over every nuance of the script. "I was transported to July 7, 1999, when I got the news of my son's martyrdom. I punched my right knuckle so hard on the wall that it broke. I refused to get it bandaged. My son took four bullets and still fought valiantly. So, I'll bear this pain?" he recalls, looking at Anuj's photograph hanging on one side of the petrol pump.

After the show, "when I reached home, I kept silent. We were reliving the trauma.

Anuj was everywhere. I had told him, I would always be with him but he fought his last war alone. He always said his 'poppin can do anything,' but I failed him," he mumbles.

In Om Puri, who plays the determined father, Prof Nayyar sees a reflection of self. "He is similar to me in many ways - stubborn, compassionate and practical. Nana Patekar was the other choice, but we felt he was loud and stereotyped. But Revathy walks, behaves and talks just like my wife," he says. He is happy that the movie has retained 80 per cent of his real story though he smiles and says that his son couldn't sing for a lark, "not even in the bathroom" and was more of a firebrand than the Sanjay Suri's portrayal.

Kargil Heights, at Kondli in Vasundhara Enclave, is indeed a martyr's shrine. Its proceeds go to funding scholarships of needy students. On the left, there are two large brass urns. "It came with my grandmother as dahej. They guard the property. I haven't put any photograph of Anuj outside as I wouldn't like my son to bear the brunt of nature. The grand wall that the husband-wife had painted with over 60 names of slain Jat Regiment jawans has since fallen. But Anuj's memory lives on at the pump from the day it was inaugurated by its first customer. "Twelve people work here. He treats us like his son," says Ajay Kumar, a worker.

As for the professor, he is full of memories. "We once went to the Khadakvasla NDA Academy. There, we saw a huge board where the names of gallantry award winners were listed. I asked him why there were no 'Nayyars' in the list. Anuj assured me that 'it will be there one day, dad.' Now, he figures on that list," he recalls looking at Capt Nayyar's two-in-one and transistor - which he had taken to Kargil - and is now kept as a memento at the pump.

For now, Prof Nayyar who teaches International Business at DU, is organising a show for the students and faculty. He plans to write a book on Anuj. But all his efforts to live through his son's memories come to a naught when he meets the accusing eye of his silent wife Meena. "She still calls me a murderer and says that my instigation, led to her son's death."

Meanwhile, Timmie, Capt Anuj's fiancee, has refused to get married. Yes, she has a tattoo on her arm saying 'I am Anuj's property.' "She considers herself his widow. Like him, she is stubborn." Timmie runs an interior design company but makes it a point to be at Kargil Heights every weekend.

Coming to the struggle for honesty that led to meaningful Dhoop, the professor says: "It could depict just 30 per cent of what I went through. Police officers, bureaucrats, Army bosses - all were much more brusque than shown in the movie. When the SHO asked me to prove I am Anuj's father, I approached the Prime Minster. I told him 'you are celebrating Vijay Diwas because of my son who gave up his life in Kargil. We may have won the battle there, but I am still fighting my Kargil with the bureaucracy'." Prof Nayyar was assured of a memorial near the National Stadium by Defence Minister George Fernandes. "If I don't get a response from him soon, I will build a memorial here at the pump." Nayyar did not give a penny to the corrupt as a tribute to his son. He was threatened by a goonda and sniggered at by babus. He managed to reform the criminal Lala who gave up goonery to work at the gas station. But the system is yet to go a long way.

And what does he do every July 7, the day his son died. "I decorate the pump with marigolds and below Anuj's photograph, I write: "'This is how I remember you son,'" he says. And the tears finally roll out.


* India ranks 83rd out of 133 countries on the global corruption index, scores 2.8 on 10 in transparency.

* Estimated amount paid as bribes by Indians every year for using 10 public utility services: Rs 26,728 crore, ie, 1.5pc of GDP, according to a TI/ORG-Marg survey in 2002. Health, Power most corrupt sectors. Telecom, Rlys rank 9 & 10

Anuj Nayyar petrol pump is just near my/parents house in India. And petrol pump is doing very well.

Hope to see his National memorial soon.

In a country where grand memorial are built for Gandhi family and other joker politicians, but no space for real heroes of India.
Om Puri/Revathi starrer Dhoop is based on this Nayyar Petrol pump case!
[url="http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=35120"] His salary Rs 9,000, his assets Rs 100 cr[/url]

Scam: SIT says suspended Mumbai cop served Telgi for 6 years; owned three plush hotels

MUMBAI, NOVEMBER 10: Imagine the life of an ordinary assistant police inspector who earns Rs 9,000 a month in an expensive city like Mumbai. The familiar stories are of life in claustrophobic quarters, crowded suburban trains and endless hours of stress.

But Dilip Pandurang Kamath is no ordinary assistant police inspector.

Alex Perry at it again......
December 1, 2003 / Vol. 162 No. 21

Teflon Government
Corruption has become so commonplace on the subcontinent that scandals have lost their ability to shock

Corruption scandals in India carry the same capacity to shock as revelations of a Mafia presence in Sicily. So when a videotape surfaced last week allegedly showing a government minister holding a fistful of cash to his forehead, uttering "money isn't God, but by God, it's no less than God" and promising his benefactor mining concessions, it created a stir in the press—but nowhere else. Environment and Forests Minister Dilip Singh Judeo first issued an outright denial, then resigned but maintained his innocence, then admitted accepting money but compared himself to Mohandas Gandhi, saying he needed the funds for a struggle to save India from a shadowy international Christian conspiracy.
Displaying equal nonchalance were Judeo's masters in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who suggested the tape was doctored and urged police to discover who entrapped the minister into taking a bribe. (The bribe payer, who claimed to represent an unnamed foreign mining company, has yet to be identified.) Instead of banishing Judeo, the BJP bigwigs said he would still lead the party's campaign for Dec. 1 polls in the state of Chhattisgarh in central India. Defending Judeo, BJP Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani took defiance to daring new levels, declaring he once campaigned while facing charges of receiving $140,000 from the hawala system, an informal and illegal paperless banking network, and it hadn't done him any harm. He won the elections. "We stand on a high moral pedestal," proclaimed Advani.

Advani's political rhetoric might be suspect, but his calculation to stand by Judeo is probably sound. Keeping Judeo means preserving his sizable caste-determined Chhattisgarh voter bloc. Besides, observers say voters simply don't care about another ministerial scandal when they already view all politicians as thieves. Citizens' daily routines involve such a catalog of bribes that official corruption has ceased to be controversial. "Corruption is part and parcel of Indian politics and Indian life," says V.B. Singh, an analyst for the New Delhi-based Center for Study of Developing Societies. "People expect politicians to steal. They don't really mind it unless it affects national security." Even members of the opposition Congress Party say that, in the same situation, they would have done the same. "The BJP has done the best it could under the circumstances," says Congress spokesman Jaipal Reddy. "They didn't want to lose their guy and their reckoning is probably right. This is the kind of thing you can get away with in Indian politics."

Getting away with it, or what sociologist Ashish Nandy calls "following the law of the jungle," is now the dominant mantra of India's social and economic life. Economists estimate that the true size of India's GDP would be double the official $481 billion if the country's vast black economy were also taken into account. And while the nation fares slightly better than adjacent Pakistan and Bangladesh in terms of corruption, this is hardly an upstanding neighborhood. Each year, Transparency International (TI), an anticorruption watchdog, evaluates the world's countries according to how graft-free their societies are. This year India ranked 83rd, Pakistan 102nd, and Bangladesh, at 133rd, was dead last. With the world's second largest population and Asia's third largest economy, the size of Indian officialdom's graft is staggering. According to a TI 2002 report, police, doctors, teachers, judges, taxmen, land-registry employees, railway workers and utilities regulators make off with petty bribes amounting to $6.2 billion a year, or 1.3% of the country's GDP. In Bangalore, for example, TI documented how half of all expectant mothers must pay on average bribes of $22 for a doctor to attend the birth, while 70% of new mothers give hospital staff $4-$6 just to immediately see the gender of their newborns. (Staff play on fears that they might swap babies.)

The scandals are only more spectacular higher up the ladder of public life. In India's central government, Judeo is the latest in a long line of ministers of every political hue to stand accused. The allegations against him pale in comparison with the disclosures of 2001, when journalists from Tehelka.com, an Internet news service, posed as arms dealers and recorded themselves paying bribes to the then BJP president, Bangaru Laxman, and Jaya Jaitley, friend of Defense Minister George Fernandes. Fernandes resigned but returned to office months later.

In the states, too, few chief ministers are untarnished by scandal. Perhaps most notorious today is Mayawati, who resigned in August as chief minister of India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, to fight charges that her freewheeling administration threatened to undermine the very foundations of the country's national symbol, the Taj Mahal. According to charges drawn up by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Mayawati and others in the state government flouted rules on the environment and competitive tendering in their plans for a $60 million tourist mall, positioned uncomfortably close behind the marble mausoleum. The construction required the Yamuna River to be diverted on a course that seemed set to undercut the ground on which the Taj Mahal rests. Mayawati denied any wrongdoing, saying there was a political conspiracy against her.

The police, the supposed law enforcers, are also tainted. What could turn out to be India's biggest-ever corruption case emerged this month when Bombay's top policeman, Commissioner R.S. Sharma, went on leave after he was accused by a court-appointed investigator of mishandling the case of Abdul Karim Telgi. A small-time businessman, Telgi is suspected of printing and selling counterfeit government documents, called stamp papers, that can be used as legal tender in India. Telgi's stamp-paper revenue—estimates range from $750 million to $7 billion—was a loss to the National Treasury; it allegedly ended up in his 68 bank accounts and 16 properties. A court in Bombay ordered a special investigation into the case, which found evidence that no fewer than 37 of Telgi's 50 co-accused were policemen.

The average Indian voter may have learned to live with corruption. But many Indian businessmen, faced with extortion by bureaucrats and competitors using bribery to achieve unfair advantage, have not. Former CBI director turned antigraft campaigner Joginder Singh says his research shows that the typical Indian entrepreneur faces 65 different inspections from various officials before he can open shop. "And these officials are not there to help," says Singh, "but to extort." As a result, many enterprises shut down in their first few weeks or fail to get beyond the drawing board.

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that state corruption costs Indian business $7 billion a year, cutting GDP growth (on average 6.1% a year over the past decade) by one-quarter.

There are some reasons to hope for progress. With politicians "scrabbling for the low ground," says Tehelka.com founder Tarun Tejpal, there are plenty of opportunities for India's free and increasingly enterprising media to "cover itself in glory" with exposés. The judiciary, too, has begun to play a much more active role. The Supreme Court last week ordered the transfer of a long-stalled $15.5 million graft case against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha across the state border to Bangalore, saying there was a "strong indication that the process of justice is being subverted."

To date, however, few politicians, bureaucrats or policemen exposed by the media or courts have been called to account. Corruption trials sometimes take 10-20 years to complete; the conviction rate for graft is just 6%. "There has to be some retribution," says Tehelka.com's Tejpal. "Otherwise we have no system." To some, the system is already down. "We've come to accept that for the time being, there's no way out," says anticorruption campaigner Singh. "We're into the abyss and we're only going to sink further."

—With reporting by Aravind Adiga and Sankarshan Thakur/New Delhi and Meenakshi Ganguly/Bombay
Received via email
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->This is outrageous. We should do something about this case and force the authorities pursue this to a meaningful conclusion culminating into at least some justice done to the family of a honest and highly intellectual person from a premier institute. I am also attaching a petitiononline link at the end of this mail, if you want to sign it. Thanks
- Sunil Ganu

<b>Please wake up: angry IIT chorus </b> 

Dubey Murder: We will give voice to anger of students and faculty: IIT Kanpur director

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2: With no official word from either the state or the Centre on what it plans to do for justice in the murder of IIT Kanpur Graduate Satyendra Dubey in Bihar last week, an outraged IIT community and eminent scientists have come out strongly to ask for prompt action.

Their demands include an independent probe into the murder, holding accountable the officials—at the Centre and the state—who passed the buck, putting pressure on the Bihar government and even systemic reforms like enacting the Whistle Blower’s act which now lies in cold storage.

Dubey, as exposed by The Sunday Express on November 30, was murdered last week, almost a year after he sent a complaint to the Prime Minister’s office about alleged corruption in the national highway project he was working on in Bihar.

In his letter, 31-year-old Dubey had requested that his name be kept secret, a request which wasn’t honoured—the letter was sent from the PMO to the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways and then to the National Highway Authority of India, with which Dubey was working as Deputy General Manager.

‘‘We will ensure that we find a suitable way to articulate our anger instead of just issuing our condolences,’’ said Sanjay Dhande, director of IIT Kanpur which has been flooded with letters and emails from its students worldwide. ‘‘It’s very clear that it is not a murder because of personal feud but because of corruption,’’ Dhande told The Indian Express.

He added that the institute would take the issue up and ‘‘give voice to the anger that is being felt by the students, faculty and alumni.’’

Among the faculty that taught Dubey, there is disillusionment. ‘‘This is shocking, we tell our students to be straight and to raise their voice against corruption but after this, which student will believe us?’’ asked an anguished P K Basudhar, one of the senior professors at IIT Kanpur’s civil engineering department, from where Dubey Graduated in 1994.

Meanwhile, the IIT Bombay Alumni Association has sent a letter to the PMO and the President referring to The Indian Express report and urging the Prime Minister to ‘‘use his powers to have them (the guilty) and their conspiring contractors arrested and punished.’’

‘‘Dubey is a martyr in the cause of an honest India, and his martyrdom should not be allowed to go in vain,’’ said the letter. ‘‘His sacrifice should propel us out of slumber, towards ensuring that everyone who choses to oppose dishonesty and crime does not have to gamble with their lives...A whistleblower’s act might be a fitting homage to the memory of this brave man.’’

The outrage is not limited to IIT campuses alone. ‘‘This only means that there is no rule of law, the basic fabric required in the society cannot be enforced by the government. This is what happens to someone who stood for certain things?’’ said IIT Kanpur Graduate and Padmashri Ashok Jhunjhunwala, who is now head of the department of electrical engineering at IIT Chennai.

Calling for a CBI probe and more pressure on the Bihar government, senior scientist and ex-IIT Chennai director P V Indiresan said: ‘‘It makes no difference for us to express any opinion with a government like Laloo Yadav’s. He has ruined the economy and this episode is a fallout of the economic ruin that the state is facing...Laloo talks of Assam not taking care of Biharis but does Bihar take care of its Biharis?’’ he asked angrily.

It is the students who are leading the protest though.

‘‘The IIT Bombay Alumni is now taking up this matter and will request other IIT Alumni Associations to gather support for this despicable loss of an idealist’s life. We also appeal to all citizens who value ethics and honesty in India for support,’’ said alumni chairperson Shailesh Gandhi. (with inputs from ENS, Mumbai)


Please sign the following petition



<b>Jogi paid BJP MLAs to defect: Jaitley </b>
Press Trust of India
Raipur, December 6

Outgoing Chhattisgarh chief minister Ajit Jogi on Saturday gave Rs 45 lakh to some BJP MLAs, asking them to break their party, Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley alleged in Raipur.

Jogi told the MLAs to form a breakaway group which the Congress would support in government formation.

According to latest reports, the Congress has suspended Jogi due to the allegations.

At a late night press conference, Jaitley played a tape purportedly containing the conversation between Jogi and a BJP MLA whom the money was alleged to be offered.

Demanding a CBI inquiry into the entire episode, Jaitley played the tape and displayed currency notes to the tune of Rs 25 lakhs having been allegedly given to BJP MLAs Virendra Pandey and Kashyap.

Jaitley said they had "water-tight" documentary, material and taped evidence against Jogi, his son and Congress MP Kunte for allegedly trying to bribe BJP MLAs to effect a split in BJP's legislature party and prevent formation of a BJP government in the state.
Please use this thread for news on discussion on this Gentleman murder. What he did? what he was fighting for? Who are those '<i>honorable men/women</i>' who dropped the ball? et al.,

Recieved in an e-mail:

<b>Letter to a Murdered Mate - Satyendra Dubey</b>

We need your ghost, Dubeyji, we need him for the faith—and the fright


DEAR DUBEYJI (if I may, that’s what one of your batchmates said you
were called at IIT Kanpur):

This is the first letter I’m writing to a murder victim. Either in fact
or in fiction. I’m doing this for two, three reasons. No, make it four.
Four sounds right—it’s been four days since we first heard the whistle
you blew. Four is the number of years both of us spent at IIT. Four
sides make the Golden Quadrilateral.

1. I write because I don’t know what else to do. I can’t reconstruct
your body from your ashes, send it to TV studios, let anchors squeeze
your shoulder in prime-time empathy. My colleagues at The Indian Express
were the first to tell us—and the world—about the whistle you blew one
full year before you were killed. That you wrote to the Prime Minister
about your nightmares in his dream project. Nightmares of old-fashioned
corruption on a futuristic highway.

Your whistle blew hard, right in the first paragraph: Sir, don’t
mention my name. And you were courageous enough to whisper it right in the
end because you didn’t want to be seen as running scared—you did the
brave, honourable thing.

They didn’t.

They underlined your sentences and then they didn’t give a damn. Did
you believe they would? The flunkeys who scribbled on your letter are
paid to stay permanently bent at the waist, on all fours, their lips
puckered from perpetually kissing the ground beneath their Bosses’ feet.
Such people never know what to do with someone like you, someone who
stands up straight.

When we called, guess what one puckered-lip flunkey told us: ‘‘I don’t
remember the letter, send me a copy.’’ We almost said, ‘‘Go to hell,
you...’’ I’ll tell you tonight what that word was—our readers don’t need
to know. It will be our little secret.

The last four nights, in the Express newsroom, you’ve been on our
computer screens, on our front pages. We have got calls and letters from
Tokyo to Cupertino and as I write this, someone is signing the 10,848th
signature on a petition to the Prime Minister’s Office (do the
puckered-lip flunkeys know how to read?).

They should send a copy to Sonia Gandhi and her tongueless tribe as
well. So that when they wipe their tri-state election tears away, they can
call up their only friend Laloo Prasad Yadav and tell him: ‘‘For once,
think it was Satyendra Yadav who died, now can you get moving?’’

We got calls on your picture, too.

A few lines about the picture. We got it from a family friend of yours,
in New Delhi, his number from your IIT batchmate who’s a cop, one of
the first to see your body. It’s a studio picture, you look—how do I say
this since as an editor, I’m paid to be sceptical, to believe that
pictures have to be deceptive—but I will say it anyway: You Look Innocent.

But I have a complaint, Dubeyji, mind mat kijiyega.

This is from one IITian to another: I wish you’d got one of your
wingmates who’s got stock options to get you a pair of Armani glasses, a Hugo
Boss shirt. And instead of sitting so straight, so stiff, I wish you’d
kind of draped yourself over a woman with breasts, a midriff to murder
for. The Times of India would have given you a nice front-page mention.

Jokes aside, that picture of you got to us. And the second picture,
too, of your father in that cold Champaran house, his eyes vacant, a
pullover over his vest. Just like my father. I had to write to you.

2. This is a terribly selfish reason: I need to write to you. Because
it lightens the weight on my little appendage called conscience. Let me
explain. You and people like you are, in a way, responsible—I know this
sounds harsh, so forgive me, I’m six years your elder—you are
responsible for the discomfort I feel once in a while.

You see, I did just the opposite. I, too, got into IIT, Kharagpur 1984,
you must have been in Class VI then, an 11-year-old kid. I milked the
taxpayer, I got a B Tech, Mechanical, not so much different from your
Civil. (Remember fluid dynamics, strength of materials, numerical theory,
those atrocious drawing classes?). Once, twice I, too, wanted to give.
To teach village children! In fact, one day, I took the bus for an
interview for a job in a West Bengal village, got it, returned to find a
telegram and a scholarship from Los Angeles. Went straight to the US

Building a road in the heart of darkness? I’d rather read Conrad.

So I milked that US degree to get jobs, first in the US, then back home
and now I sit in a cubicle in south Delhi where the only threat to my
life, besides the cigarettes I smoke, is the prospect of a plane falling
down as it descends to land because we seem to be right below an air

Since I graduated, I have written two novels, not even thick enough to
be used as pillows, I’ve bought a house in Gurgaon, haven’t moved in
yet, my wife’s working on it. By the way, the day she read about you, you
know the first thing she said? ‘‘He joined IIT the year I graduated
from IIT, he’s such a bachcha.’’ Dubeyji, you were a kid, you don’t get
killed at 31.

Call me an arrogant sonofabitch, IITians don’t get murdered at 31 for
doing their job.

This weekend, we will sit in the balcony of our new house and admire
the view: right in front is the Golden Quadrilateral. From the distance
where we are, we can’t make out those working there—maybe there’s one
just like you.

3. I write to you because I never knew you in life but in death, you
seem perfect. Sorry, I’m an editor, I’m banned from using such phrases.
So I’ll rewrite: almost perfect.

I’m not exaggerating. You were doing what we dream of in dreams we
never talk about. You could have got yourself into a US university, IIT
Kanpur gets you that. Even if you didn’t have a hot CGPA, you’d have
smashed the GRE analytical and math, verbals you’d have brushed up. You’d
have got three profs to give you great recos, you could have been one of
us, IITians who wear our IIT on our sleeves and make sure our hands
don’t get dirty. We flinch, just a little bit, whenever someone says what
did you give back to the country?

Then we spin, we philosophise, we say what the hell, we built Brand
IIT, we built Infosys. We say, don’t be an old-fashioned jerk, what’s
brain drain in a globalised world? Look, look, we say, we work for
McKinsey, we work for Deloitte Touche, we make CNBC drool, we work at Goldman
Sachs, if Dr Manmohan Singh was the engine of reforms, we went and got
MBAs at Wharton and IIM and became its bloody chassis, wheels, steering,
drivers. What the hell do you mean what did you do for your country? Do
you seriously want us to go to Bihar and build a road to prove that we

Well, Dubeyji, you did that.

And even if you hated your job some days, even if you felt trapped
every day every night, even if you sometimes winged it, even if your
complaint to the Prime Minister was an idealist’s complaint, not a realist’s
one, you are almost perfect.

Since you chose, and here I will use a cliche‚ because it’s so perfect:
you chose the path less travelled.

4. And that’s why I am writing to you to tell you—and I will never tell
this to your mother or father, I can never tell this to your mother or
father—your death can’t be forgotten.

Because we need your ghost. We need your ghost to knock on Mr B C
Khanduri’s door at night, scare him when he sleeps the sleep of a job well
done. Because we need the highway. My wife and I, in Gurgaon.

And my brother-in-law who works as a doctor in a village not far from
where you were killed. It takes him 14 hours to travel 250 km from
Patna. You were working to make his life easier, to help him move his
patients faster. To make more frequent trips to meet his daughter who’s
growing up almost as fast as the highway.

A good friend and my IIT batchmate from Kharagpur, Partha Chakroborty,
is associate professor in your department at Kanpur. He just about
missed you, came down from Delaware to join Kanpur the year you were
leaving. I asked him this morning: what does Dubeyji’s story mean to you?

I quote his email:

‘‘On the positive side, it tells me there is hope. That there are brave
souls willing to take immense risks to stand up against corruption. It
also tells me that the education system may still be playing a role in
instilling some of virtues which make a society strong and liveable.’’

He told me to express his sorrow to your father, our reporter spent a
day at your home. Your father was crying, he didn’t speak, he couldn’t
speak. He didn’t have to. Because you are doing the talking, Dubeyji.

Because they may not build a memorial to you on the
Aurangabad-Barachatti highway, no Bollywood director may ever buy the rights to your
story, we may never see a Hindi version of Meryl Streep’s Silkwood, they may
not enact the Dubey Disclosure Law to protect whistleblowers like you,
they may never send those puckered-lip flunkeys home.

But the next time—and there will be a next time—there is a Satyendra
Dubey, from IIT or wherever, who walks into a lonely place to blow the
whistle, he will look right and left. He will look over his shoulder, it
will be cold, the wind will blow hard, he will then look up. And he
will see you shining there.
Indian Express: <b>On murder night, Dubey vehicle didn’t move and a likely witness disappeared</b>

Missing links: I Police say his body shouldn’t have been where it was.

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