He was killed. His virtues made him a national hero. The cold-blooded murder of the IIML alumnus – he was dumped off after he detected large-scale irregularities in the sale of petrol and diesel at the petrol pump – caused nationwide uproar. Mr Manjunath Shanmugam, an alumnus of IIM-Lucknow and an employee of Indian Oil Corporation, who lost his life trying to stop fuel adulteration, will not be buried in the archives of history. We can soon get to watch him in a movie to be released next month.
Sandeep Verma, an alum of FMS ’93, was one of those inspired by Manju. He is the co-producer and director of ‘Manjunath – the Movie’. This film on Manju’s story is being released 9th May by Viacom. It has music by cult band Parikrama, and singers Shankar-Ehsan-Loy.
Manjunath Shanmugam was a popular student, noted for his passion for music, sincerity and integrity. An Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOCL) employee, he was working to curb oil malpractices in his territory; and was murdered on 19th November 2005 by a petrol pump owner and his accomplices.
The Manjunath Shanmugam Trust was registered on Feb 23rd, 2006. The Trust has recently completed a nationwide representation in the alumni meetings of the various B-schools to generate funds to work towards not only seeking justice in the Manjunath murder case, but also to set up an annual award in his memory. Its Trustees are two IIM L – Anjali Mullatti, ’93 and Sushant Pote , ’07 and an IIM B, H.Jaishankar, ’91 alumni. It worked relentlessly to ensure justice for Manju. Achieving convictions for all 8 accused in a record 9 month trial, the Trust also ensured the convictions were upheld in the High Court on appeal. The murder accused were awarded life term by the Lakhimpur Kheri District and Sessions Court in March 2007.
In November, last year, students at IIM Lucknow and six other top business schools across the country remembered Manjunath Shanmugam. This march was followed by a pledge of integrity taken by the students. The march is organized annually at various business schools – the IIMs in Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode, Shillong and Kashipur, IIFT Delhi, SIBM Bangalore, IMT Nagpur, and BIMS Trichy participate in the vigil.
The movie is a way of remembering and honoring Manjunath’s determination and commitment. It will influence students to commit to lead a life of integrity.
Watch the trailer here: Manjunath - The Movie
(This article is written by Debalina Haldar, class of 2015 student at IIM Lucknow. Her novel, The Female Ward, was published in May, 2013. She is the Creative Head and Core Coordinator of the Media and Communication Cell at IIM Lucknow.)