Homeland Security

Unsung Heros of India’s Silent War
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Issue Net Edition | Date : 20 Mar , 2015

The day of 16 March 2015 must be remembered by our countrymen for the sacrifice of a civilian soldier DK Ravi who laid down his life fighting a silent war. It is against the most dangerous of all the enemies of India: corruption and the corrupt.

This war is almost six decades old. It is the most silent war ever fought in our independent history of more than 67 years. No tri-colours fluttered, no fiery speeches, no nationalistic fervours, no blazing guns and no bayonet charges. The battle he fought all alone single handedly. Despite being fully aware of the outcome, he bashed on regardless.

In the land of Gandhi, it is almost a fashion to swear by his ideals, make lofty speeches, hold meetings and prayers commemorating his birth and remembering his sacrifice. Drawing political mileage evoking emotions in the name of Bapu is more of a compulsion of smart politics. However, not many of India’s politicians and government servants would ever be seen following these ideals in practice.

Many crusaders have laid down their lives thus far in fighting the menace of communalism, corruption, injustice, molestation and many other societal ills.

The soldiers like Ravi are the rarest of the rare breed who have tried following these ideals. Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, who first challenged the apartheid in South Africa and later the mighty British Empire upfront following the principles of simplicity and honesty in late nineteenth century unfortunately became the first martyr himself of this silent war.

It was the January 30, 1948 when a mentally sick man shot dead the Mahatma. The reasons though were political but this act was simply anti national and no different from what we witness regularly in our country. Many crusaders have laid down their lives thus far in fighting the menace of communalism, corruption, injustice, molestation and many other societal ills.

Late DK Ravi, who had taken on the sand and land mafia, had allegedly committed suicide on March 16, 2015 by hanging from a ceiling fan in his room at his official flat after returning home from office in the morning. Beleaguered Ravi, seeing the inimical forces closing in by the hour. No reinforcement in sight, no relief and support forth coming, utterly harassed, this civilian soldier must have decided to end his life deny the enemy any sense of triumph in killing him.

There is a growing demand for a CBI probe into what is alleged to be a mysterious death. Mr Ravi, who on his posting in Bangalore had taken on the land mafia cracking down on them for tax evasion.

Leading dailies reported the anger spilled on to the streets of Karnataka. The locals called for a shutdown in Kolar district, following the death of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer D K Ravi, who challenged the real estate mafias and ‘exposed their tax frauds’.

The list of these civilian soldiers is long and their stories blood boiling. As of now the enemy within appears to be winning.

Like many such soldiers in the past, will this sacrifice go in vain? Will people forget this as one of such incident? Well it is yet to be seen. Going by the past precedence it is most likely that this issue too shall subside and fade away from our memories. At the most Bollywood may end up making a multi crore movie and life will just carry on unfazed. I sincerely wish it is not so this time. To keep the flame glowing in hope, it is important to regularly keep remembering these soldiers fighting this seemingly endless silent war.

Just to refresh and pick one out of the lot, I wonder how many would remember Satyendra Dubey (1973-2003) who was a project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). Dubey had identified huge financial irregularities in the infrastructure project that he handled. He had send an anonymous letter to the PMO with changed identity telling the PM how contractors had “submitted forged documents to justify their technical and financial capabilities” to win bids for the contract. He requested the PMO not to reveal his identity. Unfortunately though, the information reached the enemy. On Nov 27, 2002, Satyandera Dubey was shot dead in Gaya. And subsequently a case was filed by the CBI that of a simple robbery.

The list of these civilian soldiers is long and their stories blood boiling. As of now the enemy within appears to be winning. And the valiant soldiers like Satyendra Dubey and DK Ravi keep the war raging. Let’s pledge and rise to join the ranks of those fighting this silent war and salute those heroes, fallen.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Danvir Singh

Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review, former Commanding Officer, 9 Sikh LI and author of  book "Kashmir's Death Trap: Tales of Perfidy and Valour".

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17 thoughts on “Unsung Heros of India’s Silent War

  1. Very sad to know if demise of a very honest officer in fact a rare in today’s india n existence of such people is running the show rotten by corrupt bureaucracy, politicians, all type of mafia however there is a question mark on so called suicide as a honest person has none to fear even if whole world is against him bcos he knows he is right n that is more than enough support, strength, backup rqd for a man with little needs, i can smell fish/ rat/ stinky odour behind all this, it needs to be thoroughly investigated or will become a consistent threat/ trauma for other like minded honest GOI officers who go out of the way to enforce the law as in today’s internet, media a very capable of highlighting such threats to any person if reported n it hardly takes time to post a message n highlight ones plight to behold world, if investigators get a free hand along with cooperation from local govt bodies n population i am very sure it will be known soon whether it was suicide or pre planned/ well executed cold blooded murder of a gem of the nation by dreaded land mafia also would like to suggest to other honest officers who are fighting against odds to be more aware of personal security.

  2. the first article in IDR which really feels like it has been written with less research. I agree with the civilian soldier part but mr. danvir you fail to recollect it was the same mohandas who you and you country call mahatma was the reason why hindus were eliminated in my state of Bengal. Don’t forget noakhali massacre when thousands of hindu women raped but gandhi came and asked the hindus to stay quiet. What happened to gandhi’s fast when the country was being partitioned. Why didn’t people listen to the so called mahatma. why did the so call mahatma let nehru have his way with my motherland? Why did Gandhi let the same type of civilian freedom fighters like Bhagat singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev be hanged and chopped by the Brits. Why did your so called mahatma was given the title of lieutenant by brits and why did he recruit 25 lakh indians to fight brit’s war against the nazis. Really expect better writing from a site managed by ex RAW officials. No wonder you guys can’t control terrorism, save kashmiri pandits, save hindus in northeast and Bengal, save hindus in kerala or stop the country from being disintergrated. Skills need to go hand in hand with knowledge and calling the people who work like mafia mahatma doesn’t bode too well for you country mr. Hopefully you ex RAW agents are listening. Makes my blood boil to see sacrifices of extremists like Udham singh and Bose being thrown into garbage because of your so called mahatma.

    Jai Hind my ignorant indians.
    From a patriotic Indian living in canada (Should listen to PIO’s, we have a lot of knowledge about India which you guys don’t. Should understand why Mr. Modi is giving us importance)

    But hey I know you ignorant Indians will just pooh pah what i have said and carry on worshipping mahatma like he was actually a mahatma. Keep complaining on IDR. They day when i see positive happenings about India on IDR, I will stop cribbin here but do things right.

    • Very sad to know if demise of a very honest officer in fact a rare in today’s india n existence of such people is running the show rotten by corrupt bureaucracy, politicians, all type of mafia however there is a question mark on so called suicide as a honest person has none to fear even if whole world is against him bcos he knows he is right n that is more than enough support, strength, backup rqd for a man with little needs, i can smell fish/ rat/ stinky odour behind all this, it needs to be thoroughly investigated or will become a consistent threat/ trauma for other like minded honest GOI officers who go out of the way to enforce the law as in today’s internet, media a very capable of highlighting such threats to any person if reported n it hardly takes time to post a message n highlight ones plight to behold world, if investigators get a free hand along with cooperation from local govt bodies n population i am very sure it will be known soon whether it was suicide or pre planned/ well executed cold blooded murder of a gem of the nation by dreaded land mafia.

  3. Satender dubey, manjunath , DSP zia ul khan and now DK ravi
    list is long but in all the cases decision is still pending in court.
    First they were killed by mafias and now their coffins by corrupt judiciary.
    What an irony in this nation….ppl do candle march to support anna against corruption and then kill ppl actually practicing it on ground.
    Dk ravi saved 104 cr of govt money in the recent past…..i mean how many babus can do this….all busy in stashing money in their account n lickingpolitical masters. …

  4. Lets not taint DK Ravi by invoking Gandhi’s name. DK Ravi was a simple honest man far more honest than Gandhi or Nehru who did his work without the glory that Gandhi and Nehru sought.
    The interesting part is; why does Sonia need to give the CM permission to investigate? It must be investigated automatically. Is it the money that the CM and his party took that is stopping them.
    Every government including the USA is corrupt at some level. What makes USA click is local government, whose police will arrest any powerful person and prosecute any President’s family (Bush’s daughter did community service for drinking alcohol and the parents did not intervene). And many towns have refused to take out their traffic lights and the President has had to reroute their travel.

    India talks Panchayat Raj and USA practices it. It is corruption at the very local level that has allowed corruption at the high levels grow. Indians vote for their caste and this exactly what you get.

  5. Bravo Col Danvir Singh most of politicians and civil servants are corrupt and most of time when a person stand up or raise his voice against corruption is alone warrior and odds are against his survival. let all pledge together to end this enemy within with a strong voice and actions.Sometime I wonder how murders of honest people can sleep or die in peace.

  6. Kudos to Col Dalvir Singh in speaking out the reality of India as is today thru this article, which several like him feel about India too !!! Its really dis-heartening to see India go down the drain this way in terms of societal civility, if any at all left out and if anything other than a bleak future for the country, what with materialistic comforts and wealth mongering or coffer filling more than what is needed , up thru greed & selfishness being the foray of every Indian today. !!!

  7. I am shocked that this article is published in the first place. Normally the media always sides with the corrupt, powerful and rich and greedy. As for the writer, thank you sir, you are a brave soul.

  8. Every field of India is bleeding due to corruption. Military deals are clinched with dollars and nations security compromised . We must not give up but continue the Rage . Thanks DS for highlighting the issue.

  9. This article 370 agreed between J&K Raja Hari singh and Govt. of India also temporary, not with Omar Abdulla. After made this agreement kahmir majority muslims looted minority hindu’s houses killed millions of hindus and occupied their properties, many of hindus flee Kashmir. Majority muslims gave room to Pakistan terrorists. it is very very serious matter . so definitely this aarticle 370 should pull back from Jammu and Kashmir

  10. The proportion of criminals in “Public Serice” has been steadily increasing since 1949. Today, any body who is not a full member of the Neta-Babu-Cop-Milard-Crony Kleptocracy is in imminent and mortal danger. Consider how this case has been handed over to the CBI AFTER, the Police Commissioner proclaimed it a “suicide” and a herd of VVIPs trampled all over the crime scene almost before the murder happened obliterating all available forensic evidence. This will be another of India’s many unsolved murders unless the Police and the Courts hang a hapless innocent to appease the media and the opposition to prove some absurd Police theory gleaned from a Bollywood plot to impress India’s more than susceptible and non accountable judiciary with alternatives to the boring requirement of evidence and the sobering, too old fashioned, un Indian crispness of Macaulay. It is not surprising that Mr. Ravi had raided the Embassy Group accused of grabbing defense land, in which the Home Minister Shri K.J.George Ji has a hand. In the best traditions of India’s founding fathers such as Nehru Ji and Gandhi Saheb, during the decade India was under the rule of the Khangress led You Pay Govt at the Center the armed forces were forced to look the other way as India ceded land to the secular forces of Islamic Pakistan and Communist China apart from within India. One such beneficiary could be their party member, the Honourably Secular K.J George, the Home Minister of Karnataka.

  11. Unsung Heros are many. One was my father, Late Charan Das Soni (1908 – 2006), Health Superintendent with Military Hospitals, who fought the corrupt system single handed and won the case where other side had VK Krishna Menon, President of All India Defence Civilian Employees Union and the issue at the back of it was corruption in employing Casual Labour of Anti Malaria operations in Cantonments of India. My father was wrapped up in bogus case by the Union members in 1960s and was warned by the President of the Union. The brave man fought the system single handed and won the case. He, was saved by his “COW that had only one horn and all the bogus witnesses failed there. Thank you cow mata. The Union was warned. Those were good times when the IAS people had some powers. Now, Mafia only has power for last 20 years. People believe Modi will set the system right. God bless any one who dare sort out Mafia controlled rule.

  12. The govt. has no clear directive to the population. People are supposed to seize every opportunity and further their interests, and this brings the population into conflict with each other. Mr. Ravi didn’t belong to the larger society who are encouraged by the govt. to further their economic and social interests. His job was to curb the unfettered self interest of the people.

  13. It amazing when people of rank leave aside the topic at hand and divert attention to smoke and mirrors. “Shri. Nathuram Godse” – is a level of intellectual bankruptcy ? This demonstrates the pathetic culture of “Haan jee. Jee Huzur” that’s prevalent in the Indian Establishment, even that in uniform.

    Here are our heroes in uniform who rejoice on “…Thankfully, the sons of Godse will never get a chance to do even his ‘asthi visarjan’ …” -> SHRI Godse’s wishes being that they (asthi) be immersed when Indus flows in India again. May be our sycophantic officers can take a leaf off Shri Godse’s book.

    This is the mentality of some in our Establishment that has retained the creation of POK and threatens “Silent Subterfuge – LoC to Border” eventually. This is far more dangerous than the myth of Sons of Shri. Nathuram Godse forced down the throats of gullible Indian public time and again.

    Not much attention is being paid to a good topic subject laid waste. Had the criticism been restricted to subject matter discussed in the original article by the author it would have been more fruitful. Alas ! Now we know how the enemy nations manage to snatch away chunks of our sovereign territory bit by bit and chunk by chunk – after all, the defenders are trained to look in the wrong direction or may be they are simply too scared to look the Truth in face.

  14. “Shri Nathuram Godse” !! Wow! Its amazing to see the level of intellectual bankruptcy some utterly misguided people in this country suffer from. Thankfully, the sons of Godse will never get a chance to do even his ‘asthi visarjan’ leave alone change the Gandhian ethos of the entire country.
    That said, Gandhi is the only person in this country with whom a saint like Ravi can be compared – fearlessly married to the truth and nothing but the truth. We are talking of people ready to sacrifice their lives at the altar of truth and not those ready to kill others for purported truths. We are talking of free thinking intellectuals and not indoctrinated zombies.
    Whats next? Shri Beant Singh Ji, Shri Satwant Singh Ji, Shri Harjinder Singh Ji ‘Jinda’ and Shri Sukwinder Singh Ji ‘Sukha’? Disgusting!!

  15. wrt your statement – “It was the January 31, 1948 when a mentally sick man shot dead the Mahatma.”

    Are you a psychiatrist, Danvir Singh ? Are you in possession of psychiatric evaluation of Shri. Nathuram Godse ? Explain how a mentally sick man was hanged by legal system of this country for (supposedly) one murder without giing a chance for medical treatment and/ or reform.

    There is not an iota of similarity between stories of Ravi and MK Gandhi. So please don’t try to buttress your lame article by throwing around baseless facts.

    While IDR’s disclaimer might give it some sort of plausible deniability – nonetheless IDR must be morally responsible for factually incorrect statements made by its Ass. Editor.

  16. First of all its good and heartening to see IDR carrying an article on ‘martyr of India’s silent war’. Col Danvir Singh has a simple, logical and crystal-clear style of writing which also speaks about his distinct thought process.

    Despite receiving threats, DK Ravi continued his good work in Kolar. He was then transferred to Benglore. The local police didn’t cooperate him but the valiant soldier took the sand mafia head on.

    Ravi was an officer who used to sit people and have food with them like an ordinary social worker. The ever-accessible officer worked extensively for marginalized communities. Ravi was transferred 5 times in his small career and collected 138 crore tax dues in just two weeks.

    He paid the price since he didn’t care for his personal safety. What’s more annoying is that the murderers often get away in such cases. Even if they are caught their masters continue to function fearlessly either in Parliament or in assemblies.

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