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.