A few days ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a Pledge of Integrity at IIM A. Yet another one of those moments that got me thinking. We gathered around to take the pledge in memory of Manjunath Shanmugam, an IIM Lucknow alumnus and an IOC Sales Manager who was killed in 2005 in Uttar Pradesh for clamping down on the oil adulteration mafia. A person who was once a student just like all of us here at the IIMs. What drove him to stay on this path – the path of right – of knowing you are doing your best – and at what cost?

IMG_3892As I stood with the candle in my hand, several emotions ran through me. First of pride. One thing I am proud of at IIM A is the high – very high focus on ethics at the institute. Every single professor here is an inspiration, a force to reckon with, a person who if you let them into your minds – can change the way you think forever. I am proud to have had the chance to listen to some of them and I am proud to be part of this community. And I am proud to be part of this candlelight pledge to a true hero – Manjunath. I pray his family finds peace in the prayers we all send out.

As I stood with the candle in my hand, another emotion ran through me. Of fright or perhaps doubt. I wondered – would I be able to do the same? Would I be able to leave my three children behind in the fight against truth? I wonder and I hope if I am ever faced with a situation such as this – I find the strength in me to do the right thing.

Nita Menon is a Guest Author for LSD. After a stint of close to 17 years outside India, a desire to contribute back to India; the country that made her what she is today; brought Nita back to IIM A. This article was inspired from the thoughts that ran through her as she held the candle in the pledge for integrity. This story was originally published at Nita’s personal blog – Six Steps More.