Monday, February 25, 2013

MISUNDERSTANDING

To my mind, police is the most misunderstood function of the government in today’s India. Damned if we do and damned if we don’t. I must at this juncture mention that these are my private views. I am solely responsible for all the feelings my words evoke in you: bad, good or ugly. I am speaking from the point of view of all the upheaval in society that is visible today. The mass protests, the rise in crime, the intolerance, the corruption, the increasing chasm between the haves and the have nots: the list is endless. At no point I am saying the police is not to blame, but tell me honestly, what about the society at large. Crime and punishment are both functions of the same society. What are you protesting?? Do you even know what you stand for? Are you against the government? Are you against the mindset of the rapist or the abuser? Are you against the laws? Are you against yourself?? Are you against crime? What do you stand for? I fail to understand. There may be tough questions to answer. Today it seems like every one wants to break a law and do something illegal. All they want is to get away with it. Getting caught is the biggest problem. What is the difference between a youngster on a bike jumping the red light and a criminal dumping a murdered body on the highway?? They both want to get away with committing the crime. I am not comparing the severity of the crime or the harm that they have wreaked upon the society; but I am comparing the underlying similarity. Ponder upon another question if you will. What do you want the police to do, mean or be? This is an answer I want from all sections of the society. Politicians, students, housewives, activists, media et al. What do you want from the police? Want us to turn a blind eye to your riding without a helmet? Want us to arrest all the corrupt? Want us to enforce and uphold the law? Want us to allow you to vandalize government property? There is this popular refrain that is prevalent. That the police are corrupt; that the police are stooges of the ruling class; that the police are ineffective; that the police only pressurize the weak; that the police are criminals in uniform. Should the Union of India scrap the police altogether? Should we remove all laws?? If the police were so inefficient then how has the society functioned so far? I don’t mind being yelled at and pointed a finger to. I am after all a police officer. I have worn the uniform as a badge of my contribution to the society. I am doing the best I can; given the circumstances. It was evident to me long ago that as a cop, no matter what I do, I will never be liked by the society. Yet I chose to be here and to uphold the law because I believe without it there will be anarchy. I believe in strict implementation and I believe the Indian laws are adequate. I also believe that reforms are needed in the policing system of the country. I want dignity for each and every police man or police woman on the street. There are problems within and there are problems without. While on one side police will be revered only when the corrupt practices inside the police department are weeded out, on the other hand there needs to be a working interface of the community with the police and the policing system so that they understand what the police stands for and what are the constraints of the legal system within which the police has to operate. Tolerance on the whole of the misuse of power and money has to end. However with it needs to end the reliance on hooliganism and demands for street justice. Retribution and revenge are not the marks of a civilized society. Industriousness and probity are. There is no need to make every issue ‘police vs. people’. Police is not opposed to anything so long as it is legal. The police are there to facilitate safety and security of the people. That does not mean that there is a policeman with each and every citizen. It means the fear of the law will ensure that people do not commit heinous crimes on each other. If crime rates are increasing it means the society does not believe in the legal system. This is what needs to be addressed. The Police as part of the Criminal Justice System need to be sensitized to the needs of the society. The numbers in the force have to be in an adequate ratio with the population. Women in the police need as much protection as those without. While self reliance is the best solution, respect for the rights and privileges of all human beings is the important key. Perhaps that is what we have forgotten. While the media rakes up its TRP, we allow the travesty of social angst to reach our young who cannot seem to fathom the reasons as they are unclear to all. Women have been commodified. Police has been demonized. Politicians have been vilified. In the process we have forgotten what it means to be human.

11 comments:

Syeda Shaheen said...

Well I see parity between eloquent thoughts of yours and some crumbling thoughts of mine. By 'crumbling', I strictly mean my nondescript mind compared to your thoughts on the same as a police officer.

Dhruv said...

well said

Dhruv said...

well said.The team of Civil services is the skeleton of our country,which give us the strength to walk towards progress.I strongly believe if 'EACH and EVERY' person holding govt insignia becomes courageous and honest,no evil force can resist us to achieve the state of near utopian.The whole world is mocking at us for our poor socio-economic infrustructure,playing blame game is not the solution to overcome this hurdle.We must not put greediness and cowardliness before our duty.If someone become rotten under whatever circumstances, the whole system becomes malfunctioned.Still we are hopeful with the few honest persons working for our country.Salute to those brave ones and shame to that group of people who forgot their duty,and the oath given to the country.
(NB:my views are personal and does not mean to any specific one)

policeimages said...

madam first of all great salute to you for choosing this profession, only two profession in our nation is really a SERVICE (IMHO) betting their life for the safety of the people. one is policing and the other is defense esp. army and also for your knowledge and effort you put up in upsc exams, you deserve much sophisticated and luxurious job. hats off for choosing IPS,I m a common man.people including me always see policemen as a strange person.in most of families children are brought up by showing policemen as a threatening factor. still many people in India don't think police people are safeguarding them.and also some policemen treat common men rudely as they are criminals.at this point only people lose faith and contact with police.policemen should be a friend to a good citizen.if a good citizen moves away on seeing a policemen it is not good policing.the exact term is community policing I think.it should come to effect.mam I accidently saw a photo of you patrolling in your city.read your interview.and at that instance I become your proud fan rather than be a fan of an actor,a sportsman or a politician who are not doing real service from my point of view.and I have a very humble request for you,I am a zero about policing,I m not eligible to tell this to you, but I have to say.you are the SP of jorhat. two things for which people don't like police are rudeness and disrespect over a good citizen and the second corruption which won't come to your notice. please madam if you took these black marks in police department, surely people respect policeman as their saviour.

gopinathactressfan said...

madam first of all great salute to you for choosing this profession, only two profession in our nation is really a SERVICE (IMHO) betting their life for the safety of the people. one is policing and the other is defense esp. army and also for your knowledge and effort you put up in upsc exams, you deserve much sophisticated and luxurious job. hats off for choosing IPS,I m a common man.people including me always see policemen as a strange person.in most of families children are brought up by showing policemen as a threatening factor. still many people in India don't think police people are safeguarding them.and also some policemen treat common men rudely as they are criminals.at this point only people lose faith and contact with police.policemen should be a friend to a good citizen.if a good citizen moves away on seeing a policemen it is not good policing.the exact term is community policing I think.it should come to effect.mam I accidently saw a photo of you patrolling in your city.read your interview.and at that instance I become your proud fan rather than be a fan of an actor,a sportsman or a politician who are not doing real service from my point of view.and I have a very humble request for you,I am a zero about policing,I m not eligible to tell this to you, but I have to say.you are the SP of jorhat. two things for which people don't like police are rudeness and disrespect over a good citizen and the second corruption which won't come to your notice. please madam if you took these black marks in police department, surely people respect policeman as their saviour.

gopinathactressfan said...

madam first of all great salute to you for choosing this profession, only two profession in our nation is really a SERVICE (IMHO) betting their life for the safety of the people. one is policing and the other is defense esp. army and also for your knowledge and effort you put up in upsc exams, you deserve much sophisticated and luxurious job. hats off for choosing IPS,I m a common man.people including me always see policemen as a strange person.in most of families children are brought up by showing policemen as a threatening factor. still many people in India don't think police people are safeguarding them.and also some policemen treat common men rudely as they are criminals.at this point only people lose faith and contact with police.policemen should be a friend to a good citizen.if a good citizen moves away on seeing a policemen it is not good policing.the exact term is community policing I think.it should come to effect.mam I accidently saw a photo of you patrolling in your city.read your interview.and at that instance I become your proud fan rather than be a fan of an actor,a sportsman or a politician who are not doing real service from my point of view.and I have a very humble request for you,I am a zero about policing,I m not eligible to tell this to you, but I have to say.you are the SP of jorhat. two things for which people don't like police are rudeness and disrespect over a good citizen and the second corruption which won't come to your notice. please madam if you took these black marks in police department, surely people respect policeman as their saviour.

AK said...

yippee u are back...We civilians look upto you all for so much..sometimes the impossible...I truly respect how you work..round the clock..against odds...seeing us as your family to safeguard...forgetting your holidays,,,missing your own family..A salute n respect n bless..A Khan

filament said...

It's more of a misunderstanding than mistrust I'd say. Where did it all go wrong? How come we're faced with such a mess! The people in power or the people who brought them to power are responsible?

The list of endless questions will keep coming up. Thing is, do we have enough answers? Common man feels helpless and at a loss in an uncommon environment. His bread to bed story isn't worth a fight you think! Society at large stands up for its existence. Simple! Did you feel differently as a cop when Salman walked away or J Jayalatitha occupied the hotseat once again? Cops did their job, the unshakable witnesses didn't budge, and yet, what kind of deal do we finally settle with...?

Rising crime, general tendency towards lawlessness and increasing pandemonium - are all hallmarks of a colossal failure on the part of the people who were entrusted with the upkeep of the sanctity of responsibility of the nation and its people.

Charandeep Kaur Jhajj said...

The thoughts that have been bared here can only come from a person who believes in doing things in the most righteous manner. A person used to taking shortcuts won't be able to comprehend them. Like most commoners, I too have hardly any faith in the Police. This stems from the fact that the force is be riddled with so many faults that it leaves little for people to believe in its system of impartial functioning. On the other side, I am also against any kind of mob justice which is more of a result of demented minds or maybe literarily put, Satanic and the kinds of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus. You have dared to tread the path that does hold good prospects of making a positive change but the path is anything but smooth. Faith can move mountains and so can one's actions coupled with the un-dying spirit of holding on to what believes is right. Waiting to see u set new benchmarks of professionalism!

Spunky Bong said...

This is not a misunderstanding. Rather, it is a refusal to understand, that has created this 'us and them' mindset in India (and elsewhere too).

At the root of it all is corruption and like a snake, it can be eliminated only if the head is chopped off. In this case it would be the Indian lawmakers, who are among the most corrupt anywhere in the world. Chances are that the very person whom a DG of Police reports to is corrupt himself.

On the other hand, take corruption in Canada, where I live - at the street level at least, it is practically non-existent. Over here, no traffic cop will stop you and shake you down for Rs200. Let me give you an example -

The other day, I didn't halt at a stop sign and sure enough, there was a squad car on my tail, its flashers on. If a cop car following you puts on its flashers, it is a sign for you to pull over. There was a single cop inside the cruiser - a lady.

When you get pulled over, the rule says that you must remain in your car, your hands in clear view, on the wheel. So, that's how I remained for a while till she checked up on me on her on-board computer. Then she opened the door and got off, adjusting her holster and flipping the safety off in one fluid motion. Her left hand traveled in one practiced motion to her waist and felt for her taser to check it was there. Over here, a cop can get blown away just like that.

She walked coolly over and stopped just short of my driver-side window, staying close to my car, so that if I had a gun, I would have to twist my torso more than 120 degrees to my left to point it at her.

"Your license and registration, Sir."

"What did I do, Officer."

"Your license and registration, Sir." (Over here you don't question a cop, if you don't want to get hand-cuffed)

I reached my left hand through the window and held the documents out. She reached over and took them. A minute passed.

"Do you know why you've been stopped?" Cool and level voice, neither friendly, nor unfriendly.

"No".

"You crossed the stop sign over there." She pointed at the stop sign, barely visible in the distance."I am going to issue you a ticket for $259.00 and you have 45 days to pay it. Plus, you get three demerit points for this infraction."

She handed me back my documents and for once, her voice softened. It softened for two reasons - one, I had a clean driving history and no police record and two, the fine and demerit points would make me poorer and she felt sorry for me, fully aware that when you're driving, sometimes your mind is on something and you forget to pay attention and then, shit happens.

"Have a great day, Sir." While I waited for her to leave, she walked back to the cruiser, switched off the flashers and drove off.

There was no question ever, of the requirement of a bribe.

stalkerprice said...

i have been fined thrice for not wearing helmet. (first it was when i was going back home after a haircut). Other two times i was just going to the market. Whos fault was that? Obviously mine. If i had took it seriously in the first time itself and started wearing the helmet from that very moment then there would not be any fines for the 2nd and the 3rd times. It is our fault for which the police needs to act strict.Police gets blamed for doing something and getting failed in doing something as well. I never had any complaints or grudge with police. I believe if i am doing right and legal then police will not bother me.
By the way, ma'am you inspire me, your thoughts encourage me, your words keep the flames of my dreams ignited. I m not your fan but i see u as my idol. I may not be as talented as you to crack CS but i am sure i will land up in defence sector. Thank you so much.

ps: sorry for my bad english.