Monday, July 9, 2018

Hon DG Sir, Sharing of a Common Man!

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because some rough men with badge stand ready to face violence on their behalf.”...  George Orwell.

Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism. Though going by present scene, Orwell’s above words many of our countrymen won’t agree with as read any news paper & most of the time men with the badge make for the wrong reasons only! Either the news is about police making innocent people victim or unnecessary use of muscle power while interrogation or some cop getting caught for accepting bribe for not filing FIR (a key word for policing i.e. first investigation report) & if not least then some constable’s suicide due to work pressure. Interesting isn’t it as on one side police dept’s communication or dialogue with society (read common man) is hailed by most & on other side police dept is said to be under extreme work pressure (read political as well media pressure) as well less man power & poor infrastructure which includes inadequate funding for police force to below par housing provisions! Something somewhere is going terribly wrong with police dept if not with men but the system we call police, isn’t it the outcome any wise man can make out from all such scene? And it’s unfortunate that it’s the wise men which are most endangered species especially in the jungle named govt & on all such background we have got a new Director General of Police (read DG) which many believes is from the endangered species i.e. wise! Not just DG but one more such man has taken the responsibility of a post which is below DG by hierarchy but ten time bigger by sharing lime light & that is Police Commissioner of Aamchi Mumbai & incidentally he too is said coming from endangered species i.e. wise men!

Here, wise doesn’t mean just a thinker or knowledgeable but wise means a man who knows his job & how to get it done & both these men have a real tough job at hand! I have personally many friends at all levels in police force & most of them are good men; this aspect of goodness is very much important by me, as above all of qualities, a police man must be good human being at heart as this dept is for protecting goodness in the society from bad guys (read bad elements) & how one can protect good unless he or she is good by himself or herself! And let’s keep Mumbai aside & focus of DG’s road ahead; no, I am not writing this to criticize police, we have enough tongues & pens to do that, what I am interested is in sharing my views about police from view of common man; you can say expectations as that can make the job of DG easier not the criticism! For those who don’t know what is so important with DG’s role for entire police dept, well for them DG is like father to a home (read family)! It’s DG which makes policies as well fight(sorry for the word but that’s fact) with bosses at high places in govt to make funds available to police men so they can serve the society better & most importantly by me to keep the moral of police force high!

I know many will laugh at the term moral of police force but if any dept needs high moral then that’s police as come what may have you ever imagined a job (I am referring to constable which is lowest rank of police force but maximum in numbers) to patrol on roads at odd hours of night & with just a lathi (wooden stick) & whistle, while the goons from which they have to guard the society can have guns & don’t mind using it too! And then at late night or early morning hours after duty when you start from home then the home of one room kitchen mostly is in outskirts at an hour’s drive! Even if you are lucky to have a quarter in the city, then also you have to face the pathetic condition of those quarters (popularly known as police line) which has more water seeping through walls & roofs than that flows from tap! And its this shortfall of man power reflects on working hours of existing force reflecting directly on health parameters like BP, Sugar & Obesity are just to name a few! On the top of it most police men of lower ranks has got two major worries in cities like Pune or Mumbai & they are, to own a home here & education of their children! I think it’s these two main worries which are the root cause of most police men’s (here read men & women) frustration which reflects in their behavior with common man!  And its these two aspects is what DG sir you have to focus on to start with is what I feel as if a police man’s mind is free of his home hunting as well child’s education then nearly 70% of tensions are gone & this is applicable for any common man too!

That way police force is very unique organization, it’s not fully developed or say created like Armed Forces  where right from the cadet (jawan) to General (top boss) all are trained uniformly i.e. hard core discipline & taught to take pride in whatever rank the person may be working. Also services personals are aloof from society in way, even when placed in civilian’s area i.e. not on border, which we call cantonment area. So the entire armed forces behave like one family & the bonding even with extreme discipline amongst the ranks in the backbone of the services! And then the police force is not like civilian’s organizations also, which are much liberal in working with unions also getting accommodated as part of system! But at the same time a police man has to work closely with civilians keeping the uniform on & this makes police force handling a tricky job which is what a DG has to do as a general of semi uniform & semi civilians’ army! And still there is discipline very much in the force where one has to salute his or her superiors whenever you face him! And that’s why the bonding between the ranks of the police force is not as strong as armed forces & neither it’s as friendly as its been in private organizations! And then there are cadres in the police force which divides the force i.e. IPS making some men going to very top post directly & many just won’t ever reach to that post & they know this hard fact! Need of the time is developing comradeship (with due respect to what already is there) amongst the ranks of police force & for that the senior officers needs to take the lead which is considered as sign of a weak boss unfortunately! In police a strong & tough boss mean a person who just know one thing to bark & fire everyone near to him & somewhere this is also a cause of frustration amongst lower ranks of the force!

And then comes the most important aspect of police force that is their image in the eyes of common man as well criminals! Today ask any common man & on this platform right from a millionaire business man to a primary school teacher all are same; ask them if they have been required to go the police station for any work leave apart launching a complaint & they will try to avoid it at their best! As frankly people don’t believe that they will get justice at police station; sorry, I know my this statement will offend many of my friends who are good policemen yet that’s a fact! And here justice doesn’t mean catching a thief or recovering the stolen goods in twenty four hours all I was referring to getting a good friendly treatment at police station which people believes that is reserved only if you have got some high level contacts or you are related to some political figure! DG Sir, this is the biggest challenge in front of force that to make common man believes that, he or she will be attended at any police station in friendly way. As most of the time people are required to go the any police station for some bad thing has happened to them! And at such times all they need is a friendly smile by the police men & confidence that we are with you, don’t worry & this is very much important as in the common man’s eyes a police-man represents law! And when the police-man says "we are with you", that means law is with them, it’s this confidence which is very much important to maintain Law & Order in the society which is vanishing fast!

And on other side the criminals should be afraid of these very police men which is not happening as otherwise there wouldn’t have been every day road side parked vehicle breaking gangs mushrooming all around the peace loving cultural city like Pune & that’s to just show to common man that, “we are bhai of this area & we rule this city, not the police!” Sometimes as a common man I think even if a common man doesn’t love or believe police is ok but a criminal (read any bad element of the society) must fear police force as the result will be ultimately the society will be at peace! Today any crime may it be a house breaking, chain snatching, shop breaking or even a murder & if the crime get registered (as that is one more gray area) then all that police force demand is CC TV footage & answer you get is we are checking CC TV footage which most of the time is useless! DG Sir, I grew up reading “Dakshata” magazine (in 1980’s) which used to  illustrate investigations of crimes by the very police force & that time CC TV’s were not even invented, yet police used to crack the case! I am not saying don’t use technology but just don’t get crippled without it is what common man expects from the police force. The surest way to assure people about Law-Enforcement is detection of crime & making them see that the criminals gets punished here, despite his contacts or position! And for this make the police force strong on resource front which does include funding as well infrastructure. 

Scene is majority of police stations (leave apart chowkis) don’t even have basic things like good clean toilets for ladies & gents & we are talking about giving gun to every police man & bullet proof jackets! We can involve private sectors, associations of industries like CREDAI or MCHI to join hands for focused CSR activities for police force. Problem is, most senior bureaucrats are afraid of media & allegations it makes for joining hands with private sector (read businessmen) & prefer to turn a blind eye towards the lacuna in infrastructure of police force is a bitter fact & here is where wise man like you can make the difference in taking right decisions for the benefit of the force! If we want results then first we have to provide tools to get the results to these men in khaki & fast, as time is running out. There are some very good people in force, one SP Mr. Amol Tambe arranging marathon for his villagers, then there is Chandrapur SP Ms Niyati Thakur reaching out & trying to make aware people about cyber crime, then Ms Rashmi Shukla introducing Buddy Cop app for women  & SP Suvez Huck trying to get every constable home in Pune & at the same time there are SP, Abhinav Deshmukh & Hari Balaji who believes naxlite problem can be solved not just by guns but making people in Gadchiroli able to live by themselves & many such individuals are in the force! Need is to back up every such good guy in the force & put these individual efforts in-front of public!  Today we are witnessing that the mobs (read common man) all over the Sate taking the law in its own hands to punish few poor beggars, declaring them as criminals & kills them! And no police force is enough when entire society becomes criminal as that day there will be no need of any police force as all we will be left with is Jungle Law!

DG Sir sorry for this sharing if I have offended you but sheer intention was to make you know what a common man thinks about police & yes still most of us respects the khaki wardi & men in it but are afraid even to express it! If a small kid waves at a constable patrolling on road, calling him, “Police Kaka Jay Hind”, then all I want to see is, the Police Kaka waving back & saying proudly “Jay Hind Beta”! All best wishes with lots of expectations…
Sanjay Deshpande 
Sanjeevani Dev.

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