B.B.MahajanB. B. Mahajan I.A.S.(Retd.)

Ex. Sect. Agriculture Govt. Of India

As we are all aware, police performs a very essential function in civil society. It has to protect life, liberty & property of citizens & ensure and order without which no social, economic or political progress is possible. Just as man does not live by bread alone, a Society does not live by low & order alone nevertheless, just as man cannot live for long without bread, a civilized society cannot survive for long without an environment of reasonable peace & order.A relationship of mutual trust & co-operation between police and people is necessary for efficient performance of its onerous duties by the police. Such as relationship is sadly lacking in India.  The Common Man perceives police force as inefficient, corrupt & oppressive. The Common perception is that the police neither takes adequate preventive measures to prevent crime or investigation crime effectively to nab the culprits nor prosecutes them diligently to secure their conviction. The poor & the weak often dread to even visit a police station to register a crime. The general belief is that police, like rest of the administration, moves only if the aggrieved party is either rich of influential. The Policeman is believed to be busy collecting bribes for them self or their political masters. And the force is used for oppression by the rich against the poor, the strong against the weak & the politician in power against his opponent rather than for protecting the poor & the weak. Citizens cannot be expected to have healthy relationship with the police as long as the perception. Rooted large in reality, persists, not withstanding any no. Of public relations gimmicks & courtesy weeks.The reasons for such a state of affairs are well known. Policeman is appointed not by fair selection but by dint of their relationship with influential persons or by bribery. They are ill-trained, ill-equipped & overworked. Forensic aids are inadequate so that they have to depend on third degree method in investigations. Police officers from DGP down to SHO’s are arbitrarily transferred after brief tenures because of pressure of powerful politicians them of in supported of other who covet their post. Lucrative police stations are auctioned to highest bidders. Honest Official is harassed & the unscrupulous are rewarded.The remedial measures required are also self evident. Appoint policeman on merit through fair selection, give them proper training & aids, give officers at al levels & stable tenure of a reasonable length & make them accountable for the state of crime in their area, rewards the honest & the efficient & punish the corrupt and the inefficient promptly & severely.The question is why such measures are not taken & conditions allowed to deteriorate. The basic reason must be sought in our polity. Power in a democracy ultimately vests, quite rightly, in elected political leaders. These leaders get elected after spending a lot of money. They have a limited tenure, which also sometime gets cut short prematurely. Thanks to our hypocritical belief that they are there to serve the people & therefore need not be adequately paid. And they are all human. So their natural instinct is to use their power not only to recoup investment made by them in their election & activity in the intervening period between elections. But also to make handsome profit, particularly in view of the extremely risky natures of the investment. They therefore try by use of state apparatus to make as quickly as much money as they can for themselves, their relatives & political supporters (whose help will be required at the next election). They will also need money again form their rich friends at the time of next election & must, therefore help them while in power. They have also to build up their business interests as a security against possible upset the next elections. The police being repository of raw power of the state become an important instrument for achievement of these objectives. And since people at the top use police force for collecting money for themselves, their Relative & friends and for furthering their interests, it is only natural that officials down the line also use their powers for similar purposes.An independent judiciary & a free press do exercise some restraining influence but given a strong will a way can generally be found. The fear of losing power at the next election is a major deterrent, however its strength gets blunted so long as the politician feels reasonably confident that the can deflect the attention of the voters from the ill of omission & commission in Governance to issues of caste, region or ideology or can rig the election by booth capturing, bogus voting, scaring away voters of the opponents or use of money power.What is the remedy for this state of affairs? If the Above analysis is correct, any lasting improvement. Will take place take only when the politician is convinced that it is in his interest to effect the improvement & he is enabled to do so. For this be will have to reduce the compulsion to used state power for personal gain & increase the risk of such misuse. Implementation of the proposal for state funding of election & further measures by the election commission to reduce the expenditure on election should reduce the amount of investment to be recouped. A substantial increase in the emolument of legislators & ministers would likewise eliminate the need for supplementing those by unlawful means. The aim should be to create a situation in which a politician can remain honest if he so wishes without going bankrupt. Further tightening of the election process to eliminate rigging of elections by use of muscle & money power will increase the risk of realising the power of their vote, start making the politicians in power accountable for the efficiency, honesty & impartiality of the police force in their area; this will act as strong incentive for making necessary improvement. A healthy trend in this regard is already. Visible with voters throwing out state Govt. Of the party at power at the centre for its failure to check the price of onions & rejecting the candidate for Lok Sabah of the party in power in a state where they were dissatisfied with its performance in the state. Some political analysts have lamented this tendency to mix up the local & national issues. However, on balance it is a healthy trend as it would send single to al political parties in power, whether at local, state or centre level, to ensure good governance. Present is an opportune time to strengthen this trend. With near consensus on major economic & political issues between major contenders for power. The voters can now give greater weight to the quality of governance. N.G.O.s like this society & the media can play a useful role in strengthening this trend by political education of the masses about the use of vote for bringing about an honest, efficient &people friendly administration & by bringing out unbiased surveys about the state of crime in different state & regions. A world of caution here. It wills not safe to reply one on figures of registered crime. For then the easiest way to show improvement will be not to registered crime at all, particularly from the week & the less powerful. Once the politicians in power are convinced that it is impartial police force, the situation can improve dramatically. And Healthier relationship between police & the people will follow.

October 22, 2018 Post Under Uncategorized - Read More

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