In 1902, A.H.L.Fraser, Chairman of the Second Police Commission said, “The police force is far from efficient, it is defective in training and organization, it is inadequately supervised, it is generally regarded as corrupt and oppressive, and it has utterly failed to secure the confidence and cordial cooperation of the people”. Not much has changed since then! The mistrust people have placed in police during British reign, still continues, and the police department is failing.
For everybody sniggering and commenting – ‘Pizza arrives faster than Police’, this might come as a surprise when I say Indian Police Force is one of the hardest working organizations in the world. A regular policeman works 16 hours a day to solve cases, apart from duties like VIP escorting, patrolling religious processions and controlling political demonstrations. Let me explain it to you in a simpler way. Remember on that hot, sunny day you rolled up your car windows and kicked in the AC? A police constable was standing under the sun, amidst pollution, guiding the traffic – making sure your journey is safe and convenient. Remember how you sat at the comfort of your house, watching that politician talk about India for the 100th time? A entire battalion was standing guard for him.
So, why is the “Khaki Man” generally hated?
To get a better idea on the question; Swipe conducted a poll, where we asked our users if the sight of policeman make you nervous instead of feeling safe? And a whooping 80% said it does! The results made me wonder. Why is the sight of someone who is supposed to protect us, making us run away clutching our wallets close to our chests! Why are Khakis failing to serve people? Here is probably why:
Lack of modern equipment :
Media never minced words showcasing the atrocities of the Police Department, portraying them as racist killers – thrashing the minorities, immigrants and the impoverished. But when it comes to talking about the lack of facilities in the department, media is surprisingly silent. Did you know, nationwide there are only 7 vehicles for every 100 policemen? Most of them rely on their own transportation or depend on public transport to reach to the scene of crime. Most police men lack bullet-proof vests, are given poor combat equipment; and a significant part of police stations do not have basic facilities. The sight of inspectors with revolvers (model used in Deewar movie by Amitabh Bachchan), constables with First World War – era rifles and worse, wooden lathis is not uncommon in India. And we still wonder why the police department is failing.
Police reforms in India :
Police Dept is still guided by Indian Police Act of 1861, created by the British. Although many committees and commissions had tried to make reforms to police in India, very little has changed. Starting from the second police commission in 1902, committees like Gore Committee on Police Training, the National Police Commission, The Ribeiro Committee on Police Reforms, The Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms (summary), Prakash Singh Vs Union of India – SC directives for Police Reforms and Soli Sorabjee Committee; efforts have been made. But the ideas proposed by these committees have been neglected by the state governments and none have been implemented.
Supreme Court which recognized the reasons behind why police department is failing its functions has put forth many reforms. Both in 2006 and 2013, SC ordered states and union territories to implement 7 binding directions through legislation or executive order. But instead of following the SC’s ruling, states have implemented their own practices. The reason you ask? It is in the next para.
Police – politician nexus :
Even after horrifying terrorist attacks, mega scams by business men, Maoist threats, political parties are not willing to loosen their grip on the Khaki department and allow them to ‘serve’ people. The unenthusiastic attitude of political parties and red-tapism, have made police reforms stagnant. Establishing co-ordination between police of each states, implementing technologically advanced equipment and techniques to solve crimes, modern infrastructure, effective training, all have been kept pending because of the police – politician nexus.
The department is still under the thumb of various politicians; attacking student groups on their orders, arresting innocents on their commands, ignoring corrupts to please them. And in-turn taking the blame.
Among the many social issues Swipe wants to change in India, police reforms are one of them. It is high time government recognize the problem and act to solve it. Everyday Swipe picks various political issues, social atrocities, and taboos etc., and brings them to you to vote. A user can swipe right to vote “Yes” and left to vote “No” on a particular issue. Team swipe takes tremendous effort to educate the user on the issue with an unbiased supporting info and encourage him/her to develop an opinion. For more information visit timetoswipe.com