BRINGING THE TRANSFORMATION

Despite the police force in the world’s largest democracy having brought a great attitudinal change within the establishment and its components, the image of the force is not yet fully upto the mark as expected by the people at large. Though the police-public meetings have become a regular feature of the functioning of the organization with the aim of bridging the gap between the men in khaki and the common people, people prefer to maintain distance from the men in khaki just like they fear the Income Tax Department, feeling that getting close to these organizations and its officials would only mean inviting more trouble. This is a clear indication that the police force has not been able to undergo the requisite transformation during the period of over seven decades post independence. It is a fact that a State can touch the pinnacle of glory only if its Law enforcers perform their duty with due diligence, thus ensuring peaceful environment with people having full faith in them. In India the atrocious experience of the people at the hands of men in Khakis during British rule, though it has vanished to a great extent, has left the remnants that continue to bring bad name to the organization even today because of a few disgruntled elements in the organization. Unfortunately, certain incidents across the nation though rare, compel the people to feel that the language of freedom is no longer the common language spoken by the citizenry. “We the people” have been reduced to items of exploitation at the hands of some of those who are supposed to be our saviours. These few law enforcers in Khaki establishment have assumed the self-styled role of super masters in the society and can go to any extent at their own free will throwing all norms to winds. The news of atrocities by some black sheep in the police on people can be witnessed intermittently hitting the headlines. After going through the details of events related to police action or inaction, it is quite clear that such elements in the establishment seem to be the favourites of only a few disgruntled people in politics, and the so-called black sheep continue to work only to safeguard the interests of such ilk, with the common man standing nowhere in the picture. Despite tall claims by the establishment, lodging of an FIR with the police even today is a herculean task for a common man especially in the remote and far-flung areas. The situation in this regard even in the capital cities continues to be far from satisfactory. The people, keeping in mind the agony and trauma that generally has to be undergone while getting an FIR registered and thereafter, prefer to maintain distance from the saviours even in such situations. Therefore, a serious question that arises is “What can we really do on finding ourselves at the mercy of such few law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to serve and protect?” The answer to the question can be found out only if the upright officers in the Khaki establishment as well as the common people’s representatives put their heads together to do away with the mist of fear existing among the common people who must feel safe in approaching the men in Khakis be it registration of FIR, protection against criminals or the enforcement of the legal rights. The actions of the police force on ground do themselves speak of the quality of policing having improved to a large extent as of today, but it would not be wrong to say that much more needs to be done in this direction. This could be achieved only if the civil society as a whole and the police organization and the politicians in particular take a sincere initiative to bring a revolutionary transformation in this most vital establishment of the nation.