Saturday, June 14, 2008

Police Reform

The most talked about book that has been published recently in India is the one by BJP's numero uno L.K. Advani's "My country My life". Though the book is an autobiography, yet it hangs around most of the political events during the last forty years. Hence, the book draws maximum attention of the people, and has already become a best seller. But a book which confronts the security of institutions, and the governance of law-and-order machinery, published at the same time, found little importance amongst the readers. This one is "Political Violence and the Police in India" by K.S Subramanian. Unlike Advani's controversial book, this book pertains to the analysis of Indian police system. This is one subject where India needs immediate subtle reforms in order to make the police organization a transparent one, and answerable to the people directly, and not to their political masters.

While analyzing the intent issues viz. terrorism, communal violence and leftist extremism, the author has diligently discussed the socio-economic problems of India, and has put in his deep concerns for the human rights. Apart from narrating day to day issues by the police, he has taken up the case from both angles, public as well as police, and tried to conduct an in-depth examination, maintaining truthful parameters. Being a former IPS officer, he has not desisted from accepting the involvement of political leaders in the day to day working of the police organization. He has admitted that the law-and-order are often used to unleash state violence with impunity. He has not forgotten to write about the corruption in the organization and interpreting its phenomena.

The author, in his book, has extensively narrated the requirements of the several paramilitary forces, IB's role in unsettling and dismissal of opposition ruled state governments, unethical role of police during communal riots and suppressing of socially and economically deprived people at the behest of rural lords. In addition to these, he has extensively proposed for the reforms needed in the police force to correct the maladies in the system.

It's a well-written book, and certainly requires a public debate on several reforms. Surprisingly Mr. Subramanian, an academician in the field, has not briefed on the delineation of an outline on the reforms. We have surpassed 60 long years of our independence, and around 100 odd constitutional amendments have been made Acts. The law and the frightening police force are the same that ware prevalent during the colonial era. Don't the people of a 60+free and 2000+civilized nation deserve a more incorruptible, humane and easy to approach law protector? The first thing for introducing a reform needs a change of name of the organization. It should be Protector, rather than Police.


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