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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why join the police?

Published on :- Times Of
Date :- 23 Oct 2008
Never before has a state been seen to be so hateful and dismissive of its security forces as the present regime. It has evoked fitting responses
too. First, an army chief refused publicly to obey instructions to count Muslim heads in his forces. Then the chief of the coast guards expressed serious concerns about going ahead with the 'break Ram Setu' mission of the secularists. The families of the brave and decorated security personnel returned their medals in protest against the government's “pro-terrorist” policy. The naval chief had to publicly rebuke the government by asserting that the forces fight for status and honour rather than for pay packets. It's the attitude of the South Block they oppose as it puts the soldier lower than babus .

Now, a police already hit by terrorists and their friends in Jamia and Batla House, is getting whipped by politicians of the secularist hue.

21st October was National Police Memorial Day.
Did you hear about it anywhere or read any news article or discussion on it?
It’s celebrated in memory of those police personnel who laid down their lives on this day in 1959 when Chinese soldiers suddenly attacked Ladakh. I had thought this year, in view of the Batla House gang attacking the police in Delhi, the home ministry would be a little more active and a wreath would be laid by the Big Boss in the North Block showing solidarity with his men in khaki who have been asked to fight terror outfits. But I saw none.

Not even the Minister of State for Home thought it appropriate to join the police officers and jawans on this solemn day. Barring a few Hindi newspapers, not a single mainline English newspaper gave a line to this day's celebration. Delhi's police officers, meekly and perhaps with humiliation in their hearts, observed the day as an apology to their martyred colleagues. I looked to see if it had found a mention on the Delhi police website but there too nothing had appeared, except a picture of Inspector MC Sharma in the martyrs' column. Not even a picture of the police commissioner laying a wreath at the small police memorial in the police lines was put on the website even 24 hours after the event. I tried the Ministry of Home Affairs site to know why police day is celebrated on 21st October – there was nothing about it. More than anyone else, police personnel understand the mood of the master; hence they felt it was safer to play defensive this year. The only celebration of the day I could get to know about was in Uttarakhand where chief minister Maj. Gen. BC Khanduri took the salute of the police parade and bestowed honours in a grand function to mark the day.

This was the year when the Centre was expected to lionize their brave actions and salute the forces' heroes. Instead, North Block wore an apologetic look and kept silent when everyone else in the secular Batla gang portrayed the police as criminals and terrorists in khaki. A new Jiyarat, was created as Batla-Jamia hub where offering chador in memory of the terrorist and abusing the police dead became a new sacred ritual. And the protectors of the soldiers, the Home Ministry, turned its back on its own men. Secular brevity indeed.

Two questions arise. Why should a young Indian join the police? Money apart, it's the honour, the izzat that sustains an organization. Even the criminal, terrorist gangs have a share of it in their own way. If a police man is expected to die like an animal and without any defence, face ignominy and insult even after death, what's the fun in wearing khaki? Bad guys in police forces would be as much if not fewer than the politicians in Parliament and in the Cabinet. Rapists, murderers and extortionists have found all sorts of state honours and berths in the corridors of power just on the basis of the heads they showed in their flock.

Why defeat and put to shame a force that's required daily to fight crime and maintain law and order? If the government doesn't trust its own force
or feels ashamed about it, better to disrobe them and form a new organization. Politicians need khaki to cover up their own misdeeds but refuse to introduce reforms to make it look better and independent, use it as a political pawn, yet distance themselves from it when it needs the protection most.

Who were those 12 who fell to the bullets of the communist terrorists called Maoists in Chhattisgarh on the eve of the police memorial day? A useless bundle of bad guys? Did you see any demand from any quarter to crush, ban and eliminate the communist attackers? Any protest in Delhi or Kolkata's human rightists' fashion shows? Suppose the attackers were saffron outfits and the victims were any non-Hindu segment, what would had been the reaction in political offices and the secular media? Because none in the Vatican cries for the personnel who die in the line of duty, none raise the issue in the Commonwealth or publish interviews of their widows and at least offer a line in praise for their sacrifice? Do you have to have a “proper” religious tag to be honoured for your patriotism? That too in this secular dispensation?

This year, 685 policemen have died while performing duties. All in vain? Faltoo ke log ?

The disdain and contempt with which seculars look at the police is exemplified by the fact that the national capital doesn't have even a single memorial to police martyrs that can be termed as worth mentioning. One memorial was sanctioned by LK Advani when he was home minister; that was dismantled under the pressure of the seculars. The memorial was almost complete - 95% of it had been raised in the heart of Delhi near Chanakyapuri at a cost of Rs 13 crore. Everything about it was sanctioned by various government agencies. The CPWD designed the structure, which was cleared by the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Civil Aviation Ministry. Yet the secular group that represented an obscure crowd of petitioners saw it not only stalled but the entire scheme was scrapped. The structure was dismantled and crores spent went down the drain, giving a big jolt to police morale.

Highrise hotels for the rich and the ugly can be accommodated in Chanakyapuri, but a memorial to the martyrs was uprooted to please the “aesthetic senses” of the seculars.

Again the question arises, why should a young, bright Indian join the police?

Suppose there is definitive information about some terrorists hiding in Jamia or its vicinity, would any police officer risk his life and honour to get cracking? When terrorist are being defended through public demonstrations, turning them into new romanticized icons of victimized innocents because they wear a different religious colour, the first thing that gets compromised is the value of patriotism. Salary can make one write an FIR, but risking lives to eliminate the bad requires patriotism and a value system that motivates. Destroy these fibres and the result is a demoralized and a frightened sub-standard force.

In developed nations, the National Police Memorial Day is an occasion led by the top powers in governance representing the full strength of the state. In the UK, the Prince of Wales heads the Police Memorial Day celebrations and its website gives full details about martyrs and decorated police officers.

To date, we do not have a single government website giving details about its martyrs from the armed forces as well as the police. No memorial to Indian martyrs has even been planned in the capital except the one under the shadow of a gate that commemorates soldiers who protected the British empire and not the Independence movement. Not surprisingly, this colonial attitude to praise the firangs has made Delhi police website mention with pride that “the institution of Kotwal came to an end with the crushing of the revolt of 1857, the first war of freedom, by the British and, interestingly, the last Kotwal of Delhi, appointed just before the eruption of the first war of freedom, was Gangadhar Nehru, father of Pandit Motilal Nehru and grandfather of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister (sic).”

Any surprise that we have all the statues and roads in memory of Aurangzeb and Krishna Menon, the villain of the 1962 war, but none named after the heroes from the forces.

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