My daughter stays in Johannesburg, a beautiful city in this beautiful country of South Africa, but the first thing that people ask me on knowing this fact is, “ Is it a safe place?” And this question is not uniquely or exclusively applicable to Johannesburg or South Africa. There are many places world over, including in our country, which are either not considered safe ( for different reasons ) or become unsafe after the sunset.
Police is a force that’s raised to maintain the safety of citizens from all internal threats – thefts, robberies, mugging, Eve teasing, molestation etc – the way our army is supposed to protect us from external threats. If we are so proud of our armed forces, why police force does not inspire the same awe and trust?
We have seen individual officers helming a particular department for a period of time and making a discernible difference. Who can forget the valour and leaders of Julio Ribeiro and KPS Gill for their role in deliverance of Punjab from clutches of terrorism! Many officers such as Pradeep Sharma, Daya Nayak etc showed exemplary courage in ridding the city of Mumbai from the menace of underworld! But these are exceptions and in certain matters exceptions don’t work.
I am sure many of my readers have visited Dubai. I understand that more than 80% of population of Dubai is composed of immigrants and less than 20% are natives. But look at the mortal fear of law that the country evokes in all its residents? The cops are seldom seen patrolling on the roads, but you drive and walk on the streets and roads with such gay abundance as if no crime exists in this world! I understand that Emirates has only adopted Sharia law in part but it surely compares to the Ramrajya that we have read about in our scriptures.
Police can do it, if there’s political will and if citizens are ready to adopt community approach. Police is not for providing security to a handful of VIPs but to the citizenry at large and it can become a force to reckon with if large scale reforms are carried out – in their service conditions, salaries, non-interference in their work, equipping them with technology for surveillance and quick response et al!
If we want to live life king size and if we dream of Ramrajya all over, our Police has to reform itself and it’s thought and approach. I think the unforgettable lines of Gurudev Rabindrnath Tagore, “ Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…” should be adopted as motto by all police across the world!
Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depths of truth;
Where tireless striving
stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward
by thee into ever widening
thought and action-
into that heaven of freedom,
let my country awake.