One of the biggest horror stories of Indian life and officialdom probably is that of our Police Forces. Across India, in every State, it is a well-established and well-known fact that, as reported several times of over the years, it is riddled with corruption at all levels, serves as the personal preserve of politicians and bureaucrats, even as they hardly attend to the day to day duties related to the citizens of India. Most of the time a huge proportion of the police force across India is busy providing ego boosting “protection” to the politicians, their families and top bureaucrats, or busy disrupting traffic to wave these nation’s-energy-and-wealth-sucking emperors through to their destinations.
There is no doubt that the Police forces serve their political and bureaucratic masters very well, doing their bidding without thought of the law or of what is right. On the other hand, forget about human rights, for the public, they are a nightmare of the worst kind; unless one happens to be rich enough to be able to bribe their way into getting even simple things like getting First Information Reports (FIRs) registered.
The vast majority of our citizens are scared to even step into a Police Station, for they could become embroiled in problems and horror stories they couldn’t dream of were possible. Thus, our citizens walk away from accidents, not stopping to help victims, do not intervene even if violence or a crime is being committed in front of their eye and in their presence, refuse to report crime leave aside to become witnesses in any criminal case, and so on and on. Justice remains a paper story, in reality, there is hardly any justice in Indian society today, just like in British times.
There is no change or end to this storyline in sight. Every political party, every bureaucrat, does everything possible to keep this story as is, for it is only through a corrupt and pliant police force that they can exercise their power, especially illegitimate power. If you are a political family or connected to the political elite you may commit murder, and be pretty sure that you will get away with it. Evidence will be tampered with, witnesses threatened, cases misfiled, often time by the police themselves, and so on and so on.
This is a story for, and in, totalitarian regimes, this is not meant to be in democracies where the police force is supposed to be the protector and friend of the citizen; protecting the citizen, upholding the law, dispensing justice, solving problems rather than becoming one.
Why is this so?
There are numerous reasons, key amongst them are the fact that, yet again, the Police functions to rule books written and left over by the British; who wrote these to suppress the Indian public they ruled and to ensure that they themselves, and their civil servants were protected; rather than for any benefit of those ruled, the public and citizens of India.
The British created a Police Force to aimed to threaten and brutalize the public they ruled; it continues to do so, but if you cast an eye on their own police force in their own country, you will find one that is stable, citizen centric and not involved in brutally beating their citizens to gain confessions, cooking up evidence, and imposing the law as they interpret it. Why is this so, and why have none of our own political parties moved to rectify this totally unacceptable situation?
The other big reasons include the fact, that the police force is paid a pittance relative to the power and responsibility they exercise even after all the pay commissions, further leading to and fueling massive corruption. Moreover, nowhere does their training include the essential psycho-evaluation and rehabilitation elements that need to be integral to effective public-centric policing, and are so essential for an effective police force.
Corruption is deeply embedded in the Indian police story. It is known that Thanas are auctioned, transfers and postings paid for, even gaining enrolment to the police force after one clears the written exams and interviews, people pay for getting selected for the job of a simple entry level policeman; in lakhs, from what one hears, and these collections of corruption are shared right to the top; a horror story enough to drive one to scream and wish to leave the country.
Most would say it is impossible to remove or change the system.
The Rising India Party takes the position that if the people of India so desire, this storyline can, and must be changed, and fast. It takes the position that his is very possible and proposes Polices and Actions that would deliver such change to the people of India in quick time. It won’t be without some pain or difficulty, mostly for the police force and their masters, but it is very doable and possible.
Serious reform of the Police Force is required as a matter of urgency. Given that Police is a State subject, The Rising India Party would move to amend the constitution, if necessary, to make it mandatory on all States to carry out the required reforms.
On winning elections, The Rising India Party will move to bring in a new policing paradigm by initiating steps and Policies detailed below. These are core to the developing model of police and policing and one that would evolve with public inputs and feedback. These policies would form part of the referendum after winning elections to ensure that the citizens and public of India are behind these reforms, which are detailed as follows:
- The government would form Police Audit Boards (PABs) tasked with auditing the entire range of police operational model and a line by line examination of the police rule books and laws governing the police forces of the country.
- The (PABs) would identify rules and laws as they apply to police force and policing that are antiquated, not in sync with our civilizational frame or that of a modern 21st century police force.
- The (PABs) would examine in detail operational methodologies in use at police stations throughout the country and practices that are inimical to an efficient and proactive police force.
- The training curriculum and methodologies of the police at all levels would be examined with the view to identifying those that need to be tweaked or replaced, in short, a comprehensive look at the Indian Police Force would be undertaken to reset the organizational and operational frame.
- New operational rules would be written to tackle every situation that the police experience on their day to day beats; rules that are more in sync with 21st century India and not 16th century or British India.
- The nation need to initiate quick and wholesale change in the police forces across India and though this is extremely difficult to contemplate, it is entirely possible as proposed below:
- The Rising India Party policy on relaunching the police forces would be based around an immediate and complete shift in the manning of it by creating a re training chronicle to be carried out in phases but covering the entire non-officer cadre force.
- Officer cadres would be individually psychologically profiled and evaluated for integrity, leadership capabilities and other parameters essential in a police officer in leadership positions.
- Individuals found to have misused their positions and indulged in corrupt practices for wealth accumulation or otherwise illegal acts would be made redundant.
- If these have not taken advantage of the general Amnesty and come clean and declared such accumulation, they would face stringent action.
- Depending on the available resources, there would be 4 to 6 cycles of training rotation of the non-officer cadre force with the armed forces.
- Intense physical training needs to be one mainstay to get the police force fit. It is observed that after joining service these men and women become unfit and sloppy.
- Those being rotated would be sent for reorientation and training to Armed Forces training camps where they would undergo rigorous psychological evaluation and through polygraph assisted interviews individual capability and the story of their tenure in the police would be tracked and logged.
- The entire police force is to be sent into the army barracks in batches and split over the entire country for rigorous army training and psych evaluation and evaluation of the work performance that they have delivered during their life cycle.
- These personnel would be put through intense civil defense and disaster management training while in the army domain
- The training frame would include module on Body Language, Psych-evaluation of people, modern sophisticated interrogation techniques where physical violence is unnecessary.
- Physical violence as an interrogation technique is to be abandoned except in rare instances and then only if the psychological profile of the person so indicates.
- The police force must become community based and oriented such that there are members of the public embedded within police stations as part of a “community policing narrative.
- These must be trained to solve family disputes and petty social issues within their domain and bring to the Desk of the judicial system only if this fails, thus reducing the case load on account of petty day to day issues. The laws would have been so amended.
- The police forces should be freed from unnecessary policing to focus on violent crime, theft, robbery, terrorism and extremism and such issues that are deemed major and those that are tearing the fabric of the country apart.
- Retired Army, BSF and CRPF personnel would be inducted at various ranks up to JCO level, to temporarily replace the police personnel sent to the army barracks for 12 – 18 months to ensure complete re training is embedded and to reset the function and public interface of the force.
- After intense 3 months to prepare them for their new duties, and the required on-site orientation these are to be temporarily inducted of active Army, BSF, CRPF etc. to make up the number on duty in the police force.
- The intensive three months training would incorporate a continuing ongoing training program in a combination of classroom and fieldwork and evening training hours held within police stations in two shifts or three shifts as would be required.
- Field work would include structured conversations with public wherein depending on whether these are at City or Rural area, they would need to engage a range of common people including the likes of RWAs in cities, randomly picked citizens in a statistical large sample so as to make the finding and connect significant, panchayats, other similar and pre-determined bodies of persons.
- These field exercises would be based around a structured research questionnaire designed to find out and tabulate the publics experience and perception of the police force.
- Such an exercise will help in the redesign of the training curriculum and operational paradigm leading to both a shift in the police force out-face and public perception as well as lifting the effectiveness of the force.
- By the time this process concludes a new police force, through gradual replacement would eventuate as the inducted armed personnel start to move into the higher retirement age that would be set for them.
- This will very rapidly help to clean the system.
- New manuals would be written which would have some significant components of human psychology, the rehabilitation processes, emphasis on the importance of integrity in policing, the connect with them the offender's family to mitigate the consequences of the arrest or incarceration of member of their family etc.
- These would be from the educative visit based conversations perspective. Such a move will connect these forces to its citizens in a way never done before and should thoroughly be in line with the civilizational narrative of our great nation and its people.
- The training frame would be changed for personnel inducted after their high school to incorporate a system of issuing a Diploma after two-year training can qualify the person to appear for the third-year exam of appropriate subject areas and thus acquire a Bachelor’s Degree, and similarly, for those inducted after Bachelor’s degree to acquire a Masters
- Police training would include management, psychology, leadership, logistics, financials and accounts and other modules identified as necessary to acquire and maintain an intelligent, balanced and effective police force, replacing the current brutes who make up Indian police. The current system is such that even good people are turned into brutes and corruption.
- Those of the temporarily inducted personnel who perform well, would be considered for longer tenures to replace the dead-wood that has been made redundant from the active police force.
- Public oversight through appropriately constituted recruitment boards or by changing the existing recruitment board charter to include public representation in the selection of the police personnel will be initiated in order to make the recruitment process transparent and to eliminate corruption in the selection process for the police services.
- Public oversight would be instituted within police Thanas by opening the Thanas for up to 4 members of the public to be embedded and present in two shifts of 2 each on a random selection, temporary public duty basis, of not more than 3 months per tenure.
- Members of the public so selected would be paid a predetermined sum of money for this public duty.
- This policy is to be tied up with the suspension of all laws except those pertaining to hard crimes; while the entire legal framework is up for evaluation by panels of citizens from diverse fields and cross-section of the Indian society involving teams from rural, semi-urban, urban, corporate and other sectors that form the national fabric as delineated in the Legal Reset section of this Policy document.