B S Raghavan

A world-class police station in India?

B . S. Raghavan | Updated on December 11, 2012

Do you see a single gun-toting, grim looking, menacingly strutting, commando near a Barack Obama, David Cameron, or Angela Merkel?



I have always believed that there can be no world-class governance without a world-class mind. Whole hordes of bigwigs beginning from the Prime Minister to high officials in Central and Governments to business tycoons to common citizens from India have been travelling almost right from Independence to various parts of the world and have observed first hand world-class standards at work: Clean environment, orderly traffic, performance-oriented work ethic, dedicated service, devotion to duty, respect for citizens — all exemplifying the attributes of accountability, discipline and transparency.

With all that, how come they have failed to transplant on the Indian soil all the resplendent aspects of governance they have seen in operation in the countries they have been visiting?

How is it that citizens seldom hear from even one Minister, IAS/IPS officer, police person, public servant and business executive those sweet words — May I help you? — which one hears in every public office right from the moment one lands in London, Berlin, Paris, or Washington?

Why is it that we see Ministers and high dignitaries scurrying away without stopping when a citizen whose taxes have propped them up, approaches them with some complaint or suggestion? Why is it getting a reply from a public servant to a citizen’s letter or email — leave alone redress for his grievance — is a rarity in India?

ARMED TO THE TEETH

You must have seen the visuals on TV screens of the heads of State and Governments, and prominent political figures, of countries such as Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the US attending functions or mixing with the people.

Do you see a single gun-toting, grim looking, menacingly strutting, commando near a Barack Obama, David Cameron, or Angela Merkel?

Cut to any political busybody of your choice in India — and watch how (s)he surrounds him(her)self with a glaring of black cats armed to the teeth milling about him or her and shooing away anyone who dares to come near. In Mamata Banerji’s Bengal, you can even be jailed if you so much as ask a question!

( Juicy tidbit: More than Rs 250 crore is reportedly spent on the protection of Indian politicians. So extravagant and obtrusive is VIP security that the Delhi High Court was recently provoked into saying, “Politicians are not national assets that need to be protected!’’ There is, in fact, a widely-held view that it is the political parties, and not the Government, that should bear the cost and responsibility of the security of politicians not in office)

It is clear that small, slovenly minds can never create a world-class ambience. On the other hand, a world-class mind does not need any travel abroad, or lectures in seminars, to manifest itself. It can sprout in unlikely places among unlikely individuals.

UNIVERSAL PRAISE

I was dumb-founded to read an account of a dazzling instance corroborating the above pertaining to Vidhayakpuri P.S. (police station) in Jaipur City (South) in Rajasthan. The self-motivated police officials there have by their own efforts made it into a world-class crime prevention and security service centre for the people.

They have achieved impressive success in implanting best practices in quality management and investigation, as well as in the rehabilitation of hard-core criminals. And they have earned universal praise for the prompt recording of FIRs and issuance of receipts to the complainants without making them wait, and intimating the results of investigation to them.

Records are colour-coded and neatly arranged enabling quick access based on the subject. In investigating complaints, the officers there have reverted to the case officer scheme that was in vogue in British days as against the less effective method of forming teams for the purpose. Similarly, the age-old beat and patrol system is rigorously enforced. Participation by community liaison groups through neighbourhood watch and frequent meetings has resulted in dramatically reducing the incidence of crimes.

They have given their mission the name of Garima (glory), with the following mottos: Make obeying law a fashion; behave as belonging to a service industry; aim at 100 per cent achievement; march towards excellence.

The police station prides itself on having received ISO 9001-2000 accreditation.

I would urge DGPs of all the States to visit the P.S. with a team of colleagues, including in it officers-in-charge of police stations.

Published on December 11, 2012

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