Renowned playback singer Asha Bhosle on Tuesday sang a different tune by criticising the Mumbai police and accusing it of being uncultured. I have enormous respect for Asha Tai, for the contribution she has made to all our lives through her singing. She has made this world a better place with her great songs. But in this instance, I think she made a mistake.
I am not saying that all police display exemplary cultured behaviour, neither do I say that we shouldn’t point out their mistakes. But I don’t think that it had to be done on such a public forum.
Another question I have is, do we as individuals and society behave in a cultured manner with our police force? We complain about the policemen being rude. Think about it and tell me, have you ever smiled at a policeman? Have you ever thanked him? Do we have any idea how we treat our policemen?
As per this article in DNA
The Maharashtra State Human Right Commission (MSHRC) has admitted a petition, filed by human rights activist and advocate Sushan Kunjuraman, which brings to light the inhuman conditions in which the lower-rung of the Mumbai police force lives and works.
“The condition of constabulary force of the Mumbai police is worse than animals. Their houses are in very bad conditions and their work places are most unhygienic. In spite of that they discharge their duties with utmost sincerity and efficiency,” Kunjuraman said.
The petition states that the Mumbai police, specifically police staff class II and below are under incessant physical and mental stress.
The petition also states that 90 per cent of the staff stays in police quarters which have an area of 180 sq-ft. It only has a small kitchen platform. Only one cot, one cupboard and one chair occupy the entire area. “It means that the occupants have no place to even sit comfortably, forget about having a comfortable sleep after reaching home from protracted tensed duties” .
And as per another article on Chintan,
Even a casual acquaintance with our police force will point to following facts
- Extremely long working hours stretching up to 14 to 16 hours a day round the year. Weekly offs & Holidays cancelled at the drop of hat.
- No time to spend with family, exercise or generally attend to physical fitness or mental well being. Highly stressed out, poor guidance & leadership at work, no clear cut guidelines for performing various duties, day to day workings smack of ad hoc decisions & suit the wishes of political masters, etc. are the factors that make up the work culture. Treated in inhumane fashion, police behave inhumanly with populace.
- Generally speaking police force is encouraged to prey on public for their financial needs as well as greed (in the latter case will come most of bureaucracy). Allowances are meagre and many times these too are not paid or if paid, then with arbitrary deductions. Police often called upon to take accused out of town either for investigation or for court appearances have to meet travel costs through ‘suitable arrangements’ or these are often met by the accused themselves.
After treating them in this manner, we need to have real guts to expect them to be courteous to us.
So next time you meet a policeman, give him a sincere, big smile, walk to him and say “Thank you”. I will.