In defence of Mumbai Police

MumbaiPoliceRenowned 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.

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9 Responses to In defence of Mumbai Police

  1. Kshitij says:

    That is just one face, which the police force has to portray…….I have seen how bad the police can be….

    If you have seen the Gauri Shinde episode, then for a similar case, they out the ex-boyfriend in police custody- after beating him, even when he was not even drunk and thr girl was not able to stand straight due to intoxication.

    Poloce are trained to be good at the face and judge the person as to how much money can be extracted from him……

    There is a very good reason, why they say “A sane man should not climb steps if a court” and “Neither be friends or enemies with police”

  2. Pingback: Honest Traffic Police! | Makarands Musings

  3. Rahul Yadav says:

    This page has turned out to be very informative 🙂

    Everyone has their experience while in contact with Police. For some or the other reason I have had close collaboration with both Mumbai Police & Traffic Police. And my opinion says, they are basically good. When turn bad when the things going around them are not in their favour. And this is for everyone. Sometimes even the parents get irritated of child’s crying, these men in khakhis are hearing the plea of the citizens throughout the day.
    As you rightly said, people dont even smile when they see a cop. They are on public service & deserve not only respect & also our gratitude. One way that I do is pull up to a traffic constable and ask him if needs a sip of water… They look at me surprised. But imagine the feeling that he must be getting when in the middle of the summer day with traffic chaos & pollution around, someone is offering cold(if you are driving in AC) water to drink 🙂 This surely triggers their mood and I hope that gets passed on to other drivers by his gestures.
    And best part is, I also feel good 🙂

  4. Mohammed Sufiyan says:

    I am just happy. I love the way you people express your feeling…
    InshaAllah, I will start writing this way soon…

    Love reading your blog sir…

  5. Rayomand Ichhaporia says:

    For once, I could not disagree more. As long as people continue to make excuses for the poor performance of those in public service, the sorry state of affairs manifested in the public sector will never improve. The problem is not simply with the police – no need to single them out. The problem is with a broad swath of public servants. Undoubtedly, they are not remunerated as they should be, no argument about that. But that is no excuse for the lack of civility, widespread corruption and “sab chalta hai” attitude.

    I used to live in a building in Mumbai where if you stood on the balcony for no more than 15 minutes, you were guaranteed to witness the exchange of a bribe between a motorist and the traffic policemen that congregated at the intersection below. And I am not talking about havaldars either. Inevitably, this would go on under the watch of a senior officer who, I presume, partook of the receipts.

    Civility and honesty does not cost anything. So many people live in poorer conditions than that of the police force and yet go about their lives with decency, dignity and honesty. Why can’t we expect the same of our police?

    • Rayomand, thanks for expressing your views. I agree with you that Civility and honesty does not cost anything. Neither am I trying to make excuses for the poor performance of those in public service.
      My personal experiences with the police, including traffic police, have been good, non-abusive. There have been instances when I have been caught for traffic offences, sometimes, even for the ones that I didn’t make. But in most cases, the behaviour of the concerned policemen was quite civil. They have tried extracting kickbacks on some occassions, but I have not faced any abuse from them.

  6. Chandru Acharya says:

    The writer has thoughtfully represented the deterioration of our social habits and interactions with Government Officers. The problem is indeed quite deep-rooted and envelopes our life completely. I have puts my thoughts below:

    The defining moment of reflection

    It is life as usual….

    At Stop Lights, as impatient tires screech day and night,
    We seldom judge what is just or right.
    Tired Tiny feet rush towards fancy cars,
    Dirty Rags and begging bowls, these kids are a different breed,
    They look human, but it’s strange you can’t see flesh on bones.
    We choose to ignore our ugly social scars,
    When hungry eyes stare at tinted glasses,
    We mask our guilt by saying “its is a battle of classes”

    It is life as usual …….

    Bai, Dhobi, Darji, Mochi and Mali every word is made to sound like a galli .
    They do our dishes and wash our clothes,
    They clean our mess, so we pay them less.
    We call our pets by choicest names,
    But believe these people don’t deserve the same.
    We don’t greet them or show respect,
    We have a good reason for this too, we call it” their fate” .

    It is life as usual….

    Langda, Kanna, Mota and Chota are common daily words that we use
    Little do we care, when we hurl abuse .

    Thakur, Brahamin, Rajput, Vansh and Jati are titles we use to flaunt our might,
    We think they give us special rights .

    We say all are equal, but don’t t blink as we treat some as less equal .

    We need to change….

    We as Indians need to win, the monster that has developed deep within.

    All our glory and all our past is meaningless, unless we fight this weakness till it lasts.

    We need to change the way we think and act

    We need to cleanse our mind of prejudices that glare.

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