Addressing the Constable needs

The vilest form of voluntary slavery exists in our country in the Armed and Police forces. The police constables and the army jawans who occupy the lowest rung of hierarchy are treated like dirt. They are addressed in singular without regards to their age or experience, verbally and sometimes physically abused, denied leave, made to work long hours without rest, humiliated and made to menial jobs and harassed by their immediate superior staff. In the name of discipline they are denied to form association and have no forum to express their grievances. All because of a regular pay many people join the army or police department and suffer a hell lot once struck in the system.

But there is limit to patience. When things go out of control the pent-up anger suppressed for years together lead to unsavory incidents like the recent killing of a police sub-inspector in Bangalore by his subordinate, a police constable for humiliating him in front of his family and denied leave to get himself treated for ailments.

The modern police and army in India as we know were the creation of the British who wanted mercenaries who for a dole or two would not hesitate to use force against their own brethren. The British rulers in India and their predecessor the East India Company had trained men in such a manner that they lacked sensitivity, feeling and emotions and like zombies carried out notorious acts upon the masses on the order of their superior English officers. Everyone blames General Dyer for the Jallianwallabagh massacre but it should be kept in mind that it was the Indian personnel who fired upon the fleeing unarmed Indians at Jallianwallabagh which led to scores of death. Even after the British left India in 1947 the Congress leaders instead of revamping the army and police force retained the same apparatus left by the British for their own selfish ends, i.e. to browbeat their political opponents. Hence both the armed and police force who were earlier saluting the British now started saluting the politicians and carrying out their orders just for the sake of a monthly pay cheque. Naturally this being the mentality of the men who serve in these departments they are looked upon with contempt. But now the time has changed. People who join the services as constables are educated and idealistic in their purpose. Their superiors should treat them with respect and develop a sense of comradeship with them for effective policing. Below are some of the suggestions which when carried out will end the ill repute of the police department in dealing with their personnel working at the lowest level.

  1. All officers to compulsory address constables in plural terms
  2. Khaki has now become synonymous with corruption and cruelty. To change this outlook among the people, the police constable’s uniform should be changed to grey/white colour terry cot safari suits. Instead of the heavy black shoes they be given sports shoes which will be comfortable in running and walking long distance.
  3. In view of the threat of terrorism and rowdy gangs using modern weapons all constables should be given a revolver/pistol and a walkie-talkie.
  4. Police constables should be given the power to levy fines for small offence like jumping of traffic signals, committing nuisance in public places, eve teasing, etc.
  5. Duty of sentries in police station to be abolished and instead closed circuit cameras and metal detectors should be installed in all police stations.
  6. Constables should be entitled for one day weekly off and one causal leave a month at any cost.
  7. Police constables should not be employed for carrying corpse, as guards in politician’s house and for menial work in the houses of I.P.S. officers (as orderlies).
  8. In each station for performance of duties about ten to fifteen constables should form a group with a head. The term of the head to be for six month and others in the group should be given that position in rotation. The head should be called head-constable and the sub-inspector should deal with the group through him. This method will bring a sense of comradeship between constables as all will have a chance to become the head and they would be able to solve personal or duty issues affecting them amicably.
  9. In view of the heavy stress and strain associated with the nature of police work their working hours to be limited to six hours. There should be four shifts of six hours each and the shift so allotted to constables should not be changed without their consent.
  10. The old archaic rule of constables standing in attention in front of their superior officers or saluting them should be abolished. So also the way in which the station officer allotting duties each day by calling attendance. This rule affects the self-esteem of constables who may be older and more experienced than the officer in charge.
  11. As a platform to express their grievances they should be allowed to form associations.
  12. Lastly they should be designated as Law Enforcer instead of police constable.
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Kaleidoscope of Indian civilization

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