Role of Police in Reconstruction of Society

By Akmal Husain & Prof. M. H. Siddiqui

In the present day society, Democracy has been widely accepted as the best way of Social and Political set up of a nation. Also from the healthy and competitive coexistence point of view, continuous social reforms and restructuring take place as simultaneous processes. The framers of Sovereign Indian National Constitution has rightly chosen Democratic pattern of the Governance and the social fabric for its inherent worth and utility. It is well established fact that Democracy is the best means of governance and such social set up is the most orderly and civilized set up, particularly for the largely populated country like India. It is with this reason that at the age of sixty with the world’s largest democracy, by and large we are the most peaceful nation in the world.

Out of the three pillars of democracy: Legislature, Executive and Judiciary where the role of Executive matters much and concerns the common people more closely in the larger context than the other two wings. As much as making law, auditing and watching implementation of law and Governance performance, the day to day Law and Order maintenance and execution of Government programs is of much significance and concern for the healthy social set up. As the Executive system comprises mainly of the civil servants and the well trained/alert police wing both in the State as well as in the Central Government set up. Both the Civil and Police officials are complimentary in discharge of their challenging and highly responsible duty. It is evident from the facts and prevailing situations that Police need more vigilant and effective look for any untoward situation to cope than their civil counterpart. It means Police owes much more serious commitment for the proper upkeep of healthy and competitive social set up.

With the emergence of faster Globalization and Modernization, healthy social fabric has become at greater threat than ever before. Almost all major segments (like Politicians, Traders, MNCs, Artisans etc) are now in race to surpass each other for their short term gains without honoring social/human commitments which often create chaos in the society. This may sometimes outburst as the significant Law and Order problem. The only proper, effective & vigilant Policing can cope up with the situation without any harm to the society and its people. Proportionate to the Development and Modernization, Police has been facing multidimensional problems. Hence, policing requires closer coordination with Social Scientists, community leaders, bureaucrats and the politicians.

Making Policing policies, its implementation and maintaining Law and Order has become more challenging today than the earlier times. Although efforts are being made to fully utilize the modern tools of scientific innovations in operating the vast network, but still lot is to be done through rigorous training programs, closer coordination and participation of the concerned activists and above all the overall change in Perception and Mindset for the commitment of the most challenging responsibility. The utility of R & D establishments like Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPRD), National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS), National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) etc should be more generalized to the vast section of police personnel for its better implementation and effective service to the society.

With the awareness about Human Rights, implementation of Right to Information Act, Intellectual Property Right and Cyber Crime etc, Police is now poised for the crucially challenging opportunity. With this reason, persons of high morale, credibility and intellect with firm commitment should join this wing of the important democratic process. It is pity that the physical standard of police cadre varies from state to state without strict control over the physique and its fitness. Better thrust and incentives should be given for properly maintaining body fitness.

For better implementation of their responsibilities: frequent seminars, interactive sessions with academics/social activists should be arranged for meeting new challenges and inculcating refined service spirit in the police personnel. At the pattern of erstwhile Jail (now renamed as Correctional Home) the police officials should adopt more pragmatic approach for correctional measures towards offenders and so in the investigating and interrogating sessions. Initially fact finding approach should be adopted than the preconceived fault finding one. For example in the developed western countries every citizen in the eyes of law & investigating agencies is considered to be innocent unless otherwise proved, whereas the same is not true rather vice versa in our system.

Various scholars of policing like V. N. Rai and Kiran Bedi (eminent IPS Officers) in their texts has nicely described the strategic failures and suggested valuable measures which need to be inculcated and propagated to the Police hierarchy with special attention to the constabulary wing. It is being observed that due to being overzealous and extra obedient to the top political masters, the mighty khaki men often commit excesses and grossly violate the social and constitutional norms by indulging themselves into the crime and breakdown of the law and order machinery. Such situations had been observed in various communally sensitive places where police has exceeded its brief. Noted bureaucrats Mr N. Vittal I.A.S. (former Chief Vigilance Commissioner of India) and Dr P.K. Agrawal I.A.S. (Principal Secretary in W.B. State Government) in their scholarly written/edited Book: “I AM SORRY” has categorically admitted and expressed sorrow for the total failure/breakdown of the law enforcing bureaucracy in case of March 2002 Gujarat communal violence for which the entire bureaucracy danced to the tune of their political masters.

No doubt, the police is only meant to check the erosion in peaceful & orderly establishment of the social fabric for which they have to deal tough with offenders and criminals but restrain has to be observed in analyzing the situation and punish the guilty persons only. In no way, they are supposed to serve their political masters for their vested interest. The upright and honest police officials always stand firm to deal with criminals and offenders irrespective of their political or otherwise mighty status. Recently an upright IPS officer has very tactfully persuaded the controversial feminist writer in Kolkata to leave city in broad interest of the peace and communal harmony. Otherwise in the event of serious law & order situation, the political masters will not share the responsibility but only the innocent people will suffer badly and the Police Officers too.

It is surprising that almost everywhere in India, police support and assistance is taken by affluent and influential persons to settle personal and political scores. Hence the only criteria must be in the broader interest of the peaceful coexistence and the unshaken communal harmony. Periodically, refresher courses and brain stormy sessions should be organized to train the constabulary to contain modern trend in the crime and threat perception. Coordination committees should be formed for closer coordination with law enforcing authorities/agencies wherein social activists, academicians, retired Government Officials & the active N.G.Os should be involved in the peoples’ participatory process.

(Akmal Husain - Sr Scientist/Social Activist & Officer-in-Charge, Marine Aquarium &Research Centre, Zoological Survey of India, (Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India) Digha (W.B.) 721 428 email:
Prof. M. H. Siddiqui (Sociology Dept., Badri Vishal P. G. College, Farrukhabad in U.P.)


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