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Thursday, 3 September, 2009
The Book Police
Why would I write about 'Haryana Police Academy'? Or because one of my reporter friends once wondered aloud (in front of the Haryana police!) if all the Haryanvis join the Delhi police who joins the Haryana Police? Or Because of their alleged reputation for less brains and more brawn? Or maybe just maybe they have done something which no other police force in India has done?
The last statement holds promise, but they could have set up any number of infamous records ( our civil society prejudice reflects). No its not a record, its something even Delhi Police with its "With you, for you, always" slogan and TV show on DD in the late nineties could not do, it is publishing books. Books about FIRs (First Information Reports), how to file them what to do if the police is unwilling to file them, 3rd Degree, its illegal how to take action if you have been subject to it, Women's rights, what are they, how to get justice for themselves, women traficking, juvenile justice. Books on RTI(Right To Information Act) Babus beware !, books on NREGA, books on the consumer act.
Sounds a bit out of character wouldn't you think. Here is the police of India and none other than the Haryana Police publishing books on the very topics we thought one could never get any information from police ( or at least, any thing of value which can stand up for scrutiny).
Had enough pleasant surprises, or should I say 3rd Degree shocks here is another its the police officers themselves who author these books and some are even in the syllabus of the police academy. Don't believe me then visit the Delhi Book Fair, the first time a police force in India is is participating in a book fair to meet people and tell them about their rights and make them aware. They have participated in bookfairs in Goa, Patna, Nainital, Dharmshala, Chandigarh, Noida, Ludhiana and Gurgaon.
All visitors to their stall can expect to fill out one of these questionnaires 1. Gender rights and equality 2. 3rd Degree 3. Legal rights and procedures 4. Castesim and communalism.
There is even more I spent a good 45 minutes listening to what these men and women in khaki had achieved and there is so much more, but more of this later when I visit their website and their model police station.
Its truly a a a... I don't quite know how to put it in phrases (or for that matter prose, which it so rightly deserves) but I will try and describe it--
Its like, the answer lies within the question, the antidote is made from the poison. The answer to police corruption, brutality, heavy handedness, and the many other evils that plague the Indian Police services are not with spotless white khadi cloaked politicians its with the underpaid, overworked and khaki wearing police.
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