In India 100 is synonymous with the Police but the irony is that public in India dread this very word, Its very presence must inspire confidence but it is contrary,In 1950 Justice AN Mullah called police as the "biggest organized goonda(goon)Force,Call100 is journey to empower citizens against the abuse power and corruption of Police.Indian Policing System has the exceptional assured career progression scheme for the criminal elements in Khaki uniform & we need to overhaul it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We can foresee a change- It will help improve the complacent and selfserving leadership

I read your article on the two land forces with some interest. There are some factual inaccuracies and methodology related issues that I would like to draw your kind attention to. First of all the table showing the police and the Army strengths is completely flawed. Are there only 9 officers in the Armed Forces of PB-4 grade and above? By my count there are about 750 officers of Brigadier rank and above in the Army alone. Correspondingly, the no of DIG rank and above officers in the IPS is about 1500. Considering that by your admission there are twice as many men under the police having twice as many senior officers would not be entirely out of place. Second, your vacancy position is also flawed, in the IPS too as 01/01/09 and I am quoting from the MHA's website, against an authorised strength of 3889 there are 3332 officers available, a shortfall of over 15%. Not as much as the Army but significant nonetheless. Third your comparison of a division with UP Police is flawed. A division level formation is about 20,000 men. The UP police today has a sanctioned strength of over 3,00,000. The two are not comparable in any way. And the no of sanctioned DG level posts in the government of India, including deputation reserves etc are well under 100 and not 300. Soldiers love to comment on the incompetence of the police, should we talk in the same manner about Kargil when criminal negligence by the Army formations on the ground allowed the Pakistanis to infiltrate and occupy our positions and then regaining our own territory with considerable American pressure was proclaimed as a great victory? All institutions have their strengths and weaknesses and this display of contempt and condescension by our soldiers for civilian institutions is completely uncalled for. You dared us to name a general who was a zealot, perhaps you have heard the name of General Shahbeg Singh who was killed leading the terrorists in Operation Bluestar? Colonel Purohit, recently arrested by the Maharashtra ATS is another case in point. The point is that like the civil services the Armed Forces have their black sheep too, only they are better hidden from the public gaze under the guise of national security. Your point about absorbing sidelined military personnel in the CPOs reflects a parochial mindset. How would you feel if we suggested that all those rejected in the UPSC interview were given a commission in the Army to make up for your shortfall of officers? Resettlement of young soldiers is an area of concern, but please try to see the merit in the argument that the skills and orientation required for soldiering and policing, despite the superficial similarities of uniform, may in fact be quite different. In today's world, the Police are a well established and well recognized a profession as the Armed Forces with their unique requiremnts of training, porfessional skills and orientation. The point dear sir is that we in the civil services have our professional pride too. We don't pretend we can do your job better than you and it would be nice if for a change serving and retired soldiers were gracious enough to return this courtesy. The Army has the structure it does for its own internal operational logic. You have a battalion with 20 odd officers. In a police district, there are seldom more than 2 or three IPS officers. The Armed Forces are welcome to shift to a four tier system of entry to ensure that a few thousand officers in the fast track would have promotion prospects similar to the IPS and the IAS. How that would impact your organization and operational efficiency is for you to assess. The IAS/IPS are the top executive cadre of the civil services while in the Armed Forces the officer cadre performs the whole gamut of managerial functions from platoon level upwards. You can't compare the much larger top half of a two tier pyramid with the much smaller top level of a four tier pyramid. The Colonel of 20 years service may feel reluctant in being courteous to a DIG on only 14 years of service. But please consider the fact that the DIG may be a product of IIT/IIM, and he is responsible for a division consisting of three to four districts and a population in excess of four-five million. Length of service may be an absolute value in the Armed Forces but it is quite strange to expect that civil institutions can be structured in such rigid terms. Your prescription for tackling the terrorist menace flies in the face of historical experience. Tactical prowess of the kind the military excels in is of course required to combat specific instances of terror but it needs strategic leadership and good governance too something that is best left to civilians. The experience of terrorism in Punjab, where it was the inspiring leadership of two IPS officers, Shri Ribeiro and Shri Gill that turned the tide, is a case in point. If terrorism could be countered by military might alone the Kashmir Valley and the North-east would have been silent a long ago. No right minded civil servant in the IAS/IPS would deny that the civil services really need to get their act together and start performing. Corruption and incompetence in our services are a serious cause for concern. But at the same time one has to appreciate the enormous pressures and constraints faced by today's civil servants. The police population ratio in India is far below international norms, we have meagre resources for training. Welfare of our men is much neglected. But if we talk about improving the pay and working conditions of our police forces and this will be opposed by the Armed Forces because in 1935 a captain of the Army was the SSP of a district, then I think meaningful police reforms will always be held hostage to the izzat and iqbal of the Armed Forces. You express contempt at the fact that the Army is often requested to assist civil authorities for a whole range of situations. The nation invests roughly three times as many resources in its Armed Forces each year as it does on the police and the Armed Forces are the only insititution that has the specialized equipment and the trained manpower to deal with such requests. The Armed Forces are not doing anyone a favour by responding to such requests. This is very much a part of their duties in democratic societies and to suggest otherwise shows a feudal/colonial mindest. Even in the US the Armed Forces are routinely called out to assist in relief and rescue after major natural disasters/accidents . The Armed Forces are an institution every Indian is justifiably proud of. Your professionalism, your sense of dedication, your discipline are something worth admiring and emulating. But of late the kind of comments that have come out of our soldiers are biased, ill-informed and display a shocking lack of perspective about the challenges facing our country. warm regards Abhinav Kumar

Abhinav Kumar

01 Apr 2009



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