Gustakhi Maaf Haryana- Pawan Kumar Bansal .

0

By our enlightened reader Amarjit Madhok.It doesn’t end with voting

THE recent elections took me down memory lane, prompting me to share my reminiscences of the voting system in the US during my last visit there in 2014.
Posted: Nov 27, 2019 06:25 AM Updated: 4 years ago

Amarjit Singh Madhok
THE recent elections took me down memory lane, prompting me to share my reminiscences of the voting system in the US during my last visit there in 2014. India, the largest democracy in the world, has always had to counter doubts on the sanctity of its elections. In America, I felt that citizens need to be involved to make democracy transparent and a success.
On a slightly cold November morning of 2014, a glance at the community hall across the street showed a sectioned off area for a polling booth. Given the sensitivity of the elections, I decided to stay away, but by afternoon, my journalistic instinct took over. I did not cross the warning notice paper stuck on a tree at the beginning of the cordoned area, but found a couple of voters willing to give an insight into the process. Amazingly enough, one of the officers permitted me to be a silent observer in the hall, where voting was being conducted. No confidential information was shared or laws were violated in this process.
There was a notice in nine languages stuck on the entrance door indicating the polling booth. Imagine my joy when I saw Hindi as one of the languages! Barely suppressing my joy, I asked the officer about it. He mentioned that Hindi was one of the official languages. He also showed me the instruction book for a polling officer. Just like in India, it contained information on how to manage voters.
It was a surprise to see senior citizens as polling officers. One officer was standing guard at an ATM-like voting machine to monitor and provide support. It was an indescribable thought to learn that they all, except one, were volunteers to help make the elections a success to contribute to society. Each voter was sporting ‘I Voted’ sticker, proudly exclaiming their contribution to the making of a new government.
After watching for a while, I thanked the officers and took my leave. Once outside, I realised the difference in the two democracies again. There were no hassles of political party workers, no posters and flags, no agents, no queues of voters. It was a sobering thought to realise that to make a real democracy, we need to be more engaged. To have faith in the system, we need to participate more than just voting. Another way of showing your pride in your nationality is to own it. It is easy to lay the blame at someone’s door and question the system. We need to step up and dedicate our time, and be morally true to ourselves, if we want things to change.
I walked back home thinking if the same ideology could be adopted in our country. It could bring about a huge difference.

Gustakhi Maaf Haryana- Pawan Kumar Bansal.

We have invited retired IFS IPS and IAS officers of Haryana to contribute.First article by retired Haryana DGP Dr M S Malik on Police accountability ..

Current Challenges in Police Accountability
Policing has been an ever-challenging task since its inception; the dimensions and nature though kept on varying with the change in polity and socio-economic circumstances. The first time we find that the functioning of the society, particularly its political nature, has changed to such a degree that the law-enforcing agencies find themselves at cross roads. Hence, the Police force finds itself in a bind. In case, it refuses to carry out orders of the political masters, it can be accused of being disobedient and disloyal to the government, and often, in case of carrying them out they not only violate the due processes of law but also inflict deep injury on the body-politic which they believe they are serving.
The unfortunate part of this is that this desire to use the Police to neutralize the political opponents is not confined to any single political party. The temptation to use Police is too alluring and with the availability of willing police officers, it has spread like a disease. The spying of the political opponents had been going on since long and even by use of “Pegasus Spyware”.
In fact, policing is synonymous to challenges as police is the first responder, both during the war and peace time, to all sorts of problems confronting the nation. The current challenges before police and related accountability issues are very complex and need to be understood with the due sensitivity in the scheme of governance.
Police is an instrument of law, designed to implement the laws; its accountability therefore should always betraced to the laws and constitutional ideals. At the same time, it is also true that police are an unalienable tool of governance in the hands of the power that be. Ideally, governance should be beholden to the concept of Rule of Law all the times but, at times, fault-lines become evident when conflicting interests are to be addressed; in such situations, police have no option but to act as per the wishes of the ruling dispensation and often constitutionalism takes back seat; accountability gets blurred by the call of duty. However, it is up to the individual police officer to decide how much to deviate from the constitutional principles to accommodate aspirations of the political masters. It is here the strength of character of the officers at the helm of the affair is put to test; some buckle whereas others rise against all odds. Police accountability can not be discussed in isolation; prevailing administrative sub- culture, probity in private and public life of the masses and quality of political leaders have bearing on it. Careerists officers have eclipsed the true professionals in every wing of government; they believe in promotion of self without caring for ethics, professional standards and duty towards the Nation. Being careerist is not bad if one always remembers one’s duty towards the nation and commitment towards the Rule of Law.
​As Indian politics adds number to its age after independence, instead of maturing, it has embraced indiscipline and irresponsibility; misuse of power and authority, corruption and usurping powers of the executives define common traits of political executives, though honourable exceptions can always be found. It is a real challenge for the present- day police leaders to accommodate expectations of the political masters and maintain their commitment to fair-play in their duties.
​The growing level of education and awareness of the members in any service is a welcome development, but in police it has taken its toll resulting into indiscipline among all ranks. An organization like police, wielding so much powers having bearing on life and liberty of people, cannot afford to be indiscipline in their professional conduct. Time has arrived when police should examine the recruiting system at all level. Policing has become so technical that generalists can not do justice to the work at hand. Moreover, there are no aptitude diameters prior to recruitment in Police force. Unfortunately no psychologists are being attached with recruiting authorities.
The profile of crimes and criminals is changing at a faster pace than ever before; though policing methods and practices have not changed proportionately. Accountability is the bye-product of professionalism; police should upgrade its standard of investigation by overhauling the existing system. Information technology, artificial intelligence and cyber offenders have already thrown new challenges to police; this is the time to evaluate our preparedness to meet them.
​The three new criminal laws, especially the Bhartiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, have empowered police to ensure free and effective investigations; new provisions relating to attachment of proceeds of crimes, preliminary enquiry and police remand etc. have increased powers of investigating officers to a large extent, warranting enhancing of the standard of supervision and accountability at all levels. ​
Further, we are living in times where one by one all the tools of governance have become contaminated by politics and therefore in the need of drastic measures. Police can make little difference if the bureaucracy is only too willing to carry out the commands (even illegal) of the political master. In circumstances where the police and the bureaucracy appear to be standing on the right side of the law, they still need the judiciary to play its role so that justice is taken to its logical end.
In addition, there are new challenges that have merged in the recent times. Compared to the magnitude of the crimes of the cyber world, the old-fashioned criminals appear to be having fair amount of saintliness in them. Artificial Intelligence at this point in time appears to be a mountain too high to climb. It is obvious that the present force is not equipped to deal with it. A new force with different skill-sets and different qualifications needs to be taking charge.
​While discussing police accountability, one must not forget that the political hierarchy would not allow police to slip out of their clutches; police is a very faithful, obedient and reliable tool of governance and it is going to remain the same. The real challenge is to find ways and means to bring in reforms from within to upgrade accountability and commitment of police towards the people and the nation in general as per the constitutional scheme.
​Above all, inadequate police strength coupled with unscheduled multifarious duties void of welfare orientation towards Police personnel, is a major problem being faced by our Police force. At the same time, emerging trend of fake police encounters have to be discarded. This method is totally outside perview of Police Accountability. Thus, American Scholar David Bayley has even said “ Illegality in the service of public safety makes policing a furtive and anxious activity and undermines the pride, which is the basis of job satisfaction”.Current Challenges in Police Accountability
Policing has been an ever-challenging task since its inception; the dimensions and nature though kept on varying with the change in polity and socio-economic circumstances. The first time we find that the functioning of the society, particularly its political nature, has changed to such a degree that the law-enforcing agencies find themselves at cross roads. Hence, the Police force finds itself in a bind. In case, it refuses to carry out orders of the political masters, it can be accused of being disobedient and disloyal to the government, and often, in case of carrying them out they not only violate the due processes of law but also inflict deep injury on the body-politic which they believe they are serving.
The unfortunate part of this is that this desire to use the Police to neutralize the political opponents is not confined to any single political party. The temptation to use Police is too alluring and with the availability of willing police officers, it has spread like a disease. The spying of the political opponents had been going on since long and even by use of “Pegasus Spyware”.
In fact, policing is synonymous to challenges as police is the first responder, both during the war and peace time, to all sorts of problems confronting the nation. The current challenges before police and related accountability issues are very complex and need to be understood with the due sensitivity in the scheme of governance.
Police is an instrument of law, designed to implement the laws; its accountability therefore should always betraced to the laws and constitutional ideals. At the same time, it is also true that police are an unalienable tool of governance in the hands of the power that be. Ideally, governance should be beholden to the concept of Rule of Law all the times but, at times, fault-lines become evident when conflicting interests are to be addressed; in such situations, police have no option but to act as per the wishes of the ruling dispensation and often constitutionalism takes back seat; accountability gets blurred by the call of duty. However, it is up to the individual police officer to decide how much to deviate from the constitutional principles to accommodate aspirations of the political masters. It is here the strength of character of the officers at the helm of the affair is put to test; some buckle whereas others rise against all odds. Police accountability can not be discussed in isolation; prevailing administrative sub- culture, probity in private and public life of the masses and quality of political leaders have bearing on it. Careerists officers have eclipsed the true professionals in every wing of government; they believe in promotion of self without caring for ethics, professional standards and duty towards the Nation. Being careerist is not bad if one always remembers one’s duty towards the nation and commitment towards the Rule of Law.
​As Indian politics adds number to its age after independence, instead of maturing, it has embraced indiscipline and irresponsibility; misuse of power and authority, corruption and usurping powers of the executives define common traits of political executives, though honourable exceptions can always be found. It is a real challenge for the present- day police leaders to accommodate expectations of the political masters and maintain their commitment to fair-play in their duties.
​The growing level of education and awareness of the members in any service is a welcome development, but in police it has taken its toll resulting into indiscipline among all ranks. An organization like police, wielding so much powers having bearing on life and liberty of people, cannot afford to be indiscipline in their professional conduct. Time has arrived when police should examine the recruiting system at all level. Policing has become so technical that generalists can not do justice to the work at hand. Moreover, there are no aptitude diameters prior to recruitment in Police force. Unfortunately no psychologists are being attached with recruiting authorities.
The profile of crimes and criminals is changing at a faster pace than ever before; though policing methods and practices have not changed proportionately. Accountability is the bye-product of professionalism; police should upgrade its standard of investigation by overhauling the existing system. Information technology, artificial intelligence and cyber offenders have already thrown new challenges to police; this is the time to evaluate our preparedness to meet them.
​The three new criminal laws, especially the Bhartiya Nagrik Suraksha Sanhita 2023, have empowered police to ensure free and effective investigations; new provisions relating to attachment of proceeds of crimes, preliminary enquiry and police remand etc. have increased powers of investigating officers to a large extent, warranting enhancing of the standard of supervision and accountability at all levels. ​
Further, we are living in times where one by one all the tools of governance have become contaminated by politics and therefore in the need of drastic measures. Police can make little difference if the bureaucracy is only too willing to carry out the commands (even illegal) of the political master. In circumstances where the police and the bureaucracy appear to be standing on the right side of the law, they still need the judiciary to play its role so that justice is taken to its logical end.
In addition, there are new challenges that have merged in the recent times. Compared to the magnitude of the crimes of the cyber world, the old-fashioned criminals appear to be having fair amount of saintliness in them. Artificial Intelligence at this point in time appears to be a mountain too high to climb. It is obvious that the present force is not equipped to deal with it. A new force with different skill-sets and different qualifications needs to be taking charge.
​While discussing police accountability, one must not forget that the political hierarchy would not allow police to slip out of their clutches; police is a very faithful, obedient and reliable tool of governance and it is going to remain the same. The real challenge is to find ways and means to bring in reforms from within to upgrade accountability and commitment of police towards the people and the nation in general as per the constitutional scheme.
​Above all, inadequate police strength coupled with unscheduled multifarious duties void of welfare orientation towards Police personnel, is a major problem being faced by our Police force. At the same time, emerging trend of fake police encounters have to be discarded. This method is totally outside perview of Police Accountability. Thus, American Scholar David Bayley has even said “ Illegality in the service of public safety makes policing a furtive and anxious activity and undermines the pride, which is the basis of job satisfaction”.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.