Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Police - Not Robots!

Every time I hear some self-righteous Human Rights activist or page 3 persona complaining about how rude and heavy-handed the police are, or about why the police are curbing their 'rights' when they check them for DUIs or breaking up parties "way too early" for their regal liking, one part of me wants to take the nearest heavy object and hurl it at the instrument from where their venom is being emitted.

Too bad that most of the time, the actual Highnesses are far away, in the cosy comfort of an air-conditioned TV studio, having been chauffer-driven there in their fancy cars, spewing dust and fumes on the policemen they are criticizing, and the poor of this land that they don't really seem to care about.

I agree, the police are quite often extremely heavy-handed. But understand their situation also. They are human and not robocops. Look at what they have to endure - low pay, shabby treatment, being tossed around at will by the netas, and almost no chance of advancement. So before you talk, try to understand.

And if you think you are qualified enough and have the right to criticize the police, I suggest taht you do the following before talking:

1. Find the busiest, noisiest and dirtiest road intersection in your city.

2. Leave the house early morning, and travel there by bus; preferably on a summer day. Carry no food or water with you. Take an unpaid leave on that day.

3. Stand at that spot for the next 10 hours, with only an hour or so lunch break. Find the dirtiest hotel in the vicinity, and have your lunch there.

4. Get shouted at by random strangers. If there is a politician around, or a politicians convoy, try and stop it or make it follow traffic rules, and watch the consequences.

5. After a 14 hour vigil at the spot, without rest (except for the lunch), and without sitting at all, except for short stretches, go back home by bus (crowded of course), and not a deluxe bus, just a normal commuter bus.

6. After reaching home, give yourself your day's salary of a princely 200 Rs. (Incidentally, this is on the higher side - a Constable usually earns less that 5000 Rs a month, not even enough for a decent house rent).

7. Do this for a week, preferably alternating between taking very long walks around dirty neighbourhoods to simulate a beat. On two days, do the beat at night. If there is a festival on those days, make ur duty stretch to 16 hours.

Now, after doing all this, you have passed the Police Etiquette and Sensitivity Test (PEST), and are worthy of spewing all the venom you have at the force.

The Police Life - not a dog's day

Chacko Joseph-ji pointed out all the points that I had missed, which made me wonder how a common man could understand it at all.... there really isn't any way to understand that. Chackoji and I will continue to list all the issues and tortures that a Police cop has to endure... hopefully that would lead to understanding rather than blind jingoism or hatred. Both extremes are bad.


Frontier India said...

As Sniperji mentioned, I did list a lot of points like bandobast duties, unhygenic and lot of times non existent places for privacy in courts etc.

I had gone for Know your Air force exhibition. It was a hot day and I got bit tired, as there was no chair, i went to the gate and asked the policeman's permission to sit. As i was opening my water bottle, i saw the police man looking at it as if he wanted water. i offered it to him and he drank. he thanked me. he then gave a list of ways how people mis treat them. This gent was sitting in hot sun, no water nearby, no food near by and no place to relieve himself as women and kids poured in. There was no one to offer him anything including the organisers. He wore a bullet proof jacket of 12 kgs and a INSAS.

Think about it!

Mihir said...

Excellent post, Sniper!! While lambasting the Police for being "rude" and "heavy handed”, is easy to do (and the “in thing”, I might add), most of it happens with zero knowledge of what the facts on the ground are. Given the measly pay and the subhuman working conditions, we should be thankful that these guys are still maintaining law and order to the best of their ability, constrained as it is by politics and infighting.

These people let their image of a one-odd pot-bellied paan-chewing traffic constable influence their view of the force as a whole. The folks at the Crime Branch extremely competent, their skills at intelligence gathering are second to none, and their network of informants is quite expansive. I know from personal experience. :-) Three years back, I had the good fortune of being able to watch them crack a really tough murder case… their politeness and professionalism totally blew me away, as did their capacity to keep working for long periods without rest (they hadn’t slept for three days, and were traveling between cities often).


Pete said...

A policemen's lot is not a happy one indeed Sniperz11

Even though policemen here in Australia drive when on patrol, they are often abused and see the depressing side of life day and night. Hence alcoholism and suicide is high among police.

Not fun.


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