Life is all about experience. Some are sweet and others are bitter. Sometimes you feel enlightened and sometimes one feels helpless. Well for me, that day was a disgusting one for the reason that I faced a real life situation that I used to read only in newspapers.
I always aspire to become an IPS officer. I always used to see the growing apathy of public towards the police as a biased thinking. I used to see the police as a force which upholds human dignity and strengthen the justice system (You know the likes of Gangajal, Singham etc). This image got a shot in the arm when I read about a book review on ‘Humans in Khakhi’ on insightsonindia.com. The book advocated nicely about the humane side of policeman, various aspects relating to public-police relation and different types of officers and all.
Well for my story, I got free at 5 p.m. sharp in such financial closing times when the bosses are hawkish of getting all books right at the end of financial year (the reason was I was a trainee). I boarded a shared auto rickshaw to my home and left for the guest house. After some time, one of the passengers asked the driver to stop as he wanted to get down. He gave Rs 10 (though fair for a distance was Rs 20- railway station to goverdhan chauraha). The driver asked (politely) for 10 more rupee. Suddenly the person started to abuse the driver out of nothing and took back his Rs 10 note as well. He threatened him and asked him to take the auto to nearest police station.
Person: “**********, this is my area. My name is ******. I am policeman. We don’t even pay for the ride. This area comes under my chowki. (Pause) Abuses, more abuses.
He then threatened to break his neck. The auto picked speed and we reached goverdhan chauraha. Meanwhile, he called some of his fellow being who were already present at the place.
Driver: “Sir, you were in civilian clothes. If you would have told me that you are from STAFF, I would not have even asked for a single penny and would have brought you alone.”
But the person listened to him only to slap him. He with others, abused him, beat him and used lathis to break the glass of his auto rickshaw.
For me, I had to walk all alone towards my home. But much to my dismay, I felt ashamed of myself. Why am I not able to do anything? Why these policeman go anything and everything with impunity. What can aam aadmi do about it?
I think there is a need for complete overhaul of the system from top to bottom. There is also a need for inculcating humanities dimension in policeman especially at the lower rungs. Further, the image of the police system needs a paradigm shift from self seeking and rack renting to public oriented in order to solve day to day problems. All this requires continuous training of the policeman as well as decrease in the level of corruption. It should serve the people rather than taking service from the people.