The horrific gang rape and death of the 23 year old in Delhi has brought forth a tidal wave of demands for speedy justice and a safer society for women. However, these are short term responses to this immediate atrocity. For long lasting, enduring solutions, we must look at the bigger policy problem that requires immediate and urgent attention: poor policing.
The airwaves have been filled by a thousand voices demanding a change in laws, and setting up of new systems to meet these demands. However, it is important to recognize that changes in law will do nothing for everyday safety if they are implemented in the same way by the same kind of people.
Justice is already on its way to being served for the 23 year old. But in the long run, will our politicians and our police be able to ensure that women feel safer. The answer is an emphatic no. It won’t happen, until the job of policing itself has been improved. The future will be just as unsafe for women unless a system of policing is built that women can approach and have confidence in. Safety, security, crime prevention and crime solving is the job of the police and no one will hesitate to say that this is a job badly done.
There are decades of strong recommendations made to our political leaders by committee upon committee about how to go about creating a better police. But they have fallen on deaf ears. Why would the political class, who use the police to their own ends, want to change?
Some of these recommendations have been:
1. No political interference in the management and operations of the police;
2. Policing policy must be laid down in a bipartisan manner and monitored by state assemblies;
3. Greater police accountability and transparency;
4. A completely new look at the training of our police forces to work on protecting society, rather than controlling it.
There is tremendous resistance to change; the politicians don’t want to let go of the undue influence and power that they wield over transfers postings and career advancement. The police want to have more and more power but less and less accountability. While the leadership enjoys status and comfort, the conditions under which the constabulary is expected to give good services are medieval.
The only thing that will break this resistance is public opinion - YOUR OPINION. So ACT NOW. Demand better policing. Demand better policing policy, demand better provisioning of the police and demand better performance from the police.
Now is really the time to fix policing. Now is the time to give ourselves the kind of policing we deserve and the kind of policing that we pay taxes for. This petition does not ask for promises and pledges. It asks from the government and the police for concrete steps that would lead to improved policing and greater safety and security for all citizens, more so for the vulnerable.
Let us work together to:
1. Free our police from political interference NOW
2. Fire tainted police NOW
3. Ensure more and better trained police on the streets for patrolling NOW
4. Insist on strict and prompt punishment for police personnel when they don’t respond properly or when they act illegally NOW