Police and the medical profession are two services to which people go only when they are in acute distress of some kind. Unfortunately, they seldom get succour from the police. The inaction of the police, their apathy, or their abuse of power is all the more reprehensible because people in distress are in no position to argue with them. A major part of the blame for this sorry state of affairs lies on the shoulders of the police leadership. The institution of direct recruitment to the All India Services was created with many fond hopes-mainly that, by virtue of being intellectually superior, they would contribute to the service much better than what subordinate officers could do even after putting in a. number of years in service. The dream has, however, not come true. The intellectual contribution of the police leadership to the service and the profession, for its betterment, has been abysmal.
Police apathy and abuse of power are not aberrations attributed to a few deviant individuals; this is very much a systemic failure. The system has failed because the leadership has failed. The leadership suffers both from a lack of moral authority and the sensitivity needed to address the real issue of abuse of power by their subordinates. This emboldens them and they commit more atrocities, thereby creating a vicious circle.
Policing is one of the most important functions of the state. We want the police to improve so that they may serve the society better. But a patient can never be got treated unless he is diagnosed first for what ails him. This book does precisely that. Any change, whether by legislation or by some sort of social oversight, can be made only if the people and the policy-makers first know the problem in its intimate details. The people must become 'involved' if we are to change the system. Backed by a formidable array of 148 judgments of the honourable courts, this book is the hitherto most comprehensive analysis of police atrocities of all kinds.
For the police officers; young and old; junior and senior; this treasure trove of knowledge will be of invaluable help to introspect and reform.
Author: Dr NC Asthana and Dr Anjali Nirnal
Features: HB, Manas