EQUALITY INDIA NEWS / SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE
I think the Director, Mr. Mathur has already summed up what I was going to say to you today. So, may be I can be very brief. This is probably the 7th time that I am addressing the IPS Probationers. It’s a proud privilege of mine as Prime Minister of India to interact with Civil Servants. You belong to a very privileged Service, along with the IAS, and the Forest Service you are three All India Services. We have found a unique way of dealing with the diversities of our country and yet not lose sight of the value system on which our Republic was founded and is now being sustained.
India lives in the States. Therefore our young officers equip themselves with knowledge, wisdom and experience about what is happening in various States of our Union and that is the unique privilege that both the IAS and IPS have. At the same time, the unity and integrity of our country is a prime concern and it must be a prime concern of all prominent services of the Union . The fact that our founding fathers of the Constitution designed this structure for the IAS and the IPS which while working in different States we must not lose sight of the value system and of what critical importance it places on strengthening the unity and integrity of our country. When I talk about unity and integrity of our country, we have to reckon with the fact that law and order maintenance is a prime requisite for even sustaining a reasonable pace of development. And without law and order there will be a question mark on the cohesiveness of our nation. And therefore it is your privilege to ensure while working in your respective States all of you will get a chance to work at the Union . Overall wider perspective that while India lives in States and the problems are often not the same from one State to another. But in dealing with those problems, we must not lose sight of the fact that India is one large common market. Our Constitution makers gave us this unique privilege of being a vast common market, that people can move freely from one part of our country to another where goods can move freely from one part of our country to another. In other countries, Europe , people have struggled to create common markets. This is a gift that has come to us from the founding fathers of our Republic and you must be always be mindful of preserving, building on and nurturing that concern for the unity and integrity of our country.
With development, there are also tensions. Because the capacity for development is not uniformly distributed to all our citizens. There are variant capacities. There was the old system, the old caste system when a person was left behind, he could always blame it on his birth. But now we teach in our schools that we are citizens of a unique Republic which prides itself on providing equality of opportunity to all our citizens. But that’s the norm. But whether it is in fact the case or not, I think very often reality is very different from norms, even then we are getting growth rates of 8-9% per annum, there are people who believe they are left out. When they are left out, I think the grievances against the system multiply and some of them take the form of challenging the authority of law and order. The crime rate goes up probably it is inherent in processes of urbanization that incidents of urban crime will be a problem for quite some time to come and it may be an increasing problem.
Mr. Mathur has already mentioned we are trying to come to terms with the harsh realities of living in a society which has to cope with diverse types of concerns and among the concerns which are foremost right now in my mind, and should be in every civil servant’s mind, is how do we deal with the communal virus. We are fortunate that our country is blessed with citizens belonging to all the great religions of the world. This sometimes causes tension which are in turn exploited by anti-social elements, so the first and foremost responsibility of public servants in any part of our country must be to preserve communal harmony. And we must make every effort that anti social elements do not exploit the situation to promote and nurture their evil designs.
In the same way, our Constitution gives certain fundamental rights, positive, affirmative action in favour of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes. You should also know that atrocities on Scheduled Castes are a matter of great concern. It is the responsibility of the law enforcing authorities to pay special attention to protect the vulnerable sections of our society, be they people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, be they minorities, be they people belonging to other under-privileged castes. We must make a good study of the social and economic aspirations of people belonging to vulnerable sections of society. And all the other wings of the Government must have a strategy of development which addresses those aspirations and those concerns. I think as I said law and order enforcement is the fundamental prerequisite of any civilized society’s capacity to maintain reasonable pace of development. Therefore your role is crucial to ensure that in processes of development, atrocities on Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other vulnerable sections are not allowed to get out of hand.
Yet another issue Mr. Mathur has mentioned and I emphasized in my talk to your predecessors last year is the growing problem that we face of terrorism, sometimes supported by forces outside our countries, but we must also recognize that today I think there are dangers that terrorism can become an internal intruding problem as well. This is one area which requires very sensitive handling and I would urge you to devise credible effective strategies to deal with this very sensitive issues. If it is terrorism driven by outside forces or sent to our country it is in some way it is easy. But if the terror modules are to be found in our country and some misguided elements of our society take to that path, I think we have to tackle this problem with all the sensitivity that it requires.
Naxalite violence is yet another problem and naxalism today afflicts the Central India parts where the bulk of India’s mineral wealth lies and if we don’t control naxalism we have to say goodbye to our country’s ambitions to sustain growth rate of 10-11% per cent per annum as we all need and as we all aspire that that is the only way that we can rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions and millions of our citizens. So, the tribal areas are today in the grip of Naxalite menace. What causes this disaffection, why some elements of the tribal societies take to that path, they become an easy prey to the Naxalite propaganda, I think there are social and economic causes which are at the roots of this disaffection. And we have to handle this problem both as a law and order problem as also a development problem. And therefore it is very important that if you want various strategies to deal with this menace, you must have the sensitivity to recognize the social and economic roots of disaffection among tribal societies. And this requires an in depth study as I said last year and I repeat we are living in a world where human knowledge is increasing at a pace which was unthinkable even two decades ago. And therefore our Civil Services have to equip themselves well. They must operate on the frontiers of knowledge. And that’s where the knowledge of social and economic conditions, social and economic causes of disaffection should be high on the agenda of training and retraining modules.
I would say that with urbanization and the growth of metropolitan cities, crime assumes special forms. We find for example in metropolitan cities, violence against women is growing. Violence against elderly citizens is growing in intensity. And therefore the problems of managing urban complexes, metropolitan complexes and maintaining law and order in large metropolitan cities, it requires an indepth knowledge and experience of how we can combine the knowledge of science, knowledge of economics, knowledge of sociology to devise strategies which will help us to control threats to law and order and at the same time, we will do so in a manner which does not lead to any serious disaffection among large sections of population.
Law and order enforcement machinery must use technologies and techniques which do not have recourse to third degree methods. I think as citizens of our country, we must devise ways and means of conducting our enquiries by the police and other entities without use of third degree methods. We must respect the rights of our citizens. Until people have been convicted, they should be regarded as innocent. That’s the basic philosophy of our system. These are some of the concerns that I have. So to repeat terrorism, naxalism, communalism, management of law of metropolitan cities, they have thrown up immense challenges to law and order machinery in all parts of our country. Questions are the same everywhere, answers must be location specific. And I sincerely hope that trust that what you have learnt at your Academy will enable you to grapple with these challenges to our national unity and integrity and the law and order machinery of the Union and the States with great aplomb.
I wish you all the very best in discharging your onerous responsibilities and belonging to the one of the most privileged service of the Union . God bless you in every possible way
- India: ‘We need a sanitation revolution here’, says adviser to Urban Affairs minister (sanitationupdates.wordpress.com)
- Vikas Kumar: Outgunning India’s Maoists Isn’t Enough (online.wsj.com)
- A Woman’s Life Represents India’s Feminist Hopes [Global Marketplace] (jezebel.com)
- India’s Scourge (time.com)
- Why India Can’t Defeat Its Maoist Rebellion (time.com)
- India: Maoists tap tribal rage (time.com)