Reforming police from constabulary is the key of police reforms. Comment.
‘If the foundation stone is crooked, the wall can’t be straight’.
It is known that over 88% of all policemen are in the ranks of constables and head constables. The constabulary is ill educated, poorly trained; it lacks initiative and looks up to superior ranks. The disparity in human quality between the bottom and top ranks of the police hierarchy in India is striking and it reflects the disparity in the larger society. Initiative and responsibility are concentrated at the top of hierarchy; the bottom layer is not allowed to display such qualities. Thus, the Indian Police is said to ‘systematically put its worst foot forward’.
This is not surprising that that Police Commission of 1902 said that ‘the duties of a constable should be of a mechanical character. Duties requiring the exercise of discretion and judgement should not be entrusted to constables.’
End of colonial rule did not change the role of constables. Since police recruits learn their duties from colonial laws, they are not expected to have an intelligent understanding of their responsibilities. The constabulary remains an exploited section in the society.
Any significant attempt to reform the Indian police must therefore begin with the men at bottom, not at the top. The quality of police performance can be improved only by reshaping the constabulary. The quality is hindered by human deficiencies, not legal impediments.
Some Appreciation Please!