Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Are Indebted

Tears, yes; misery, yes; poverty, yes; regret, no. This is what these Punjab families feel despite having lost their police cop family members in the black years of militancy in Punjab.

This woman is Parkash Kaur. Parkash in Punjabi means Light. I do not see any light in her eyes or life. Looking at the face of this woman, I am moved to tears as soon as I see the newspaper this morning. She belongs to a family that lost a son protecting someone. When alive, they stay awake so that we can sleep; when dead, they are conveniently forgotten.

While the Indian Army still holds a lot of respect in the minds of civilians despite the presence of black sheep in its cadres, the police have slowly lost this respect in society due to this same reason. Today, they inspire awe, fear, and even hatred in some parts of the country. But they deserve a better deal. Their contribution to the defense of the country from inside is no less, and that of their families is even more. The children of the martyred cops are not afraid of going into the force. My favorite cop tells me that the face of Police is changing fast with community policing and police-public relationships being taken care of. I believe him. I used to hate cops at one point of time, now I feel bad when I see one of them standing in the sun on a hot tar road awaiting a VIP's arrival and earning the wrath of one of us for holding back the traffic till the VIP passes and he himself heaves a sigh of relief. Their life is not made easier by the peanuts of a salary that they receive for being on a 24-hour duty. The nation expects a lot from them. They also expect a lot from the nation.
May children like Madhuri retain their idealism long enough to serve their nation!

Picture courtesy-The Tribune


Anonymous said...

How true ma'am..very succintly put..

Oreen said...

well, thanks a ton. i will try not to run over the traffic cops in Bangalore from tomorrow.

the hatred and fear are too deep rooted . . . i have faced their meaningless wrath, and have come under severe duress from greedy cops when i had my case running . . .

but i like your point of view.

today, however, most ppl join the force for the extra kamai. also fetches a decent dowry, i think . . .

will take a fresh new look at the cops and try not to generalize . . . and if my outlook changes, will thank you some day . . .

@lankr1ta said...

How do I email you- you are someone I would like to know

Manasa said...

Very true. Ppl respect Army more than the cops. Actually, life of cops is more tough.

Pinku said...

hey Mampi,

you are very very right. Its easy to blame them when something goes wrong but we are not willing to coperate where even a few minutes of our time is required.

As for corruption which I agree is there...just want to ask Oreen that faced with a 1000 rs challan for speaking on a mobile while driving wont you reach into your purse for a 100 Rs bribe?? and save the rest 900.

why then blame that guy on the street who earns a measly 2500/- for taking it?

Sidhusaaheb said...

Well, the reasons for the unpopularity of the police are not far to seek.

"A recent study, designed and conducted by the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) in collaboration with Transparency International India (TII), reveals that the approximately 50 million BPL (below the poverty line) households in India paid as much as Rs 8,830 million in bribes, within one year, to access 11 selected public services.

The worst service, in terms of corruption, turns out to be the police. This is hardly surprising, yet it does provide occasion to pause and question the credibility of a law-and-order system that harasses the most powerless and vulnerable. Across the country, around 10% (5.6 million) BPL households interacted with the police during one year; of them, 2.5 million had to pay bribes to police functionaries. The total amount in bribes paid by these households to police personnel is estimated to be a whopping Rs 2,148.2 million. Around half of the households had no option but to pay a bribe at the very first step -- the point of registering their complaint."


Monika,Ansh said...

very true. Some corrupt officers spoil the entire force's image.
I also felt very moved seeing the picture.

Exseno said...

There are good and bad cops around the world. We complain here about cops too. But we need to think about the times that they do something good too, like saving someone or catching a bad person.
To lose a loved one is a terrible think and I think we carry that sadness with us for the rest of our lives.

Anonymous said...

We can understand the feelings of Bibi Parkash Kaur Ji , a mother of an officer who sacrificed his life for the cause of society.

Help from the Govt., at the right time can give her temporary relief as she needs money for her daily needs, but she will miss her son's presence for her life time.
No mother on earth have to face such an agony, its very hard truth to digest.

By this posting, you have given an appropriate tribute to the Police cops who lost their lives for the security of people not known to them.
I respect the mother in picture.

Police cops' job is as hard as that of Military forces. They too should be entitled for the benefits at par with them.


~Hemanth~ said...

In India, I think if a cop took just his salary home he would not be able to pay his rent or send his children to school. Actually, the whole police force might fall below the poverty line if they did not have the benefit of being employed by the state.

A traffic cop who looks like he is dozing off at the signal actually, can count the number of vehicles crossing that point/min and identify the number plate of a wanted vehicle in that melee. So, like you pointed out, they do an important job but; lack the respect.


The rulers always had their own tools.nobody think about the tool after the execution.Even victims are remembered more.But the tool is always forgotten.
Taking care of people and thinking for them is a great virtue.As always I feel honoured to be in contact with people like you..
take care

Mampi said...

Kiran-I was amazed at the speed with which your comment came. Thanks. It is so encouraging.

Oreen-To everybody according to their own experiences. I wouldnt ask you to change. If you feel the bitterness, there has to be a reason. Keep it to enlighten others. Kamai and dowry-yes perhaps. But there are people who like the department for what it is, for the sake of their own bit to be contributed in its reform.

Alankrita-Shoot me an email. Simple !

Manasa-Yup, you are right.

Pinku-Yeah, it is a common psychology of ours, either contacts or money-never following the procedure to pay the fine.

SS-Thanks for the facts. I feel a little beyond those facts. If we can live with the disgrace of sold out coffins from Kargil and yet feel a lump rise in the throat every time we hear a patriotic song, we need to rethink about the positive role of police also.

Monika, Ansh-There are hundreds of such mothers in Punjab, bearing the cross of having lost their sons in the 80's and 90's.

Exseno-yes, there are two sides to the coin. We are but human and we must realise they are also human.

Mama-yeah, we all feel deeply for them.

Hemanth-Yeah, I happen to remember a traffic cop in a busy crossing in Jalandhar who used to smile at every vehicle that passed and also used to give them a royal treatment by bowing to the driver-every driver.

MIP-I value them as protectors of my rights though I have my grievances and would like to shout abuses at them too. But that is what we all are-admixtures of good and bad. You are right that the rulers forget the instruments of rule.

Gazal said...

the movies and the media are responsible for creating monsters out of them..

you are rite they deserve much more....much more respect

Kiran said...

very well written and so very true! we need to learn and respect what they do, as keepers of peace and protectors of the public we owe a lot to them!

Kiran said...

very well written and so very true! we need to learn and respect what they do, as keepers of peace and protectors of the public we owe a lot to them!

Indian Home Maker said...

We need a new force with a new name to do the present day Police's job, and be paid much better, and then slowly we should phase out this Police Force that we have inherited from the Police. Higher pay scales in the present system will not help, look at the Civil Servants, most of these guys are actually proud of the 'perks' and 'power' they get...No doubt it is a tough life, as tough as army, and massive changes are required. And also they need some freedom from Political controls.

How do we know said...

Surprisingly, for all their corruption and apathy.. i also feel bad abt the ppl in uniform.. how does it feel to live ur life in the middle of all things bad and negative?

Manish Raj said...

Hi Mampi

My father retired last September as as a police officer.

He stays very much with me. He is the still the best man I know.

Thanks for such a touching post !!

Monika said...

ek machli saare talab ko ganda karti hai mampi... and that holds here too

zirelda said...

Yours is a completely different culture so I don't know what I am commenting on except that corruption is everywhere and in the midst of that there are those that are good and dedicated.

Unfortunately once that bitterness hits us, we tend to see them as all the same.

Jagdeep Singh said...

you r so right! very nice blog ... and the song you have kept is superb. Mehnda Ishq ve tu. Mehnda Yaar ve tu. Suberb yaar...

Ritu said...

Close your eyes and imagine a world without police and army - it is chaos. The corruption and apathy is because of the politicization of the police. This world is not an ideal place - and the police is a part of our imperfect world

Mama - Mia said...

so true...

the thing is unlike army, we come across police on day to day basis. we know their follies too easily.

many of us have given bribes and gotten away to often...

i have never been able to understand low salary for neither police nor army. its just plain stupid!

great post like always!



RiverSoul said...

A moving Post
Similar post in my blog
check it out:)
Happy Diwali
:) said...

i have to agree with you on this one... when u see cops in mumbai, you end up cribbing..why dont they do a better job of directing traffic? why cant they prevent crime?where are they when you need them?etc etc.. but if u actually go to see their lives you realised how terrible there working conditions are...they are forever on bandobast duty...they miss practically all major festivals because they are working, they get ridiculous salaries, live in tiny cramped homes and have minimal facilites while on duty..n thats when it hits you, they are people just like u n me...and shud be treated properly... if we expect them to do their job properly, its our duty to provide them all they need to be able to perform well at work.
i donno too much about ppl in the army...but im sure they are better of than city cops in many ways.