In this section, Dr. A.P Maheshwari presents his own outlook on the current social, economic and political scenarios as well as, the role of administration and its effect on a common man. More importantly, he covered topics which are close to his heart and how they are shaping our society.
Recently the whole world realised its own redundancy in the wake of the COVID-19 onslaught. So many deaths occurred all across the world. But what today draws a bigger line is air pollution and climate change. Deaths due to air pollution have sadly been far more than the deaths due to COVID, so says Dr. Arvind a leading doctor from Medanta, New Delhi, who specialises in respiratory medicines and lung surgery. This menace has spared no one, neither the old nor the young, not even sparing those in the pre-natal stage. The causes aggravating this threat are not far to seek. They lie in the human zeal to constantly achieve higher economic growth, without considering its larger consequences. This zeal has led to uncontrolled industrial pollution, vehicular emission, fossil fuel based power generators, stubble burning, forest fire, defective urban architecture, inadequate solid waste management, shrinking green cover and many such critical factors which were recently discussed in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the town finding its place in top 10 polluted cities of the country. Taking various leads during a conclave attended by experts from various fields, it not only deliberated upon these vital issues but set an actionable agenda that would bring down the pollution levels in the State. This agenda included micro level baby steps leading upto strategic interventions such as a ‘disaster response’ plan.
An interesting poll was conducted during the session. The participants were asked to participate in an online survey and were given ten action points to curate an action agenda roadmap. The top priorities put forth by 128 participants were:
1. Transport Systems: Ensure vehicular emission standards and cleaner fuels.
2. Industry: Enforce industrial emission standards and clean technologies.
3.Shift away from fossil fuels used for power generation.
4.Promote renewable energy and provide support to startups.
5.Agriculture and Forestry: Reduce stubble burning and prevent forest fires.
6.Civic society’s awareness and capacity building to tackle air pollution.
The problem is serious and emergent. One could survive for a weeks or probably a few days without other essentials but barely for a few minutes without air. Judged by new WHO standards, we have 10 times more pollutants in India of various grades. This majorly depends on our lifestyle. Indians already have 30% weaker lungs due to the polluted air they breathe. The issue of clean air, therefore, assumes as much, rather more, significance even over ‘Roti’, ‘Kapda’ and ‘Makan’. Whatever policies or laws the government may legislate; and it has already done so with respect to vehicles, construction, industrial emissions, green cover in the country, agro waste management and so on; it is amply clear that unless civic society makes it a movement, nothing much can be achieved. After all it is the power of civic society that has made smoking unacceptable in our drawing rooms or public places. The grim and astute narratives via advertisement have impacted our cognitions and perceptions but it has become possible only due to the inner drive coming from our society. Simply for the sake of an awakening call it is reiterated that 51% pollution is emitted by our industries, 27% by vehicles, 17% by crop burning and 5% by fireworks. We can no longer afford to ignore this stark threat looming over us.
Air pollution cannot be seen in isolation as ‘everything hangs together’. It effects the other core elements such as water, soil, temperature and the atmosphere as a whole. The ever rising temperature sets off a vicious cycle necessitating the use of air conditioning systems which in turn is leading to further increase in temperatures and pollution. The whole ecosystem is then getting affected in terms of the loss of micro-organisms, unpredictable weather, rising sea levels, attrition in water resources, melting glaciers and so on. Hence taking a holistic view, the whole world is now contemplating new and effective solutions. With rising population pressures, this impact is increasing. The constant pressure for growth is compelling the corporate sector to be expedient and use half-baked technologies which are financially lucrative providing partial solutions but actually end up accentuating environmental problems. One way is a detailed study of the experience based sagacity of our ancestors from a few centuries back who maintained a balanced approach in consonance with nature. Another would be to do an audit of our modern lifestyle and discover ways and means to reduce our carbon footprints. The latter entails first a survey and data collection, real time monitoring of the pollution levels and finding the cause and effect of the current technologies in vogue in order to properly zero down upon its very source. There is no doubt that only a source based mitigation in a decentralised manner holds the key to sustainability.
The surveys clearly indicate that life expectancy has actually reduced from 6-12 years at various places depending upon the intensity of pollution. The death toll too has gone up by 30% , solely due to air pollution, due to which as seven million people in this world die every year. Similarly, the public health has deteriorated, particularly amongst old people and children. Ailments such as obesity, asthma, heart problems and other related diseases have drastically gone up amongst them. Lack of proper oxygen has adverse multiple effects on the otherwise mutually supporting ecosystem. A weak link in the whole chain makes it vulnerable to accidental failures, anytime-anywhere.
The deliberations have been derived by the well documented presentations made by experts of Environment, Forest and Climate change department of Govt of UP, IIT Kanpur, Medanta, New Delhi, KGMU Lucknow, and organisations such as CAF & AQIL. The action points that initially emerged included – greening the habitat through plantations, developing green corners, resort to terrace gardening; encouraging walking & cycling, encouraging use of public transport, segregating waste at source and converting it to manure. Further discussions focused on reducing and recycling plastic waste, encouraging use of natural fibres and earthen materials for making sustainable products; sensitising children on various issues including shunning use of firecrackers. It eventually also emphasised on asserting as well as pursuing the government to implement laws that support environmental health, adopting available technology to minimise carbon footprint, saving electricity, adopting solar options, using electric vehicles and evolving innovative ways in collaboration with all stakeholders locally as well as globally.
Lesser developed countries have incongruence and inconsistency in their developmental cycle. But one needs to take action in a balanced and graduated manner with a positive mindset.
In order to unlearn and also relearn these harsh facts that are glaring at us, critical decision making for survival, we need to take a fresh look at some data. What we thought would happen in 50 years, has actually happened in 10 years only as the temperature of the planet has increased by 1.5C. Now if we don’t put a check it, then it will rise further by 2.0 to 4.0 C in barely 15 months, which is an alarming scenario. This is the harsh reality of our impending future. It is time now to realise that such would be the spiralling effect.
We as a country of 1.4 billion are reportedly already below the WHO standards. UP alone has 13 times higher pollution as per the neo norms. A citizen loses 10-12 years of life expectancy in Lucknow, which is barely a digit less than Delhi. The annual particulate pollution rate is 22%. Even this needs to be reduced drastically. NCAP is aiming to reduce it in aggregate by 30% before the year 2025.
We may interestingly take a look into the opportunity cost of Air Pollution at individual level focusing on supply of clean air or oxygen, taking a cue from cost of potable water now in terms of global business of bottled water that is estimated to be 349 billion US dollars. In case there arises the similar situation, given 80 years life span in a family of four, as per a worst scenario broad calculation, the cost of buying oxygen for life could go beyond 335 crore INR at prevalent prices. It may sound incredulous but critical to draw our attention to the impending emergent situation. Years back we could never assume that we would be spending money to buy drinking water to that extent.
We need to follow a carbon resilient and low carbon lifestyle and mainyain a sustainable health system. The greatest war is now on the anvil. Let us fight it well now that we understand that we have to fight it off ourselves. We don’t need to look for any further proof. When COVID-19 pushed humans to stay within closed houses during lockdown, nature recuperated and began to emerge as per its original glorious design. It is now the time to pronounce it loud and clear, ‘Facts 2 Act’. SHAPE UP: Solution for Health, Air pollution & Environment is the need of the hour; its now or never!!
Dr A.P. Maheshwari
PATRON, LUNG CARE FOUNDATION
Internal Security,Policing & Crisis Management Expert; Speaker & Author.
|Fmr IPS- |Adv to Lt Gov PY;DG CRPF; BPR&D; Spl Secy IS MHA;SDG BSF|
Experiential learnings suggest that in order to be effective there are at least two attributes that can be regarded as the minimum essentials in any given environment. One is, dexterity in performing the tasks that any professional has been detailed for and the second being appropriate behavioral responses in diverse situations. Given the historical legacy, the socio-political subcultures and resource constraints, the police in India has yet to cross the bench mark of being a behaviorally sensitive, people friendly force. There are a few officers in the police force who have been innovative and have evolved some generic models of community oriented policingwhich hover around the behavioral skills of front line cops. Some of the state governments have also taken cogent steps in this domain. Such models have often been cited as good practices during professional deliberations. Friends of Police in Tamil Nadu, Jan Maitri Suraksha of Kerala, Trichy Community Policing and Suraksha Setu scheme of Gujarat and Civic Action Programs of CAPFs are some of the prominent initiatives. Police reforms, though enforced by the apex bodies at the national level, have been obviated by some of the stakeholders at the federal orcutting edge levels. Whereas the professional index of the Indian police has been gradually rising, given the occupational demands emanating from a moreinformed and conscious society, the inbuilt behavioral response have yet to make a mark.
During the Pandemic, as prominent covid warriors, the police has shown a high level of sensitivity and assisted the community in various ways including policing in containment zones, enabling people to access medical care and generating similar compassionate responses. Even during various disasters the police forces have enthusiastically joined hands withother agencies and proved their mettle as foremostresponders. That means that segment of society that has taken upon themselves themantle of performing the duties of a policeman have their inherent behavioral values intact, which are further honed by rigorous training modules and ground level experiences.
The questions that becomes contextually relevant here needs to be thoroughly looked into. How and why have the deflections creptin? Is it a derivative of wrong demonstrationeffects of the police leadership or of those at the helm of affairs managing the police as well its policing systems? Or is it a reflection on the systemic paucities that fail to set right the psycho behavioral configurations of our police brethren who constantly exposed to the negative forces of life day and night without getting sufficient personal time to recover? Or is it that we need to further empower the police echo system in terms of technical and structural capacitiesso as to help upgrade policing skill sets as well as the tools? Would our police be more efficient and effective with an assured career progression and professional autonomy? We need to provide the answer to all these questions as well as provide for a cogent set up as would be required since all these domains have an impact on ‘police responses’.
While the government of India has circulated the Model Police Act, envisioning various provisions related to configuration of the overall policing system, accountability, community service, autonomy and such other systemic issues, the appropriate implementation on the ground level still has many glitches. The role and goal conflicts as well as state holders’dissonance in some areas have been surfacing time and again. Meanwhile, professionals have been emphasizing upon improving the quality of policing. Our Prime Minister too has repeatedlyfocusedupon the essential features of SMART policing.This has been followed by the replacement of outdated laws and infusion of a more scientific investigation through forensic infrastructure and expert based assistance to the police in the medical, financial , cyber and other pertinent domains. Despite the multifarious efforts that are being made, instances of police laxity and misbehavior are continuously being reported. Reports in the newspapers also highlight cases relating tothe misuse of law or the policepowers. Whereas police reforms are progressing at their own pace, we cannot deny the fact that improving the quality of policing is more of a managerial issue than systemic. Police must learn the art of winning difficult situations through more and more constructive participation of the community. This is almost an indispensable onus that needs to be operationalized in the present scenario where proxy war situations have shifted the center of gravity from border war zones to the civic society turf. Now every citizen needs to assume the role of a policeman without uniform. He needs to scan his locality as well as his work place to pick up any tell-tale signs of the miscreantsinfused by aperpetratorwho may be sitting miles away in today’s technologically linked global society. The radicalization tactics and mutations through local crime cartels is the new normal in such proxy wars. Similarly, various adversaries find their way through developmental channels or via those migrants from India who are working abroad.
With global cultural consciousness, the issue of victim oriented policing, witness protection,corruptionfree delivery of services, online disposal of grievances, zero response time of police patrols, integrated control systems and synergetic responses are emerging as the focal areas where our police agencies are striving to augment their response capacities. The police behavior cannot be seen in isolation to the demands of the job and the supporting echo system that is required to deliver the congruent services.
The reasons for discussing all these issues is to drive home the point that all the gaps which we are perceiving can be abridged to a great extent, pending the systemic interventions, if police behavior is used as a force multiplier . The community will then move closure to the police. The synergetic outcome through such a confluence will be tremendous. Society has all the resources in the form of expert-volunteers as well as material resources. The responsible people in the society do help police whenever they find good intentioned committed personnel with a genuine concern for the community. Having been in UP Police, CRPF,BSF and having worked in all the major conflict zones right from North East to J&K ,areas affected by Maoist violence and sensitive land borders,besides major sensitive towns of UP; the tactical moves of drawing synergetic outcomein these conflict ridden areas through congruent behavioral responses has been a great experience as well as a sustainable goal on the Human Terrain Management grid, with a huge multiplier effect. Even the intelligence and investigative leads or expert opinion on variedissues have their roots in the silent communication nurtured by the faith and confidence local society reposes in the police officer or his team. This definitelyemanates from the core behavior of the sentinels of peace. To me the police behavior has proved to be a great Force Multiplier.
AP Maheshwari IPS(retd) (Formerly: Advisor Lt Governor PY & DG, CRPF)
Standing up proud and strong, at an altitude of 16000 ft. at the Hot Springs in Ladakh The Martyr’s Memorial is a constant reminder to celebrate the great sacrifice of the CRPF Jawans, a saga of bravery dating back to the 21st of October 1959 which changed the very course of history, bringing the Nation together on a higher pedestal of values, that are so imperative to keep the nation strong and safe. The memorial also emblematises the sanctity of its purpose, the sacrifice which almost touches on the spiritual echelons, making our heroes the emissaries of godliness.
What makes the Forces unique, different from others is that, its members take an oath to make the supreme sacrifice, that is, to be always ready to lay down their lives, on the altar of duty and remain committed accordingly, in the entire course of their service. As per the data released upto 31.08.2017, more than 34,000 police personnel have made this supreme sacrifice in the service of the Nation. An average rate over a period of time may not be truly reflective of the incidence of attrition on this count, however, in recent yearsthe number of those who have attained martyrdom has been around 1000 per annum. In an era of proxy war, where direct war across geographic boundaries has become a remote possibility, the challenges of policing, call for a far more intensified and specialised response from police agencies. The low intensity conflict zones have also made it imperative to generate cogent counter responses. Despite the best of capacity building, the initial ‘surprise-advantage’ with an adversary still fetches casualties from the fighting police forces. Armed war within the internal human terrain of the country necessitates an altogether different strategy in contrast to the war that takes place across national boundaries. So much so the gravity of the risk is not the nature of the threat per se, but the lack of our capacity to tackle the same. It is pertinent to raise this point here as real obeisance to the martyrs doesn’t only mean to remember and glorify them and take on the responsibility to look after their families but also to effectively handle and curb the future risks in terms of our capacity deficits. We may address this issue in a holistic manner. The leaders of the police forces have to proactively predict the policing challenges amidst the environmental dynamism that has acquired geographical progression, and accordingly build capacities in terms of the necessary tools, techniques and support systems and of course a good supervisory climate.
The opportunity cost of such sacrifices can’t ever be evaluated as they have an enormous value in terms of our National security. However, the sacrifices that could be avoided owing to better risk management call for a deliberation as those martyred brave hearts could have otherwise contributed so much more in nation building in their life span.
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his address to all the Directors General had raised two relevant issues and put forth his much adored vision. One being, making the police forces SMART and second, extolling the dignity of our heroes who had made the supreme sacrifice of lying down. SMART police initiatives would not only mitigate the capacity deficits or make the forces more competent to negotiate the risks, but also generate positive synergy with our civic society by bringing them operationally as well as emotionally closer. Hence, our real homage to our Martyrs would then culminate on a much appropriate scale if we were to work with a more sincere consideration in these domains. Further, Hon’ble PM had not only requested all the forces to document the relevant details of our martyrs but also to make these details available on the websites of various forces. All the schools where Martyrs had studied, too, were approached to place a photo and citation of the sacrifice of martyrs. Nominees of respective forces were asked to visit annually and hold a programme there. Such multipronged scheme would definitely fetch the desired results. It not only would impress the students to tread a path of pride, bravery and sacrifice but would also enthral the self-esteem of the families of martyrs.
Hon’ble Home Minister, with the support of the MHA, has taken a step further to launch a website ‘Bharat Ke Veer’, where the community can also join hands with the Government in looking after the families of our martyrs in terms of financial support. As on date, ‘not less than a crore should be the financial assistance to the family of a martyr’ is the motto. What is important is, not the amount of the financial aid extended but the spirit and the vision. It may in times to come grow further in terms of context as well as content.
However, all the concerned officers of the forces feel that mere financial support would not be enough. Domestic empowerment, skill generation, re-employment, education of the NOKs etc. still remain viable vectors yet to be effectively managed. Accordingly, the forces have drawn conducive plans and viable schemes in these directions too to achieve the desired outcomes.
As we commemorate the 60th year of the course changing saga of supreme sacrifice at Hot Springs, we need to take a holistic view. It is a subject matter which needs to be delicately handled with utmost sincerity and genuine concern. When a survey says that, majority of the Nations, during the World Wars did not face devastation because of external aggression but due to their weak internal security, the underlining wisdom then, is to have, a relook, a sincere rethink on the type of policing that is the need of the hour. If we can’t evolve a viable format of policing even now, then the sacrifice of our martyrs would stand eclipsed to that extent. However, we must remain proud of the fact that the Nation adorns its Heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice. There is and will never be any dearth of courageous men in uniform.
We must also motivate our youth,by instilling in them the right values. The Nationwide launch of the Student Police Cadet Programme by the Union Home Minister, with the support of the MHA, BPR&D and all the Stateswould definitely provide a stable platform to realise our dreams of a strong IS grid in the country with the best of synergy levels between People and the Police. A neo police culture must emerge with a service orientation people friendly police. We must break the self-created silos and unburden ourselves of the legacies which make us redundant and out of context. The sacrifice of our martyrs has to be evenly matched with the sacrifice we can make as conscientious cops. And that would be the befitting tribute to our heroes, i.e. our Martyrs!
Those who have laid down their lives for the Nation have not only left eternal imprints on the timelines but have also left behind an agenda, a road map that can further enrich our destiny.
Salute to our Martyrs.
“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.”
AP Maheshwari IPS(retd) (Formerly: Advisor Lt Governor PY & DG, CRPF)
Counter Pandemic response stands witness to a new brigade of avatars – the corona warriors! One such is the police force that includes, besides Civil Police, the Central as well as State armed police. With a studied disregard for the virus’s lurking threat in the dwarfing shadows these warriors have stepped up to contribute enormously in defeating the virus. They have played a very vital role working in mission mode to manage and control the containment zones; to ensure effective curtailment of movement by the public during lockdowns; to enhance the safety measures for other corona warriors in particular those from the medical fraternity; to make sufficient camping and safety arrangements for the migrant labourers along with providing ease in the transfer of supplies of covid protective inventories; secure movement of migrants to their native homes and taking proactive actions against hoarders and black marketeers. Infact those central forces with sufficient infrastructure even went to the extent of assembling and making available covid care centres on an impressive scale and carried out sanitisation operations in the community centres close to their camps. Further; the police force has readily come forward to share the burden in this crisis of the resulting en-masse casualties. It has in fact not been an unusual sight to find police personnel in a humane gesture standing by to comfort the sufferers; to support them in their moment of grief; and lending a helping hand to ease the pain of their loss. The list is endless. Several of these warriors have actually become the very trough of human benevolence partaking in the sufferings of the impacted. Behaviourally, these kindly gestures and initiatives taken by these warriors are indeed admirable and something that society can take pride in. Actually, many of these members come from backgrounds that inherently nurture humane values -the values of compassion, dedication and sacrifice. But like the rest, the police force too has had its quota of hardships and misery. Around 40% of their personnel contracted the virus, some even lost their life in the bargain. Like others they too have suffered the loss of their near and dear ones yet have had to quickly come to grips with their loss as duty beckoned, calling for their immediate attention. However, thankfully the rate of death amongst them has been found to be lower than the national average probably due to a more guarded stand against the hovering threat by taking the necessary precautionary measures and partly owing to better immunity levels. Most of the fatalities amongst them were learnt to be due to earlier existing comorbidities. During the ongoing pandemic this marked behavioural change in the modus operandi of the police personnel has been like a breath of fresh air easing the common man’s insecurities related to the force. Their acts of chivalry have instilled a breath of life and hope in the masses. Substantial goodwill has been generated and once again their faith in the police as their messiah in times of distress has been reignited. A common man no longer looks upon the force with askance. They are gradually winning back the image of a good Samaritan that people can turn to in times of crisis. So finally, the breach between the police and the public has been to some extent bridged. This endeavour of theirs has borne fruit. The standard of policing is evolving for the better owing to self-actualisation processes within its own system. Police reforms as mooted by Prakash Singh judgement may take some more time, but the police force has already started to deliver, exposing their honest and true mettle in the deliverance of their duties towards the nation and it’s citizens. Since most of the stakeholders have undergone this much coveted change it is a great opportunity for all professional heads in the force to consider revamping their policing standards, values and capitalize on this obscure opportune outcome of the ongoing threat. From the point of view of a professional analysis, many promises have re-emerged in practice. They if duly continued will pave the ground for the better. Police has, along with other warriors, proved that they are capable of responding to unforeseen challenges with a fair degree of confidence, effectiveness and flexibility. They have discreetly imbibed a collaborative work culture leading to better synergies, which are reflected in their compassionate behavioural responses. Helping people to meet theirs needs in a time of crisis, right from providing food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, medication to the sick, mobility to the stranded and other necessary supplies of Covid- safety inventories. This humanitarian work culture has emanated amongst them from ‘within’, it has not been imposed by any compulsion from the outside. Any number of training capsules and exposure probably could not have triggered this wondrous transformation that this present crisis has induced in them. Covid warriors have quickly and expeditiously adopted the core preventive measures for this pandemic, thanks to their sheer sense of responsibility as the guardians of ‘Public safety’. Many senior officers were seen personally leading from the front from CAPFs such as the CRPF & ITBP as well as states such as Maharashtra, UP and others where the initial surge has been lethal. This show of benevolence in leadership has had its own demonstration effect. At many places crisis management models were replicated with the help of all the stakeholders. The war room control and monitoring systems were further galvanised. Improved mobility, facilitating those that were impacted, ease of information dissemination and such other essential dimensions were appropriately catered to. Resource mobilisation planning was correspondingly matched with community mobilisation as the Force & Resource multipliers right from the youth to retired professionals, from individuals to NGOs and corporates. Then the CSR integration came as a quick and substantial support. Well customized and aggressive responses, where they were needed, were conducively synchronised within the scheme of agendas, be it the vaccination drive or the curbing of exploitation by the unscruplous opportunistic elements. Pandemic management also saw the start of a neo work culture sustaining through online, virtual platforms ensuring the quality of the outcome as well as effective real time processing. Then a marked change in the personal lifestyles in order to enhance immunity and safeguard one’s wellbeing was also witnessed, this being a very favourable change that did not even call for many reminders. Necessity also led to the adoption of effective communication strategies so that the National Security Emergency could be addressed appropriately. If we were to usher in and adopt these learnings in normal times and circumstances it would have probably taken several man years and teams of experts to really make a dent. However, this is not a claim that all the security warriors have learnt their lessons for good as some contradictions are still observed, reminding us that ugly aberrations and unforgivable violations still exist in the system but these are now few and far between. If mass vaccination is supposed to lead to herd immunity and collective safety, so should it be in the case of synergetic learnings during this pandemic era. Today Police leadership has got a great opportunity to capitalise on it and use these ‘policing refinements’ as a lever to further bargain for the remaining ‘police-reforms’ that have long been in a state of limbo and run them now for complete approval by those in positions of authority. Public opinion is vital and rightly so in a democratic setup. The mindset needs to go for an overhaul and considerable change. Professional institutions today need to find their own ways and methodologies with due autonomy and accountability to the rule of law. But then all is not yet over. The future still holds huge challenges before the police. The emotional as well as economic fracturing of the society shall manifest in so many other trying ways once the tide begins to ebb and recede. This may lead to many deviant behaviour and exploitation in the public order as well as in the crime grid. With the possibilities of the third wave, in case we are not able to fill up the gaps still left in the system in vaccinations to start off herd immunity and provide corresponding medical care, the virus may explode, and attack differently given the remnants of earlier breaches on the human terrain of the country. We must strive earnestly to adequately get our acts together and obviate any such fallouts. Amidst all the upheavals and disruptions, we have undergone in the past, close observation reveal that every negativity has actually led to the emergence of positivity. Whereas this ‘truth’ may call for global as well as national synergies on different platforms ranging from scientific research to medical care, economic growth to environmental consciousness, security concern to peaceful co-existence; all professions, directly or indirectly committed to these causes must put their best foot forward and capitalize on the values rediscovered during this catastrophe. For a profession like the police that is a strong pillar of support during any given crisis; an on the spot saviour; with the role of being the first responder, there should be no lethargy in successfully emerging in it’s ideal state. As goes the saying ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ so has this dark pandemic that has descended on us not without a ray of hope. So let the good prevail once again over evil but this once for all times to come!! AP Maheshwari IPS(retd) (Formerly: Advisor Lt Governor PY & DG, CRPF)
The pandemic has bamboozled us so far. It has mirrored multiple illusionary reflections leaving us gasping for air again and again since last year. This uncertainty looms large even today. The experience imbedded during the first wave of the pandemic last year has driven us to create certain capacities but unfortunately with the new emerging variants and mutations the entire scenario has changed leaving us to grapple afresh. Owing to the unnecessary indulges, casual aberrations in our daily activities not withstanding our enthused participation in multiple mega events, the very fundamentals of effective COVID control – masking, safe distancing and hand hygiene were heavily compromised. Then even the thrifty efforts to conduct the vaccination drive have faced several pitfalls. The media has gone overboard highlighting – the paucity of vision and proactive planning; neglect of the advice given by the experts; faulty implementation of efforts made, considerable negligence as well as the casual attitude of the masses; then the burgeoning positive cases amidst a lack of equivalent medical infrastructure and an acute shortage of various medical inventories – all these aspects were resonating across the nation and to top it these were fervently picked up and propagated across the globe via diverse mediums. Since then deliberate efforts have been made to augment the medical set up and accelerate the vaccination drive. But sadly with the arrival of new mutations of this virus the efficacy of the vaccinations has come under ascanner and is now being questioned. A considerable amount of uncertainty, hesitancy and even resistance has been seen in several quarters. Then the substantial number of deaths amongst the medical cadres too has had a negative impact on the psyche of the lesser educated masses. To top that the economic misery faced by the poor segments of our society as well as the resultant wobbly sustenance of our economy is no longer supporting the theory of a complete and an extended lockdown. The dire need of these challenging times is a fine balancing of various critical factors on the national grid between both the centre and the state. This means that in terms of a capacity building it requires resource sharing, an onus to perform as well as to deliver. Also, on the international grid a substantial inflow of various aids, vaccine imports, relaxation in patent rights and a supportive economic trade are now the urgent need of the hour. In the given background the cumulative pressure and burden on the COVID warriors ranging right from the medical fraternity to the other related service providers, police and other administrative agencies has been constantly increasing. And then, there is the impending threat of the imminent third wave. We are yet to begin to prepare for this impending third wave. The emerging pattern of the neo diseases is forecasting a frightfully disturbing trend. A patch work approach to counter this bleak and unpredictable life threatening virus has been the only plausibility. Recent experiences have shown that we have decided on the option of a lockdown to be used only as the last resort and have laid focus on creating micro containment zones, followed by aggressive testing and treatment. The supervision of such zones has been a challenge that needs to be addressed through public synergies, by involving responsible citizens. Similarly, the vaccination drive is also facing several hurdles right from the issue of successfully developing the right mind set, organising easy accessibility and managing follow up doses.These are the initial areas that necessitate active intervention of various community members. Many top practitioners like Dr. Shetty have raised the issue of a likely shortage of medical staff. Besides the steps he has propagated, can we think in terms of segregating between the main and auxiliary duties of medical professionals .We need to pick up and involve people having various expertise in the community as part of an auxiliary support system. If we were to fall back on the traditional response patterns as we do during disaster management, where we have been taking the help of youngsters from NCC, NSS, NYKs to various clubs and youth forums on one hand; civil defence, village defence societies, retired armed forces personnel and general social volunteers from different segments – on the other. However, the magnitude of the present pandemic calls for even greater participation of the public with newer formats ,that is - Besides effectively enforcing a COVID appropriate behaviour, we need to develop people from various groups, professional segments and the business world to contribute their very best – • Groups that can oversee COVID appropriate behaviour within the community • Groups who are ready to undertake auxiliary duties of COVID warriors so that medical fraternity can focus on the main challenges at hand. • Groups to facilitate ease of living of COVID warriors so that medicos can concentrate on their job better. • Groups to handle and control deviant behaviours , thoughts and practices • Industry and business to do their best to accelerate production of essentials and also maintain a check on black marketing. • Teams for call centres, information sharing and digital resource pooling The above list is by way of example alone. Many such models are emerging on their own to fill in the gaps. If the same could be done by pooling in the expert advice of those who understand community empowerment and community motivation for better participation,it would lead to considerable success and ease of management. It is high time that we as a Nation do for each other what ever best we can. Merely finding faults with each other or the Govt alone may not work. Amidst growing uncertainties, no clear model of success seems to be in sight, we need to keep trying as and when a new variant or challenge is encountered. However, if we are together and sincerely involved we will manage to surface and float. Let us clearly understand that we are in it, to sink or to swim together. ‘You are therefore I am’ has to be the inescapable motto. It no longer remains a matter of choice. AP Maheshwari IPS(retd) (Former Advisor to Lt Gov PY and DG CRPF)
The present Pandemic has taken such a heavy toll leaving none of us unscathed. Today we are in a complete state of frenzy, of bewilderment groping to find effective means and strategies to cope with this monster lingering in the shadows awaiting to gobble down the next unsuspecting prey. This monstrous virus is constantly mutating keeping us on tenterhooks struggling to find a comprehensive and effective response that would stall its rampant spread. We are all in our own way attempting to invent our little bit to keep our loved ones under a safe sanctuary. With the daily positive COVID cases having touched the menacing figure of 4 lakhs per day and with over 4000 daily deaths our country has been left gasping for breath – at one point of time there appeared a substantive state of chaos and confusion– it was marred by a scarcity of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders for the gasping multitude of patients and medicines for the dying and the helpless. Notwithstanding these and the emerging neo-variants to further add to the complexities there is a constant flow of diverging opinions on the efficacy of the available vaccinations, undefined and perplexing revelations on the use of various medical therapies to tackle COVID and then finally the approach – approach conflict that has raised its head at different platforms with flying allegations and counter-allegations. Amidst such a state of utter chaos and mayhem we as a whole, as a nation now desperately need to evolve and resurrect bettering synergy levels. Amidst all this upheaval, however, there is one core body, our medical fraternity that has been working untiringly, relentlessly day after day even at the cost of putting their very own lives at stake. The loss of over 400 of our medical fraternity in the second wave is itself proof of the heavy toll it has taken on the fraternity in their selfless dedication to save the suffering. And that is not all. This figure would probably cross thrice this number if we were to include all levels right up to the rank of ward boys as well. Besides this, over 40% of the medical staff has been inflicted with heavy viral load, thereby furthering the risk of exposure to their own families and at the same time intensifying the work load and hours on the unaffected remaining hospital staff members. So on the one hand the pressure and inflow of the COVID patients increased and on the other the equivalent ratio of the medical staff has been on the decline, yet their commitment and unrelenting dedication is worthy of considerable praise and acknowledgement. It is therefore tragic that, still in earlier times, there have been cases of violence perpetrated against this fraternity. We can recall the instances of their forceful evacuation from rented houses by their landlords in multiple places in the initial COVID wave. The authorities have had to provide security cover to protect the hospital staff. A very recent remark by some quarters regarding not just the efficacy but even the relevance of our medical fraternity has resulted in causing deep anguish and distress amongst the medical practitioners. We really need to question ourselves? Do they deserve this? Very recently a lady doctor put it very simply drawing a very sensible parallel – cautious driving on highways is a much better solution rather than opening more and more hospitals to tackle accident cases. Her distress and appeal calls for timely appreciation and adherence. Are we justifed in being negligent and can we not take due precautionary measures to avoid increasing the load of our medical fraternity? Why can’t we stringently observe COVID appropriate behaviour which requires us to – I. Wear masks and wear them appropriately, carefully following the do’s and don’ts II. Follow hand sanitization protocols regularly III. Maintain adequate distance IV. Get vaccinated at the earliest opportunity Though the virus is said to be airborne but these core code of our conduct if sincerely followed will save us. Even if exposed to a variant, we will be better equipped to sustain. Our internal defence system will also follow its own learning curve. So to put it plainly if we are to actually extend support and show due regard for our medical fraternity then we need to do what we can do best which includes mending our behaviour and our lifestyle. I couldn’t agree more with the Mumbai Police Commissioner who asserted that there is need for us to realize their worth and express meaningful appreciation for our doctors by making it a ground rule to always address them as ‘Sir’. In my opinion this is a very symbolic, deep and a far reaching observation. Another pointer coming from me is that we now need to go a step ahead and make the medical fraternity our lead partner in our decision making process. We need to give due diligence to their seasoned professional advice and follow it too. However, this creates an equal onus on them too for being responsible as well as responsive in recommending the best available options without paying heed to other extraneous factors. The time has now come that we pay due respect to them in the true sense of the word. And last though not the least, let us also pay our tributes to all those doctors and nursing staff who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their struggle to save us. We repeatedly stand in gratitude before all those selfless souls who in the line of their duty have not only had to undergo multiple hardships but have readily taken the viral load on their own person while helping others battle against this virulent virus. At this juncture, we must also not undermine the critical role of other Covid warriors, right from the police to providers of all essential services including hygiene and sanitation workers who have been working relentlessly. AP Maheshwari IPS (Retd) ( Formerly: Adv to Lt Gov Puducherry and DG CRPF)
1. Traverse from 'compliance-leadership' to 'commitment- leadership.'
2. Leader believes in 'bhakti', 'shakti' & 'ukti'.
3. A leader is a dealer as well as a broker of dreams.
4. A yogi believes in contemplation, self denial and tolerance. So does a leader.
5. A leader customises the abstract ideas.
6. A leader undertakes the journey from being an outer king to an inner sage.
7. A leader honours the diversity of situations.
8. Leaders design and actualise the agenda of change.
9. Leaders take the route less travelled.
10. Are you responding as a parrot, a peacock, a vulture or an eagle?
11. Are you liked, feared or respected?
12. Know the difference between doing the things right and doing the right things.
13. Invite attention through vision, add meaning through communication, create trust through positioning, generate regard through attitude.
14. Think out your actions: are they necessary, desirable and possible.
15. Actions speak louder than words.
16. Evolve with your 'sense of shape.'
17. Are you giving solutions or future problems?
18. Power emerges from position, knowledge and charisma.
19. Evaluate the scope for inclusion, affiliation and influence.
20. Always keep the big picture in mind.
21. Decision making moves around conceptual clarity, contextual alignment and optimising handicaps.
22. Every person is same and yet different.
23. Values are co-centric circles.
24. Competence be coupled with values.
25. Recognise the importance of filters.
26. Align, calibrate and follow up.
27. Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is the progress, working together is success.
28. Keep in mind : 'desh', 'kaal', 'patra' and 'yagya.'
29. Undertake the journey from 'tamsik' (mechanical frozen structure) to 'satvik' (dynamic organic state)
30. Follow 'one step ahead' approach of change.
31. DGP means decision, guidance and protection.
32. 'Aaa' certificate for cops: accessability, availability and accountability.
33. Security is preservation of the way of life.
Eight 'is' can form a 'we'
• Individual excellence
• Importance to all
• Investment in others
• Information sharing
• Integration with members
How to go about for change:
• Establish a sense of urgency
• Create guiding coalition
• Develop vision & strategy
• Communicate 'change' vision
• Empower broad based action
• Generate short term wins
• Consolidate and produce more change.
• Anchor new culture
Forgive and forget in order to be happy and maximise inner bliss.
People are what they are, don’t let their idiosyncrasies hamper you or diminish your inner bliss.
Life is a single file march but you mature through the contingent you choose to be in.
Let people not take you for granted. Let people not take advantage of your helplessness. It has been empirically observed that minimum economic and social standing is necessary to ward off against the exploitation. It is also necessary to reap maximum advantage out of the set of available opportunities.
Life is like a stream of water- don’t convert it into a pond least it becomes stale.
I must tell you that following never go waste:
I must also tell you that when nothing succeeds, all the above succeed.
I have experienced in life that -
to evolve “ A MEANINGFUL SUSTENANCE” one has to mature in life and marinate through ups and downs. Every failure shows a new path of success. One who never fails cannot be innovatively successful. Indulgences are necessary to go beyond the inbuilt bondages. Hence, don’t forget that like a river you shall get kinetic energy once you cross the boulders and the stumbling blocks.
I have learnt that life is the synergetic outcome of the balanced approach in each sphere. Body, heart, mind and soul- all work in an integrative manner. They all need to be nurtured well. Avoiding extremities is desirable ‘Middle path’ provides the key.
I have realised in life that there is nothing absolute in life. No one gets everything. No situation remains constant. Hence, “RELATIVITY” becomes the guiding principle. One who can draw relative advantage would end up with smiles. Hence, “PROACTIVE” moves would grant relative advantage over reactive responses.
I believe that it is important in life to determine a road map and then traverse systematically on it. Focus on destination. Milestones would no more be material.
I have known that one who makes best use of ‘TIME’ is the winner. Each moment has an ‘OPPORTUNITY COST’. Opportunity cost principle is the crux.
(some ‘thought wares’on issues and perspectives)
Dr A.P. Maheshwari*
Before zeroing down on counter terrorism (CT) strategies, it would be interesting to glance through the view of various observers that have drawn our attention to the genesis of terrorism. Various premises as well as general comments floated in this context are relevant to guage the under currents, the simmering realities whether perceived or real:
• War as a rationale for peace has been the pet project of certain super powers. Iraq-Syria- Afghanistan-Turkey-Lebanon-Egypt, all are cited as the glaring examples. ‘There is an elephant in the room and we refuse to see it’.
• Terrorism per-se is not the real threat as much as it emerges from the pursuit of silent ‘power-games’. There was a ‘good’ Osama who became ‘bad’ Osama. Is that not an indication how the game was being played?
• Vedic Zihad in East has come in conflict with Abrahim Zihad in West, on the issue of supremacy. Shall the respective contenders maintain their position or ready to face loss of control?
• There is no global uniformity of law or strategies in dealing with terrorism. There are sanctuaries of terror in certain countries. The agencies dealing with counter terrorism have their own sub culture, different modus-operandi. How do we control the ‘Terror-trading’ in such a scenerio?
• The perception of divine mandate, acute injustice or alienation have been used to fuel terrorism. How do we mitigate the lack of proper alignment at global level in handling such outbursts?
2. There appears to be a persistent debate on the globally acceptable definition of terrorism. Is radicalism per-se an act of terrorism? Are we fighting against a common noun without focusing properly on the terror perpetrators? Terrorist for one is the hero for another. Where do we draw a line as a global community? The declaration of global war since 20/11 episode has evolved some proactive approach. But the question again being raised is whether UN forces are really fighting with the right enemy at the right place? The multi-mode, multi-networked terrorism that stands technologically exported across the globe in form of proxy war, needs a serious consideration in identifying and controlling the terror sponsors. As such, are we gradually heading towards the police or military states (in an environ of state sponsored terrorism) or shall we mobilize civic society to intervene and redefine the domains so as to facilitate a correct diagnosis. Can we afford to ignore the risk of becoming a monster during the process of controlling a monster. The problem with terrorism, as a technique, is that it may go out of the control of terror sponsors and damage the perpetrators themselves besides those who have been the silent sufferers. History is full of many glaring examples to substantiate this point. It still puzzles many thinkers in India the way Pakistan is being assisted and nurtured by US as well as China. One can see strategic interests as well as diplomatic advantages finding their way, brushing aside as well as undermining the normative policies in terror containment. Eventually all are creating their own defences as well as the CT regimes.
3. The proxy war strategies also aim at creating digital divide in order to control the mindset of the youth. In addition, getting them addicted to drugs or such similar extremities bears the potential of turning them useless, thus making a dent in the ‘human assets’ of a country. Proxy war has also taken the route of ‘economic dominance’ as a soft tool for the control of a country and creating influence systems to usher in the hidden agendas, where de-jure governments only enjoy geo-controls and de-facts drivers of peace lie elsewhere.
4. Under such a global scenario, how does one expect the right thinking countries to respond? They also dwindle between the ‘cost of security’ and ‘left over value’amidst the terror onslaughts. They keep trying to fetch all the countries on the same page and oppose reconciliation with terror groups at any cost. Within the domain of individual efforts, however, there have been certain success models where ‘Military-Victory’ has been translated into ‘Civic-Victory’. Where such a conversion does not take place, civic population has been seen to be subjected tovaried controls by opportunistic power groups and their manipulations, in terms of lethality as well as economic debacle. In dealing with terrorism, therefore, increasing reliance is being placed on civic society, the actual centre of gravity. Zihad of any type, therefore, sells when the civic society is not matured and wars of perception rule the roost. Wars of perception, thus, prove to be more fatal then war of guns.
5. Having seen various facets and derivative notions on the empirical formats of terrorism, experts feel that the solution may lie in following domains-
• A common frame of reference for all countries across the globe(where trust and confidence is otherwise a rare commodity). Anorganized global response without any hidden agenda, therefore, holds the key.
• Equality of faith, equality before law, equality before society,economic equality and finally, the gender equality. In other words, a good democraticset up would prove to be effective (not forgetting that negativeperceptions of governance often breed terrorism).
• A soft CT approach in terms of education, skill enhancement,psychological training, creativity enhancement, socio-culturalemancipation and economic growth.
• Evolvingthe multiple centres of gravity through right ideology, policy, agenda and strategy. In other words, try applying theory of conflict to conflict itself.
These suggestive solution domains imply that there is a need for proper political handling of terrorism. Uniform global laws against terrorism and zero tolerance approach, alongwith clear definition on terrorism, mayin long run usher us to higher equilibrium levels of peace and prosperity.
6. In so far as individual efforts by the countries are concerned, security models of certain countries in mission mode do provide dynamic solutions. In India too, agencies have adopted certain congruent strategies. However, one can safely zero down upon the core areas that need to be congruently captured:
• Technologically integrated processes for access control, anti sabotage and anti subversion drills.
• National identification data base for each individual physically present in the country.
• Integrated data base for all financial, commercial, professional and estate related activities, including usage of various transportation mode, health and public services. Hence, steps in the direction of creating a proper network for the coverage of individuals operating on any grid in the country.
• Intelligence set up that supports multi mode and multi networked coverage as well as dissemination.
• Capacity enhancement and integrative empowerment of enforcement agencies in terms of their operational synergy, multi-tasking skill enhancement, shared technological support and logistics.
• Participating modules appropriately integrating the civic society in this mission.
However, different countries have attained different level ofoptimalities owing to limitation of resources, conflicting interests under federal structure, distorted values and limitations of the agency specific sub-culture. In fact, Indian effortstoo have suffered on the above count to some extent. At places, synergetic response of agencies is still found lacking in some respect and coordination itself becomes a challenge.
7. Hence, journey from macro to micro level takes one through many facets, different agendas and power games. We keep evolving neo equilibriums as we traverse ahead with no last milestone in the sight.
*Writer is ADG BSF. These views are personal. He belongs to IPS-84 batch.
‘Walk across these boulders if you can, there are no oasis enroute my house’, said a thinker. And it cannot be more true in contest of CRPF whose troops are heavily deployed in various theatres of low intensity conflict across the country, may it be J&K, North-East or the LWE affected states. Prolonged deployments without any intermittent relief, where the concept of a soft posting appears to be a mere mirage, have almost eclipsed the organic character of the Force, pushing it further into an intricate web of stress and strain. This has put a great onus on the Force managers to evolve innovative methods, such that the Jawans can function with rejuvenated zeal and fervour, carrying a content smile on their faces. Various studies made in connection with stress have also, more often than not, focused on measures which can prove to be effective stress busters and take care of the debilitating sense of loneliness, distress and morbidity that tends to take over their lives. It is essential to mitigate the influence of all such factors which otherwise provide a high propensity towards suicides, fratricides and frustrative violence.s.
Search for potent vectors on ‘Solution-matrix’ often lead us to the holistic approach essential for stress management. The concept of the holistic approach, as such, makes it imperative to perceive a soldier as an independent systematic entity with varied integrative configurations, given the degree of forward and backward linkages one is capable of handling. If we take an individual solider as the control mode, the segmental chart can be developed as follows, providing us clear windows for plausible interventions:-
Enumerable efforts have been made by the managers of the Forces to provide relief to the individual soldier through planned interventions by improving the quality of work life, improving service conditions, introducing various welfare measures. However, the optimal results have not yet been reached either due to financial constraints or procedural bottlenecks. CRPF Jawans keep staying in sub-human conditions, being dependent on the states where they are deployed. Back home, families do not have hundred percent family accommodation and logistical back up as required. Special allowances and insurance schemes are missing to compensate for extra risks to life. At times, technical support systems are not available on work situation to counter the threats emanating from target groups and so on. It is agreed that under a resource-constraint situation, the optimality has many trade-offs. It is at this juncture that we scan through the stress window and prioritise the intervention areas, given the limitations.
One of the major arenas of inherent strength is flowing to the individual from his family. The same becomes a cause for imbalance if not tackled properly. This is one arena where we have, perhaps, not paid enough attention. Most of the suicides are taking place after returning from leave when he was with the family. Realising the importance of family support for a ‘balance’ on work, management and behavioural experts forced private organisations to take care of the problems of the spouses and empower them to manage their affairs in absence of the bread earner. Family intervention programmes were launched and spouses were regarded as a ‘ resource’ and a ‘facilitator’. It is based in these empirical success models that we can now focus on ‘family window’ for stress redressal. On this aspect, we quote from the work of a writer –
“Not undermining the ever changing paradigms of behavioural responses of a stress ridden ‘ human being’ , he is to be perceived as an ‘integrated-whole’, playing his professional as well as family roles. Hence, our efforts have to be holistic in nature encompassing not only the avenues of intermittent relief from stress ridden work situations but also empowerment through a happy situation where capacity building for his family is also addressed”.
Innovation is the key to stress redressal. Here is a window to find new avenues, let us try evolving schemes using latent ‘strengths’ which a family can provide. High risk takers need a separate ‘deal’.
We should not need 26/11 Mumbai episodes or 5/4 Dantewada incident to remind us of the type of policing modules the society needs to cater to various threat perspectives and ensure delivery of security services conducive for the much coveted peaceful environment. Aptly so, the security concerns occupy the front line when systems fails to deliver. However, the focus is not perpetual and fades away in the bureaucratic tangles, taking advantage of shortlived public memory. Hence, there is a need for constant debate to keep the issue alive. This brings us to the nitty gritty of the policing issues in India.
Maintenance of peace and order in society is an essential condition for growth and development in any sphere, may it be economic, social, political or cultural. The dynamics of Indian Society, marred by stratifications and displacements in each such sphere, has presented an outcome where analysts find it difficult to overcome the segmental limitations and see progressive vectors through a holistic spectrum. It is interesting to glance through such observations as follows -
' Policing in India has not seen a planned approach till yet. Capacity building measures have often been the outcome of compulsions when the monster of terrorism spread its tentacles in various directions and perpetrated the already existing conflict grids on Indian hinterland. Policing, being a state subject, where the federal political and bureaucratic setup has been slow in accepting change in the colonial control system, has also witnessed pulls and pressures that are professionally centrifugal. '
Analysts also claim to see through the hidden agenda amidst various exploitative influences. One may perceive infiltration in the system either through recruitment, transfer or posting, and more often than not, the informal directives. It is alleged that States have perpetuated the vacancies in police cadres and not even bothered to evolve viable operational systems, to the dismay of all those craving for peace to return.
The efforts of Union/Federal authorities to tackle the problem of 'policing- deficits' has evolved amidst varied claims and counter claims. The trade offs have been, at times, very painful when clash of interests across various power centres tend to overlook the public interest. Amidst such an environment, police has developed a subculture of shortcuts, defiance and neglect. Some sort of 'spoilt-system' has been seen, demarcating the favoured and the non-favoured, depending upon the type of elites controlling the system.
The above observations could be close to the reality, unless based on the perceptions, which may largely defy the reality. We may not need a 6 (sixth sigma) analysis as, otherwise too, the public responses are more governed by the perceptions. However, the existence of problems should not be taken as a dissuading factor. Rather, it calls for evolving dynamic models of policing in a stratified and differentially growing Indian Society. One may factor in for cost-benefit ratios based on various yardsticks, yet there cannot be two opinions on the minimum policing norms of safety, security and emergency relief services by a policing system that is fair, transparent and behaviourally sensitive.
The job profile of Indian Police calls for capacity building on a dynamic scale. On one hand the classical policing model might be largely desirable for the rural areas, on the other hand, metropolitan policing modules would demand generation of specialized skills in controlling traffic flows, organized crimes, cyber frauds and so on; besides evolving "crack teams" to tackle the onslaught of extremism and insurgencies having global connectivity. The modules of community policing would also undergo changes as the community advances. Under such a task profile, the generalistic module based on bureaucratic norms is not likely to succeed. The policing has to be viewed as a highly specialized profession and managed accordingly on the basis of specialized responses for different environmental subsets. It has to be based on constant R&D supplements for growth and sustenance in a technologically facilitated criminal behaviour having 'wide- area' linkages.
The conception of the National Police Mission with micro modules for specific areas has indeed been a welcome move. However, its modulation and implementation in a large federal system, where policing is a federal subject, may not be so easy. Generic requirements and perceptions of such requirements may pose their own problems of assimilation. Response to recent Public Interest Litigation on the subject of a new model Police Act and the police reforms make an interesting case study to substantiate the intent and content of such postulations, if at all we deem so.
Police is an agent of law, and as such when it is a part of the whole cycle of criminal justice administration system, the effectiveness of the law & order mechanism calls for the review of other partnerships too in the process to improve upon the quality of public services, delivering justice with a sense of equality, equity, safety and security.
The need of the society for security is the basic need. When official systems fail to deliver, people tend to evolve various options for sustenance, which could even extend beyond the legal domains. Over a period of time, various alternatives have, therefore, mushroomed in private sector right from security agencies and detectives to technological surveillance, intelligent processing systems in integrated-formats and the forensics. Government sector had to later on bring legislations to exercise its control. Privatisation of police functions has, therefore, been more a reactive stance, rather than the proactive approach. Hence, for an organic and dynamic profession like police, public – private formats have to be evolved on a planned matrix. Further, the bureaucratic format of police induction and HRD may have to be changed. Inducting a generalist and then training into a specialist is more often a lose-lose option in terms of cost to the state exchequer as well as quality of the services delivered. We must hire experts directly from market under open collaborative options, as relevant for any growing organization. This may vary from sharp shooters to drivers, computer sleuths to communication experts and forensics to financial trails. Real time response adaptability and flexibility in delivery systems as per the dynamics of the changing environments call for such management systems. Not only this, certain services may have to be outsourced from time to time on activity or project basis. The orientation towards organisational norms can be made subservient to the required job skills.
It is beyond any doubt that Sovereign functions cannot be outsourced. But what is the point if we cannot ensure correct behavioural responses on part of the peace keepers ? What is the intrinsic strength of the system if it cannot be purposeful, transparent and trustworthy? Hence, another concern is to prudently think over building the systems where individual manipulations could be ruled out. Inducting quality people as per the job requirement and evolving checks and balances, where inefficiency or dishonesty could not thrive or find gaps to perpetuate under the garb of innocuous procedures or state immunity, constitute further circles of concern.
This is a food for thought for all those either in the system or outside the system. It is a matter of concern for all those who are either on the giving end or the receiving end. If other countries in the world can do it, why can’t we evolve viable formats of policing. What is the point to be satisfied with a system where we are ourselves not sure of the appropriate response at the ' delivery-end' or 'cutting edge' level. It does not need foresight to know what it is that we are heading for.
Hence, the debate must continue on the following issues -
i. Policing formats for stratified segments - remote areas, rural areas, urban segments and metropolitan towns; special social segments - children, women, minority, marginalised citizens and so on.
ii. Policing formats for security of important persons, vital installations and critical infrastructure.
iii. Policing formats for acute situations of terrorism / insurgencies / extremism, including covert policing.
iv. Policing formats to provide for emergency relief services as first responder.
v. Policing formats to provide interface with fast changing technological and life style domains.
vi. Policing formats to provide collaborative interface with the community and generate synergetic responses.
Last but not the least, society must also realise that extreme situations of policing are inherent with high opportunity costs. The high operational needs call for high level of tolerance, resistance and commitment. In fact, society facilitates policing through covert intelligence inputs and the motivation it can grant to those who undertake the risks to neutralise the given threats.
CRPF being the lead Counter Insurgency force of the Govt. of India goes in aid of the state authorities where local forces are not able to contain the conflicts and the violence. As a preliminary definition, we can define the risk for CRPF as a gap between desired preparedness and the actual response capabilities. We must see it purely in terms of ‘response capability deficit’. Facing militancy and terrorism is a part of the job profile and its normal work environment and hence not a threat or a ‘risk’. Any factor that affects its ‘copability’ creates this ‘response capability deficit’
Judged on the above criterion, the risk factors for CRPF are seemingly very high. CRPF’s functionality as an armed force of the Union is bound by the constitutional limitations of “policing being state subject”, and hence, work within the parameters imposed by State authorities. The incongruencies with respect to lack of clear area of responsibility, scattered deployments, inadequate state police response, lack of local data base, lack of policing powers etc. all add up to create a risk zone for CRPF as they tend to generate response capability deficit. Further, continued deployment for long period in hard areas (for past 15 years) without proper rest and recuperation, non availability of force adequately for “on the job” or periodical training, thin spreading of trained human resource owing to sudden expansion on large scale from 133 to 201 Bns within a short span of five years have accentuated the organizational strains, as many officers feel.
A large force, widely deployed and over stressed due to sudden expansions resulting in leadership gaps at various operational levels, when it tries to cope up, faces a situation of inequitable career growth, little or no psychological support system and deprivation of all such service benefits which otherwise tend to create a conducive work environment. Jawans deployed in hard areas, deprived of family life for ten months in a year, crave for the well being of distantly located families and this concern always looming large on their heads makes them feel lost somewhere in between. Lack of compact and well looked after family establishments at desired places add to the woe. The response capability deficit increases due to these factors as we cannot undermine the ‘man’ behind the performance. Lack of insurance, risk allowance, adequate post death benefits, disability compensation, post retirement care etc. dampen the ‘organic’ character of the human work force on which it thrives. This is not the end here. There is much more for those who want to know. Dependence on States for logistics and prevalent inhuman living conditions while at work, owing to latter’s apathy, slowly asphyxiates the Jawans. He lowers his self esteem and holds back his inner drive to excel, and thus, reduces response capabilities. Organizationally, delay in adopting latest technologies to counter sophistication of target groups, owing to lack of appreciation or procedural delays, enhances the risk factor; lack of opportunities for development of suitable skills to handle the technology notwithstanding.
The risk factor in terms of ‘response capability deficit’ for CRPF appears to be very potent as can be perceived from above windows. If we are convinced about it, there remains no need to draw any numerical quotients.
It is a matter of serious concern for all us to optimize the performance of various forces working under the federal structure where policing patterns are also eclipsed by sub-optimal political considerations. Amidst the systemic limitations, the plausible pragmatic solutions tend to fall in the domain of managerial vectors. Through the Armed Forces special Power Act, though the Central Force are empowered with certain police powers which enhances their autonomous response capability but still the fact remains that any superstructure over a weak base cannot thrive for long and the local initiative and synergetic response remain the key issues for effective performance. For successful surgical interventions by armed forces, the importance of diagnostic exercise cannot be undermined which is primarily the responsibility of state authorities.
Central armed forces cannot suo-motto take over the security role in totality lest it should indirectly amount to superimposition of central dominance over state’s autonomy. Hence, managerially, system of unified command under the chairmanship of State’s Chief Executive is resorted to for maintaining well integrated security grids where Central forces merge and operate for synergetic results. Where these systems are weak or lacking, the effectiveness of the forces also comes down. At this juncture, a conflicting situation emerges as central forces are asked to give explanation for ‘response capability deficit’ whereas deployment and utilization domains are often manipulated by the states authorities. In many conflict zones, besides special power act being inoperative, compact and contiguous deployment with independent area of responsibility for central forces remains casualty. Central force, here, is used for auxiliary investigation work or guarding police stations or as a numerical multiplier to local police, all adding up to a situation of mismanagement. Lately, therefore, much emphasis is being laid on ‘local capacity building’ on part of state police as the central force model is proving to be a too costly experiment. There is an anecdote of crippled and a blind person as to how they attain perfect synergy. One cannot walk and one cannot see. But both together traverse a long distance helping each other. Illustration may be taken for the purpose of understanding the managerial strategy and not for any misunderstanding on count of role-playing.
To conclude, for a counter insurgency force, the perception of risk must go beyond the nature of job. It must be viewed from the other end (bottom to the top) in terms of lack of response capabilities. Hence ‘response capability deficit’ (RCD) is a better index to assess the risk seen from various angles. The risk profile is seemingly very high for CRPF as RCD is significantly vast. However, the RCD factor is manageable in many ways as indicated above. Let us manage them well and manage them soon or else the opportunity cost of not managing the risks would be drastic.
Dr. A.P. MAHESHWARI*
Behavioural and attitudinal change in Indian Police has always been a matter of concern all the time. Each time it boils down to the training of the cops and all efforts end up with creating more training infrastructure. No doubt, the training is important but equally important is to appreciate the difference between training and learning as part of the inherent response.
2. Many sensitive police officers have innovatively undertaken some initiatives and have succeeded to an extent. Such impacts, however, have been short lived. We observe many vicious circle of perceptions between people and the police. Police presumes people to the bad and fearless, people carry the perception of police as brutal, corrupt and criminalised. The efforts to make the paradigm shift have focussed on the collaborative approach with the community and emerge as service provider to the people. When criminals get a message that all complaints would be taken cognisance of, irrespective of the status of the victim or accused, this creates a fear in them. That is what the professional response of police is all about – delivery of quality services irrespective of the status. Absolute transparency, integrity and quality response in real time.The attitudinal change is needed on either side but the initiative needs to be taken by the police. We find that good police leaders have been improving the cutting edge level for good performance through delegation, capacity building and reward for good responses. The demonstration effect created by such leaders by personal example and concern for the delivery of police services further bridges the gaps or the trade-offs. Besides competence development, the relationship management learnings also help. Ironically police deals with people and people alone, yet seem poor in relationship management.
3. Peel’s famous points on policing also focus on the test of police efficiency. The absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of the police action in dealing with it is what matters. Police need not forget that police are public and public are police. Accordingly, violence has to be the last optionand minimum to the core, in terms of quantum as well as duration. Police need not be guided by public opinion but the impartiality of law. The degree of public cooperation is directly proportional to the observance of these core principles. In fact, civil police is meant to generate a multiplier response through community cooperation and participation in policing. Police actions must have public approval.
4. It has been empirically observed that attitudinal change would come through collaborative performance, generating a sense of security for all, irrespective of status. Intrinsics would ultimately matter. Extrinsic change, though confined to linguistic refinements or image enhancers in form of public advertisements, would never be the game changer. More so in the digital world of today where social media is hyper critical.
5. In a recently conducted seminar at National Police Academy, our group harped on the point of reducing the scope of personal manipulation or bias through e-governance and transparent public domains. That means, coming out of pseudo secrecy domains and go in for standardisation as well as digitalisation of processes In other words, organisation support for technological adaptations as well as scientific approach to policing. Technology may be self subversive but provides huge opportunity if used with effective intelligence systems. No doubt that the environmental support is needed to generate autonomous response capability and accountability, pending the optimal equilibrium on that grid, police as a ‘professional’ can still generate synergy with various stake-holders as a service provider and draw strength from public participation. An internal strengthening through job enrichment, career progression and effective leadership would do the wonders. The external environment then is not a limitation but a challenge. We must, therefore, understand the intricacies of learning processes, art of managing situational responses, arousing behavioural changes through key mentors and focus on learning through failures, rather than successes.
6. Recently, Prime Minister is an address to the police officers observed that problems arise by ignoring small small points. Hence solutions would also emanate from smaller things and not big changes. It appears so true in real life. I recall the discipline in our family. It came from small small things the mother insister upon. Before going out, pray (so that conscience remains active), plan your route and return ( sticking to schedule and not wasting time, besides a concern for safety), on return first wash your hands and feet (hygiene issues). List is endless. Important is the habit of a disciplined life. As an experiment in a district we never applied the big laws of IPC. We began with minor acts ( we can easily count more than three dozens) and saw that it brought a consciousness towards law and its obedience. Look physically fit, smile, maintain cleanliness, be polite, be concerned. Even if you fail to get a solution despite best efforts, the public would understand and still respect you.
7. Learning and perception management as part of attitudinal change for appropriate police-public behaviour are such processes which have thin roots beyond the formal training. The power of ‘informal’ environment have to be invoked. Secondly, police response is always dynamic. Hence, deviations and error tolerance for bonafied acts need to be accepted. Thus, subjecting police to newer and newer SOPs in order to control its action may prove counter productive beyond a point. When an expert commented ‘police leadership in India means issuing instructions on paper and punishing subordinates for the non compliance of the same’, it sounds much relevant to strike the right chord between administrative and the operational perspectives of policing.
8. To conclude, attitudinal changes in police in real terms may come faster and with good sustainability potential if we just take three initial steps –
• Standardise various processes.
• Put maximum police services on integrated techno platforms with conducive legal support.
• Empower cutting edge level to take decision at their level and ensure that they follow processes.
• Change police culture from secrecy to community collaboration formats.
• Carve out progressive HR Policies. Rewards as well as punishments have to be glaring.
9. There may be many more requirements of capacity building, neo police act with professional parameters and so on. Attitude and behavioural responses have a larger systemic base. Initial psychological testing at the time of induction and training are relevant but not sufficient. Same Force delivers as per the change of leaders and the systems. Same people when visiting other countries automatically fall in line. That is also an attitude after all !
*Writer is ADG BSF. These views are personal. He belongs to IPS-84 batch. These views are strictly personal
Need to evolve viable formats of Community Oriented Policing (COP)
On one hand, the socio-economic dynamics of Indian Society has witnessed varied conflicting situations that have given rise to disintegrative sub cultures. On the other, the increasing impact of technologically exported terrorism and flourishing crime modules has repeatedly focused upon the need for Quality Policing which unfortunately, still remains a far cry. Though attempts have been made to bring in police reforms, the arithmetic of such reforms eludes reality. The police act of 1861 still rules the roost. Policing is still a non-planned order. Reforms dither between patch work to mere window dressing. Not going into the micro vectors that are generating such sub-optima, it will be enough to observe at this juncture that more police would merely mean just more of the 'same'; unless we evolve synergetic options that are viable and progressively sustainable.
The prime-facie analysis of modernization of Indian Police, as perceived by certain quarters, reveals that substantial funds have gone into creating more of the 'same'. This perceived truth can, however, be subjected to validation checks. Some inferences can be congruently drawn from the elucidations that follow here under, notwithstanding primary feedbacks that all of us would probably have through chance interactions. The subject matter can be well developed and appropriately understood if we try to grasp the fundamentals before jumping to any conclusion. Lest we should become part of the same status-quo, we need to glance through the know-how & do-how of Traditional Formats of Policing (TFP) and proposed Community Oriented Policing (COP).
TFP is designed to take cognizance of criminal incidents and then follow a detective trail to neutralize the criminal elements on the social grid. In substance, therefore, it is more reactive in nature. In contrast, COP focuses on area scanning. This is to determine the likely causes of crime and conflicts and to proactively evolve problem solving formats, synergizing all plausible avenues within the police as well as beyond police domains. The 'know-how' of COP has to be understood before we look into viable formats. Once we inherit the basics, actual configuration may follow any architectural design to suit the local needs.
i. Citizens' generated inputs captured through strong 'people-interface' form the core of the system. Various interactive modules between police and the public, based on healthy relationship go a long way in guiding the COP. The department had to otherwise depend on professional informers or sources that come with the risk of double crossing or conforming to their ulterior ends. The citizens tend to fight crime or terror through responsible peace keepers by providing relevant inputs.
ii. COP zeros down on environmental scanning to arrive at problem diagnosis by demarcating various geographical nodal areas. Systems are put in place through police-public task groups to analyze the problem profile having a criminal genesis or propensity of conflict.
iii. Problem diagnosis is then followed by proactive response mechanism through these tasks groups. These groups are formed through an appropriate selection of persons capable of delivering results under the collaborative arrangement between the police and community.
iv. The collaboration or partnership may assume various formats as per policing requirements under the given circumstances. It is important to see that the human resource profile of the beat personnel is augmented through proper selection, training and empowerment for on the spot decisions.
v. COP entails a holistic response to problem solving rather than confining it to police domains alone. Hence, cooperation of all the various departments of the government as well as community segments is provided for on the performance grid to reap maximum synergy. It underlines the interdependence of various day to day comfort levels such that the community sustains at a higher equilibrium of public satisfaction. The police department also thrives on these healthy client relationships.
vi. COP management, thus, aims at the strategic aspects of demarcating potential areas of collaboration, inducing open and highly motivational partnerships and creating missions that are achievable with optimal amount of synergy and accountability. It would also be possible to cater to the special needs of the under privileged section.
vii. Such a system would call for a dynamic and integrative information module in terms of geographical information systems, problem solving decision support systems and the systems to import desired external information. The COP MIS is indeed of critical importance.
After having glanced through the 'know-how' dimensions of the COP, it may now appear crucial to develop workable formats. This brings us to the 'do-how' domains. In fact, processes are more important when we work in an organic environment in comparison to the 'know-how' intrinsic. Whereas, community has its own apathy to cooperate with the police, the latter has its own distorted sub-culture. These form interesting dimensions. Community members are scared of trusting the police personnel. Whom to trust? Where to report? Who would rightly respond? Shall they maintain confidentiality? Will he be secure? All these apprehensions indicate that there is a vast gap of mutual trust between the community and the police. The police department maintains pseudo secrecy under the garb of public interest and works inside a cocoon infested with sub cultural values that are fractured. It assumes a detachment and aloofness towards the community under a feudal mindset as the controller of a given situation.
COP realizes the fact that the community as well as police department have to change their mindset in order to ensure the success of the collaborative formats as per the defined mission. The onus, as a first responder, indeed lies with the police personnel.
The neo police-mindset calls for emotional involvement with the community in the given area. Police needs to imbibe an ownership work culture where the given beat is handled as responsibly as if it were their own baby. Service and servility has to be the motto. Familiarity with the people on the beat and due cohesion with community volunteers in the task group should be an inherent part of the police work culture. Accordingly, the decision making nodes in the system should shift to a cutting edge level, empowering the beat constables on ground. The 'down to top' institutional set up should grow as a necessary condition for sustainability. It implies that the beat should be a holistically empowered unit and the beat managers be an equal amongst all the stakeholders in the beat. Trust and transparency should be the guiding principle. Similarly, community members ought to repose absolute faith in the police, honour their new relationship and work as facilitators. The direct market feedback mechanism should be the basis of their decision matrix. In this context it must be remembered that quality of core deliverables by the police has to be maintained in addition to social cause policing, civic action programs and image enhancement drives.
Managing change is a stupendous task. It comes gradually and is a slow process. It has resistance that needs to be overcome. We have to unlearn the past, introduce a futuristic vision and refreeze it. We need orbit shifters for a planet size impact. Experience shows that those who are managing our present cannot be the managers of tomorrow. This is so as because they are more occupied with urgent matters concerning today rather than important tasks impacting the future. The fence sitters could be the real catalysts. Hence, HRD profile could be drawn accordingly without affecting the status quo till the change is systematically ushered in. Last, but not the least, the police mindset has to be organically transformed. Behavioral sensitivity has to be enhanced. Police has to evolve non negotiable principles for itself before it can expect congruent public response, foremost being the absence of corruption.
We, we may emulate the success models with congruent modifications. Generic socio-economic stratifications or local politicking may cause the transitory problems, but given the strong community support under the open collaborative formats, synergetic results may be achieved where each stakeholder would be free to contribute his best with due accountability and complete transparency.
Accordingly, the customized models for community policing may be evolved as per local need. The relevant parameters are summarized below to facilitate the designing of relevant SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and make the coveted blue print:
1. BEAT SYSTEM
o TASK PROFILE
o PUBLIC ASSISTANCE CENTRE: BEAT OFFICE
o SELECTION OF PERSONNEL
o EMPOWERMENT OF BEAT STAFF
2. ENROLMENT OF POLICE MITRAS
o WORK DOMAINS
o COLLABORATIVE TASKING
3. COMMUNITY LIASON GROUP
o BEAT LEVEL (8-10) / POLICE STATION LEVEL (30-80)
o INTERFACE MECHANISM
o POLICE MITRAS/COMMUNITY LIASON GROUP
5. COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAMMES / CIVIC ACTION PROGRAMMES
6. ROLE OF STATION HOUSE OFFICER/SUB DIVISIONAL POLICE OFFICER/SUB DIVISIONAL MAGISTRATE
7. INTEGRATION OF OTHER DEPARTMENTS
8. FUNDING AVENUES / SPONSORSHIPS
9. COLLABORATION WITH NGOS / CLUBS/CIVIC BODIES
10. REVIEW/AUDIT BY DISTRICT CHIEF
11. CONFLICT RESOLUTION MECHANISM
Dr A.P. Maheshwari*
Border management is an important domain of our National Security, not only from the strategic point of view but from the economic too. Which is, right from keeping a strict vigil on the anti-national elements, the terror module, smugglers, drug peddlers and human traffickers to moving on to the problem of refugees and illegal migration, that too amidst varied terrains changing contours from time to time. A combination of tactics need to be used in varying degrees to evolve an equilibrium that may sustain in a multi-agency, multi-mode environment. Balancing various vectors is indeed a challenging task. Moreover, through the digital world and social media, the operatives no longer need to cross the border. They can brainwash the people within and mutate through them. With various sub-cultural dissonances between various agencies that have developed over a period of time, and given the lack of effective coordination mechanism as well as a non-cohesive data base, the synergetic outcome is persistently sub optimal. The ‘silos’ culture hampers the desirable governance of the borders. Maintaining friendly borders with countries like Bangladesh, the Indian agencies may now be required to change their modus operandi. The demographic commonality, socio cultural semblance, a need for economic synergy along with security issues, a need for cooperation during crises situations – all together call for a shift from the restrictive mode to that of the facilitating mode. Illegal trade causes a huge loss to the economy. The present condition of ‘opportunity loss’ has to be converted into a win-win situation through well managed land posts between the countries. While the integrated check posts facilitate the win-win situation, the collaborative format inter-se all the agencies needs to be evolved as intrinsically as we have succeeded in evolving at the airports. Even across the land border, the security agencies need to think in terms of common data base and joint security drills. Economic synergy between the nations should be given due priority without compromising their security. For this the security based on numerical strength of the soldiers has to be replaced with advanced technologically integrated systems. Technological foot prints may provide a better as well as an undisputable control. The drive towards non lethality also calls for effective remote surveillance and timely intervention by dedicated teams that are well trained for the job. There is no doubt that oscillation in political environment may create neo-conflicts from time to time, however, the economic as well as cultural interests do act as the leverage factors.
3. The trends across the globe indicate that participation of civic society in border management dynamics is increasingly becoming important. Strategically, direct war is being substituted by proxy war, which hovers around the civic society. Economic synergy too calls for well managed ICPs in a mutually collaborative environment. Migration issues, multipurpose national identity cards, work permits, refugee status and such similar domains can be better handled with the increasing participation of the civic society close to the borders. We then need to optimize the mutual interests of the concerned various stakeholders. Economic, cultural and security forums find their ways to open dialogues and attain higher synergy levels. International norms and legalities too get operationalized through such participative environment. The right impetus to the work culture further enthuses positive perceptions that dissolves all cognitive barriers.
4. The switch over from a restrictive environment to a facilitating mode is not so easy. It needs to be done very intelligently and with gradual adaptation. Pakistan and Bangladesh borders provide a glimpse of various contrasts that we have discussed here-in-before. The Nepal and China borders are also witnessing various changes emanating from proxy control of civic population, economic and cultural dominance through unobtrusive tactics over a period of time. There may not be any direct war, but changing the equations within the civic society through the manipulations of socio-cultural and economic vectors, leads to the desired impact.
5. The intelligence inputs of such a game are entirely different from the security warnings at the micro and semi-macro level. In other words, many such inputs get lost as forces at the cutting edge level are not tuned to scan them successfully. The ‘silos’ effect further prohibits intelligent collaboration of numerically spread uniformed soldiers and not so visible operatives of customs, immigration, enforcement directorate, narcotic control bureau or other such agencies. In context of the border, many still fail to differentiate between ‘border security’ and ‘border management’. Hence, a case for collaborative work culture between various agencies, participation of civic society, facilitating border management for better synergies appear to be the key factors in those times to come.
6. Now, there is an emerging thought process whether we need these borders at all. Can there be borderless integrations where people speak of ‘Roti Beti Ka Rishta’. Can’t there be smart cities across the borders providing for facilitating access on either side. Providing land and water route through the country can bring economic costs to a low. Bangladesh has provided such avenues to India for the transportation of goods in the North east. There can be endless collaborations in the field of telecom, water resources, power generation etc irrespective of fencing on the boundaries.
7. Amidst various options of control, joint collaborations will provide higher equilibrium options which will generate more win-win situations for both the countries. Whereas data sharing, joint patrolling, digital watch on the borders through integrated intelligent systems may help control prohibited movements, terror modules and illegal migrations, regular trade may generate economic synergy for both the countries with the series of multiplier effects. Lack of a proper approach channelizes the economic margins into the illegal domains that create a parallel economy. However, much depends on the political relationships and mature diplomacy levels. Any sono-cultural impediments tool have to be mitigated through such handlers and through right perception management.
8. Since such an approach hovers much beyond the fencing on the border or linear policing alongside the fence, there is also a case for making the federal governments partners in the foreign policy issues so as to facilitate various activities where role of federal state and the local population are crucial for the sustainability of such progressive options.
9. Theoretically, it seems relevant as well as feasible to go in for such options, but its implementation to the point of optimality may see many oscillations. Quite some waters would have flown below the bridge before the systems mature. Actually, there may even be adverse impacts in the short run. There may also be trade offs. One needs to tread carefully between the BOPs – i.e. balance of power VS the balance of payment.
*Writer is ADG BSF. He belongs to IPS-84 batch. These views are personal.
"Those who are confident, they always rock and conquer."
Confidence does not mean 'boldness' although it is supposed to be the dictionary meaning. Infact confidence means 'self assurance'. It means 'your ability to handle or be comfortable or in any situation.
To develop this personality trait, I suggest u should take a piece of paper and write your strengths and your weaknesses on it. Each one of us possesses same or the other talent. It might happen that the talent may be masked by our lack of confidence. But we must learn to exploit this talent.
*It is said that "life demands from you only the strengths you posses and nothing else." So, we begin with your strengths.
You must portray a positive image, an image that suits a confident person. Your style of talk and walk should be that of a person who is relaxed and comfortable in every situation. Your dress projects your image in front of others. Ensure that through your dress you are transmitting right kind of message. Remember, if you intend to hold confidence tight in your personalities, you can’t let loose your tie in your neck. Your look should be that of a person who is smart, impressive and decent enough--a person who knows how to carry himself.
Secondly, to feel confident you must keep yourself physically fit, because being fit makes your dress suit you. You feel good and develop positive spirit. At the same time it gives you lots and lots of energy to do your best and thus excel in whatever task that is assigned to you. This will definitely raise your confidence level.
In any situation of stress you must also learn to relax yourself through meditation and other breathing exercises. Also this will help you from coming out of the uncomfortable situation, you push yourself into simply by cursing everyone around you, as if you were not a party to it. You need to change your attitude towards life.
You will be confident if you be in yourself. Do not pretend to be someone, you are not. In such a pretension one often depicts his split personality and shows contradictory behavior which proves you to be flop in many situations and thus shatters your confidence.
Now, confidence is also about relationships. If you have a feeling that most of the people around you, like you , you will feel confident of your approach of work, strategies and dealings with people. You see confidence builds on confidence. Now 'Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.' Why don’t you work with due team spirit taking into consideration views and thoughts of the people around us? Why do we ever underestimate others potential? If you have such an environment, you will never have a clash or tussle with anyone because you have all learnt to respect each other.
Always think positive and act positive. Do not feel that you are inferior to anyone on this earth. At times something might happen to dent your self confidence, but do not panic. You don’t ever go back to zero level. What all you have learnt will always remain with you? Infact self knowledge is the only key to progress. You will quickly get back to your feet again.
Although you need to be confident in day to day life, there are certain special, difficult situations where you need to have a back up of lots and lots of confidence.
You must learn the art of conversation because we are too keen to please others, we tend to talk too much and thus do not concentrate on what others have to say. This makes the conversation highly ineffective. Your confident and relaxed look with proper eye to eye contact will improve the quality of the conversation. Also keep the environment light by adding humor to the situation. If your talk is effective, you can persuade and convince the people around as per your thoughts and opinions.
Next, while public speaking or radio program or a TV show you need to be very confident. Now first step is to read as many books as you can as reading exercise is the first step towards wisdom. Ultimately pen down what you feel, from the core of your heart. This will give involvement genuineness and whole heartedness to your speech. Ensure that you do not make any grammatically errors. Remember that it is just the anticipation which is worst than the event so treat it as a simple situation you have to go through. We are scared, what might happen if you forget your speech. Well nothing will happen but there might be a pause of half a minute and then you will be able to reassemble your thoughts and proceed again. Most of the people do not even know about the little mess that you have made during your speech.
Any exam-may be a school exam, a stage performance or a driving test is again a situation where you need to very confident. For this, you need to do rigorous practice and rehearsal. For school exams try to teach your classsmates any topic that he or she finds difficult, may be during the free periods. This will help you go through the topic all over again and also while answering simple questions at times that your friend poses to you, allows you to have fundamental clarity of the topic and thus makes you confident. During the exam, take first ten minutes to prepare what you do when. Once your mind is settled, work steadily and do your best.
While appearing for an interview, you need to be confident enough. At times experts are quite nasty and they might try to confuse or unsettle you. But you must maintain your cool and mental balance. Do not rush over any of the question. Think twice before you answer. Also your answer should be honest. Do not act smart and do not try to pose of knowing something which you do not actually know. This will be negative for you.
The most important factor that controls your confidence is the fact that your confidence can’t be baseless. For example without being academically strong in your subject, you can’t be confident of teaching in the class. You can’t talk about success of your experiment until and unless you have actually tried it. Indirectly your confidence is directly proportional to your capabilities. So to be confident you must work upon the areas where you want to improve.
But in this exercise of gaining confidence, ensure that you do not get OVER-CONFIDENT. This is more injurious a disease than lack of confidence. If you have made a mistake learn to confess and say sorry even if the person is your junior or subordinate or he/she is younger to you in age. This will help you make a respectable place in the society. In totality, you need to be worthy of the confidence you hold. Make yourself capable in every sense if you actually want to be confident. It is said,
Khudi ko kar buland itna ki khuda bande se puche bataa teri razaa kya hai
Border Security Force is an Armed Force of the Union of India which was raised on 1 December 1965 after the inadequacies in border guarding were exposed as a consequence of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. It was raised as a Force dedicated specifically to guarding the territorial integrity of the Nation on the Indo – Pakistan and the Indo – Bangladesh (East Pakistan in 1965) borders. Till such time the Indian borders were manned by various units of the State Armed Police.
Shri KhusroFaramurzRustamjee, the legendary and modern India’s most celebrated Police Officer was chosen as the first Chief of the BSF in 1965. His extraordinary vision and his steadfast leadership shaped the destiny of this Force early in its existence. This charismatic personality made BSF into a formidable fighting force and laid the foundation of it being called as the First Line of India’s defence. From being a ‘one man army’ he took the BSF to strength of 60,000 men till he relinquished charge.
The BSF, due to its professionalism, adaptability and resourcefulness combined with its tenacious work ethos soon emerged as a dependable and trustworthy law enforcement agency of the Country. The Country’s leadership started reposing unwavering faith in its abilities and assigned to it, multifarious responsibilities. The Force under the leadership of able and competent police officers rose to the occasion every time. From quelling internal unrest, fighting insurgency and militancy, providing security cover during elections, assisting in disaster relief and now since the recent past, performing anti-naxalduties in Orissa and Chhattisgarh, BSF has proved its mettle on every occasion. In addition to that, BSF is one of the most significant contributors to India’s contingents deployed on various UN peace keeping missions.
BSF is a unique Border Guarding Force, in not only being the largest one in the world but also having an exclusive air wing, water wing and artillery regiment under its realm. An acclaimed National level Dog Breeding and Training School and the Tear Smoke Unit are two other institutions of pride which function under the aegis of this versatile Force.
A People Centric Force
The most important mandate for BSF in peace time, besides preventing trans-border crimes is,“to promote sense of security among the people living in the border areas”.
It can be seen that the mandate of this Force is inherently people centric. The territorial integrity of any country is meaningless unless the territory is conjoined with its citizens inhabiting it. People of this country, therefore, are the cornerstone of BSF operations.
The people centric demeanor of BSF was prominently visible when it ably assisted the oppressed population of Bangladesh during the war of 1971, organized them into a formidable resistance group to overthrow an autocratic Pakistani regime and attain liberation with help from the Indian Army.
Since its inception, therefore, we can see that BSF through all its initiatives and endeavors, somewhere or the other, is serving the people of this country.
BSF being primarily a border guarding force is present right up to the zero line on the Indo – Pak and Indo – Bangladesh borders and represents the government of India in all these far flung and remote border areas. It thus becomes obligatory upon the BSF to reach out to the border population and undertake various activities in the border areas with the ultimate aim of uplift and development of the border belt. To this end, a plethora of initiatives under the Civic Action Plan and the Border Area Development Plan have been launched in the past and continue to be the main focus of the Force towards the development of the border population. Civic Action Programs are also targeted towards the impoverished and economically deprived population of trouble torn areas like Kashmir, the North-East and LWE affected areas.
Under various schemes, BSF provides a wide range of material support to the civilian population wherever BSF is deployed.From providing resources to schools, creating infrastructure in villages and constructing community halls etc. the BSF has been at the forefront of fulfilling the Government’s objective of ensuring the socio-economic development of the people inhabiting the border areas.
As an extension of such initiatives, BSF frequently organizes medical camps in villages in their jurisdiction, where medicines are distributed free and the ailing are attended with love and compassion. Blood donation camps are also organized with BSF men willingly and enthusiastically donating blood to various blood banks which is used to save precious lives of many unknown citizens of this country who are in need. During few such medical camps, wheel chairs, hearing aids and prosthetic limbs to the differently abled are also donated. Moving further ahead, BSF soldiers and their families in large numbers have pledged their organs coveting to save lives of the people, going beyond their mortal death.
An excellent initiative was launched by BSF in collaboration with the Smile Train NGO, BhagwanMahavir Cleft Foundation and Rotary Club, as project Darpan, in the eastern and north eastern parts of the country in 2014.Hundreds of small children having cleft lip were surgically treated under this initiative bringing back smile to their innocent faces.
Although you need to be confident in day to day life, there are certain special, difficult situations where you need to have a back up of lots and lots of confidence.
A Versatile Force Committed to Nation Building
BSF has played a stellar role in containing and fighting insurgency in various parts of the country. Its record of upholding the human rights is well recognized and appreciated. This has made BSF the first choice of the Government when it comes to quelling internal unrest or controlling violent agitations.
Illegal trade is prevented to a large extent due to the alertness, vigil and effective domination on the hostile borders by BSF. The loss to the National economy and loss of jobs for the youth of this country as a consequence of this smuggling would have been colossal.
A vital activity,crucial to the existence of the Nation as it was conceived by our forefathers is the conduct of electoral process. Elections are the main stay of our democracy and make us the cynosure of many countries in the World. BSF has been providing security cover to various elections ranging from Panchayat elections to the Parliamentary elections. The professionalism of BSF has ensured that the electoral process in this country is free and fair. As a practice the Election Commission assigns the most sensitive areas and the most sensitive booths to the BSF.
Providing succor to disaster struck citizens through rescue and relief operations is another forte of this versatile Force. BSF has been routinely deployed for rescue and relief efforts. In the border areas it is the only agency that is capable of being the first and effective responder during such contingencies. BSF medical teams are the first ray of hope for the inhabitants suffering from the effects of the natural disasters.
BSF provides security cover to the pilgrims during various religious congregations and facilitate their comfortable stay and secure movement during these pilgrimagesfor trouble free “Darshan” at the shrines. BSF has been guarding the route in Shri AmarnathjiYatra every year successfully. During the Kumbh, BSF helps conduct of the largest human religious conglomeration on the planet. BSF has been successful in fulfilling the expectations of the country towards such challenges.
Sports does not build character; it reveals it. The extraordinary character of this Force is manifested in the stupendous achievements BSF has to its name in various disciplines at individual as well as team level at acclaimed National and International Events. The legendary Ajit Pal Singh of BSF led the Indian Hockey Team to Gold in the World Cup of 1975. Loveraj Singh, a serving Assistant Commandant is a mountaineer of repute who has conquered the Everest on four occasions. Both of them have been honored by awarding the Padamshri Award.
BSF to its credit also has 17 of its personnel who have been bestowed with the Arjuna Award for outstanding performances in a wide spectrum of sports and games, starting from Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball, Swimming, Wrestling, Athletics and Shooting etc.
BSF has been making a humble yet significant contribution towards environment protection. The environment conscious bordermen maintain green and eco-friendly campuses and every year undertake plantation drives in areas in the vicinity of their campuses. In a major thrust to such initiatives, BSF, as a part of its golden jubilee celebrations, on12 Aug 2015 planted 5,24,424 saplings in 30 minutes The feat has been recorded in the prestigious ‘Limca Book of Records’. Save Ganga, Clean Ganga awareness campaigns through rafting and cycle rallies in the towns along the banks of the river have also made a significant mark.
Rain water harvesting, water conservation and use of solar energy are other areas where BSF is doing a commendable job and serving humanity while caring for the environment. Besides facilitating construction of water harvesting sites in the border areas, BSF is actively educating its troops on these issues.
Cleanliness drives with a renewed impetus are being undertaken across the BSF locations under the ‘Swachh Bharat Scheme’. BSF consistently has been striving to outperform itself with steadfast zeal and vigour in the area of preservation of our fragile ecosystem.
Contribution to Social Causes
Under the social service domain, BSF has recently joined the National Missions of ‘Sugamya Bharat’ and undertaken a series of initiatives for the benefit of ‘Divyang Jan’, declaring year 2016 as the year of DivyangYodhas. Initiatives under this mission include capacity building for their optimal performance to excel in para sports and other vocational skills which is important to boost the ‘self-esteem’ of our Divyang friends.
“Bharat Darshan” tours are conducted for the students of remote areas, especially Jammu & Kashmir, with an aim giving them exposure of India’s heritage, culture industrial prowess and the progress made by the Nation. BSF is running several educational institutions starting from pre-schooling level to graduation levels all across the country which, besides catering to the wards of BSF families also benefits children of people residing in the near vicinity. Providing canteen facilities to the people of remote areas is a routine affair.
Last, but not the least, BSF has been using its outposts as potential centres for skill development among the rural youth under ‘Skill Development Mission’ and the State Governments have shown a very positive response extending all assistance. Such youth are also imparted training to make them competitive enough to appear in the recruitment exams conducted by various Armed Forces.
United Nations Peace Keeping Missions
BSF is one of the largest contributors of manpower and resources to various UN peace keeping Missions. Namibia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Congo, Haiti are some such high profile UN assignments where BSF Officers and men have proven their mettle. Officers and men have also suffered casualties in the line of duty on these Missions. Thus the saga of serving the mankind doesn’t only remain within India but is transnational.
A S.M.A.R.T Force
Police personnel of the modern era have to be ‘SMART’ in the literal sense of the term. This is also the vision of the hon’ble Prime Minister.
Strict and Sensitive
Modern and Mobile
Alert and Accountable
Reliable and responsive
Trained and Techno-savvy
Border Security Force has the unique distinction of living up to these benchmarks to the hilt. It’s friendly, sensitive yet firm. With land, air and water wings under its realm, it is perhaps the most modern and mobile Force. With its men and women standing guard on duty 24*7, the country can afford to go about their daily routines without any fear or apprehension.
The strong internal mechanisms and the legislative provisions ensure accountability among the bordermen which makes the Force more robust.
By virtue of our presence at the borders, we become the default first responders. Be it elections or tackling of any law and order situation, its professionalism and effective leadership makes BSF the preferred choice.
Our training is our backbone. Acquiring new knowledge, new skills and keeping abreast with the strategic environment is a consistent and continuing process. And with comprehensive and well integrated Information Technology projects for border management, BSF is the most technologically advanced among all the Central Armed Police Forces. State-of-Art equipment adopted is a force multiplier which has made BSF a force to reckon with – a Waterloo for those with impious prying eyes on this Nation.
The Border Security Force in its existence of glorious 50 years has lived up to its reputation of being the ‘First Line of Defence’ to the brim. Its history is replete with instances of sacrifice made by its gallant men and women for the people of India. The country recognizes this and reposes the greatest of trusts in this versatile, elite, coveted and SMART Force.
‘Jeevan ParayantKartavya’ is our motto and we make a solemn promise to this great Nation that we shall live up to it at the cost of our lives till the last man and even beyond that with our organs still beating in needy countrymen.
Professional Profile of BSF : At a Glance
A. P Maheshwari,IPS
In consonance with the UN conventions, Borders of any nation are to be guarded by armed police forces. Army would come into action only when the international boundary falls in dispute and a situation of high intensity conflict arises. However, border security dynamics has undergone tremendous changes on various times lines as well as the geographical domains. The economic and political collaborations amongst the Nations, marred by diplomatic nuancesof varied degrees, have also affected the intrinsics of border policing in term of openness, seamless integration or lethality of responses. With increasing proxy war situations and technologically exported global terrorism, the situation has lately become more alarming. Illicit trade, contraband smuggling, human trafficking and such similar organised crime across Nations has witnessed mushrooming growth of terror funding as well as human conduits to fuel the nefarious designs. Added to it are the dimensions of illegal migrants and refugees.With accentuating threats, the open borders are now witnessing smart fencing with well integrated technical options in form of land, water as well as air based surveillance devices of all plausible configurations in order to pick up the footprints of intruders. This is notwithstanding the fact that technology is eventually self-subversive where adversaries may evolvecounter responses at a faster pace.
2. With virtual world influences, one can mutate by playing with the mind of citizens in the country. The mentally captive person could then be used as a source or agent. While border guarding forces would be looking outwardly for physical intrusion, they could be attacked by the insiders who have been radicalised by the virtual intrusion. This is posing a neo threat. Hence, more flexible and organic structures need to the put in place to thwart such sporadic attempts. Given the proxy wars and well organised terror modules, the configurational character of border population is undergoing tremendous change that needs to be watched and balanced. Either the synergetic role of federal agencies be augmented or the extended charter be given to the Central border guarding forces. This would also entail introduction of advanced psychological operations. However, Border guarding forces can at best catch small couriers whereas main players sit in the domain of state agencies. Similarly, multiple tier security grids could be required to check border infiltration, either through fence breach or tunnelling or breach of human terrain. Human terrain mapping and penetrative policing call for formation of state as well as national security gridswith clear role for all stake holders.
3. Indian border guarding forces, as the first line of defence, have also been witnessing rapid changes in the above context. Whereas multiple geo-modes with different nature of threats call for increasingly congruent levels of preparedness and capacity building, the diverse nature of threats from adversaries necessitate temper-proof border infrastructure and real time responses by the Quick Reaction Teams. It is in this context that certain dimensions become relevant. They are being discussed with a view to evolve a shared vision on BPS (best possible solutions). This is neither meant to criticise nor find faults. The different trade off situations, as gathered from varied sources, have much to convey, at least to those who are really concerned. Are we ready to differentiate between needs of a civilian department and the critical security apparatus required by the Forces? Following normal Codal procedures may take long gestation periods of 12-18 months zeroing down on the vendors with viable solutions and another 12 months for positioning of systems on ground. By that time the technological rapidity makes most of the inventories obsolete vis a vis the counter responses generated by the adversaries. Can we have short procedures by pooling expertise on a reliable platform? This also entails constant R&D at high quality circles alongwith “utmost priority” tags. Another factor which needs due deliberation is the incongruency between technical weightage and the L1 based pricing matrix that may lead us to a situation where one compromises on the best ’Combo’ in the L1 basket. Can we compromise on the quality in critical jobs just for the sake of procedures? Is opportunity cost not a relevant factor in decision making or only the fund outflow matters?
4. Professionalism entails us to ensure that operational perspectives are not superseded by the administrative floats. This may lead to a situation where status could decide the need, whereas,as we all know, ground zero doesn’t differentiate between ranks. When it comes to facing challenges at cutting edge level, operational exigencies got to be given the ‘right of way’. Lengthy administrative channels often lead to long multiple procedures where decisions hang on for weeks & months in the viciousness of processes. Can’t the empowered groups meet weekly or periodically to decide things integratively once and for all, whereas‘minutes’ per sebecome implementable without undergoing the rituals of file systems. This would also mitigate the silos culture between various branches. This also entails the need for decentralised autonomous response systems, fully empowered to sustain on their own. In a highly technical work scenario, collaborations and functional integrations are the great facilitating factors. The operational heads be,therefore, empowered to go in for open ended systems to some extent. This is essential not only to escape the risks of vendor driven guided tours but also to import right learning patterns in the organisation such that the new technologies are well imbibed to enable optimal utilisation of the neo resources. It will not be out of way at this stage to also think beyond the routine. Since experts are needed at every stage, would it not be appropriate to consider new options of vertical induction of private experts on contractual basis at various levels for given periods of 3-5 years, to the extent so felt necessary.
5. The dynamics of border guarding amidst oscillating conflict intensities makes it imperative to further zero down on the vectors that form part of the operational command and the strategic management. While deciding upon operational aspects, we need a real time problem solving mind set beyond administrative rigidities or floats - a facilitatingprocess of ‘how fast to do a thing’, once ‘what to do‘has been decided. A system that believes in decentralised empowerment, focusing on enabling factors including human resource development. A system which builds on autonomous response capacities at various levels. In fact when we talk of zero risk, it doesn’t mean absence of threats. Threats per se are part of environment and take the form of challenges for a high achiever, as that defines his job. Risk in fact should be seen as ‘response capacity deficit’ in facing these threats &the given challenges. Keeping pace with the rapid changes in the environment, particularly in the field of technology, human sensitivities, operational strategies and tactics etc., there is now a worldwide focus on Research & Development. It is more based on opportunity cost, future sustainability and optimality of performance vis a vis the dynamics of change. R&D has emerged as a top vector in strategic management. Over above that, the arena of “data analysis” amids multifactoralcorrelations has acquired the top most place in the decision support system of those in Command.It is the managerial intelligence drawn from the holistic influence of variety of forces working in a situation. It is much beyond the statistical or tabular representation of facts or figures. In fact we have been undermining the importance of R&D as well as data analysis at each level as we are ignorant about their true scope and have our own limited perceptions. In private competitive world, corporates assign them top most priority as they govern the future road map, the much coveted vision for long term sustenance with an edge over the adversaries. The experience has also shown that complexities of change demand collaborative approach beyond silos. It has also made it imperative to approach any problem with open mind and not be captivated by pre conceived notions or partial facts of the past. Operational situations don’t differentiate between ranks and are often tackled well by shared vision. Hence, cutting edge level is as important on the fulcrum of integration as the strategic segment. Those who are at the helm of affairs are the leaders. Good leaders know that leadership is not a noun but a verb. Leaders are more like mothers, always caringly concernedhow a solution can be found. If why is clear, how ceases to dominate theformer. It is all a question of mindset and concern for end results. In fact in any area of performance it boils down to that. This is in fact the ‘Integrity of Being’, the very essence of why we are where we are !
It can be seen that the mandate of this Force is inherently people centric. The territorial integrity of any country is meaningless unless the territory is conjoined with its citizens inhabiting it. People of this country, therefore, are the cornerstone of BSF operations.