Today, let us turn our attention to the Indian State Police. They are the very arm of government compulsion and coercion. Yet, it seems now that our people have had enough of them. The other day a policeman was beheaded in West Bengal. Some months ago a police inspector was beheaded in Jharkhand. Another police inspector in Tamil Nadu had his leg hacked off, and was left to bleed to death on a public road. No one helped. He died.
And there is worse – from Chattisgarh. Here, a supreme court lawyer made a statement recently that the police chief of this new, small province would in all likelihood be assassinated, since he was performing his duties in the manner of a lawless warlord.
My own experiences with the Karnataka State Police during my years of grassroot political activism there proved to me that our men in khaki are up to no good. I was repeatedly arrested, repeatedly locked up, and regularly harassed – without any formal charges ever being leveled against me. Their only grouse seemed to be that I was smoking ganja openly. This is not yet a crime. I lodged a formal complaint with the Lok Ayukta (ombudsman) and even held a press conference on the matter, which was widely reported. My overall impression was that the State Police were “playing politics.” They were goons of the ruling politicians. They were rogues. Now that our poor people are killing cops, you can only guess where my sympathies lie.
I wonder if there is anyone anywhere in India who thinks well of India’s cops. In the cities, they are predators. They extort bribes from all the roadside businesses. They do no “socially useful work.” Crimes, even rape and murder, go unsolved. And what can be said of road traffic? I am therefore of the firm opinion that our nation must do away with this State police force in its entirety. (Note, I say State police and not local self-government police). How can we manage without the State police?
Well, the Honourable East India Company managed fine without a police force. The Indian Police Act is dated 1861 – after the Mutiny, by which time the Honourable Company had been replaced by the British State and Queen Victoria had become Empress of India. If the Company Bahadur could manage so well without police forces, so can we.
For starters, let us understand that policing is a “local” subject. Today, it comes under the Bhateeja States. Tomorrow, it should come under the local city or town mayor. Europe has a long history of independent towns with their own police forces. The ancient City of London (the famous “One Square Mile”) still maintains its own police force; the “bobby” of metropolitan London is not allowed within. In Frankfurt-am-Main, a resident took me on a visit to the old police station of the city when it was a “freireichstadt” (free city) – and this police too was under the mayor’s control.
Secondly, we must inhabit a “private law society” wherein “crimes” are replaced by “torts.” Thus, all offences are against individuals and their properties – and fines must be paid to the victim by the offender. There are no “crimes against The State.” There is no need, therefore, for a State Police that monopolizes investigation, prosecution and punishment. There is no need for a State Police at all. If absconding offenders have to be apprehended, free civic society must co-operate to bring the lawless to justice. The old USA has a fine history of such voluntarism in tackling lawlessness, as does Olde England. They have forgotten their own history. Let us, then, learn from their rich experience of community policing.
Further, in a “voluntarist society,” a high degree of social co-operation is automatically achieved. Today, none really co-operates with the State Police. Everyone wants to stay far away from them, and you cannot blame people for that.
I am reminded of the title of a Tennessee Williams’ play:
This Property Is Condemned.
The Chacha State, The Bhateeja State, the State Police, the IAS and IPS, and even their judges – they all must go. They have made a mockery of government. Their theories are all wrong, hence their practice is in serious error as well. Think about that.
Finally, the one area of economic activity in India today that is reporting the highest growth rate of employment is private security. These men in blue are doing a great job protecting us, protecting our residential localities, shopping complexes, cinemas, et. al. And they are not preying on us. More power to the men in blue.