The movie Singham directed by director Rohit Shetty starring Ajay Devgan was a big hit. Ajay Devgan played the role of a truly honest police inspector who loved to do justice least bothering about law and order. The high intensity, powerful dialogues and actor’ boldness created a daring image of Indian police in peoples’ minds. Whenever a policeman used to walk on the road, he was acknowledged as Singham.
But is this the case in real life too? If the Indian police start behaving like Ajay Devgan in Singham, Will the image of Indian police improve?
Indian police are looked down upon as a corrupt and uncooperative one. People don’t trust them. A reason behind the lack of interaction with police can be frustrating demands for bribes, illegal detention, torture, or even death.
According to a 2018 survey of 15,562 respondents across 22 states on perceptions about policing, the Lokniti team at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) found that less than 25% of Indians trust the police highly (as compared to 54% for the army).
India, a country with the world’s largest democracy has a lawless, abusive and ineffective police force. Instead of doing their duty with public consent and participation, the police uses abuse and threats as a crime investigation and law enforcement methods. It seems that the police are hired to order and abuse people.
One’s ability to pay a bribe or his/her level of political connections decides whether they will be assisted or abused. Indian police often reduce their caseloads by refusing to register crime complaints. Many times they used illegal detention, torture or punished criminals against whom they lack the time or to force innocent to accept the crime they haven’t done. Don’t you think forcing people to do such thing is a crime itself?
Such abuse adds fear in the air. That is why many Indians avoid contact with the police, believing that they will not get any assistance, rather they risk some demands for bribes, illegal detention, torture, or even death. This makes people prefer to do justice themselves rather than asking for help from the police. And the result comes in the form of illegal and cruel acts like mob lynching, which many times become a favourable condition for the terrorist to come into action. The salaries of Indian police come from the tax people pay. Therefore they are liable to serve the people rather than torturing them.
Even after 73 years of getting independence, Indian police have failed to evolve from ruler-supportive authoritarian forces designed by Britishers. They continue to follow this practice. And we call them Singham.
The Indian government should stop talking about reforms and fixing the system and should take strict actions to maintain a policing system that gives rise to human rights violations. Many governments came and went, but no one could change the dark side of Indian police.
Do share your views about ‘Do we need inspectors like Singham in our country?’