Most readers would expect police writings to have accounts filled with cops and robbers, crime and criminals, sensation and intrigue. Perhaps even serious stuff that attempts to shed some light on how to improve the deplorable state of affairs of police administration in the country. Maybe even to discuss the criminal justice system and its aspects – hot topics of the day. It is indeed a fact that police service does provide its members a wide canvas of experiences that include all the aspects mentioned – but not all of the experiences need be official policing as in common parlance. Of even richer variety, are the experiences not strictly covered by the term ‘official’, but definitely and more often than not encountered in the course of duty. Also, we policemen are often accused of taking our work home with us, and of not being able to relinquish our policing ways when out of uniform. It is such experiences that I have endeavoured to record in writings throughout my service career, through articles that found publication on and off. Intriguingly, I escaped the draconian eyes and wrath of the powers that be when those not happy with my writings sought ways and means to clobber me with a ban order, with a top-ministry file opened on the issue – about which I learned only from the newspapers much later. After much sleuthing, the file was closed, to arrive at the conclusion that in effect really no law or conduct rule was violated by me!
The experiences narrated in ‘The Other Side Of Policing’ endeavour to provide an insight into the fact that policing need not all be danda and violence, that there is much more there for the one who seeks it; that there is life outside serious policing, which one has to reach out to grasp and grab. That to be a good and efficient policeman, one need not necessarily give up the nice things in the life around you – nature, history and legend, music, hobbies, even idiosyncratic indulgences; and that there is ample opportunity for a good policeman to contribute to society, even outside the ambit of the IPC, CrPC, or the Police Act. I believe I have gained tremendously in these encounters and experiences that either touched my soul or enriched knowledge and enlarged my horizons. If by sharing these with the reader I succeed in some small measure to remedy the legacy of an unsavoury image we policemen carry as a millstone round our necks, my purpose will be achieved.
Over the years, versions of many episodes in this book have found publication in some form or other in major newspapers like The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, The Evening News, Delhi Mid-Day, The North-eastern Sun, The Tribune and elsewhere… I take this opportunity to gratefully acknowledge their participation and contribution to my endeavour. Acknowledgements are also in line to team Vitasta led by Renu Kaul Verma and ably supported by Namita Gupta, also the illustrators, the designers, the printers, and all others whom I have missed out – for their combined endeavour in producing an excellent book.
|31 October 2007||Maxwell Pereira|