New Delhi: 3rd January 2008: It was Kiran Bedi’s first press conference after voluntarily retiring from the Indian Police Service, two years ahead of her superannuation. And I was excited to meet her.
On my way to the Press Club of India, where the press meet was planned, I kept thinking about Bedi’s illustrious career — the accomplishments & the controversies.
How could such a bold, fearless, powerful and confident officer surrender to the system! After all she had been a symbol of empowerment in India’s male-dominated society. Wasn’t she given the President’s Gallantry Award? Yes. She indeed is a brave woman, a capable lady officer. Then why did the history-making woman cop quit so tamely?
From manning Delhi’s unmanageable traffic signals to disciplining Asia’s largest Tihar prisons, Bedi had seen all… even the United Nations. She is also credited with many reforms. Who else could have introduced yoga and meditation at prisons? But, was she a much-pampered officer? Did she always get away, even after going public against the government, just because she was the first woman police officer?
How would she face journalists now? I entered the conference venue with this thought, while carrying a larger-than-life image of the supercop.
Inside the room, Bedi was talking about police. “Still, Police”!!! “Huh,” I cried out. Police in our country are always perceived inefficient or corrupt or both. But, she first chose police as her career, then quit at the fag end of her services and now she was again discussing police. What justice would she do to herself by still talking about police?
“They say crime has fallen,” Bedi was screaming before the journalists referring to manipulated crime graph across the country. “My God, Crime Has Not Fallen!!!” She was on her feet. But why was she blasting after voluntarily relinquishing her 36-year police career? The occasion was to launch an e-portal for complainants who are refused help by the police.
Bedi feels the portal safer india will act as a bridge between the police and complainants across the country. But, where would it lead? Well, she is hopeful. “This is going to be turning point in police reforms,” she promises.
Will she be able to achieve as a volunteer what she failed to deliver as an officer! But, did she fail? Yes, she failed. She surrendered to the system. She should not have opted out of the Indian Police Service.
I could read that throughout the press conference, the Magsaysay awardee was trying to hide her emotions.
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True, I am watching Kiran Bedi as she grows, creating a new space for herself. Presently, she is moderating, anchoring, judging a court room show on star plus television channel, disposing civil disputes with compassionate yet firm and lawful mediation and arbitration. The show is named ‘Aap Ki Kachahri’. Thanks for writing.
It seems Kiran Bedi is able to do a lot of amazing things outside of her official role in the police – all the foundations she’s set up to educate children in slums and bring vocational education to women to turn them from crime. I think she will be successful in bringing reform no matter what her official status.
Sometimes enough is enough! She’s battled long and hard. I wonder how effectual she would have been allowed to be if she’d remained on in the police? I don’t know – I am an outsider with a different outlook. I can’t say what would be right for India.
Anyway, all the best to Kiran and all the best to India. I am Australian but have spent time in India and think it is an amazing, wonderful place with many issues to overcome.
And thankyou for your interesting take on Indian life. I shall be watching this blog with interest.
pls give me her personal Mail-id
I’m very small to comment on this but I admire this lady a lot.You r a journalist. U 2 must be respected well by the police force but in reality you know how this police force (of course not everyone..exceptions r always there) behave with you when you’ve direct interaction with them.This is the harsh reality you’ll face; a great difficulty in dealing with them unless u a connection. Have u forgotten her 36 years of figh…u may mention her failure but at the same time do point out her initiatives.
I would say, ask the common man who doesn’t have high connections ..then you’ll know the truth.
I was surprised to know that she had quit… but I would not blame her..bcos she’s doing much more than what she would have done being there…she can cover whole India now…common people who r facing brutal truth with this system can take up his/her issue with SAFER INDIA and ask their help..its like a channel I would say..like CONSUMER COURT.
I’m hopeful it would acheive its objectives. All the Best to Kiran Bedi and her Safer India. In fact, we too can play some role in it. We may educate or start a campaign and educate ppl and tell them as to how this new forum can be beneficial to them, how they can avail this facility.
Haven’t we heard about so many crusaders! Say, an IITian joining IPS and leaving thereafter, realsing that his honesty did not pay. Also see the example of an IIM guy who gets killed bcos he was honest.
We all want change now. But, how? May be we don’t know.. may be a person like Kiran bedi could help us in knowing what to do to make it a better living place for us.
Well you have commented that she blasted Police after 36 years of career. WHAT IS WRONG?
Do you think that her statement about false statistics regarding crime graph is wrong? Is this not a fact
that police do not register cases?
You being a journalist must be knowing that whatever Kiran Bedi said is truth and nothing but truth.
Only police officers know the truth about working of the police. So a police officer can guide the public if their cases are not registered.
Ms Bedi’s reputation is well known to the public.
uthtte huye har pahale Kadam Ka swagat Hona Chahiye….hangama ho na ho surat to badlani hi chahia. aise mein apka yah lekh jabbardust hai.
Well done Neeraj! Keep it up!
I was suprised to hear the news of kiran bedi resigning. However, safer india campaign shows that she has something more to do. I wish this bring better changes.
Thanks on bringing this topic of ‘Kiran Bedi coming out from the forces’. Not to mention my first knee-jerk reaction to her resignation was that of terrible surprise, I was just wondering how could the contemporary Iron Lady of our country leave the most coveted establishment (although marred with many controversies) and that too after having faced the heat for 36 years and being so VERY successful paving the way for many to chose her as their defacto role mode. I, as any common person, was looking forward to her next mission and her involvement in the lead India program made me more inquisitive of what this superocp was next heading to. Portal is a great idea, but with IT yet to penetrate at the grass route level, we need more tangible programs that can understand the contour of the rural fabric and drape them into mainstream nuances appropriately.
Mam, The nation is looking forward to your next charge with hope but one word of caution from this inconsequential perosn please don’t go the Mamata Banerjee way.
Thank u very much. I left because this is the first time in my career… I would have been slave driven. While unimplemented reports gathered dust, new papers were being asked for…. And I rejected that. The organisation was toothless and deliberately depressed.
BPRD was being used as a mere back-end office to answer queries. With no power to force any change for the better. And I had no time to let go. I now wanted to reform matters my way. And I am doing it. http://www.saferindia.com is one of the tools. The first anchor of its kind. It will evolve now. Rgs Kiran.