Police service is one of the essential services in a society and unfortunately in India it is much maligned too. In such scenario a book by a serving cop highlighting human side of an officer is like a breath of fresh air. As former cop Kiran Bedi has suggested these cases should be serialized into TV shows. In today’s times it’s very important to show the positive work done by police. When people are becoming more and more cynical and hardly believe in any good, these kind of shows may be helpful in changing the outlook.
The book consists of 16 chapters. Second chapter describes author’s journey towards maturity of his thoughts and attitudes from the times when he joined IIT Delhi as a young student to their crystallization when he joined the Police service and was exposed to the real world. The last chapter “Myth and Reality” contains some insightful observations and author’s hope that the police force will get their right full respect and rewards from the society. Rest of the 14 chapters are different cases that the author as a police officer dealt with a human touch and hence the book’s title. The book touches upon a wide gamut of crimes like, eve teasing, corruption, abduction, dowry death, land grabbing, terrorism.
Some of these are typical of developing economies. The Roorkee businessman’s case reminded me of Jamaican don XXXXXXX exacting protection money. These stories are described in a matter of fact way. This simple narration seems to bring out the effect more starkly. What makes one shudder is the realization that these instances in our country are not rare exceptions but rather the norm. It was pure chance that the unfortunate woman in the first chapter met an officer (the author) who supported her in her fight for justice. To think that she and her family went through the ordeal just because they voted in a panchayat election against the wishes of the so called higher caste men!
The 3rd chapter describes the inspector- tout nexus and how a proactive policing with an approachable sensitive officer who is ready to listen and act immediately goes a long way. Next one deals with panchayat decision for caste honor that plays havoc with a young couple, reminiscent of Stone Age probably. While on terrorism, the author’s sensitivity is evident as he talks of victims as well as terrorists and their families. “In Face To Face with Terror”, there was a terrorist encounter with the security forces on 24th June 1993 in Bazpur of Terai. On 25th the author, in Allahabad, is informed of his promotion posting to Nainital and on 26th he reaches there with his wife. Does our police force work so fast?
Every chapter is preceded by a poem or jottings, many from the author’s diary. They are quite nice, especially one about rat race. The last chapter “Myth and Reality” contains some insightful observations and author’s hope that the police force will get their right full respect and rewards from the society. The book in addition to being interesting, is a nice attempt at bridging the widening chasm of suspicion and distrust between police and the people. It’s a must read.
The author holds M.A and M. Phil (International Relations)from Jawaharlal Nehru University . She is a freelance writer and has lived in and travelled to a number of countries like USA, China, Japan, Jamaica, Maldives etc.