My colleagues in the council of ministers, Shri Amit Shah ji, Dr. Jitendra Singh ji, G. Kishan Reddy ji, officials of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy present on the occasion of the Dikshant (Convocation) Parade Event and my young friends of 71 RR ready to lead the Indian Police Service with youthful zeal.
Generally, I used to meet all the friends who would pass out of this academy personally in Delhi. It used to be my good fortune that I would call them at my residence and would exchange ideas with them. Due to the prevalent situation in the wake of Corona, I am losing out on this opportunity. But I am sure that I will meet you sometime during my tenure.
One thing is certain that as long as you are working as a trainee, you work in a protective environment. You know that in the event of a mistake, your colleague or the people who are providing training to you will take care of it. But the situation will change overnight. The moment you step out of this academy, you will not remain in the protective environment. A common man will not think that you are new and lack experience. He will think that he is Sahib and in uniform, why is my work not being done? You are Sahib, how can you do this? His attitude towards you will change completely.
You will be minutely monitored on how do you conduct yourself, how do you function.
I would like you to remain over conscious during your initial period because the first impression is the last impression. Once you are typecast as a particular officer that image will travel with you wherever you are transferred. It will take you considerable time to come out of that image. Therefore, you make efforts very carefully.
Secondly, there is a defect in the society. When we also come to Delhi after being elected, two-four people stick around us. We don’t know who they are. And very soon they will start offering their service. Sahib, if you need a car, or water, I will arrange it for you. I think you have not eaten so far. The food of this Bhavan is not good, should I bring food from a different Bhavan. We don’t know who these service providers are. Wherever you will go, you will also find a group of such people. You will be new to the place and you will also be in need of several requirements. But if you get trapped in it, it will be very difficult to come out of that rut. Initially, you will have problems because the area is new, but try to understand things from your own eyes and ears. As far as possible, filter your ears in your initial days.
If you really want to succeed in leadership, filter your ears. I don’t say that you should keep your ears closed. I am only asking you to filter your ears. You will benefit a lot when all those things necessary for your career, your duty or as a person are received by you in a filtered way. Whenever somebody goes for a posting, people consider him to be a dustbin. The more powerful the person is, he is dubbed as a bigger dustbin. People keep on piling trash. And we also consider that trash as fortune. If we keep our conscience clean, it will be very beneficial to us.
The second issue is -- Have we ever given a thought about the culture of our police stations? How can our police station become a centre of social trust? Today, when we visit police stations, they are clean, it is good. There are some police stations in some areas which are very old and are in a dilapidated condition. I know that but it is not difficult to keep them clean.
We should decide that wherever I go, I will ensure 12-15 things which I have jotted down on a paper, are properly implemented at all the police stations under me, be it 50, 100 or 200. It is difficult to change a person, but the system can be changed. The environment can be changed. Can this be in your priority list? And how to keep files properly, offer seats to people who visit you. These are very small things which you should do.
Some policemen when they initially join duty feel that they should show off their authority, make people fear them and hold them in awe. And the anti-social elements should shudder at the mere mention of my name. The people who grow up watching films like Singham entertain these kinds of thoughts. The result is that several important works are left out. You should try to bring about qualitative change in the 100-200-500 people who work under you, to prepare a better team. You see, people’s attitude will change towards you.
You should decide whether you want to inspire awe among common man, or you want to build bridges of affection with them. If you try to create influence, it will be very short-lived. But if you build bridges of affection with people, they will remember you even after your retirement. The people of the area, where you had joined first, would remember you as a person who 20 years ago had come here, did not know the local language, but had won the hearts of the people through his behavior. Once you win the heart of the common man, everything will fall in place.
There is a belief in policing system. When I became CM for the first time…… there is a new year in Gujarat soon after Diwali. There is a small function where police personnel hold a Diwali Milan programme when chief ministers visit them regularly. I also used to go there. The previous chief ministers would go there, sit on a podium, would speak a few words, offer their best wishes and would leave. When I went for the first time, I met all the people. Then there was a police officer who stopped me. He told me why I was shaking hands with everybody. Don’t do it. Among them were constables and people from different walks of life. It used to be a gathering of 100-150 people. I asked him why? He told me that I would develop swelling in my hands by the evening if I continued shaking hands with everybody and I will need medical treatment. I told him, why did he think that way? But a notion that it will be like this in a police department, he will use abusive language, this is wrong.
This artificial image of police in uniform is not the real version as was seen during the Corona crisis. He is also a human being. He is also performing his duty for the welfare of humanity. This image can be strengthened in society through our behavior. How can we change the entire character through our behavior?
Similarly, I have seen that political leaders’ first interaction is with police. Those in uniform try to impress the political leaders. And you will find 5-50 among those who would clap very often to impress the political leaders.
We should not forget that we are part of a democratic system. Whatsoever is the party in a democracy, the role of an elected representative is very important. To respect an elected representative is to respect the democratic process. There may be differences between the two, but there are ways to handle it. We should adopt that method. I am sharing my experience with you. When I became Chief Minister for the first time, Atul, who is now training you, used to train me. And I have been trained under him, because he was my security in-charge when I was CM.
One day, it so happened. I do not feel mentally comfortable with all the paraphernalia and police arrangements. I find it very cumbersome, but I had to stay within them. However, sometimes, I would breach rules, get out of the car and shake hands with people in a crowd. One day, Atul Karwal sought my time and came to my chamber. I don’t know whether he remembers now, but he expressed his disapproval. He was very junior. I am talking about this incident which happened 20 years ago.
He looked at his chief minister in the eye and expressed his disapproval. He told me that I could not do this, can’t get out of car on my own or mingle with the crowd. I told him whether he was the master of my life and would dictate to me what to do. He did not flinch. I am telling this in front of him. He did not flinch. He told me in no uncertain terms that I was not just a person but belonged to the state. And this is his responsibility to protect me. He requested me to follow rules, otherwise, he would ensure that rules are followed.
I did not utter anything. This was the respect towards democracy, towards an elected representative, but also a way to say things in a polite way as part of his duty. Those were my early days as a Chief Minister. Why that incident has stuck on with me, because the way with which a police officer had made his point with such firmness while keeping in mind the importance of an elected representative. I think every police jawan can do this, anybody can do this. We need to look into it.
One more topic is there. See, technology has proven to be very beneficial these days. Earlier policing was done through information and intelligence gathering at constabulary level and it was going on well. But, sadly, it has seen a decline. You should never ever compromise on this, because intelligence gathering at constabulary level is very important for policing. You should develop your assets and sources as much as you can, but you should also think about the staff at the police station and encourage them. But, now-a-days, technology is easily available. Technology is helping in a big way in detecting crimes these days, whether it is through CCTV cameras or through tracking mobile phones. It is good. But the number of policemen who get suspended now-a-days is also because of technology. Sometimes, they misbehave, get angry, lose their temperament and go overboard and a person shoots the incident in video without their knowledge. Then that video becomes viral. There is a huge media pressure. And many people can be found who are ready to speak against the police. In the end, the system has to suspend them for the time being. This blot stays on with their career.
Technology is proving to be both a boon and a bane. Police have been largely affected. You will have to train people. You should emphasise on the constructive and maximum use of technology. And I have noticed that there are many people in this batch with technology background. There is no dearth of information now-a-days. There are several new tools like big data, artificial intelligence, social media, etc. which can be used to get the best result through analysis of information. You should make a team and should add people who work with you. And it is not necessary that everybody should be an expert in technology.
I give you an example. There was a constable in my security when I was CM. I exactly don’t remember his actual designation. There was UPA government at the centre. There was a hitch in an email which was not getting resolved. And it was a matter of concern for the government. The news was widely reported in newspapers. There was a class 12th educated youngster in my team who took interest in it. And you will be surprised that he resolved it. I think Chidambaram ji used to be the Home Minister then. He called him and gave him a certificate. There are only a few people who have this kind of talent.
We need to find them and make proper use of them. If you do this, you will find that you will have new weapons, they will become your strength. If you are a group of 100 policemen and if you use these assets, use technology while analyzing information, this 100 will turn into thousands. Such would be your strength, so emphasise on this.
Secondly, you must have seen this. Earlier, the army personnel would rush in whenever there used to be natural calamities, floods, earthquake, or a big accident, cyclone, etc. It had become very natural for the people to heave a sigh of relief when they would see army personnel who they knew could provide big relief to them in getting out of that situation. In the last few years, similarly the personnel of SDRF and NDRF, who have been drawn from police, have done some excellent work and their work has been recognized by the TV as well. They are running in water, dust, or lifting huge stones. This has created a new image of the police department.
I will request you all to prepare as many teams of SDRF and NDRF in your areas. These should be created in police as well as in people.
If you have expertise in providing help to the people during natural calamities as part of your duty, then you can be very effective and now-a-days there are several such requirements. Today, it is because of NDRF and SDRF, a new image of police is being created in the country.
People are saying this with pride that they arrived at the time of crisis, building had collapsed and they pulled out people who were trapped in it.
I would like you to provide leadership in several areas. You must have realized the importance of training. We should never underestimate training. Most of the government officials consider training as punishment. This is the impression that if a particular person has been asked to undergo training, certainly he would be a non-performing officer. We have downgraded training so much that this is the root cause of the problems in good governance, and we need to come out of it.
I would like to appreciate Atul Karwal again. Atul also comes from technology background, has climbed the Everest, and is very courageous. I don’t think it is difficult for him to get any post in the police department. A few years ago, he himself ventured to train the probationers in Hyderabad. This time also he himself sought the training work. What more can be important than this. I would like that it should be recognized.
And therefore, the government has launched a new programme – Mission Karmayogi. The cabinet has approved it two days ago. We want to attach greater importance to this training activity in the form of Mission Karmayogi.
I think it should be done and carried forward. I want to tell you one more experience of mine. I had made a 72-hour of training capsule in Gujarat and all the government officers had to undergo compulsory training for three days. And I used to take feedback of their experience.
Initially, I had a meeting with the 250 people who underwent training in the first phase and sought their opinion about those 72 hours. Most of them said that it should be increased beyond 72 hours as it proved to be very beneficial. Then one policeman got up. I asked him about his experience. He told me that earlier he was just a policeman, but the 72-hour of training had made him a better human being. These words were very powerful. He said people never considered him as a human being; he was just a policeman in their eyes. He said those 72 hours of training made him realize that he was also a human being besides being a police man.
This is the power of training. We need continuous training. Now after this parade, you should make it a point not to lower your guard even for a minute and you will practice it. You should think about your health and should enquire the health of your colleagues, whether they have been exercising, controlling their weight and getting their medical check-ups done regularly. You should emphasise on this because physical fitness is not just about your impressive appearance in uniform, but your work demands it. So, this is your duty and you will have to provide leadership in it. And it is said in our scriptures
यत्, यत् आचरति, श्रेष्ठः,
तत्, तत्, एव, इतरः, जनः,
सः, यत्, प्रमाणम्, कुरुते, लोकः,
That is, the kind of conduct that the best people show, the rest of the people also behave like that.
I am sure you are in the category of those and you are in the category of proving that excellence. You have got an opportunity but a responsibility as well. Every rule has its importance, but role is very important as you religiously perform your duties to protect mankind from the kind of challenges they are facing today, for the ever glory of the tricolor of our country and with full dedication to the Constitution of India.
Should I perform rule-based or role-based? If we attach importance to our roles, then rules will automatically be followed. And if we follow our role properly, our trust among people will also grow.
Once again, I extend my best wishes to all of you and I am confident that you will not be found wanting in enhancing the pride of Khaki. From my side, I will not let down in my responsibilities towards you, your family and your honour. With this confidence, I extend many many best wishes to you on this auspicious occasion.