The trust of people on the protectors of law and order in a country is imperative for peace to exist. Any mistrust could escalate violence by acting as an incipient point for crime. Cooperation between the police and the public ensures that people are comfortable divulging secret information and helping the police in every way possible to nab the criminal. The protectors of law are a support to the people, someone who could be dependent on in times of distress. Efficient judiciary coupled with agile police force is something which every country aims at.
Unfortunately Muslims in India have been a victim of police biasness. This prejudice has been fueled by the bloody partition. Allegations of being a Pakistani are levied on Indian Muslims on account of common religion and thus the word ‘traitor’ finds a synonym with Muslims. The law & order and judicial system of this country is heavily biased against the poorer section of the society, this biasness multiplies in case of poor Muslims. There have been incidents of indiscriminate firing on Muslims which have completely evaporated the trust of Indian Muslim on the police.
During the Gujarat riots of 2002 many newspapers published special stories regarding the divide existing in the metros in India. In a story regarding Delhi someone from a Muslim majority area was quoted as, “We are safe here. The only thing that can destroy us here is air bombing”. Now this is being extremely cynical but this definitely offers some insight on the kind of mistrust that exists among ordinary Muslims. Recent terrorism has further contributed to this prejudice existing among non-Muslims.
Hashimpura is another sordid incident in this regard. Police firing during the riots are also known for killing more Muslims even though there are more Hindu rioters. Police is so biased against Muslims that incidents against them are assumed as a matter of internal feud or link to the international terrorism. Security is denied on these grounds.
We have to look into solutions for the above problem. The thing to be noted here is that the prejudice is more prominent among the under-privileged (economically) section of the society. Our police force is mainly composed of men from this section. Increasing the number of Muslims in police force is our best bet. An increased proportion could imply a less biased approach. Plus increased interaction could possibly reduce the hatred that fuels such incidents.
If we compare the unbiased army with the police force then it can be easily concluded that the affect of politicians on the functioning of police is apparent. The police force takes orders from heads, who is turn are under the influence of politicians. If you see the early history of Roman Empire, when it was a republic under the Senate, then you will realise that the army was strictly kept away from the city limits. Warmonger generals were asked to keep their armies near the borders to guard. This helped in giving the Senate more power, without fear of being questioned by a armed force, to govern; corruption is another thing. The great empire finally declied because this law was broken by Julies Caesar. India’s biggest achievement and Pakistan’s biggest failure has been in this regard; the former kept it armies and generals away from politics but the later failed in this regard and hence proved a failed state in which any mushy-bushy general can capture power. Army represents strength, with this strength comes ego and this ego through the path of self-conceit insinuates the lust for power within generals. This was a digression. My point is to keep the police force away from the influence of politicians. Modi’s orders, to the police, to help the social workers carry out their work during the riots of 2002 is not hidden anymore. Similar was the case with anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of Indra Gandhi and perhaps this tale repeats itself in every riot. So again our best bet lies in keeping the police force away from this influence. This clubbed with increased proportion of Muslims in the army could work wonders.
Saying all these, the impetus is on Indian Muslims to come forward and join the police force in greater numbers. Blaming the government for each and every woe doesn’t solve the purpose. I just don’t buy the argument that the biasness if the sole reason responsible for lesser number of Muslims in the police force.