People in Uniform must learn to respect law and constitution

 Vidya Bhushan Rawat 


The speech of a CRPF woman constable has become ‘viral’ on social media after she spoke against all the human rights defender and felt that our constitution only ‘defend’ and ‘protect’ the anti national. The ‘sadak chaap’ Sanghi channels and their cheer leaders have jumped on the speech terming it that CRPF put the ‘country’ first. The degradation of our media is complete. It used to pretend a quality media earlier but now it is complete exposed. The owners have also shown their true casteist colour as they continue to encourage such reporters who would not have qualified in any print or electronic channel if they really believe in journalism or quality reporting. They have become now a virus, a disease which has endangered our democracy and our plural cultural heritage. The age of Bania media has arrived truly and those who are working there are not journalists who can question the state and the government but they denigrate, humiliate the opposition and dissenters. Now, the aim is to finish everything which is surviving in the name of opposition so that they can rule the country by hook or by crook.

While the young constable’s debating skills are good for her promotion and the atmosphere being created, it is essential for those who run the show to understand that by denigrating the issues of human rights and rights of individuals as being anti national, the agency would do no better. I felt proud of CRPF when after the Pulwama attack they issued statement to the countrymen to be ware of forces who were targeting Kashmiri students. CRPF started a special help line to help the Kashmiri students and we all felt proud of the force and its officers.

Forces need to be professional. Any force which become religious blind are going to harm themselves. You may disagree with any one or even hate in personal life though hate does not work, it destroy to those only who suffer from it, yet as a force, you cant be like this. Suppose, Kanhaiya Kumar become minister tomorrow or the young constable is asked to guard Kashmiri leaders who are behind the bar, what will she do. Will she continue to live in hatred against them or resign from the job. Should we allow our Jawans to be in such a perpetual hatred. If that happen, it would be difficult for them to understand their professional duties.

It is true that CRPF Jawans live in the most stressful conditions. Much worst than the armed forces because the armed forces have better service conditions. CRPF is always on the move, from this part to that part. Their families live in tension as the facilities are not great. A Jawan who die on duty is officially not a ‘shaheed’, though media might hype it. Bringing law and order to normalcy or travelling to Naxal areas one day and moving to another different locations put them in real risk. Their service conditions need to be improved.

It is important that all the members of the forces must go through training of respecting law and constitution. We dont know how much. A citizen does not ask more than. We are not asking them to read the UN charters, covenants or other treaties but just several important aspect of our constitution particularly fundamental rights and duties of the state. Good that they have political understanding but there is no meaning of such political understanding which believes in rhetoric. And this is the danger. The way media has encouraged it and promoted has potential danger of putting the men and women in uniform to temptation of competitive negativity. Can you imagine such talks in any of the human rights forum internationally. If the NHRC organises a thing or even the forces themselves, I am sure, they have many officers who have better understanding of human rights. You dont decries the court for ‘defending’ the people or allowing the people the opportunity.

The men in Uniform will realise that their duty is to uphold the law of the land impartially and not become part of a campaign. Forces are not here to do justice. The process lies with judiciary. Forces are to protect people and not merely the ruling party politicians. In plural societies or diverse country like ours, forces need to be taught about the sensitivities of regions, religions, ethnicity, languages etc. And for that, it is equally important that all the forces and organs of the government must have fair representation of India’s diversity whether religious, regional or ethnic.

Good that our new young in the uniform are talking about issues but it is important that the forces start some courses with in their units to educate them. The crisis of CRPF and other like them is the difficulties that their jawans and officers face, their mental pressure which they face living far away from their families and difficult terrains but also of lack of enough facilities in comparison to other forces. The Jawans need all kind of education including things that make them stress free. sloganeering will not help at all.