यूपी कैडर के आईपीएस अधिकारी अमिताभ ठाकुर ने भारत सरकार से सभी राज्यों और केन्द्रीय पुलिस बल के सभी रैंक के पुलिसवालों के लिए एक अखिल भारतीय पुलिस एसोशियेशन बनाए जाने और उसे अंतर्राष्ट्रीय पुलिस एसोसियेशन का राष्ट्रीय चैप्टर बनाए जाने हेतु अनुमति देने की प्रार्थना की है. सचिव, गृह मंत्रालय को भेजी अपनी याचिका में ठाकुर ने कहा है कि पूर्व में ही कई राज्यों में अधीनस्थ पुलिसकर्मियों के लिए एसोसियेशन हैं.
राज्यों एवं केन्द्रीय स्तर पर आईपीएस एसोशियेशन भी हैं. लेकिन बदलते परिदृश्य में बेहतर पुलिसिंग के लिए विभिन्न रैंकों के पुलिस कर्मियों के सामाजिक और अनौपचारिक प्लेटफोर्म पर एक साथ आने और उनके मध्य मानसिक, सामाजिक और व्यवहार के स्तर पर नियमित सहभागिता बनाए जाने हेतु अखिल भारतीय एसोसियेशन की जरूरत दिख पड़ती है.
ठाकुर के अनुसार इस प्रकार के ऐकिक पुलिस एसोशियेशन से वर्तमान में पुलिस विभाग में व्याप्त पावर-डिस्टेंस (शक्ति-विभेद) में व्यापक कमी आएगी एवं परस्पर बेहतर तालमेल और बंधुत्व का विकास होगा. उन्होंने अपनी बात के समर्थन में आईआईएम लखनऊ में मानव संसाधन प्रबंधन कोर्स और मिड कैरियर ट्रेनिंग में ब्रिटिश पुलिस से सीखे अनुभवों का विशेष उल्लेख किया है.
Copy of the letter—
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Government of India
Subject- Permission under the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act 1966 for getting registered an All India Police Association
I briefly introduce myself as Amitabh Thakur, an officer of the Indian Police Service (1992 batch, UP Cadre). I am presently posted as SP, Rules and Manuals, Uttar Pradesh at Lucknow. I am writing this letter in my individual capacity as a policeman and a member of the vast Indian Police though it has nothing to do with my official duties at my present place of assignment and responsibilities and kindly be treated accordingly.
This is about a vision that has been formulating within me for quite some time and is possibly of great relevance to the Police organization of the Nation as a whole. It is about the need for an All India Police Association comprising of all ranks and files, right from the Director Generals of Police at the top to the Constables at the bottom.
From whatever I have learned and experienced during the last 20 years of service in the Police Department and from whatever expose and learning I had as a Fellow in Human Resource management at Indian Institute of Management Luckow or during the Mid Career Training Program (MCTP course) we had at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad and abroad in United Kingdom in the year 2011, I have got more and more convinced that there is a need to have a completely new rethinking as regards the culture prevailing in the various Police Organizations all over the country. Two of its most important aspects seem to be the special emphasis on the benefits, facilities and comforts to the subordinate staff, popularly known as Constabulary and to hugely reduce the power distance, as per the concept of Power distance index (PDI) enunciated by Mr Geert Hofstede, an influential Dutch social psychologist as- “Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.”
We would all agree to the fact that there are several issues concerning the Constabulary’s welfare that the Government of India is very much concerned about, more so because this is the cutting edge of policing in India and any visible change in the image of the Indian Police can be perceived only through its desired level of performance. Again, it is a well-known fact that in any organization a satisfied employee always yields better results.
Secondly, various academic researches have established that cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. People relate to one another more as equals regardless of formal positions. Hence, subordinates are more comfortable with and demand the right to contribute to and critique the decision making of those in power.
I hope we agree to this point that there is a need for improvement in both the above aspects and incessant efforts are made by the Ministry of Home Affairs exactly to plug in the gaps in these regards. To me it seems that one or more holistic and all-pervasive Police Associations at the All India levels might be one of the various measures which could come in assistance of the Ministry’s multifarious and sincere efforts. I say so because a large number of academic research have time and again talked about the need and necessity of Professional Associations., which is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest. Thus the Professional associations simultaneously act as a suitable bridge and much-needed intermediary between the professional people and the public at large.
Similarly, they also act as important Mediators of the Innovation Process, as dwelt in great length in the research article “Professional Associations as Important Mediators of the Innovation Process” by Mr Sue Newell and Mr Jacky Swan from the University of Warwick. It brings forth the point that Innovation depends on new ideas entering an organization and being translated into something implemented and used. Of the variety of networks through which Knowledge is diffused, one potentially important network is formed by professional associations, which diffuse a specific body of knowledge to practitioners and create informal networks of weak ties, linking members from different organizations.
Similarly another work by Greenwood, R Suddaby et al titled “Theorizing change: The role of professional associations in the transformation of institutionalized fields” from the Academy of Management Journal, 2002 describes the role of professional associations in a changing, highly institutionalized organizational field and suggests that they play a significant role in legitimating change. In “Professionalization of Public Administration” by Mr Donald E. Klingner, Florida International University, USA , the author has presented the view that professional associations are key to strengthening public administration, both in the United States and other countries. It says that Professional Associations encourage lifelong learning by public administration professionals. They can offer training courses on a regularly scheduled basis for their members, they offer annual training conferences that allow members to work cooperatively with each other, to learn research results, and to apply them in their respective professional settings and offer other services to individual organizational members like publications, technical assistance, newsletters, legal updates, and other information of interest to practitioners. Finally, they can also take a stronger advocacy role to obtain public and private resources to sustain research and technical assistance that will develop practitioners, teachers, and researchers who understand globalness (Klingner, 1999).
Thus, theorizing collective learning through professional associations (PA for short) is not a new phenomenon and has been an integral part of the professional world for centuries. As Greenwood et al (2001) note, traditionally the role of PAs has been to lobby governments and negotiate a way between the contrasting demands of professional and regulators. However, in addition, PAs increasingly provide an essential forum for “the formulation and reproduction of shared meanings and understandings” (Greenwood et al, 2001, page 61). The existence of a ‘shared enterprise and engagement’ is said to allow members of PAs to understand one-another’s ideas and exchange experiences so as to focus “attention in a particular way and enable new kinds of understanding” (Wenger, 1998, page 60). This new understanding exists in the form of a collectively developed comprehension of the problems all members of the community face (and their potential solutions).
During our MCTP course conducted by British, American, Finnish, Australian and other foreign police officials, academicians and judicial persons, we could come of know of various kinds of Police Associations these countries have. One of these is the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO, a private limited company that leads the development of policing practice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and provides a forum for chief police officers to share ideas and coordinates the strategic operational response and advises government in matters such as terrorist attacks and civil emergencies.
There are many other Police associations in UK which the police officers of that country told us as being highly beneficial for improving and leveraging the police performance. The situation is no different in all advanced Nations like USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany etc where Police Associations exist in large numbers- both at the National and local levels. In USA, we can see the National Black Police Association, United States Police Canine Association, Christian Police Association, National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriff’s Association and so on.
Even at the International level, there are a few extremely important Police associations, the foremost of them possibly being the International Police Association (IPA), the largest organisation for police officers in the world founded on 1 January 1950 under the Esperanto motto on its emblem, Servo per Amikeco (Service through Friendship), to create friendly links and encourage cooperation between individual police officers around the world. As of 2013, it is said to have about 413,000 members and sections in 69 countries. The IPA is an independent body made up of members of the police service, whether on active duty or retired, and without distinction as to rank, sex, race, colour, language or religion. Its purpose is to create bonds of friendship and to promote international co-operation. It is committed to the principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as adopted by the United Nations in 1948. Its aims include the development of cultural relations amongst its members, a broadening of their general knowledge, and an exchange of professional experience; in addition, it seeks to foster mutual help in the social sphere and to contribute, within the limits of its possibilities, to peaceful co-existence between peoples and to the preservation of world peace. The IPA strives to enhance the image of the police in its member countries, and to facilitate international cooperation through friendly contacts between police officers of all continents Membership of the International Police Association is open to serving and retired policemen and women of all ages. Each member country (IPA Section) is permitted to apply its own criteria for membership as to who can or cannot be regarded as a police officer for the purpose of membership. Each Section also determines its own membership fees.
As we all know, in India, Article 33 of the Constitution of India says that Parliament may, by law, determine to what extent any of the rights conferred by this Part shall, in their application to the members of the Armed Forces; or the members of the Forces charged with the maintenance of public order; or employed for purposes of intelligence or counter intelligence etc. be restricted or abrogated so as to ensure the proper discharge of their duties and the maintenance of discipline among them.
The Police- Forces (Restriction Of Rights) Act, 1966 to provide for the restriction of certain rights to the members of the Forces charged with the maintenance of public order says under section 3 (1)(a) that no member of, a police- force shall, without the express sanction of the Central Government or of the prescribed authority be a member of, or be associated in any way with, any trade union, labour union, political association or with any class of trade unions, labour unions
or political associations. Section 3(1)(b) is about being a member of, or be associated in any way with, any other society, institution, association or organisation that is not recognised as part of the force of which he is a member or is not of a purely social, recreational or religious nature.
There is already the Central IPS Association and State IPS Associations like UP IPS Association etc. which are associations of IPS officers. Similarly, there are such Associations of Provincial Police Service officers in various States, including Uttar Pradesh. There are also State Police associations in some States like Bihar, West Bengal and others. Some of these are officially recognized as per the above Act while some have come into existence and have now got accepted during the course of time. In UP, I have made an initiative by sending a representation for creation of a Uttar Pradesh Unified Police Association, which is presently under consideration before the Uttar Pradesh government.
But the need today seems to have one or more Police Associations at All India levels consisting of policemen of all ranks and file. I personally seem to believe the division of police associations on the basis of ranks and file to be anachronistic with the current times. I strongly believe that at least at social and unofficial platforms like Service Associations, Police shall not arbitrarily be compartmentalized into things like IPS Association, PPS Association, Non-gazetted Association etc. This kind of division and differentiation seems to go against the fundamental concepts of Human Resource Management and Organization Behaviour. To me, Police is one organization, right from the Constable to the Director General of Police. We swim and sink together and no Police organization can dare perform to the optimum level when it believes in internal fissures and power-distances. I have a firm belief that we need a Paradigm shift by having a single Association consisting of all ranks and file in Police (starting from Constables to Director Generals) so as to imbibe and imbue all the modern managerial values and accepted norms. Again, in addition to various State level Police Associations, there also seems to be an imminent need to have one or more Pan Indian Police Associations, consisting of all ranks, to which members from various State Police forces and the Central Police forces like the BSF, CRPF, ITBP, RPF, CBI etc shall belong. Such a Pan Indian police association will truly serve the purpose of uniting the police force in true sense of the word, and in many the various police organizations/units understand each other properly. I do agree that in future more than one of such organizations might come up, but to begin with, we seem to need a Pan Indian all- unit All India Police Association.
Since the law of the land prohibits formation of any such Police Association without the express sanction of the Central Government, as stated in the Police- Forces (Restriction Of Rights) Act, 1966, hence, I am presenting this request to get an All India Police Association registered with the following aims and objectives-
1. Providing a professional forum to share ideas and best practice
2. Coordinate resources and help deliver effective policing which keeps the public safe
3. Lead and coordinate the direction and development of the police services in the various States and the Center
4. Improvement of working conditions and promotion of the general welfare and contentment of members
5. Representation of members' interests and concerns
6. Providing the official channel of communication between members of the Association, the various Directorate Generals of Police, different State government Home Ministry/ Department and the Ministry of Home Affairs
7. Supporting members and their dependants in times of need
8. Keeping members informed through forums like the monthly magazine, website etc.
9. Advice to members on employment rights and obligations and support for members who have been disadvantaged or unfairly treated
10. Advocating in personal grievances
11. Representing members in developing operational policing and HR policies with police management
12. Required lobbying and submissions on legislation and policy decisions affecting the interests of members
13. Negotiation of group benefits in co-operation with the State/Central government
14. Academic and professional interactions for improving the delivery system of the police organizations With the above aims and objectives in our mind, I humbly make the following prayers-
1. To kindly consider the matter and grant permission under the requisite provisions of law to form an All India Police Association, by whatever suitable and permissible name it is registered.
2. To kindly allow this All India Police Association, so registered, to become a National section of the “International Police Association” so as to be able to "unite in service and friendship all active and retired members of the law enforcement service throughout the world”.
IPS- 1992 batch,
UP Cadre, Lucknow