Action Hero Citizen

Smile. Smell. See your niegbourhood- your people. Reach out. Intervene. Collaborate with the guardians of the State to make a difference. Inviting citizens to be Action heros through small acts sincerely coming from the heart.

A 100 questions I want to ask my Police

  1.  Do you smile often?
  2. Whom do you smile at?269379_371996626187070_1859563934_n
  3. Do you think that if you smile at a person you lose your authority?
  4. Do women police officers get maternity leave? What are its terms?
  5. How does your system of transfers work? Who orders the transfers? Different for different ranks?
  6. Promotions? What are its terms?
  7. What is your favourite food?
  8. Can you cook your favourite dish?
  9. If the Inspector in the station refuses to lodge an FIR, the citizen must get in touch with the Circle Inspector. Who is the circle inspector?
  10. What is your duty?
  11. When did you join the police force?
  12. Why did you become a police officer?
  13. Are you happy today?
  14. Do you think people love you?
  15. Do you love people? How do you manifest your love?
  16. Do you like your uniform?
  17. What do you most like/dislike about it?
  18. When have you felt most proud of being a police officer?
  19. Have you ever felt that you wish you had never been a police officer?
  20. Are you allowed to take free rides on public transport?
  21. What do you like best about being a police officer?
  22. What did you eat today?
  23. Where do you live?
  24. Do you play any sport?
  25. Can you dance?
  26. Do you watch films?
  27. Who is your favourite actor?
  28. And favourite actress?
  29. Do you watch TV?
  30. Which shows do you watch?
  31. Which is your favourite show?
  32. Do you like gardening?
  33. Which is your favourite colour?
  34. Do you have a Gun?
  35. Have you shot anybody with it?
  36. Have you ever felt frightened in your life?
  37. Have you ever been helped/protected by a stranger in your life?
  38. Do you like the monsoons?
  39. Have you ever felt like wearing colourful clothes that the public wears?
  40. Do you get holidays?
  41. What would you like to do in your holidays?cheetah
  42. Do you like to travel?
  43. Where would you like to travel to?
  44. Have you read the Karnataka State Police Act?
  45. What are your hobbies?
  46. Do you exercise every day? Describe the exercise?
  47. Can you swim?
  48. Do you like sweets? Mithayee?
  49. Have you ridden the Cheetah?
  50. Do you like Music?
  51. What kind of music do you listen to?
  52. Do you feel sad?
  53. What makes u feel sad?
  54.  Who are your friends?
  55. How many cups of chai do you have in a day?
  56. What languages can you speak?
  57. Have you experienced any kind of sexual violence? What have you done?
  58. Do you like the way women/men dress in these times?
  59. Do you dream of becoming the commissioner of police someday?
  60. Do you find the ‘Do you look smart?’ mirror useful?
  61. How many times do you look into it in a day?
  62. Do you like saluting your senior officers?
  63. Do you sing songs? Can you sing one please?
  64. Have you met the commissioner of police and spoken to him?
  65. What according to you are the rights of the citizens?
  66. How must citizens behave and live in Society?
  67. If I’m singing a song loudly and walking on the street- is that a crime?
  68. Say I’m walking on the street at 1 am alone- is this a crime?
  69. Do you have a daughter?
  70. (If you had a daughter) until what time do you allow your daughter to be out on the streets?
  71. Do you know who designed your uniform?
  72. Where did the Hoysala get its name from? What does it mean?
  73. Where did the Cheetah bikes get its name from?
  74. If I find any man staring/whilstling at me or whilst walking comes close to my body and gives me a dhakka- what do you think I should do?
  75. Do you like the attention you get when you walk on the streets wearing your uniform?
  76. Do you believe in God? k-vijay-kumar
  77. What religion do you follow?
  78. Have you been beaten up anytime?
  79. Have you been complimented on your attire?
  80. For how many hours do you sleep everyday?
  81.  Do you read books?
  82. What books do you read?
  83. Have you ever been helped by a citizen in your work?
  84. Have you taken any personal/common oath on the occasion of becoming a police officer?
  85. What is this oath? Do you recollect it?
  86. Do you like Gajjar ka halwa?
  87. Have you ever witnessed someone being sexually violated?
  88. What did you do?
  89. Have you ever spoken to a person who has been sexually violated?
  90. What has the conversation been about?
  91. Do you think crimes of sexual violence have been on the rise?
  92. If yes, why do you think this has been the case?
  93. Do you do housework?
  94. What are you inspired by?
  95. What if the policemen didn’t wear their uniform? Do you think they would be able to detect crime happenings better as plains clothes police?
  96. If you got no orders from your senior police officer for a day- how would you do your work?
  97. Have you ever initiated a conversation with a girl waiting for her bus at the bus stop?
  98. Have you asked any citizen for their help?
  99. Do you have a role model? Who is it?
  100. Do you have any message you wish to give to the citizens?

 

I want to ask these questions.

Tell them my story if they’d like to know.

Break the Ice.

Laugh

.th

Chill and hang out with my police officer over a cup of garam chai.

Know them better.

Feeling Safe..

While compiling the responses to the #IFeelSafe which Blank Noise facilitated, here is the unconscious ramble of thoughts which flooded my mind whilst I was at it.

I thought about the time when I have felt most safe.

I remember that is was the time when I went out with my brother and a couple of his friends in the night for ice-cream. I was 17. My brother and his friends about five to six years older to me. It was 12.00 am and I stood near the car along with the others- joking and enjoying my ice cream, feeling as safe as I can feel: protected by all of the nice men around me. I describe them as nice because- of all my interactions with them, they have at every instance, made me feel like trusting them. And I do. They’re well-behaved and its great fun to be with them. They are brother-like and take care of me. It certainly feels good to be taken care of. But when I brought to memory this experience of the moment when I had felt most safe and mull over it now at 21, I’m thinking… Can I not take care of myself? And hypothetically, had the men tribe around me been women- would I have felt as safe?
The honest answer is No.
… Do I need Men to take care of me and make me feel safe? What is the relationship between men and safety? Do men ever feel unsafe? Or threatened? Or vulnerable? Can they cry? Feel pain? Would I ever reach out to help a man under threat in the same manner in which I would have leaped over to help a woman? What is this social construct about the Men tribes’ overbearing DUTY to protect women and look after them? In looking for prospective marriage proposals for bridegrooms too, why is it that parents are usually looking for someone who is “well-settled”? What defines well-settled? Is it somebody who has a well- paying job who can provide for your material needs? Or someone who is taller, stronger and sharper than you? Can you not fend for tending to your own material needs? Can men and women not take care of each other?

Can I strike a conversation with a stranger on the street as a 21 year old woman? Ask him/her how they might be feeling today? Ask if they have been well? What’s their favourite food? Would the two minute conversation build trust? Would I have the courage to initiate this conversation? How would the reactions be?

Is home really safe?

Why does the personal Car make me feel safe? Why do trains make me feel safe? Do I feel safe in the bus?

Can I wear what I want to wear and walk on the streets without being stared at? Can I meet people who look at me in the eye rather than parts of my body, whilst conversing with me?

Will I see more women on the street where I am walking?

Will I see more women in Police stations?

What does “not taking it anymore” really mean? Does it mean taking yourself till the edge? Does it mean a deliberate encounter with the unsafe to try making it safe- May be with a smile, a handshake, a gesture of trust, a slap if required but most importantly by facing it/dealing with it? Does it mean defying all convention- No, not for the sake of giving it back; but to feel strength and power?
What does it really mean to “not take it anymore”?

Yesterday I met a boy

… who made me feel safe.

I saw in him profound Action Hero Citizen like qualities.

I wanted to give him a jaadu ki jhappi and may be a chocolate or a flower!

I felt reassured.

I felt thankful.

My friend Mamta and I were at MG road last evening. We walked where the streets took us, satiated our food fantasies at K.C Das and MTR, carrying with us street posters of the Step by Step Guide to Unapologetic Walking. These posters are here at the studio in Blank noise. Have you seen this poster? It’s damn cool and legendary and inspiring. And I’m going to try to put these up in as many places that I possibly can. Look out for these- Bangaloreans and Punekars!

So we were at the bus stop at around 9 pm to catch our bus (G9) back to Yelahanka. Someone told us that the bus left from under the metro station. I saw a young boy waiting for the bus too. On reaching the site I confirmed with him if this was the place from where the bus left. He nodded in agreement gently and smiled. He seemed to be a student. He was carrying a backpack, was tall, wore rimless glasses and was clad in a t-shirt and blue jeans. He looked to be around 25 years old. We waited for the bus to come for about half an hour, yet there wasn’t any sign of our bus.

Then another bus came. We asked if it would go to Yelahanka and the driver told us that it wouldn’t. It was heading to go to Shivaginagar. Everyone else got into the bus except the two of us. It looked like we were going to be alone on that street now, in the wait for our bus.

Just then, the Action Hero boy whilst entering the bus made a gesture to us. It indicated a sign to get onto this bus for it seemed to be the last one to come. On entering the bus, another middle aged man who was sitting in front of our seat told us that we’ll get a bus to Yelahanka from the Shivaginagar bus depot. And that it was hard to get a G9 at this hour from where we were at.

I thought about the boy’s gesture. No words were spoken. Just a sign to enter the bus. And somehow I knew he was right and instantly complied with his instruction. All the while that we were waiting, he came across as perfectly non-threatening. And that’s why I think I trusted him. He was staring into his phone, minding his own business the whole while. And yet when the time came, he instantly cared to reach out and help us. He didn’t come close, intruding into our physical comfort zone. Nor did he scream out to us from a distance. He showed care for us like we were his own —  and that too in such a non-threatening, subtle but meaningful way through a sign.

I wanted to thank him and decided that I would when we were getting off at the depot. But when we reached the depot, I couldn’t find him. The depot, like all depots, was hustling with people and amongst that chaos I couldn’t locate this Action Hero boy.

I don’t know what his name is. I don’t know anything about him. But I have a memory of him, a memory of his gesture in my mind. And I write this in the hope that even if time fades away the memory of my hero, in the characteristically flippant manner that it does, I can return to this post and relive the memory of his very kind, Action Hero citizen like gesture!

@ Action Hero Citizen Boy: If you’re reading this- A heartfelt, sincere and warm thank you! 🙂

Directions to the Commissioner’s Office please!

Yesterday I met the additional commissioner of police- Sir Kamal Pant at the commissioner’s office. It was the first time that I have ever gone to the Police commissioner’s office anywhere in my country. It was the first time that I have spoken to an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. It was the first time that I was asking the police traffic personnel deployed around the area, directions to where the police commissioner’s office was. And I don’t know if it was just in my head but somehow whenever I asked the police which way I should go to reach the police commissioner’s office I saw on their faces a curiosity to know why I was heading there. An amused smile. Why was a young girl like me headed to the commissioner’s office?DSC_0037 To meet whom? The Commissioner? Really? Why? And for me too, while I asked I couldn’t believe what I was hearing myself ask. Saying it out aloud was also a way for me to come to terms with what I had been asking for. I asked if I could meet my police officer as a citizen? Asked whether I could ask him a few questions that I may have? Can I just have a chat with him? Or can I talk to him only when I have a problem? Is he too busy for my naïve enquiries and have larger tasks at hand? All these thoughts flooded my head but I convinced myself that at the root of it the police force exists in my country to protect me. I am the weak that these special people are there to safeguard. And therefore they must interact with me and I with them. It gave me courage to go to the Police commissioner’s office and speak to him as a citizen wanting to speak to the police. Commissioner or not. Period. And I’m glad to report that I could. Did you know that you too can speak to the additional commissioner of police on weekdays between 3 and 5 pm without prior appointment? Like I did yesterday. And I was happy to know that such an opportunity for contact existed.

Did I tell you that I enjoy firsts? Firsts make me quirky. They make me happy. They make me feel excited and the experiences always leave me thrilled. They bring to mind past experiences of firsts… like the first time I walked into a police station to ask if I could volunteer, like the first time I bathed in a river in a village. They also bring to mind my many fantasies, looking around for an opportunity to be rolled out into action- like to ride in a submarine, to make Gajjar ka halwa and offer it to my beat police officer over a chai conversation with him amongst the many other.DSC_0040

Hmn… Why do I write “him” and not “her”above. When I think of the police officer in my country, instantly images of male police officers come to mind. What image comes to your mind? In all of the three police stations that I have gone to so far- they have all been such male dominated spaces. I saw on an average 3-4 women working there either as support staff or lady police officers compared to the 20 male police officers at the station hovering about. Most of my interactions have been with male police officers. Why are our police stations such male spaces? Can women not protect? Why don’t we have more women officers in the force?images

So I made my way to 1, Infantry road and entered the police commissioner’s office in Bangalore. My entry involved this I.D slip issued to me with my name, address and the name of the officer I was there to meet. They then photographed me and let me go in.

I saw around me – Police officers- of all kinds: The ones with one or two stars, some with the Head constable symbol of three stripes, some carrying guns, some with no signs, but all with their quintessential hats, the khaki uniform and the black polished shoes. I am fascinated by the Bangalore police’s hat. It’s a hat which is curled up at one edge and has a tag “BCP” on it. BCP stands for Bangalore City Police. And I think it to be very stylish. I think it gives them a very cool look! In Pune where I have grown up and lived for most part of my life so far I have seen Pune police men (mama’s as they’re colloquially known) wearing if at all any hat- a small one, not so large and majestic as the ones I see on the heads of the Bangalore city police.

I saw vehicles- mostly white or black coloured ones- fiats and Innovas and sedans.  They too carried symbolisms of the Police and the red siren. I looked, observed. Smelt. I absorbed the atmosphere that is the commissioner’s office and felt content.DSC_0042DSC_0041

I met Officer Pant. Told him that I was there to seek permission from his office to volunteer with my jurisdictional police for a week. I told him why I wanted to do this. The conversation was in English. He was welcoming and listened to me. He asked me further questions on why I was wanting to do this. He asked if this was a university requirement as part of some project. He asked me what work I would do. He asked to see my ID. He asked about my course- Development. And I tried to explain to him what my course was all about in the best way that I could since I’m still trying to figure out a whole lot of it myself. Development remains such a broad domain and there’s just so much one could do with this course. It really just depends on the student’s area of interest and how you see it through with the resources that university facilitates one with. But largely my university hopes to get development practitioners on the field- working from the social sector’s perspective since there is a crying need of fine quality practitioners on the field in this sector. Not restricting students to this but largely campaigning in this direction. He told me that he shall think about my proposal and get back to me on this in a week’s time.

As I hoped for the best and was getting out of his office after thanking him, I had an urge to photograph him and his office and the silver coloured large amulet like symbol etched on his wall. I wanted to thank him for protecting me in Bangalore. But I didn’t know how this would play out. I was thinking if that would be an intrusion into his time. I wasn’t too sure. Hence I walked out of his office. Quickly. Before my fantasy gets the better of me and spells out the words from my mouth to ask. May be I should have just asked.

I came out feeling proud. I experienced membership. I felt respected. I felt like a participant. In our large democracy. I came out feeling good that as a citizen in this country of 1.2 billion people, my voice was heard.

Kudos- Bangalore City Police: I have a good feeling about you and thank you for making my experience such!

DSC_0036

 

 

 

Good girls from good families never go to a police station, yes?

Today I went to the Kodigehalli police station. I entered. Made eye contact with the station guard and told him that I would like to do volunteer work at this police station for a week.  He looked at me strangely and directed me to the station writer. I have found these people to be the most approachable in all of the three police stations that I have visited so far. They have opened up easily and come forward to help me. In this case the station writer first tried to understand what I wanted to do there at the police station. I told him that through volunteering I wanted to understand how my local police station works- as a curious citizen. Are you required by university/college to do this or have you come of your own? Why do you want to work here? When I tell them that it’s of my own accord that I have come here- some look suspicious, some amused and ask to see my ID card. On seeing my ID card this station writer instantly trusted and started to tell me his life story. He told me that he had won an award for making this film while he was at college. He shared with me that he participated in many extracurricular activities in school. He said that he drew and painted. He said that he had acted in some Kannada film in 2005. However, life with the police now does not encourage any of these things he said. He said that he gets no holidays on Sunday or days of public holiday as he is on duty at the station 24X7. No holiday for Diwali/ No holiday for New year. I asked him if he gets any holiday at all and he said they are entitled to take about 12 casual leaves in a year, besides the option of availing emergency leave when required. However he said that it depends if the leave gets sanctioned by his station house officer i.e the Inspector of Police. He told me that I shall have to ask the Inspector of Police if I could work there for a week but meanwhile he encouraged me to ask him questions that I may have about the police. I asked him to describe what his day looks like. He told me that he works from 8 am to 8 pm. The conversation was cut short… the sub-inspector of the station came by and the station writer introduced my case to him. The sub-inspector seemed reluctant to speak with me or even smile. When I smiled at him and wished him the time of the day he asked me what my business was. He gave me a contact of the sub-inspector at Yelahanka Police station who is a lady and told me that she would help me. After which he told me to go. I thanked him and told him politely that I shall go to the Yelahanka station tomorrow and meet the lady sub inspector. I asked him if I could hang around and speak to some of the other police personnel around. He said that I can speak to the Head constable seated at the reception area. This head constable Mr. Bannappa only spoke Kannada and what happened for the next 5 minutes between us was speech with action + some hindi+ some English words. But he spoke only Kannada and our conversation wasn’t getting anywhere. It is at these moments that I wish I could speak and understand the language. Somehow. Magically. There were many other moments that I felt this too during my long day at the station today. Not very many police speak English. Most know only Kannada. I wonder how a foreigner or someone not native to the state like me will communicate our complaint to the head constable who hears complaints and files them. May be we could use action hero citizens who know both the languages to come to our rescue.

I was at the police station for about 5 hours today and I didn’t see any woman walk into the station except in the evening at around 5 pm when two women came in. They looked nervous. They looked hesitant. They came sat next to me and I struck a conversation with them. Both the ladies knew Kannada but one knew English very well too. There was a brawl amongst 3 men happening in the station at the same time. One of the men was bleeding. The police treated the bleeding one harshly. They slapped him on his head and shouted at him. I couldn’t understand the context but my eyes observed behaviour and actions. I don’t know what it was that they were beating him for, but my heart went out to him for the way that they beat him. I asked the lady if she could tell me the context of the case. But the ladies had just entered and did not get it yet. I asked them what they were there for and the lady who knew English told me that she was accompanying the other lady whose gold chain had just gotten snatched this morning. They were there to file an FIR with the police. The ladies were friendly and they enquired what I was up to at the station. I told them what I was trying to do. I jumped at the opportunity to ask if I could see how an FIR was filed since I had never seen one. The ladies said of course and told me that this was the first time that they were going to be doing it too. A policeman came by and gave the women an A4 sized sheet of paper asking them to write their complaint. They addressed the letter to the Inspector of the station and wrote their complaint with details that they could furnish and signed it with their name, address and contact details. While I was observing this, a policeman asked what I was doing there. I told him that I was observing how an FIR was being filed. He told me to come along with him and showed me an FIR file of a recent case. I read the complaint and thanked the policeman. Meanwhile the ladies had finished with the writing of their complaint. I asked them if I could speak to them and they welcomed me. The beating was still going on. I was reminded of one of my readings about custodial torture by Jinee Lokaneeta and her talk at my university. Was thinking if this were happening right in front of my eyes. But I had no way to find out. I didn’t know the case and the police were at their job. I couldn’t question their methods and their judgement when I knew nothing about the case or policing, knew nothing about how to maintain law and order and their job. So I stood there and did nothing.

.

.

.

Then I left.

I spoke to the ladies outside- I asked if I could follow their case to see how the process goes on. They allowed me to and have given me their contact details. The police had told them that they will come by the shop tomorrow where the incident occured and give them a copy of their FIR complaint after getting it signed by the sub-inspector of Police. I enquired to know what stopped the other lady from coming to the station alone to file a complaint. The lady who knew English- Lalita said that the other lady needed support and help with filing the complaint as she had never done it before or even entered a police station before. Good girls from good families never go to a police station, yes? Even Lalita told me that it was her first time in a police station too. Both the ladies were around 40 years old. I’m pondering over what stops a lady from walking into a police station to file her complaint- ALONE. The entire day at the station a lot of men came by. They came alone. They came in groups. But No woman came into the station alone. If at all women came to file any complaint, they came with men (Husbands/Brothers and relatives usually) or with other women. The police station is supposed to be a safe place, yes? One where one does not feel threatened or at risk. It must be welcoming and warm and at the same time be firm at employing the law of the land. How did I feel yesterday at the police station? Did I feel safe? I did, yes. I was amongst men (mostly). But I didn’t feel threatened by any police officer. But, I didn’t feel too welcomed either, since my proposition was of a strange kind. Some police whom I spoke to were warm to me. Some were not. However when the police spoke to the men behind the bars their tone, action and gestures changed. I’ve noticed that there is a difference of behaviour with the different kinds of people who come to the station: With the ones who come to the station well dressed (a clean, ironed pant and shirt) viz-a-viz those who come dishevelled, may be a little dirty. This second category of people are mostly the poor. I’ve noticed a sense of authority at display upon these poor people. Those who allow themselves to be subjugated; seemed to me to get subjugated by the police. There is such a marked difference in tone and voice and volume when I am being spoken to at the police station and when a poor roadside street vendor is being spoken to. And I wonder why?

I wonder if its because of the clothes that I wear, the way I carry myself, the fact that I speak English? Or because I’m a woman? Why are we constantly being judged by our appearances? Why does the poor man not deserve to be spoken nicely to? Can we learn to see people around us as PEOPLE first and not by the descriptions of what they may be?

 

 

The first time I walked into a police station..

I decided to go visit and hang out at a Police Station in Yelahanka, where I am staying at the moment. I did this for several reasons amongst which the foremost was to know my police personnel better, know what a day in their life looks like and know about the process of filing a First Information Report(FIR). My attempt is at being an aware citizen. To know better and be empowered by knowing.

I went into the Yelahanka Police station (near the NES Bus stop), greeted the police personnel who were hanging out outside, introduced myself briefly and told them that I was interested to do volunteer work with them. They were amused. Faces smiled at each other, some amusing remarks were exchanged between them in Kannada and they led me onto the police people at the reception desk. When I told him the same spiel, he was amused too, had an expression that said “Hmn.. This is the first case of such a sort and I don’t know how to deal with this” and led me to go on and speak to the sub-inspector in the thana. The Subinspector asked me what my purpose was. I told him my purpose was to know better, know how a day in the life of a police inspector looks like. And he asked, again- “But, what’s your purpose? Like a study or some such?” Somehow my purpose was not good enough. Or rather it was hard to explain. I smiled. And nodded and repeated myself this time trying to be more coherent. He told me to wait and speak to the Inspector (Station House Officer) and I said that I’ll be happy to hang around.

So I sat near the reception and the police station guard. I had my notepad with me and I was scribbling in it intermittently. I looked around, observed keenly- their ways, movements, reaction and actions but was cautious not to be intrusive. The Police inspectors passing by looked at me and I at them. I smiled. They found it strange. They smiled back and asked the other police man about me. They heard my story, looked back at me with a smile and walked on. Half an hour went by and they still saw me sitting there. A Crime branch inspector called me. I went into his cabin and we chatted. He asked me questions about what sort of a project I was doing, why and how I wanted to volunteer at the Police station. He asked about university, the course I am studying. He asked where I’m from. Somehow, I’ve noticed that whenever I say that Kerala is my hometown there’s an instant smile on the enquirer’s face- such was the case too with the crime branch officer. His face lit up and we talked a little about the natural beauty that is my hometown-Kerala. The officer sitting next to the crime branch officer said that he likes people from Kerala. And I sat there feeling amused and smiled at him. It amazes me how Kerala works in my favour every time and how my religion plays against me at other times. The fascinated station writer called me next and he wanted to see my ID card. I showed him my college one and it carried my full name with my middle name “Joseph”. I don’t like how it gives away the fact that I’m catholic. Or at least supposed to be one. What interests me is how dynamics change instantly by descriptions like where you come from, which religion you follow or don’t follow and the language that you speak.

 

 

100 questions I want to ask my Police

I think the task of policing a country, state, city or even an area is quite a task. While the Army, Navy and Air force- the guardians of my country go about their mammoth duties of protecting my border amongst many other things that they do, I am curious to know how the police force in my area organize themselves to protect me at the local level. I am curious to know what a day in the life of my police personnel (Civil police as they are called) look like. I want to set my enquiry into this field since I see these police men and women on the streets in my area; interact with them sometimes but not enough and somehow don’t understand sufficiently about the lives of these everyday native heroes. These are the men and women who protect me while I sleep at night residing in this area of Yelahanka in Bangalore presently- they’re tangible and I feel in control when I see and know about my surroundings well. Hence I am on this quest.

My mind is racing with questions…

I am curious to know who you are. How many people you are? I want to know how you work. What departments have you organized yourselves into to protect me? I want to know about your ranks (am fascinated by your insignia) and how you have divided your work between the different ranks?  I’m not too big a fan of hierarchy since I think it curbs creative, independent, free thought. That sense of one above the other may hinder uninhibited thinking that each one of us has through our own experiences- each so different from the other. But is such a hierarchy required for your functioning? And if yes, what is the rationale behind it? I want to know what work you do. Do you have too much of it? Can students possibly volunteer to help you with your work? If yes, How? Which areas? In what way? Do you know how accessible you are? How approachable you may be? And all of your employees? Do you know your citizens? The people under your jurisdiction? Have you met them? When? In what context? How many times? What have you spoken to them about? Has the conversation been around a crime? Or a problem which they seek your help with? Or have you spoken to your people about how they might feel today? Ask whether they are happy? Have a conversation with them about a new Bollywood movie or song? Conversations over chai and samosa?

And to the citizens I ask:  Have you asked the police officers that you see around you in your locality, about how they might be feeling today. About whether they have eaten well and are getting enough rest. Have you thanked the police that patrol your area in the night and keep you safe? Do you know how the life of an officer who is on night duty looks like? They sleep during the day and work when you sleep. They may have families. How do these police officers spend time with their families with such work timings? Do you understand how hard their work is? Their difficulties? What it takes to do what they do?

I want to ask these questions and more. I seek to explore these areas, understand the interface between the citizen and the police. My hope is to arrive at possibilities that may exist. My attempt is at being an aware citizen. To know better and be empowered by knowing. My attempt is to develop an action hero citizen profile and BE an Action Hero Citizen. How do I say “I Never Ask for it” while being an action hero citizen? What am I ask for while being an Action hero Citizen?

I invite you all here to my experience.

O yeah! Bring it on!