Citizens of post independent India are victims of endemic corruption and injustice, perpetuated by post colonial colonialism of governance apparatus of colonial era, inherited by democratically elected successive governments. Nishan is the journey of resistance to injustice and corruption through participatory campaigning for democratization of governance institutions by strengthening the elected representatives. We believe “Democratic Reforms” remain an ongoing process and come from study of empirical data based on facts and real life theories emanating from public experiences of common man.
Elected Representatives who represent the democratic aspirations of People, do not have independent capacity for policy formulation and remain dependent on colonial bureaucracy for assistance in policy making.The ceremonial and authoritative bureaucracy remains far from grass root realities and responsible for enactment of all antidemocratic and dreconian laws.
Nishan campaigns are journey to bridge the gap between policy makers and the grass root realities.
POLICE REFORMS FROM PEOPLE’S PERSPECTIVE (PRPP)
Fromourvast field experience of having worked with various state police organizations and after consultations with thousands of frontline Police officers and analysis of past, on the regime sponsored superfluous reform initiatives, we have concluded that, how exactly democratic frame work is to be institutionalised and adapted to local exigencies is an issue that will have to be resolved only in practice and PRPPCampaign is answer to that requirement.
In the existing police structure in the states the IPS officers with comparatively very less experience and service, lead the immediate supervisory and frontline line police officers not due expertise, specialization, skills or some talent but due to administrative and disciplinary power formation of bygone era.
The police officers who have much more factual and experential knowledge with skills and talent developed in field for decades together can be seen being commanded by IPS officers with 3-4 years of service & the outcome is the decisions that are not based on sound policing experience but political decisions that finally lead to prevailing situation of crime, corruption and distrust.
The existing intake and promotion system of IPS is completely retrograde to development of greater competencies and skills necessary for policing job and needs to be discontinued with immediate effect. We are undertaking consultations and preliminary research through PRPP to enlighten the political leadership on the role, responsibility & accountability of the positions that are occupied by IPS and its effect on over all police performance.
There is no public consultation process in existing police working to fix police priorities , the existing Police activity is all selfdirected and aimed at pretending to show off, that police is performing but it is not ever remotely connected with actual operational requirements to fulfill public needs of safety and security.
The Policing priorities shall be decided in consultations with local community leaders, who always have deep understanding and informations of the crimes and anti social behaviour priorities in their area and hold the police chief of district accountable to them to make him proactive and performance oriented.
PRPP campaign is dedicated to catalyze pro active participation of public and its elected representatives into very direct vigilant role to monitor the limitations and challenges of prevailing police system to usher in relevant changes into police organizational structure, its resources and its policies to make it performance oriented.
Though Police is a state subject but with colonial legacy it is uniform in all the Indian states with Paramilitary Structure that is not compatible with its role in democracy and cause of serious conflicts
Team Nishan believes that majority of policing issues will have to be resolved in practice to ensure the practicality of reforms with immediate impact.All the activities being undertaken are dedicated to make the police public led, transparent, and accountable and also demanding the repeal of all those protocols and practices that are anti democratic and smack of colonial era. These activities have direct bearing on the practical working of the police and will simultaneously force for changes in rules and regulations to guide and control Police behaviour.
Police organizations in India need to be immediately Demilitarized, Restructured for decentralization with Local Accountability Mechanisms of Citizens’ Oversight to make it performance oriented and public led. As immediate step Police in every Indian state needs to be retrained and retested for essential competencies and recategorised with salary structures in accordance to the role and competency levels. Police needs to have only Patrol Officers, Investigation Officers,Specialists(Technical Experts) and Strategic command leadership, the colonial organizational structure with paramilitary ranks without any direct role, Responsibility and accounyability but drawing heavy perks and salaries needs to be immediately abolished, untill these ceremonial ranks are not abolished they be made to perform the policing. policing that is a street job and can’t be performed in four walled offices. Faster we decimate this paramilatry formation of police, sooner it will save people from organize crime and corruption.
India is passing through a very critical phase in its transition to democracy. Inspite of having democratically elected governments the colonial governance structure and bureaucracy is proving biggest obstructions and in direct conflict with democratic aspirations of masses, resulting into spiral of violence that has been claiming hundreds of lives of those who play active and direct role in this conflict situations.
All those who are killed in this violence, whether they come from Central Police Organizations or State Police organizations or common man, they are all citizens of India and their dependents face the uphill task of coming to terms with harsh realities of surviving in a society that is in this phase of transition to democracy.
We organize interviews and consultations with these dependents and also organize an Annual Adventure and Leadership Camp for the children of these martyrs.
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POWER TO THE PEOPLE
This campaign is dedicated to create a space outside of formal politics for initiation of creative dialogue on policy formulation. It is to organize local community leaders in a self sustainable non political structure to seek their wisdom on policy issues and make local political constituency accountable to them to allow them to direct the policies that effect their lives.
It is an exercise of citizens constitutional right, and implies the involvement of citizens in public decisions, since we believe that democracy is not a spectator sport but always evolving process of rule of law with participation of people with consistent checks and balances in policy making from local to national level and not just the elections.
It is an exercise of empowerement and mobiligation of masses in the states and cities to immediate public policy issues. In the existing model of colonial governance apparatus that is based at district level with Deputy Commissioner/Collector as the head, it works on the pattern of “Control and Perpetuate” based on the colonial laws and precedences, that provide absolute discretion to the incumbent and sole reason of corruption and conflict with democratic aspirations of people. In the existing colonial model the district officials are not accountable to the local communities but empowered with draconian laws to subjugate the public with use of force with complete immunity to accountability. In colonial work culture prevalent among the bureaucrats and political leadership too, the democratic aspirations of people are viewed through the prism of “Law & Order” and provoking them to conflict with police infused deliberate violence.
The successive, politically elected governments remain confined to deputing and removing officials or ordering inquries on narrow lines to address the issues of conflict, rather than introducing institutional changes, and five years term of governance gets over and another general election with another political direction and same story gets repetated and the real issues stay, as it is. The officials who are trained/empowered on authoritative & ceremonial pattern of working with too broad based accountability act as rulers and remain a cause of conflict to public demands and aspirations.
There is no organized structure to act as an interface between these colonial rulers and the public, the only practice prevalent is to give petitions to political representatives who in turn direct the bureaucrats and the bureaucrat than obliges the political leader by using his discretion but the position of the petitioner, remains that of a beggar.
The Power to People is to organize local community leaders at city level and district level to ascertain immediate public issues and seek solutions with peoples’ proactive particiaption and demand action from local bureaucrats and political leaders, rather than people acting as petitioners forever.
The local community leaders are organized into voluntary citizens committees to identify the issues and also disseminate the informations about their democratic rights. Nishan only acts as a catalyst to initiate the process and make it self sustainable with mantra Start, Study, Analyse, Respond Together as a Community.
We identify the immediate public policy issues and take up them with top political leadership to address them.