1. We help forming up coalitions of citizen’s representative bodies (Resident Welfare Associations, Market Traders Associations, Social organizations and Religious organizations) into Citizens’ Vigilance Committees to monitor local governance institutions to make them citizen focused in accordance to local community needs.
2. Empower citizens’ coalitions with information to act as watch dog on legislations and communicate with elected representatives in their respective constituencies.
3. Organize surveys and public consultations to monitor performance of governance institutions and organize workshops/seminars on burning public policy issues.
4. Write evidence based reports on public consultations/surveys and enable political leadership for policy changes independent of bureaucratic control.
5. Raise immediate public policy issues with top political leadership and strengthen them with 1st hand information from frontline activism to take decisions and sustain public trust for a vibrant democracy.
6. Conduct independent research on security and justice sector reforms.
“Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent”, This statement of Benjamin Disraeli made on 5th Feb 1863 very aptly describes post independent India. The colonial power structure, colonial governance institutions, protocols and practices and all the laws(Indian Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code etc.) enacted by Britishers in the aftermath of the revolt of 1857 are all the laws of lawlessness, that provide absolute discretion and authority to agents of exploitative regime with complete immunity to accountability against native Indians by a state founded on the principle of immunity to accountability, complemented by two deceptive institutions that formed part of coercive criminal justice system to advance the agenda of state. Both these institutions the local militia in the form of Police and the judiciary have been still following all the anti democratic colonial work culture,protocols/practices and root cause of endemic corruption and injustice to Indians of Post independent India.
It is only the political leadership that is made accountable by the public after five years but the governance apparatus comprising of colonial bureaucracy and Judiciary continues its injustices, apathy & corruption unabated.
The colonial model of authoritative and ceremonial bureaucratic functioning/work culture and colonial laws of lawlessness come in direct conflict with democratic aspirations of public and erode the trust of commonman on democratically elected governments , since the public doesn’t find avenue and platform from where it can directly influence and make bureaucracy responsive to immediate public issues, it is left with no option but to protests in streets, where criminalized colonial militia uses excessive and deadly force and further provokes the victims by inflicting heavy losses of lives and public property and persecution through false police cases on situational leaders of communities and thus prepare fertile grounds for insurgency and terrorism to prosper.
The democratically elected political representatives lack independent capacity and become victims of bureaucracy for policy formulation that remains far from grass root realities and prepares unrealistic policies that furthers conflict and erosion of trust pushing the desperate people to find their own means and given rise to new class struggles in the country.
The colonial laws that form backbone of post independent India are all based on western social technologies and designed to enslave human communities en mass and remain alien to the social fabric of Indian communities.
The existing Coercive Criminal Justice Systemand Paramilitary Structure of police were conceived as integral part of the state Power by colonial rulers to overawe thecommon man and break the collective disposition of communities and enforce colonial laws with brutal force and suppress the voices of dissent and enslave people en masse for unhindered economic exploitation and simultaneously provided covert economic exploitation of litigants with complex foreign language and processes to benefit the incumbents of these judicial offices, who will advance the agenda of rulers as covert agents and overtly purporting to be dispensing justice and it continues unabated in post independent India and sole reason of pernicious corruption.
The elected governments give personality treatment to the problems of governance by deputing/removing bureaucrats and give symptomatic relief to public issues by ordering enquries on narrow lines and five years gone and another general election and a new political direction and the cycle continues.
the elected representatives lack the education, experience and specialisation to visualise long-term sustainable institutional reforms and bank upon the perpetrators of injustices and corruption, the bureaucrats for reforms who remain biggest obstruction to India’s transition to democracy.
It is only the elected representatives who are accountable to the public after five years and removed but not the functionaries of governance institutions who man these institutions for 33-40 years, hence they do not visualise long term democratic reforms, as it will prove suicidal for them.
On the eve of departure from India, the British Rulers handed over the colonial power structure to those political people who were brought up and conversant with colonial work culture and value system of exploitative regime, and had been acting middleman to diffuse the pressure on colonial rulers by channelising the energy of revolting public from grass roots. This Political leadership with complete loyality to its Colonial Masters not only continued all the laws, rules regulations and protocols and practices in post independent India, they adopted harshest parts of British colonial laws(Government of India Act 1935, Defence of India rules 1910 and redrafted as Defence of India Act 1915) while writting democratic constitution. All those people who were educated and broght up with British education and language wrote democratic constitution of Independent India with all the antidemocratic provisions enshrined into it in a language that remains foreign to majority of Indians.
In the name of democracy, India adopted only the electoral process but never introduced an ongoing process of regular public consultation for public policy formulations and the result is endemic corruption and all such antidemocratic laws that are conceived and prepared by colonial bureaucrats, implementation of these laws furthers the scope of corruption and absue and alienates the public from democratically elected governments and turn into serious threat to the democracy.
It is the commonman and public spirited NGOs who will have to rise to the ocassion to strengthen the elected representatives for long term sustainable democratic reforms in Indian “Security and Justice Sector” lest the security and justice to commonman remain 1st casualty of post independent India for another century and push India to the state of civil war.
The Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, all the main pillars of democracy have surpassed each other in immunity to accountability and performance by shielding the “Corrupt” and spreading endemic corruption. It is said that Publicity is soul of justice but the fourth Pillar”The Press” works on the principle“Best News is paid news” and promotes injustice with subversive news items.
Apex court of the country pronouncing in its judgements “Few corrupt need to be hanged with the lamp posts” , “Corruption a gigantic problem“, “bureaucracy in this country needs flogging to make it work“, “The Police Excesses will kill democracy in India“ . But the irony is Supreme Court itself suffers from corruption and judicial corruption is well known to public that suffers injustice from this coercive justice system to the extent that people have already rejected Indian judiciary and they take recourse to judicial process as the last resort. No ordinary person is willing to take recourse to judiciary and people rely more on social mechanisms or settle the score themselves through violence, the rise of violence in property disputes is the testimony to this fact.
Above state of despair is visible in organized violence being faced by citizens in various forms across the country, Apathy of the governance institutions is such that public is left with no option but to come out in the streets to protest where it receive the bullets from a police that is criminalised, illtrained and work on paramilitary pattern and structure that remains retrograde to democratic policing. Armed forces that are trained to kill and destroy the enemy are being deployed against the civilian population with complete immunity to accountability with special laws and thus making the mockery of democracy.
Our campaigns such as “Power to People” ,”Unsung Heroes & Police Reforms People’s Perspective(PRPP) are all dedicated to empowerement and mobilization of masses.
The ‘Unsung Heroes’ Campaign is deicated to the dependents of those martyrs who made supreme sacrifice while defending this democracy. In this campaign we work on the issues of widows and children who remain victims of apathy of not only governance institutions but also that of society at large.
We undertake interviews of widows and children and try to give voice to their sufferings and also work on these issues for policy decisions at government level.
We also organize an Adventure and Leadership Camp annually for the widows and children of men who sacrificed their lives while serving their country in the police/armed forces. These camps are organized to give them a dignified space to rejuvenate and network themselves with similar families and also to feel proud to recollect the extraordinary achievements of the martyrs and emulate their values.
During these camps, we endeavour to generate awareness on human rights and dignity, impart career guidance and motivation and develop leadership skills in the participants. We hope that these children will possess a greater awareness of the society in which they live and become advocates of a better future.
POWER TO PEOPLE
This campaign is dedicated to empowerment and mobilization of masses against corruption and apathy in the local governance institutions of the state and invent local democratic mechanisms on accountability through bodies of vigilant citizens formed as RevolutionaryVigilanceCommittees .Working primarily in the state of Haryana, Nishan organises field reserach and policy analysis through personal interviews and collective surveys of victims of corruption and bureaucratic apathy.After field research and analysis of data, victims and vigilant citizens are mobilized along with participation of elected representatives, local officials of concerned offices and media to conduct public hearing on these inssues. follow up action and monitoring of implementation is done by the local Revolutionary Committee.
We at Team Nishan believe that active participation of well informed vigilant citizenry from grass roots is the most effective way to promote positive changes into governance institutions and attitude of its authorities. If you are interested in participating in this campaign, see how you can Get Involved
POLICE REFORMS PEOPLES’ PERSPECTIVE (PRPP)
As a fall out of mutiny of 1857, the Police in India was founded by colonial rulers in 1861 on paramilitary pattern with the sole objective to maintain the hegemony of Colonial Rulers and protect its business interests. The organizational structure and power model created by colonial rulers positioned Imperial Police(Now IPS) leadership into an administrative role that is purely ceremonial and authoritative but gives absolute control over front line police officers and enables their use as an organized force for controling any disorder. This positioning of top police leadership makes it also obligatory upon them to participate in day today policing to keep themselves abreast with fast changing society’s policing needs and the organizational needs of training to fulfill the gap but this later part has been completely neglected, the ceremonial and colonial work culture keeps the Top Police leadership completely disconnect from operational policing and the communities,this positioning and pressure of political leadership from democratic public expectations, turns the incumbants into Reactive & defensive. The lack of first hand regular practical experience and lack of information, aggravated by sense of insecurity that emanate out of lack of organizing abilities to translate ideas into actions, it turns the police leadership into diplomatic survivalists, with low selfesteem that breeds arrogance and secretive working with penchant for fabricating lies in the form of planted operations to defend their turf with end result of fake encounters, corruption and ultimately prove counter productive by eroding trust of people. this structural working turns this rung of police leaderhip into most insensitive to major segements of society in their working and sole reason of apathetic attitude of police.Its organizational structure, functional policies,recruitment pattern, its military based training that inculcates servility and obedience and equipment, everything was designed to use the police as a repressive force to terrorise with brutality and “Centralise the power” to make it an arm of oppression to maintain surveillance and control on the masses. The absolute concentration of power with immunity to accountability in command oriented higharchy, gave rise to endemic corruption and injustice. The infirmities from which this police suffered in 1902 are continually afflicting the Indian Police service of Independent India too. The top organizational leadership that should have taken the initiative to reform it by bringing structural changes to suit it to democracy, has kept on living in false grandeur and proliferating ranks identical to Indian Army Generals and its associated privileges rather than learning profession of policing by working in close association with societies by knowing their security and safety needs and thus further deteriorated it.
In 1950s Justice A.N.Mullah of Allahabad High court said that “Police was biggest organized gang of criminals”. The current state of police in India has surpassed the levels of organized crime that had prompted Justice Mullah for making such scathing attack on Police. In the words of Justice Suresh on extrajudicial killings by police”They kill, they decide, and they justify”. Police kills the people even before they can be produced in the court.
The police officers involved in criminal cases are being promoted shamelessly. The state of police in India is dismal and responsible for the rise of new crime trends and fuelling the new class struggles in India. The Police eliminates the suspects as a matter of policy implementation to demonstrate its performance with silent approval of ruling elite.
PRPP Campaign is process of participation of people and dedicated to democratization of Police in India to make it performance oriented and responsive to the individual needs of citizens in distress. The campaign is journey to empowerement of front line police officers with proactive particiapation of vigilant citizens and political leaders by monitoring the current working and its pitfalls and resolve the issues in practice.
The Police in India needs to be immediately restructured for democratization with demiltarization and decentralization to empower the front line police officers with relevant powers and training to make them responsive to local community needs.