Letter to the Prime Minister of India on Reforms

Below is a letter that I wrote a few days back to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, via the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website. The questions I have raised are regarding Police and judicial reforms.

As outlined in a previous post, judicial and Police reforms are perhaps the most important in a long list of necessary reforms to improve the lives of ordinary Indians significantly, speed up the integration with the global economy and to ensure that the fruits of the booming local economy percolate down to the weakest and poorest sections of our society.

Dear Prime Minister of India

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on a successful visit by the US President to India, and for making progress on key points of the bilateral relationship.

However, getting support for a permanent UNSC seat is one thing, but with such a power will also come a lot of responsibility.

We will have to emerge as a country that others can look up to, respect and aim to emulate. We will have to show others that we are not just a military and economic power, but also a social power.

For us to really become a superpower, our society must be empowered. I am sure you will agree that this is simply impossible without a good law and order system that rewards the honest and promptly punishes the dishonest.

What is your plan to implement the much necessary and excessively delayed Police and judicial reforms, so that the faith of the people of this country in the law and order system can be restored?

Currently citizens feel afraid to approach the Police, and do so only when absolutely unavoidable. This is for a variety of reasons, the most basic being that the Police does not even treat citizens with the basic respect that is due to every human being. People are treated like cattle; or worse, like criminals.

Secondly, if any matter goes to court, again the justice system is so slow that people really wish to avoid the torture unless there is no other choice.

All this discourages people from seeking justice in the right manner, and encourages bad people to take advantage of the weak law enforcement. It also encourages otherwise good people to take the law in their hands, as they feel this is the only way to get quick justice.

I am sure you are already aware of these problems, being one of the most well-educated and erudite Prime Ministers this country has ever had.

But knowing is not the same as doing. Ultimately, you will be judged by your actions, and not by what you intended to do.

And it is high time that the people of this country are given this basic right to an effective law and order machinery that is effective, transparent and answerable to the average citizen.

Yours sincerely

Vijay Padiyar


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