By Zahid Qadri
Is this another Muslim whining about the lot of minorities in this country? No, not quite. We can argue
till kingdom come about the facts, the right and wrong of it, the violations, the accusations. But I am sick
of the rhetoric and so are most people of my generation.
The Indian Government gets defensive when you talk about the condition of Muslims,and what’s
being done for them. All sorts of schemes and statistics are produced for justification, which, like a lot
of things in this country, look great at conferences and media briefings. But they do not address the
Seven teams of the best and brightest of law enforcement worked on the Hyderabad blasts.- two teams
of Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police, and NIA, NSG, Karnataka Police, Maharashtra ATS and Military
Intelligence. And the first thing we heard: “India’s intelligence failure”. Everyone bickered about how
our intelligence system had flopped miserably. But the pertinent question should have been Why not
It is because we have stonewalled an entire community with 50 odd years of suspicion and ill treatment,
robbing them of their sense of national honor and belonging. The point is that we presume it was
Muslim terrorists even before an enquiry and a trial is complete!
The time has come to change the approach, and our thinking. Obviously the blame game has not
worked. Two of the most developed nations in the world do have been successful in incorporating
immigrant populations successfully and to their betterment. Why can we not assimilate our own
people? The US and the UK hired people from minority communities into their police forces and posted
them to areas where they had minority populations. A person builds relationshipsand bonds in their
own community. He/she understands the under currents and is trusted by that community as one of
their own. It is human nature to trust one of your own. The community goes to him/her for help and
with information. It makes any official work that much easier, and that much more acceptable. This is
not likely with an outsider who does not understand the cukture of a community. .
Case in point-the Nirbhaya case and the wonderful gesture of Cyberabad Police in announcing Women
Police Officers in all Police Stations. Women would be far more comfortable and feel protected if there
is one of their own who is more attuned to their feelings. Common sense, right? Yes, ofcourse. Then
shouldn’t we apply this same common sense to Police Stations in Minority Concentration Districts? Have
a Muslim officer posted there who makes the local community feel comfortable.It will make officers
of the law, and the law of the land, approachable to the general public.?. This will also allow for the
essential flow of informationform the public. Having someone in authority from the same neighborhood
will remove their sense of isolation and bring back their sense of belonging.
This has already been suggested in India’s Police Reforms. But the pace of Democratic procedure is too
slow and we need results. We should start by appointing one person from the local community as a
Customer Relationship Executive, whosejob would be to be present atthe Police Station and speaking
to local people of his community and guiding and assisting whenever they come to the PS. It is much like
in any corporate office, where the Customer Relationship Executive is a non-technical person there only
to talk to you and understand what you want. This person can be a contract employee hired for a fixed
term of 2 years. One does not need great reforms to do this. The Govt. is empowered to hire temporary
staff. As a matter of fact I know NGO’s who would come forward to pay the salaries of such staff if the
Govt. feels burdened by the pay load.
Bottom line- no more excuses. Something concrete needs to be done. And the solution is available.
Author is Hon. Wildlife Warden at Kurnool & Member Secretary Andhra Pradesh Relief Coordination Council Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
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