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INDIAN POLICE AT THE CROSSROADS

Policing is a reaction of the society to its warped situations. The process of


policing is always in a state of flux to keep a la hauteur de rapidly evolving nature
of the social complexities. In this sense, the police are a reflection of the face of
the national life. Stability in the national life slows down the process of policing;
a volatile situation strings police to high tension and energizes it. Growth or
retardation in social progress accordingly reflects the style of policing. When the
nation stands at the crossroads, the police also find itself on compita: at the
intersection of a reneging past and a converging future. This is where India and
its police stand now after four decades of becoming a republic. As with old
generations that saw life, society and politics prior to the independence give way
to new generations in national life and old passions and values atrophy before
the gust of speed, smartness and a garish way of life, the police too find itself in
a peregrine role with no past for continuity and no future for creativity. The
police find itself rising from a claut to pave the new path; it must blindly choose
from alternatives, it thinks available to it. There is no past experience to fall upon,
no future guidelines to pursue. Yet, it must walk with time to fulfill its raison d’etre.
The Indian police find itself in this blind spot today, at the crossroads from where
it should build bridges to the future. The immanent swither of the compita is like
the new freedom of a caged animal. It must acclimatize and warm up to the new
situation, shed us mental fetters, bring strength to its legs and learn to move au
naturel. A slip at this stage would be a sempiternal tragedy; a right move here
would be a lucky rise forever. At this stage in its evolution, the possibilities are
endless. The Indian police now stand at this momentous juncture.
IMPORTANCE OF POLICE IN NATIONAL LIFE
The police and policing are larger than an individual and his self-interests. The
police are an institution that is constituted of man, machinery and ideas. Man is
just a minute constituent of the monolith that is the police. An institution of the
police organization’s dimensions naturally has defacements at places that in no
way affect the overall view of the structure. Ergo, minor casualties are common
in such a mammoth edifice. Only when the defacements have an impact on the
overall mien of the structure and distort its face, do corrective measures become

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comme il faut. The police should be continuously watched for such vital distortions,
for its health or otherwise has a serious bearing on the national life. A minor shift
in the style of policing in the country can make a life-and-death difference to
myriad people. It is in this perspective that decisions regarding policing should
be taken. The decisions become sensitive when the police reach crossroads and
forces further decisions on the course of its passage. A wrong turn? The police
may inadvertently tear the fabric of the national life to shreds and ruin the country.
A right step? An era of perfect security, order and peace. Only a selfless analysis
of the needs of the time and assessment of the future would give the insight
necessary to make the right choice about the course to be pursued. Highly
competent persons at the highest level who can see things dispassionately and
take decisions must carry out such an analysis. They must be people who have
an overall view of things and are capable of seeing them against the wider
background of the national interest. It is a very responsible job, requiring
thorough knowledge of the nuances of the police and policing. The people who
do it must be capable of taking hard decisions that may often go against their own
interests and may have far-reaching consequences. This book is an obvious effort
in this direction. The Indian police must give serious thought to what it wants to
be in future and take tough decisions.
MISHANDLING OF POLICE IN INDEPENDENT INDIA
There is an impression that the Indian police are not what it was before
Independence. The previous pride, toughness and ferocious commitment to
duties are no more patent. The Indian police have become soft, humble and easy-
going in post-independence days. Humility and pressures all round deprived it
of its vitality. The police have become a widely abused organisation by the virtue
of its conticent submission to the wishes of its masters under false notions of
discipline. It is the popular scapegoat for anything and everything that goes
wrong in the public life. In the circumstances, a sense of insecurity has developed
in the police that comminates career-life. A natural outcome of this fix is, taking
things easy with eyes and ears shut, unless career interests warrant otherwise.
Commitment to policing is sacrificed in the process. These developments have
reduced the police to a toy that moves only when the spring inside unwinds. New
entrants to the police who begin to run left and right with nascent entrainement in
the first few months, soon realize the realities on the ground when the wounds
on the body of their career dehisce, looking fatal and ready to gorge their
esperance for the future. This is the triste spiel of the Indian police now.

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OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE IN POLICING


A serious malady affecting the tough and no-nonsensical image of the police
is the interference of people of some standing in the society with the quotidian
policing at all levels. An organisation, looking for a serious image, cannot afford
this luxury. Policing must be insulated from public pressures except at the top,
to which all policing affairs must be responsible. People handling policing should
be responsible only to law and their heads in the police department and to none
else. The regulation of policing policies in all details must be controlled and
guided by the top. On the other hand, the line authority of the organisation must
be all-powerful to guide and regulate policing and police administration and bear
the responsibility for everything below the level. Such a setup sine dubio presumes
a pollent leadership. For an organisation with powers and responsibilities like the
police, such a strong leadership is sine qua non otherwise as well.
A police organisation, open to public pressures can do no policing worth the
name. The very idea of being receptive to pressures and interferences
presupposes a lack of will for objectivity and justice. It is criminal elements that
cultivate sources for such straints on the police that have put the policing on the
wrong rails. Pressure on policing often renders the police to commit crimes
under the veil of authority, either by protecting criminals or more dangerously,
by replacing them with innocent people as criminals. The possibility of the police
being open to the straints of the rich and powerful deprives it of its credibility.
A police force that works at the behests of the rich and powerful can guard their
interests only. It would thus be the villain to the hoi polloi. Does democratic India
need such a police force to perpetuate the tyranny of the poor and helpless by
the rich and powerful? Democratic India tolerated such a police in the last four
decades. India and its people however, must now abraid to the situation and
spawn a police that behove to the trust laid on it.
FALL OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
The aberration of professional objectivity is the kenspeckle signature of the
police in independent India. The problem was simple in British India where ruler
and ruled were distinctly bifurcated and ipso facto the loyalty of police was
perspicaciously defined unlike the Indian republic of democratic genre where
people rule themselves through elected representatives. Here, the loyalty of
police to the public and public law is the professional ethic; misplaced loyalty to
an individual, a family, a party or an ideology at the cost of the general public is
an apostasy from the inviolable professionalism of the police. The police, in a
democracy, are the guardian of public interests and public safety unlike in the Raj
where the police protected the interests of the Raj. This distinction is forgotten

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in independent India where mental fetters are yet to be broken and legacies of
the British rule continue inveterate. How can a police that stays loyal to personal,
familial or party interests ever discharge its functions objectively to law and
general public? What can its locus standi be when a different person or party comes
to power? A sequacious police is an asset to any individual or party and no
sensible individual or party distances it in name of the professional ethics. It is the
paravant duty of the police not to breach the edifice of the police organisation
and its spirit by misprising its professional standards. This infrangible obligation
is thrown to the winds in the maelstrom of career advancements by the self-
seeking gendarmerie of the Indian republic.
A byproduct of this degenerate trend is the rise of opportunists and
sycophants to key posts and the fall of pollent caractere to insignificant and
humiliating slots. The trend creates a catena of reactions that slowly-cats up the
vitality of the police organisation and reduces it to a foul bunch of bloodhounds
of the rich and powerful few. The shoddy creatures sitting tout court above men
of probity is a dangerous situation in an organisation like the police where a stiff
hierarchical order and a command-obedience relationship exist between ranks.
This reverse order of merit is sure to bring frustration and the collapse of the
organisation someday ex consequenti. This is because, a few selfish elements put
own interests before the professional and national interests. And this is in a
disciplined organisation. This is where commitment to organizational objects is
the life-fluid of the profession.
POLICE CULTURE OF FREE INDIA
The British were the forefathers, of the unified Indian police. They created
the reticulation of the police force for India with their own designs and objects
in sight. It was a force that met the needs of the time. In an age of rapid changes
due to the opening up of new vistas and dimensions to life by inventions and
discoveries in science and technology, nothing remains quiescent. The scope,
design and objects of the Indian police underwent a basic metamorphosis with
the transfer of government to native hands. The process spawned a synod
wherein undemanding aspects of both the worlds survived to create a new police
culture. The distinguishing traits of the Indian police of the British vintage like
objectivity, apoliticism, commitment, discipline, quality and high standards were
discarded as peregrine and irrelevant in the changed circumstances; and
traditional Indian values like simplicity, charity, wisdom, mutual respect, encraty
and human qualities were distanced as indign to the police culture. The
convenient factors of the old and new worlds were chosen to warp a new world
of police culture while demands on policing were at the crucial stage in the creant

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years of national independence. The cabal was struck by the Indian police officers
who rapidly rose in their career overnight to fill the void, created by the
resignations of their senior British officers in the ancient regime on the eve of
independence. The demand for creating a new work-relationship with native
political leaders was a historical opportunity to carve a new police culture in free
India. The incompetence of the then police impresarios, their greed, parochial
approach and self-interests spawned the wrong type of police culture. They laid
mendacious praxis to those lower by bending laws and conscience to aggrate
men in power with the myopic object of promoting own career and personal
interests. The police became a lithe tool in the hands of the power brokers of free
India. How can the police be objective, honest, apolitical, committed and
disciplined in such atrophy and how can it uphold the rule of law and justice in
line with its professional edit in such a circumstance?
POLICE AT THE CROSS-SECTION
Policing, being a specialized job wherein few people venture to have a keek
owing to its fearful image, still remains an enigma to outsiders including
administrators and the general public. Its locus standi somewhere in between the
armed forces and civil administration renders its structure, scope and style of
functioning undefined in the monolith of governance. This, compounded with
the prolate powers of the police to cover all aspects of living, has made the police
an awful company to live with. This is a situation of one-way traffic wherein the
police have a say on every aspect of the life of the people while the general public
is dumb and blindfold to everything about the police. The situation has placed
the police at the unusual advantage of dictating what should be what, where and
how in policing and police organisation. Sine dubio, it is a god sent benison for
the police while right man sits at the sconce. To the worst mauvais moment of the
police, sycophants ramp the ladder and reach the top t hold reins and guide the
destiny of the police in independent India and consequently the Indian police has
got what it deserved, namely a spiritless culture, composed of the weak and bad
precedences of its incompetent leaders.
It has been a long time since independence. What people and those in the
police accepted as standards in the inchoate entrainement of the dawn of
independence, no more stir them. The atrophy of more than two generations of
independent India opened their eyes to what was happening around, in the name
of the supercherie of the self-rule. Enough is enough. Though late, they realized for
certain that self-rule does not mean fraud and tyranny by their own people, that
self-interests know no nationality, that the cabals of compatriots are no less
pernicious than that of the aliens. Forty-five years is a long enough period to

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realize the need for breaking away from the corrupt innards of the statecrafts of
independent India. India and the Indian police stand at this crossroads at this
hour.
POLICE AS SOCIAL DOCTORS
Policemen are social doctors and policing is a surgical operation of the society
to systematically remove cancerous growths from its body. What if the band of
doctors itself is infested with serious cancerous growths? This is the position of
the present-day Indian police. The police, as the enforcers of law and protectors
of the public interests, wield tremendous powers for the public good. Such
powers to interfere with the life of the citizens must be invested only in people
of high probity and conscience. Otherwise, the powers by themselves ruin the
social fabric of the country and bring anarchy. Powers to search, seize, remove,
detain, direct, arrest, hit and even kill may prove pernicious in the wrong hands.
Powers to decide who has done wrong and how to prosecute them, when
invested in dishonest hands, certainly ruin society and the country. How these
powers are exercised depends imprimis on the work ethic of the organisation.
Though it is the people of an organisation au fond who build the job-culture of
the organisation, it is this job-culture of the organisation that creates a person in
the organisation at a given point of time. Even a degenerate caractere turns honest
and efficient in an honest and efficient environment. The work-culture builds and
moulds vitality to meet the general atmosphere around. Similarly, an honest and
efficient person in a degenerate culture is bound to atrophy sooner or later, unless
his individual strength superates the vitiating work-culture of the organisation.
Ergo, building up a proper job-culture is the bedrock of a perficient police
organisation.
UNEQUAL TREATMENT
The problem of the Indian police lies in a lack of proper understanding of
the scope and ground rules of the work. This results in the absence of a proper
set of standards to approach the call of duty. Consequently, each call of duty is
approached subjectively, depending upon the mood and understanding of the
police in charge of the situation. All strata of people sans prole unfortunately
accept the subjective policing on the Indian scene. The Indian police never
recognize the equality of all and the need for equal coverage of policing facilities
to all citizens of India. Whether it is in matters of protection, maintenance of
order, crime control or investigation of crimes committed, the standards of
policing available are kenspeckle in their disparity for a nameless poor farmer in
a remote village and an ex-Prime Minister, both of whom have equal rights
before the law and the Indian constitution to have crimes against them

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investigated. The coverage is nonpareil for a landlord and an agricultural laborer.


The point is not that the principle of equality should balk the ground realities, but
that the policing must have a reasonable set of standards, within which more
important and less important aspects of the policing must operate. It will not be
so in the Indian police until people who place their personal interests beyond
everything including law, justice, fairness, objectivity, righteousness, career pride,
professional interests of policing and the nation hold the reins at the highest levels
of the police, courtesy of those whom they serve better than the hoi polloi.
POLICING APPROACH
There are two types of approach to policing as distinguishable on the Indian
scene, namely,
a) The playful approach, where the police as players in a football game, play
the game within the scope of the ground rules to have the ball inside the goal
without committing a foul. Tout au contraire to the real football game, here the
game is played dispassionately and leisurely and played because they are paid to
play the game; and,
b) The passionate approach, wherein the police break all rules and laws that
come in the way with the sole approach of making their task a success.
They may even commit dangerous crimes in pursuance of their goals. The
Indian police oscillate between these two disparate approaches, depending
upon, for whose advantage they work and what would be their personal grist
ultimately. Only a few high-flying people with money and power en arrier to back
policing of the passionate genre deserve the ‘Passionate Approach.’ Others must
remain contented with the ‘Playful Approach.’ Both approaches are indign to a
dignified police organisation. The former, namely the ‘Playful Approach’ is
against the tenets of professionalism and a professional commitment to work.
The latter, namely the Passionate Approach in spite of its commitment to its
goals, is devoid of its professionalism by lack of professional commitment to
the objects of objectivity, fairness and justice. Policing by criminal methods
cannot be called professional policing. The right approach to professional
policing is a unity of both the approaches in which the commitment to achieve
goals follow the professionalism of rightful means in respecting rules and laws
of which the police as professionals are guardians. Professional commitment
implies achieving goals within the parameters of the permitted methods. The
professional end of the police is upholding the interests of law and justice.
Policing is not an end by itself. It is a tool to serve law and justice. Policing by
committing crimes against law and justice is committing crimes against policing.
The Indian police are yet to show its maturity of professional commitment in

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policing, which as a standard policing approach would be equally available to all


the needy, irrespective of their status, wealth and position in the society.
CRIMINAL TENDENCIES IN POLICE
A serious subculture of the Indian police in Indian hands is committing crimes
to prevent and detect crimes and breaking laws to catch law-breakers: indeed in
the name of showing results. The misplaced stress on results sans a concern for
organizational and national objects of law and justice in committing grave
malfeasances only reflects a shallow intellectual commitment to policing by
Indian police leaders and a bankruptcy of ingine to delve to the roots of policing
problems. Third-degree methods in crime detection are the point. Even senior
officers tacitly supporting inhuman crimes of the third-degree methods on
suspects, who may turn out to be innocent at the end, is not uncommon. Crimes
are crimes whether they are committed by the police or by the public. What right
has the police to inflict sufferings on others albeit on suspicion? After all, it is not
the agency to pass judgment on crimes. None placed the police ayont the scope
of the Indian Penal Code. What justification can the police have to commit crimes
to collect evidences of other crimes? The Indian Penal Code never conceived
two sets of laws for the crimes committed by the police and others. Crimes
committed by the police in the name of detecting other crimes are not less
harmful to the well-being of society. The sadism and criminal tendencies of the
police are not more justifiable than those of the general public. On the other hand,
society has to be avizefull and deracinate criminal tendencies from the police, for,
criminals from the police with the state plenipotence and laws behind it can be
a real death-knell to the society. The difference between crimes for official and
crimes for personal ends is wafer thin. Those who have tasted the blood of
crime, takes to that more easily than others, because of their special accesses to
the field and special privileges. A good police force requires an inveterate cause
against crime and criminality. In absence of such a cause, the police may
metamorphose into a demonic organisation that throws the country into a mux
of atrophy.
In an atmosphere of the maintenance of law and order in the hands of
unprincipled police, queer things may take place. Long ago, a dacoity was
reported in the house of a person of doubtful character at Betgeri in Dharwar
district. People who had knowledge of the coup de fond opined that his illegitimate
son committed the act after a serious quarrel, the preceding night. He had bad
relations with and court cases pending against the illegitimate son. The
investigation of the case by the local police also obsigned the matter. The person
who had cultivated some standing in Betgeri thought it imperative after he settled

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his feuds with the illegitimate son, to have the case of dacoity substantiated as a
professional offence to save his family name. Soon, he patched up relations with
the young man, settled his court cases with him and arranged for the case to be
charge sheeted, with an ex-convict of Stuartpuram being picked up and shown
as accused. A mangalasutra recast from the gold recovered in some other case was
shown as property seized from the criminal out of the property worth of about
300 gms of gold being reportedly snatched away. Arrest, recovery, detection and
charge sheet followed after a decade of the reported commission of the dacoity.
Such developments make criminal administration a mockery. What a serious
breach of the public trust and what a serious crime is it by the police officials in
consciously involving a person, albeit an ex-convict, in a crime in which they
knew, he did not commit and fabricating evidence to a crime which never took
place to help to settle the family affairs of a bad character? Such paradigms reflect
to what levels of criminality the Indian police have sunk to. Percase, the weather
is stormiest before the return to stillness. The boundless pravity of the police,
perchance, is the sign of the advent of a new age of honest and committed
policing in India.
In another instance that dates back to 1981, a police official holding the charge
of Koppal police subdivision in Karnataka picked up a poor goldsmith from
a small town of a neighboring district for interrogation about receiving stolen
properties. He subjected him to inhuman torture in a tourist bungalow of the
same town for two nights to make the innocent goldsmith confess to an act that
he did not do. The wife and children of the goldsmith, who spotted him in the
tourist bungalow after endless running from pillar to post, were mercilessly
scared away from the place even while they could hear his agonized shrieks. The
goldsmith succumbed and died on the second night of torture. The Koppal
official, who had worked as Circle Police Inspector in the town until a few
months before, carried out this illicit, nefarious activity without the knowledge
of the senior police officers of the town. The news of the lockup death, as such
deaths are popularly known, broke out in local and other newspapers. The wife
of the goldsmith filed a private complaint before the local court about the killing
of her husband. The district Superintendent o Police and the Range Deputy
Inspector General of Police, in whose good books the Koppal official was as
the Circle Inspector of the small town, due to his liberal give-and-take approach,
rose to the occasion to save their protege from any harm. They visited the town
and entrusted the investigation of the case to a complaisant Deputy
Superintendent of Police of a neighboring subdivision with perspicuous oral
directions to finalize the case as not proved, before the magistrate who received

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the wife’s private complaint took cognizance of the plaint. The officious Deputy
Superintendent of Police duly complied with the directions and sent his
investigation report to the court for action u/s 2l0 of the Cr.P.C. Thus ended the
case of cold-blooded torture and culpable homicide of an innocent goldsmith.
The person who committed the crime stealthily in a place outside his jurisdiction
now lives a retired life, unaffected by the crime in anyway and the two officers
who saved him from the wheel of justice are continuing in service at higher ranks.
It is such success stories of cruelty and criminality that make the police appear like
a criminal demon. What right has the police to investigate and prosecute criminals
while it protects killer criminals from its own field to the disservice of law and
justice?
In another incident, a police official who got posted as police chief of a state
of India in 1986 on the support of his community, wanted to favour a fingerprint
Sub-Inspector, who had been under suspension for a long time after being
arrested in a criminal case involving community interests, en revanche to the
support of his community for his elevation as police chief, by releasing the latter
from suspension even while the criminal case was at the trial stage in court. He
summoned the Superintendent of Police in charge of the Sub-Inspector and
examined the file about the suspension after assuming the charge as police chief.
The Superintendent of Police, who was a greenhorn in such matters, failed to
understand that the action was an indication that he was to release the Sub-
Inspector from the suspension coute que coute. Even if he understood the tacit
meaning of the act, he could not act selon les regles for two reasons; a) that the Sub-
Inspector was suspended by an officer of the rank of Deputy Inspector General
of Police and ipso facto no officer below that rank was empowered to release the
official from the suspension as per civil service rules, and b) that as the official
was under suspension for being arrested in a criminal case and the case was then
pending trial in court of law, release from suspension was not en regle. After a
fortnight, the police chief secured the fingerprint Sub-Inspector’s release from
suspension. However, he nourished esoteric spite for the young Superintendent
of Police for not understanding what he wanted him to do; he manipulated the
records and ensured that the latter lost his selection for the Indian Police Service
during the selection committee meeting, held after three years. The career of the
bright officer is in shambles now. Such cases of avenging the non-cooperation
in criminal activities of those at higher ranks are common in the Indian police
these days. This egregious trend adversely affects the policing outfit by
weakening its cause for fairness, law and justice.

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How subordinates are brought to requisite shapes is a different story tout


ensemble. A young sub divisional police officer in a small town that was known
for speculative business activities, conducted a raid on a library, run by a powerful
local community as a common gambling house where prominent people of the
town were patrons. He apprehended more than fifty prominent people
including the richest businessmen, senior government officials and local
politicians with huge stake monies. Though the library had been a blue-chip
gambling den for many years, none dared to raid it in spite of repeated public
petitions. As law requires that the place must first be proved as a common
gambling house, the sub divisional police officer entered the names of all those
who were gambling at the place on the Station House Diary of the town police
station and let them out with written warning that cases would be booked if they
continued to gamble there. The officer learnt too late that the Superintendent of
Police of the district and the Deputy Inspector General of the range patronized
the gambling den and the men whose names were brought on the police Station
records were their friends. He was transferred out to a sinecure post tout de suite
of the incident, with his annual confidential report stating that the public might
revolt against the officer if he had continued in the police department. The library
continues to be a gambling den even now.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police at the place of the new posting of
the officer at in 1982 wanted the maledict young Deputy Superintendent of
Police to marry a girl from his circle. The parents of the young officer fearing
chantage got their son married in hurry to a girl of their choice. This antagonized
the Deputy Inspector General. His next annual confidential report showed the
junior as a liability to the police department. He also prevailed year after year
upon other officers who wrote confidential reports of the officer to incorpse
adverse remarks. Most of them obliged and this bright junior officer ended up
with a series of unsubstantiated adverse remarks in his annual confidential
reports. All his appeals were never allowed to reach the government.
These garish paradigms are just a croquis of the criminal clinamen of the people
in today’s Indian police. In no way are they more committed to law and justice
than the criminal elements of the society. Do not the police need people in its fold
with deeper passion for law and justice? Is it by design or accident that
independent India raised a criminal outfit to catch criminals? It is in the interest
of the Indian police to accept the reality in its naked form so as to inspire remedial
measures.

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POLICING BY FALSE PUBLICITY


Sadly, the police of independent India learnt to rely on poor public memory
to obliterate its poor performance. Incompetent and directionless reporting by
the Indian media helps them in this image-salvaging task. It is a fashion in police
circles to issue press notes about detection of major dacoity cases after small-time
thieves are apprehended. Only if somebody from the press or public pursues the
information of the press-notes, will they come to know that no dacoity case has
been really detected and that the loud claims of successful policing are only meant
to hoodwink the public, press and political masters. It is interesting to note that
most claims of detection of dacoity cases coincide with legislative assembly
sessions. This is true at least in Bangalore City where during 1989-91, such press
notes abundantly appeared in newspapers during legislative assembly sessions.
Of late, the public has learnt to take such claims cum grain sails and consequently
the credibility of the police is waning in its eyes. The tough no-nonsense image
of the Indian police of the British vintage has given way to a nonsensical, comical
image in free India. What better thing can come from hoc genus omne hype?
UNITARY POLICE ADMINISTRATION
In the current system of policing in India, police stations and district police
units form basic units of the administration. Some of the functions discharged
at these levels have concurrent jurisdiction with some special units at state and
national levels. Crime investigation in special circumstances can be taken over
from the district police administration by the state CID or the CBI at the national
level. So, it is with the intelligence collection, security operations, the raising of
armed police forces, maintenance of crime records etc. The police in the states
are devised as an independent unit. In a vast country like India, policing being
shared between scores of independent units with no perspicaciously defined
mechanism of cooperation, the problem occurs of coordination and unity of
purpose in tackling challenges that cover more then one of these units. There are
too many challenges such as these in the increasingly complex society of India.
Except for the sense of national unity, there is nothing common among these
units to approach the gauntlets with a common cause. Even the common Indian
Police Service is unable to bring about a unity of purpose to policing throughout
India. This gives an impression of fragmentation in the Indian police. A
fragmented police cannot turn out work in full stream, owing to the waste by
leakage in the process of co-ordination between the fragmented pans. India must
consider devising a pollent unitary police administration at the centre with full
control over subordinate state and union territory police setups. This would

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avoid coordination problems and help policing to be more purposeful in


tackling challenges from the national perspective. It also makes available larger
resources from the national level for policing apart from strengthening the sense
of belonging to one police. This is necessary in the interests of the country and
it’s policing in the future.
STUDY AND RESEARCH IN POLICING
Policing is a field of specialized study. There is the need of in-depth study of
policing as a discipline, apart from research to improve policing functions. Police
administration is a distinct field with sui generis characteristics. The police
organisation with its hierarchical order, stiff discipline, nonesuch policing
characteristics, unique operational difficulties and functional modalities poses its
own challenges. These challenges must be met and superated more suo. This
requires the development of the subjects of police and policing as a distinct field
of intense study and research. Whatever was done in this field till now has not
sufficed and has contributed nothing to policing methods and style. Myriad
problems in the field of practical policing stare planners on the face, be these
problems of operational strategies, timing of the operations, procedural hurdles,
organizational planning, control techniques, information and feedback systems,
communication networks, effective supervision, leadership qualities, work
distribution, work measurement, job analysis or human relationships. Useful
study on and research into these subjects would make a momentous impact on
the style and effectiveness of policing in India. Such studies and research impart
respectability to police and policing by creating an intellectual dimension. The
academic interests work as stepping-stones in remodeling the police organisation
and redefining policing functions to create an effective police force.
MEASUREMENT OF POLICING
A major handicap in police administration is the difficulty posed in
measurement of policing. No tangible tool to measure police performance has
as yet been devised. The problem is peculiar to the fields of crime control and
security operations. The object of the organisation is preventing crimes fro being
committed and success of the policing can be measured only in relation to the
extent of the efforts being made to commit crimes, which are prevented. As the
factors of such an effort being unknown after the crimes are prevented,
effectiveness of the policing can never be measured. The results that meet the eye,
namely the successful protection of a sensitive target or the complete crime
prevention during a particular period can be the outcome for two different
reasons: either that none have attempted such malicho, in which case even the
least effective police could also have produced the same results or that an all-out

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major attempt to commit crime has been prevented, which could not have been
achieved by anything less than the first-rate policing. Here, the same results meet
the eye for two different dimensions of the policing, ipso facto rendering outcome
a factor not related to the quality of the policing. Measurement of the quality of
crime investigation and maintenance of order are also equally complex for
different reasons. Policing in these fields largely depends upon intangible factors
like luck, surroundings and the willing cooperation of the public. To superate
these problems of measurement of policing qualities, a police organisation
depends upon comparing developments in the same periods in preceding years.
This is an unscientific method and gives unsatisfactory results for various reasons.
The crime rate or other policing challenges do not remain static over time. These
depend upon population, complexity of the society, economic conditions,
moral values, quality of leadership, political conditions, prices, climate etc, none
of which develop from any predictable formula. The police perforce needs a
tool to measure policing quality as a control device. Until such a device is
invented, police administrators have to rely upon their subjective fancies to
measure and control policing and assess the work of their subordinates. Until a
scientific device is formulated, the heartburns and frustrations caused by erratic
measurement of work and policing qualities, wherein a few mealy-mouthed
smarties always comer accolades at the cost of efficient silent workers, will
continue to precipitate. A sufficiently efficient tool to measure policing qualities
is the first priority in the task of creating a new shape for the Indian police. The
success achieved in this field will decide the degree to which the Indian police can
shed its old shoddy image.
MANAGEMENT IN POLICING
For police administrators, knowledge of modern management principles
makes policing and police operations cheaper, effective and less demanding in
terms of time, place, manpower, equipments and other resources. The clinamen
to study and plan operations in terms of layout charts, time flow, span of control,
methods of programming of operations, motivational aspects, human
relationships, information flow, control methods, work analysis and
contingencies for emergencies must be ingenerate in policing whether it pertain
to raids, maintenance of order, crime control, crime investigation, intelligence
collection, security exercises or even quotidian police administration. Only the
pernickety exercise of management techniques will make police administration
meaningful, purposeful and useful in giving policing a direction and content. The
police cannot afford to sit back while others reap the behoofs of the latest tidings
in the field of management techniques.

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HOUSING AND OTHER FACILITIES


Policing is a risky profession that draws antagonism and hatred by its very
nature. It involves round-the-clock duties, often at odd hours, at odd places in
odd circumstances. Retaliation by criminals is a constant risk under which
policemen live. Their work constantly exposes them to danger. The very nature
of their duties necessitates their being treated on a different footing to others in
the government. The security of housing and other facilities being generously
available to them is de rigueur. Indeed the spirit of the ancien regime remains
undisturbed in matters of housing facilities for the police. However, a much
more liberal attitude in providing housing and other facilities to the police is
necessary to strengthen the Indian police and make policing more effective.
REORGANISATION OF POLICE
The last three decades saw a tremendous expansion in the Indian police. For
lack of an organizational plan and the foresight to assess the future demands of
policing, an erratic growth has resulted. Organizational sensibilities like
workload, unity of control, accountability, functional conveniences, span of
control, and information flow are never given the attention they need in building
an organisation. As a result, while a few posts in the police organisation are
overburdened with work, there are many which sinecures without work or
accountability are. The lopsided growth of the organisation generated acute likes
and dislikes for various police jobs. This made postings in the police department,
a matter of haute politique and high business. Naturally, probity and objectivity are
sacrificed to give precedence to survival and protection of career interests.
Corruption flourished. This may not be the sole reason for the glissade of the
standards of policing. Yet, it is a major cause. Rationalization of the police
structure to bring a balance among various posts at the same rank would certainly
help to ameliorate the situation considerably. It would also help to eliminate the
wastage of government funds on unnecessary posts. The justification for the
creation of such de trop posts, that they fill slots to post unwanted elements, does
not hold ground in a no-nonsense and serious department like the police. A
systematic growth plan for balanced expansion is sine qua non if the police
department is to be of any relevance to the difficile tasks ahead.
PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE
Policing is a field where professional knowledge is perforce in use. What is
at issue is not only the knowledge of law and procedures but also a deeper insight
into their applications, necessary in diverse circumstances. A mind, alert to its
surroundings with an inexhaustible curiosity to know what is afoot and what is
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and the work at hand in particular, is sine qua non for perficient policing. This need
entails special efforts to update professional and general knowledge at all levels.
Though there are training programmes, including in-service training, in the Indian
police, these are lacking in substance and quality. They fail to impart the right
knowledge to trainees and induce attitudinal changes in them. The poor mental
makeup is a common failing at all police ranks in India. A lack of commitment
to work, either in actual performance or in supervision is the primary cause of
this failing. A healthy police setup must possess sound professional and general
knowledge at all levels, from the constabulary to the ranks of the Director
General: this is the number one priority.
TRAINING IN MARTIAL ART
The Indian police are not paying sufficient attention to the need for physical
prowess, sturdiness and skill in martial art. The need for attention to these factors
during recruitment, basic training and in-service challenges is tout a fait ignored.
A healthy and sturdy police requires healthy and sturdy men and officers, capable
of taking up gauntlets and defending themselves when exposed to
comminations. The need can be sidelined only at the risk of weakening the
organisation. The police are often required to defend themselves in
circumstances when unarmed and undefended. Policing involves performance
of tough and physically trying jobs that can only be performed when policemen
and police officers are physically and mentally fit. The police, aspiring to a bright
future, must attend to this need for its own good health with genuine seriousness.
POLICING THROUGH PEOPLE
The performance of the Indian police in utilizing the services of the public is
far from desirable. Most parts of the country are yet to avail of the services o the
people as special police officers, as is provided by police regulations to assist in
policing. Wherever the services are availed, the potential is not made use of to
the full. The system of village police officers also is yet to fledge to take off. The
use of people as traffic wardens to assist traffic police is limited to major cities
of India. No police can be tout a fait self-contained. Involving the public and
obtaining its cooperation in policing is a necessary art that needs to be carefully
cultivated for making policing a success story in India. There is no shortage of
people in the public who would volunteer their services. Only, the police must
open its doors to such services and organize a system to make such services really
effective and useful.
LACK OF PLANNING IN MODERNISATION
It is indubitable that neoteric communication, transport, weaponry, office
and other scientific systems arc musts for a feracious turnout of work in the

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police. Only modernization can equip the police for perficient action. The fact
is well realized in police circles sans an insight as to the what, where, how and whys.
The passion for modernization is not met with intellectual analysis of the needs
for modernization. The result is a spasmodic modernization without the logical
support to sustain modernization systems. This has resulted in enormous,
wasteful expenditures on mal a propos gadgetry. India is yet to develop to
machinery to assess the needs of modernization in the police and to devise
techniques to speed up the process. India is yet to make full use of advanced
computer facilities for the policing work; computerization of fingerprints is yet
to reach a satisfactory phase. Use of helicopters for policing is as yet a distant
dream in India. Distant hearing and night watching devices are similarly
unknown.
RESPONSE TIME
The response time of Indian police to a crisis call is unduly long when
compared to international standards. Efforts to shorten it in Delhi and a few
other places where terrorist strikes made shocking impacts brought some
improvements. These are only exceptions. Otherwise, no serious thought is given
to the need for quick response time. The modernization programmes that
should pave the path for improving the response time, seldom attend to this
salient need. The Bangalore city police spent liberally in 1991 on modem
communication gadgets; but it did not better its response time even by the
fraction of a second. Instances of such wasteful expenditure on modernization
are available in other parts of the country also.
NEED OF SOUND HUMAN RELATIONSHIP
The current state of human relationships in Indian police does not bring credit
to the organisation. Relationships are brittle and mechanical without the edge of
human feelings. The relationship between different ranks turns out to be soft or
hard depending upon the contractual relationship established for mutual
advantage from time to time: it is rather a donor and recipient relationship while
soft and master and servant relationship while hard. There is no genuine human
concern and no sense of recognition of the other man as another human being
with more suo approach. The other’s human qualities, sui generis attributes and rare
gifts are balked as inconsequential trash. Rank differences superate other factors
in molding the brittle pattern of these relationships. This is equally true among
officers of the same rank. The model of bad human relationship within the police
bred an atmosphere of mutual suspicion in spite of an outward show of
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Indian police leaders must think hard to decide whether the current model
of human relationship in the police is conducive to healthy policing or not. A
sound police organisation sprouts only on the terra firma of sound human
relationships between and within ranks, founded on genuine concern, mutual
respect, recognition, sympathy and understanding. Such relationship does not
perforce go against the police discipline and official command-obedience
functions. A sense of belonging and unity of purpose are spawned in the mind
not in a stiff hierarchical order. The hierarchical order only defines the
relationship that is created in the minds of the people. Good relationship
strengthens the hierarchical order by making the order willingly acceptable to all
and thus lubricating its working. A subtle mental bond that links all men in an
organisation is its greatest asset. A sense of recognition from others and the pride
of belonging create a happy atmosphere in the organisation and improve
efficiency and output by bringing-in the elements of co-operation and unity of
purpose. Sadly, this is just the reverse in the maledict Indian police. Here, human
relationships are vitiated. Mutual suspicion and antagonism are the rule. Men at
higher ranks revel in hurling the pride of subordinates while subordinates in turn
wait for the right time to wreak of revenge. In this atmosphere of antagonism
and under cuttings, the organisation and its objects suffer, its entire people suffer
and the country suffers. This is where India stands at present.
WARMING-UP OF POLICE RECRUITS
The period of initiation is the most important and impressionable period in
the career-life of fresh recruits to the police department. The process of
warming-up is based on the psychological needs of human nature. New entrants
must be handled with utmost care to give them confidence and a feeling of
belonging at the incipient stage itself. A sense of confidence and belonging to the
organisation and an ingenerate love and respect for the higher-ups are the
substruction on which discipline grows. Efforts to inculcate discipline in a void
are like waiting for rain from the autumn sky. Indian police impresarios failed
to understand such finer nuances of administration when they copied the system
of the British Indian police. And so we now have a police system where discipline
is insisted on subordinates sans the conditions requisite for the discipline. The
recruits, who enter the fold with open sensibilities and high expectations, anon
wither after braving for a while the brusque and insensitive conduct of their
higher ranks. These recruits continue thereafter to be constant enemies of the
higher ranks and the department for which they must continue to work for the
next three to four decades. A police department constituted of such members,
thanks to the shabby approach of the insensitive higher ranks in this most

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impressionable period of the former’s career-life, cannot turn out eximious


work. It is a tragedy that India neither spawned a police force of its own superior
values nor copied the police force of the British vintage in its entirety with its finer
points, but cultivated instead a burlesque of the rough and mediocre aspects of
both.
RECOGNITION AS A MOTIVATING TOOL
The success of a police organisation depends upon to what extent it creates
a sense of pride and dignity in its members including the constabulary, so that they
realize and recognize themselves as useful and responsible members of the police
outfit and endeavor to live up to the image. The goal can be achieved by proper
modulation of perks, reward-and-punishment policy and rank-to-rank
relationship. The approach must create an impression that whatever a police
official gets as perks, rewards, praise, good treatment, respect, censure or
punishment, has been earned by his swink and potential. This makes the
proceedings a part of his service and seity and thus helps him to identify with his
work and conduct and ultimately with the organisation. This brings him a sort
of recognition and makes him more responsible to his work and organisation.
This is a far cry from the simulacrum of what is actually happening in Indian
police. Recognition of good work as a rule is shied away from. Every behoof
is bestowed as a personal favour. Even a reward en regle in recognition of
eximious work is made to look like a favour. Meritorious and distinguished
medals too are divested of their distinction by being linked to seniority and not
actual merit. This is the reason why these medals carry no meaning within the
police organisation.
REMODELLING THE USE OF WELFARE FUNDS
Police forces administer welfare funds for the benefit of their members. The
current approach of disbursing money from these funds to needy applicants
needs to be revised in line with the need to arouse a sense of pride and dignity
even in receiving help from the establishment. Much thought has to go into this
aspect to make the welfare funds useful to them without giving the impression
of charity. If the funds go to them as their rightful share, they would be put to
better use than as a charitable contribution. A newly structured police for the new
age certainly requires a fresh approach to the utilization of police welfare funds.
NEEDS FOR RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE TOP
A job culture involutes of basic beliefs and objects of the organisation,
professional ethics and degree of commitment to the aspirations of the
organisation, as laid down by precedence and practice. To what results
precedence and practice mould the job culture decide the success or otherwise

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of the organisation. The decisions and conduct of those at the helm as the point
d’appui of police circles substruct the lifelines of the organisation. It is important
that only right people reach the top. A headless organisation is better than one
headed by a degenerate weakling. This is why the policy of selection and
promotion at high levels plays a vital role in the growth of the organisation. In
a democratic age of self-seeking, short-term political leadership, where
sycophancy is the sole criterion for ascending the career ladder, the policy of
selection and promotion is misdight at best and motivatedly in the reverse gear
at worst, to the detriment of the growth and functioning of the organisation. All
those committed to the cause of police and effective policing must break the
trend and endeavor to provide a fresh lease of life for effective policing.
BAD MODELS AT HIGH LEVELS
There are myriad instances of unhealthy practices at the highest levels on the
current Indian police scene. A scoundrel who retired as the police chief of a
southern state of India was taken to court with his polio-struck wife on the eve
of his retirement from service in 1990 by a prominent social worker for
defrauding the public and a spastic society by defalcation of huge amounts of
money collected by sale of charity entertainment tickets in the name of a spastic
society. It is a different story that the alleged escroc succeeded in silencing the social
worker through police pressure and ensured that the case fell through for lack
of evidence. The point is to what sad levels men reaching high ranks in this
maledict independent India can stoop to make a few dirty bucks. Fortunately,
the nithing, in spite of dance afore men who count in politics, could
not get an extension of service ayont his superannuation in 1990. Such
instances of mauvaise sujet at high ranks abound in Indian police scene.
Discipline is a potential uniting force of the police organisation. It defines all
parameters of the force and makes its hierarchical order meaningful and
purposeful, the command-obedience relationship sharp-edged and functional
conduct pernickety. This pollent instrument devised as an esemplastic factor for
the police force during the British era has now become a demonic evil in the
Indian situation and gorges its vitality. It is used as a cover by the people in higher
ranks to indulge in wrongdoing and to silence the conscientious few in the lower
ranks from protesting. It is also a gleg cover to promote the interests of juniors
who support their evil deeds by sycophancy and personal loyalty; and to suppress
those juniors of inner strength, individual pride, independent mind and argute
conscience. A subtle hatred for superior qualities of the subordinates is patent in
the Indian police force of the post-independent vintage. The juniors who are
perspicaciously inferior in intellectual qualities and other superior attributes are

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valued and helped to superate others on the career ladder. Perchance, an innate
inferiority complex in police leadership and a consectaneous fear of weaknesses
being excoriated before those lower in their ranks bother them au fond. Another
farce carried out behind the facade of discipline is that of an officer forcing a
subordinate to meet personal ends ranging from getting a regular supply of
vegetables to even forcing to marry his daughter or wife’s sister. Here, police
ranks display exceptional unity of purpose in helping a colleague to corner the
subordinate who shows the hardihood to go against his senior’s desire. In the
process, foursquare youngsters in the organisation drop out or are cornered and
those impair to higher tasks scale the ladder of the organisation, thus weakening
the organisation ab intra. There are myraid paradigms of such fearless officers
who acted upon their consciences and lost their seniority through catenated false
annual reports.
PUBLIC IMAGE OF POLICE
What the Indian police inspire in the public is fear and hatred, not trust, respect
and love. This is the greatest single failing of the Indian police. A police force thus
feared and hated is irrelevant in a democracy. The argument that fears is a
necessary constituent in policing is not based on the right understanding of
human psychology and the basic tenets of policing work. The police do stand
on a different footing from the general public while exercising policing powers.
The different footing perforce is based on trust, respect, love and consectaneous
healthy awe, not on fear and hatred. The image incorpsed with healthy awe is
more lasting and pollent than that based on hateful fear. While the former inspires
genuine cooperation and willing subjection to police authority, the latter only
forces such subjection till the fear lasts. An argument advanced in favour of fear
in policing is that the strains of fear are deep in the very nature of policing. This
again is based on a mendacious notion, about policing and belike on the
preposterous practices of the present police outfit. The police are not
synonymous with fear. A smiling and helpful police is the model of democratic
policing. The police are not the enemy of the people, especially in a democracy.
Policing involves enforcement of order for the good of many, which may
sometimes involve inconvenience to a perverted few. The job if performed
rightly must win trust, love and respect of the hoi polloi for the police. Only the
misuse of power and a supercilious approach to the exercise of the powers
would antagonize the plebeian and earn his implacable haired. The exercise of
police powers with absolute humility is quite possible. An approach of service
to the general public renders the exercise of police powers, a sensible and

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circumspect task and avoids harshness. The performance inspires trust, love and
respect and not fear and hatred. Only if people learn that police really care for
their well-being, percase, no other government agency would be as loved and
respected as the police. Only the police should show its good intentions and
convince the public about its trustworthiness. Nothing the Indian police do now
helps to create this image. It is high time that serious efforts are made in this
direction.
What is basically required for the Indian police is a tough, mature and no-
nonsense image in place of the present fear. The police organisation must create
an impression of strength of character and infrangible probity. Only from this
height, can the police discharge its sacred duties of protecting and maintaining
order in national life. This is now a far cry from the invious misdight of the Indian
police. The leap from the current glidder field to what should be is not an
impossible feat. Each step ahead must be carefully laid to make steady, albeit
slow progress towards the difficile goal. It is an attempt worth making. It is an
opuscule worth doing.
NEED OF SOUND MIND AT HIGHER LEVELS
A factor that seriously affects the morale of a disciplined force like the police
is that of men affected by psychological disorders of inferiority complex,
holding posts from where they can affect the career of the subordinates. This is
a very serious situation where distorted minds hold reigns of the career of
thousands of subordinates with many at very senior levels. The mental disorder
brings a psychological imbalance by which the people in high ranks learn to
interpret subordinates’ normal conduct perversely as surquedry; normal
reporting or explanation appears like an intrigue. The extra modum fear of
insecurity, inspired by the feeling of inferiority is so pollent that it does not permit
cunctation in striking back at the source of the commination with all strength at
disposal. This makes retaliation an ever-pensile threat to the career of the
subordinates. And the threat, sine prole, is true in the police. This makes people of
sound mind, a must in responsible positions. For an organisation like the police,
the need of a sound mind is more basic than any other faculty.
The inferiority complex seriously manifests when the pusillanimous person
troubled with the disorder is newly posted to a responsible position after
marcescere in a sinecure post for a long time. The metabasis from the void to the
strains and straints of responsibilities breaches his inner confidence and the
disorder of nettlesome suspicion on everything around raises its ugly head. There
is any number of such examples in the Indian police.

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SALVAGING OPERATION
Clearing the cobwebs from the entrails of the Indian police can salvage the
situation. There is a catena of self-motivated officers in key positions in the police
who unknowingly brought about the degringolade of the Indian police in the post-
democratic era. They corrupted the police atmosphere, set wrong precedences,
encouraged self-indulgence, pulled down its no-nonsense tough image and
reduced it to its present cadaverous existence. These elements should be sidelined
to absorb men of probity to refurbish and rebuild the police setup. Only really
capable impresarios can pull the Indian police out from its present fix.
The future of India as a country depends upon the strengths and weaknesses
of its police. Defence forces are relevant to the existence of India insomuch as
defending its borders and protecting the system of government. But the
relevance of the police is more meaningful, for, here, the very existence of India
as a nation is an issue. The significance of the police in the survival of the nation
is often forgotten somewhere between the width of the civil administration and
the depth of the defence forces. A highly competent and disciplined police force,
percase, is the greatest asset of any country. Every patriotic Indian must aspire
to that. The police must be powerful. En attendant, it must be a disciplined and
committed force, a no-nonsense, tough outfit. It saves the country from all
disasters; it supports the administration in civil rule and works as its watchdog.
It works as a subsidiary force in support of the military during war. If need be,
it can run the administration when civil rule breaks down and function as an
armed force when the military fails the country. The importance of this great tool
of governance is yet to be duly recognized. It is high time that it is done now and.
the Indian police is exemed from its nauseating subculture and gets a fresh life
of vitality and strength. It is really heartrending to see the swinging police in its
present mauvais ton, especially for an insider who is a part of this great institution,
entrusted with the high objects of protecting public life. Yes, something should
be done to save the police. The question is who should begin the process, and
where, when and how? Who will bell the demonic cat to bring it to its senses?

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