Ahead of Ganeshotsav celebrations, cops got a reminder from the director general of the state police to avoid accepting money for the Police Welfare Fund from politicians, liquor producers and other influential elements, who might expect favours in return. This a welcome move, as it will make policing more transparent and remove any bias or pressure on the force.
Many police stations, branches and units across the state celebrate major festivals, including Ganeshotsav, and also hold functions in police stations. Local politicians, businessmen and influential people donate large sums towards these celebrations. But these donations usually involve a quid pro quo. This may not be explicitly stated by the party giving the donation. Yet it is always understood that one favour begets another. It would be naïve to think that donations are given simply from the goodness of one’s heart or because of concern for the force’s welfare.
With not just Ganeshotsav, but a host of festivals coming up, this should be made a non-negotiable diktat that every police station has to adhere by. If there is some kind of fund crunch, grand celebrations can be scaled down or even sacrificed, if need be.
It is better to miss a celebration than be forced to be return undue favours to a big-time donor and compromise on the integrity of the khaki uniform.
Already, we see some kind of pressure does exist on the force in certain cases, though this is often denied. In a culture where the influential or moneyed have, many a time, unfair leverage with authorities, we have to do all we can to balance the scales and prevent a complete corruption of power. This reminder is an apt and necessary one. Let the festive season begin without fear or favour.
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