ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Transferring Prejudice to Other Places

Are police personnel trained to rise above caste and communal consciousness?

The Maharashtra government has transferred Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Bhagyashree Navtake from Beed district after a video of her boasting about how she filed false cases against Dalits, harassed Muslims, and protected Marathas, went viral on social media recently. Transferring bureaucrats and police officers is considered a punitive measure. However, governments and powerful politicians can use the mechanism of transfer in both ways—either to punish officers who displease them or to please the public who demand action against certain officers. Navtake’s boastful statements detailed her hate-filled prejudice against Dalits and Muslims. Two aspects arise from this episode: will the transfer diminish Navtake’s purportedly (as seen in the video) casteist and communally prejudiced outlook? Despite the training manuals, can bureaucrats and police officers be above the prejudices and hatred that infect the society around them?

It is not difficult to understand that the police force, like other bureaucratic institutions, continues to be influenced by the dominant ideology that is built up around caste, communalism and patriarchy. The police force has got a dubious distinction of being deeply patriarchal and discriminatory against social sections such as women, Adivasis, Dalits and minorities.

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Updated On : 17th Dec, 2018
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