NEW DELHI: After taking complete responsibility for the defeat in the Delhi Assembly Elections 2015, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi writes an open letter to the fellow Indians.
Read on what the brave officer has to day…
Indian democracy if it truly wants many well meaning people to stake their experience for mature and good governance, needs a civil culture and law abiding environment. (I am being mild in saying this). Here is my tryst with electioneering. Hope to see it change in my life time. Am relieved my parents were not alive to hear the foul words hurled at me.
I opted for electoral politics not for position or power but for serving the city which is my home for last over 40 years. A city which I have served in various capacities, through thick and thin.
I saw it through various challenges, international sports events, VIP security, political upheavals, communal riots, agitations, and more …
On crime front I saw it through when Delhi was hit by terror from outside. I spent years to catch a wink with boots on and with wireless blaring to get on the street any moment.
I did crime prevention saving women from being raped in rural areas on dark nights by erstwhile criminal tribes with literally no cops on roles … by involving village young men to patrol at night. While I was personally out 5 nights a week.
Conducted traffic management for Asian Games with hundreds of students doing traffic duties, when my senior wanted to send me to Japan on a course, just to edge me out. Traffic was revenue for some.
Another time when a district was ridden with bootlegging I managed to dry them out and rehabilitate them to honourable living … or rag picking children sent to schools, now become community colleges and many of the same children become teachers … or opened drug abuse treatment centres from police stations never heard of.
All this became a life long mission and will remain … I did it all not for any glory, I did it because the service and situations demanded it.
I stepped into electoral politics because I wanted to give my city all I still had, when i was given the feeling that I could be of value. I wanted to see it get a stable government in alignment with government of India to get all that Delhi needed.
I also wanted to not die one day with a guilt that I was commenting only and never daring to pass the ultimate test of electoral politics.
I have failed the test. And take full responsibility for my decision. But inside me has not failed. Because given the time I gave to myself I gave it all the energy and experience I had. Obviously it was not enough.
In such trying situations one does not meet the challenge alone. There are several factors which play a vital role. And each one did. I wish to add nothing more. History will keep analyzing till cows come home. And as I read them, each one of them makes sense. And worth being reflected upon.
The wise will read each one, and take due notice …
On the election trail I wish to say, we need to rework the way we campaign. Whole city or state comes to a grinding halt. Should it?
Roads are in disarray, and work just stops. Everything is too loud, uncouth at times, insulting to thin skinned, false, insinuating, biased, revengeful, corrupt, wasteful, highly disruptive of common man’s needs, breaking all laws, and sending all wrong messages. It’s not a level playing field for the levelheaded serving people. It’s a field for might and muscle in all respects.
We need to address these. Hope to see it in my life time.
People need services to be delivered. They want integrity, trustworthiness, and professional commitment. But they also want an implementable vision and plans. But they also want freebies … more you give, more you get.
They do not get it still, that there are no free lunches in life. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, it won’t be long before all get robbed.
Also all campaigning must be become lawful, transparent, facts and evidence based, civil, organized, more technology driven, reasonable, unbiased, neutral through different mediums, etc.
Space could be allocated through neutral umpires appointed by the Election Commission as per laid down rules based debates and also grass root work done, and let candidates be chosen on the basis of performance or implementable ideas. Which means widespread use of television reaching out to the last mile …
Public ‘appeals’ through use of congregations must be not be allowed and considered a violation of laws. Hence must be banned.
Its time every public servant becomes a stake holder in governing this country. Needs of people have far outstripped what the country can provide for, be it water, power, roads, public transport, schools, teachers, doctors, jobs, skills, and even girls. Forget about security for women … only God knows how long women will continue to suffer.
In the end, I wish to thank all those who reposed their trust in me. And to say I am sorry I could not measure up to theirs.
And also all who called me with foulest possible names.
I am relieved my parents were not alive to see this.