Responsibilities of the Police Force

Jawahalal Nehru's speech at the Police Lines, Lucknow, 23 November 1952. 

I have presented two flags to you. They will be a symbol of a number of things. I am happy to have participated in this task because it is on such special occasions when we pause to think about our duty and the tasks that need to be tackled.

1 am happy to be here for a number of reasons. This is my province and I have great affection for it. But all the provinces of India are now my constituency. Yet the bond with this one remains unbroken and when I hear about something good that is being done in Uttar Pradesh, I feel very happy. I have often heard very good reports about the UP police. It has given a good account of itself within the State and in other parts of India where it has been sent for various purposes. It has earned a good name. Both the police and the PAC enjoy a high reputation in Indian administration. Therefore I am particularly happy to be here today to congratulate you in person, the officers and the jawans present here.

Your Inspector-General, Lahiri [B.N. Lahiri] is going to retire in a few days after a long service. His retirement is in the normal course of things. But he goes carrying with him the satisfaction of having done his job well. But for any individual who has the strength and ability, the time to serve the country does not come to an end.

Our police forces face great tasks and responsibilities. I found the motto, protection of the people, engraved outside. To protect the people and serve them and above all to cooperate with them are part of your job. All these things are linked together. Cooperation involves giving protection and serving one another. So we have to cooperate with one another. We must build a strong India in which people of all religions, castes and provinces cooperate with one another and think of themselves as belonging to one family.

There are great tasks ahead. We have to uplift India’s millions which is a very' big task. We have to work towards alleviating the misery and hardship of the masses and to improve their standard of living. What can be a bigger task than that? This is not something which can be done by any one group of people but by all of us, in all walks of life, no matter what profession you are engaged in, whether you are in the police, armed forces, or in one of the innumerable other avenues open to you. We must always bear in mind that all of us are engaged in this great task of nation-building and making the masses better off. In that sense, all of us are soldiers in the service of the country. We must not lose sight of the fact that millions of people in India are on the march towards progress and prosperity. Some may stumble and fall by the way side. But if we are honest and sincere in our purpose and full of determination, others will derive strength from us.

So these are the great responsibilities which we have to shoulder. The people who are in the police or the armed forces who are taught strict discipline and given training have a special responsibility in this matter. We must bear in mind that service to the nation must be done with dignity and honour. We must not do anything which brings dishonour or disrepute to the country. This is how we must serve India and strive to raise the stature of our country in the world.

I congratulate you on your getting these flags. You must cherish them with dignity and respect and in so doing serve the country and discharge your duty too. Jai Hind.

Source: SWJN, S2, V20, pp. 576-77

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