Kashmir Police Labyrinth and its Anti-People Psyche
Dr. Jawad Nasir
It is avowedly acknowledged that Jammu Kashmir Police is not an alien class, but essentially a cross-section of Kashmiri society, and in general are in no way any volte-facie to collective aspiration of the society. If the background psyche is not dismissed then its myriad cadre base is pro-resistance and hence essentially share a common pain with their civil brethren. They are now the primary targets of the insurgency. An odd conjecture, yet fitting. Why? It becomes essential to gander on how they are being metamorphosed into scapegoats and baits for a vile colonial interest and being forced to commit a radical mutiny against their own identity.
I will try to dissect the layers of this design: how this happens so silently inside their subconscious -with even not a mouse stirring.
First, after joining the force, awaiting them is the unique ‘fastidious indoctrination’, maintained throughout the structures of police power hierarchy in the name of discipline: and on the purpose, trained and induced, mindset of religiously respecting and unquestionably following the higher rank (highest of which is strictly kept prostate); wherein a sub-ranking fellow has to just salute- up to everything and obey all the orders of his officer, like a robot, even if these are clearly against his ethical stands. If somehow, he exercises his discretion and tries to counter-act, he receives a vigorous contempt in one brow, as if he has trespassed the divinity itself, and has blasphemed the sacred laws of this foul hierarchy. It’s an apt notorious case against human rights; everybody has an inalienable right to individuality, no matter be it a servant but he has to have a choice on ethics wreaking moral absolutism. Its called slavery by other means: the uniformed slavery. A military modus operandi basically: training tactics to make soldiers more obedient, this ensures they conform to anything, even to death, when needed.
Perpetually obeying the orders of the higher officers, a policeman or for that matter any security personnel, seeks an escape from his persistently battered ego; because he models the stature and reverence of a rank higher to him. As Nietzsche heralds in his work, ‘Thus spoke Zarathustra’: ” Der Wille zur Macht” – that humans are driven by a will to power. Hence, at this point he starts to consider ladders of the quick ascent in the rank: fake encounters, active participation in counterinsurgency (COIN), becoming part of intelligence networks, brutally suppressing protests, and so on and so forth, which quickly ensure his rise in power.
Further, another facet of this prism, with mounting assails of insurgents against police force now, for some, their own survival instincts prompt them to actively seek an end to anything that breeds insurgency. This can explain their ruthless torture of stone pelters or arrested over ground workers to the extent that they sometimes go bananas on the public.
Money , Police as they say, is a great motive. The police department is known to be a viciously corrupted department. After a certain time from induction in to this system, a seemingly honest novice policeman, normalises -even idealises-the corruption. It becomes a new normal of policing ceasing any and every moral glitch. He follows a systemic epithet “while in Rome,do as the Romans do”. Thereafter its extreme perversion can be seen out there, not rare, police arrests some random youth just for extorting handsome chunks of money for his release, somewhere ransom money was said to be fixed at around 50k!
Another instance where our policeman may act against his better judgment is in a state of temper impulsivity. We know how, especially while mob mitigation, police is welcomed with rose petals of all sorts by people “ponda police”, “kaande gujriya”, “pandah shatean”, and all kinds of unmentionables simmering in a cauldron of insults and roasting on fieryostracizing slangs, a cop is bound to cook some ugly cuisine in his brain that can momentarily take hold of his barrel to an uglier twist. Also, theoretically, toeing the lines of certain mechanisms of psychological defense, a wounded mind as most are in this conflict, may project and reciprocate evenly, all that have befallen on him in the population, out of the same population.
On the other plane, does feeling high in uniform, or a subjective kind of machoism play a part? I suppose may be and yes. Those minds that are seriously withheld and taken away by awe of uniformed-dons shown in Bollywood can verily commit their Freudian slip to actual practice.
Finnally, if Sir Pavlov can classically salivate a dog on a mere bell, why can’t a policeman drool his mouth on an anticipiation of each month’s salary and then be trained for whatever purpose desired. Additionally, a positively reinforced psyche with rewards, perks, promotions or frequently negatively reinforced psyche with threats, taunts and suspensions can be made to do wonders for a purpose. Moreover a society, which believes getting a govt job (a govt which feels more of a govt over the people, than a govt for the people) is akin to coming true of the Alexander’s dream or the alchemist’s quest, a policeman of such society is less likely to hang his boots in protest and more likely to conform to orders given,whatever they are!
*Jawad Nasir is a Medical Doctor. He is an alumni of Government Medical College Srinagar.
Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions.