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Tuesday, 4 December 2001

Tamil Nadu Police: An Image Audit - Panel Discussion

J K Tripathy, S Ganapthy, V R Lakshminarayanan, R Desikan and G C Sekar

Prime Point Foundation held a Panel discussion in Chennai on Ist December 2001 on ‘Tamilnadu Police – an Image Audit’

The panelists were Mr.V.R.Lakshminarayanan, (Former Director General of Police); Mr.S.Ganapathy, (Director General of Police Training and Project Director, Tamilnadu Police Academy) Mr. J.K.Tripathy,(Joint Commissioner of Police, Madras), Mr R.Desikan, (Consumers Association of India); and Mr.G.C.Shekhar, (Hindustan Times).  The programme was anchored by Mr T Kannan (Former Joint Director News, Doordarshan and All India Radio)

Welcoming the distinguished panelists and the audience, Mr.K. Srinivasan, Founder-Managing Trustee,  observed that in a democracy like India three institutions namely the media, the judiciary and the police are the ultimate safeguards for the common people. Describing the image audit as a tool by which the perception of the various stakeholders is captured helping the concerned institution to take corrective measures to perform better, he said an image audit was conducted in Chennai on the Tamilnadu police. (Please click for background material and the image audit report) 

K Srinivasan and T Kannan
Mr.T.Kannan  started the proceedings with a few introductory remarks and invited the panelists to respond to queries.

Initiating the debate, Mr. V R Lakshminarayanan agreed that the oft quoted statement of Lord Denning that the police officer ‘is answerable to the law and to the law alone’ is relevant even today. He said there should be no political interference once a case is registered. He however regretted that we have many miles to go before this can be realised.

Mr.Lakshminarayanan disagreed with the view that loyalties are divided between central and state cadre officers and said all officers and men work together in the police force.

Mr.Ganapathy,  said the proportion of police men to the population of Tamilnadu is inadequate and the present ratio is 14 policemen for 10,000 population and this places a tremendous workload on the existing force. He said at present the force is 91,000 strong and there are 1016 police stations and in these 58 are all women police stations. Talking about the importance of training he said every effort is made to sensitise the men towards women police and women in general. He welcomed this opportunity to present the police view and said all efforts are always made to train them in various laws and in dealing with general public and how to tackle lawlessness. 

Mr. J K Tripathy observed that  he will try to implement the achievements in his Tiruchy posting in Chennai with suitable modifications to suit the needs of the state capital.  He said streamlining traffic in the metropolis is receiving attention and various offenders will be dealt with.

The consumer activist, Mr R.Desikan felt that the machinery for redressal of grievances against police highhandedness is almost non-existent. He felt the services rendered by the police should improve in many areas. Mr. Desikan said too many groups of people not only politicians, interfere in the daily affairs of police.  Police should be like a father - love when needed and be strict when needed.

He said that  similar image audits in organisations like the postal department and the railways and discussions on the audit  would help better understanding among the various sections involved.
Speaking on behalf of the media, Mr. G C Shekhar  said though it is the primary duty of the media to focus on lapses, positive achievements are also given prominence as and when they come to light. Mr.Lakshminarayanan intervened to say there are a number of outstanding officers who have served in the state force and even now there are any number of committed officers and men. In this context he paid generous compliments to Mr.J K Tripathy  for his outstanding work and expressed the hope that this is ‘the beginning of the end’ and the officer would achieve more in his service.

Mr. G C Shekhar felt that the police force is still not media friendly and was not satisfied with the existing arrangements for media contacts with the government or senior officers. He was also critical of the continuing nexus between the force and law breakers like the illicit liquor merchants and brewers and felt liquor tragedies will continue as long as this  nexus continues.

Finally it was generally agreed by the panelists that much more remains to be done for more effective police-media-people partnership.

Mr.  T N Ashok, Principal Advisor to the Foundation and Media Advisor to Alstom Group of Companies  proposed a vote of thanks in particular thanking the director general of police, Tamilnadu and his brother officers for having participated in the event which could lead to a better appreciation of the problems faced by each of the three sides

An interesting Quote - narrated by the anchor

Has any thief, who, after being caught in the act, with evidence, and after he accepts his guilt – has he been let off without punishment – since he bribes the officials? – this is a free translation of  a sloka in the Ramayana , Ayodhya Kandam 100th sargam, 57th sloka; this is a question posed by Lord Ram to his brother Bharatha, who Lord Ram assumes is already ruling the country.

Please Read the report published by The Hindu.
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Prime Point Foundation

Prime Point Foundation is a non-profit Trust incepted in December 1999, to create Communication awareness among all the people. 

K Srinivasan (Communication Strategist ) is the Founder and Chairman the Trust.
  • The Foundation offers Training, workshop on all Communication related subjects, including Image Audit. 
  • The Foundation publishes a monthly eMagazine PreSense since March 2006. 
  • Digital Journalists Association of India (DiJAI),  India Vision, Action 2020, Education Loan Task Force (ELTF) are other major initiatives of this Foundation. 
  • Every year, the Foundation honours the outstanding Parliamentarians with Sansad Ratna Awards 
Profile of K. Srinivasan may be downloaded from

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