‘Convicts like family’: a policeman’s unique perspective

Among many policemen who serve the nation and maintain law and order, meet DSP of Ranchi who has walked an extra mile for transforming the lives of policemen and prisoners.

“Even if it is a convict, I have learned to believe that nobody is bad." A very profound thought which, if practiced, could change the perception of the person. This line may seem ordinary, many even believe in it, but the same line gains unbound momentum when uttered by none other than the authority who deals with convicts daily.  Deputy Superintendent of Police at Ranchi, P.N. Singh is the firm believer, and he further says, "Whatever crimes people commit, they do it because of the lack of love, and because of stress. I keep this in mind while interrogating them, I ask them what they feel, and they always say that they didn’t know how it happened out of ignorance."

‘Nobody is bad’

Mr. Singh says that whenever anybody comes to him to report a case, he treats them as his family member, and has a firm belief that nobody is bad. “People in the community often come to me asking to help bring about an understanding between themselves rather than just to report a case,” he says.

Further, he reveals that his skills of interrogation have been polished by the Art of Living's Happiness Program that he underwent in 2008, after attending an introductory talk given to the police forces in his region. Today, Mr. Singh is an Art of Living teacher himself.

“After I did the program, I regretted that I did not do it earlier because I could have done much better service had I done it when I joined the police force,” he says.

He elaborates, “I became more self-confident after the Art of Living program, and I want this knowledge to blossom in society because today’s society requires transformation. And this knowledge develops the skill of bringing transformation and joy in people.”

Transformation in Bokaro

Mr. Singh beams with pride when he says this program has not only worked wonders for him but has also worked very well with the prisoners at Bokaro. Singh first incorporated the program there, resulting in the surrender of Naxalites, over 50 of whom have done the Art of Living program. Across both the prisons of Bokaro, over 3000 convicts have undertaken the Art of Living program.

The transformation in Bokaro began after Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s visit to the region, known for its Naxal presence, in July 2010. “The Naxalites have training centers here. It was after Gurudev’s visit that the Art of Living programs began for the Naxalites, many of whom have surrendered arms and now lead a happy life.”

Many convicts and Naxalites also visited the local Art of Living Center to take up advanced programs and skill development programs. “We have many examples of Naxalites who now lead a transformed life, with their families, something that would have been impossible for them earlier. Some former convicts also go back to their hometowns and organize programs to bring about transformation, through programs like the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP).”

A better policeman

Mr. Singh has been nominated for the President's Police Medal, which he attributes it to the Art of Living program and how it shaped him as a better policeman. He has also helped organize YLTP’s and rural Waves of Happiness Programs in the region. “We also conducted health camps in Bokaro twice a year, benefiting thousands of people. Apart from organizing tree plantation drives; we have also planted over 5000 saplings,” he shares.

He is now all set to organize a program for the Armed Police Force wing of the Jharkhand Police. Singh says his spiritual practices bring effortless balance between his work and service. “I always start my day with Sudarshan Kriya. These days there is a lot of pressure in society, human values are deteriorating, families are breaking, and people come to us these days with small complains which take up most of our time. So we make them understand that if they sit together and do some service, then we will be able to build a good society.”

A devoted policeman, Mr. Singh retired on August 31, 2014. In his tenure of service to the nation, over 500 police personnel underwent the Art of Living Happiness Program as a part of his initiative. His magic of handling situations has resulted in the surrender of 60-70 hardcore Naxalites. After surrendering, they all underwent the Art of Living rehabilitation program in the Bokaro prison. His view of people has changed, be it Naxalites, criminals or their families. “Earlier I felt that I must prevail over them, now I feel I must work with them to end violence in the society.”

Reported by Srinivas Nambuduri & Rajesh Kundu YLTP Documentation Team