Public Security and the Indian State
Ajay K. Mehra, Public Security and the Indian State, FMSH-PP-2012-02.
Political scientist by training, Director (Honorary) of Centre for Public Affairs, a platform for public discourse, along with several public intellectuals. He has been a fellow at the University of Maryland, USA (1991 for 6 months), Salzburg Seminar, Austria (1992). He has researched and written extensively on public security, institutions and governance. Ajay K. Mehra was a member of the Expert Group on Diversity Index (2008); constituted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. He was a member of the Task Force on “Criminal justice, national security and Centre-State cooperation” set up by the Commission on Centre-State Relation, Government of India during 2008-09.
As Visiting Professor at the Fondation Maison de Sciences des l’Homme, he has coedited with René Lévy The Police, State and Society: Perspectives from India and France (Pearson Education, 2011) and is preparing, with René Lévy, another volume on Social Violence and Police and an international conference on “The dilemmas of policing in fast-growing democratizing societies”. He is currently engaged with FMSH partnership on an international research project on “Sharing Sovereignty; Identity, Regionalism And Autonomy: A Cross-National Perspective”.
This paper is published in the frame of the Indo-French Programme of the FMSH.
Public security discourse changes how public order has been traditionally viewed by states across the world. India, a country that attained independence from British colonialism in 1947 and has been democratising since, has faced the dilemma and challenges of preparing its security agencies, steeped in colonial culture and politicised since independence, to face the challenges of twenty first century. Organisational, criminal justice system and attitudianal issues dog the public security architecture in India. Since the Constitution of India has assigned the responsibility of public order to states, federal frictions to have arisen lately in dealing with security issues in the national domain such as terrorism and Maoism. The police and other public institutions responsible for the task must be braced up to meet the emerging challenges.
police, security, India, justice, federalism, State