PUNE: Giving out a strong message to be ‘assertive’ rather than being ‘aggressive’, former Director General of Police, Meeran Chadha Borwankar in a candid interaction with Sakal’s women work force, said that women have a choice of either being happy or unhappy, creative or non-creative, negative or positive.
Director of Sakal Media Group Mrunal Pawar welcomed her and presented her with a citation. The session, which was held in Pune, was attended by women employees of Sakal throughout the State via video conferencing. Here are excerpts from the session:
“I was lucky as I had an educated mother who never told me that you have any limits. She raised me and my two brothers with equality,” she said to the packed audience. “My father was in the police force and in 1960s-70s decade 0.02 mm rifle came to our house. I had developed an inclination towards it and I was a good shot. On the contrary my brothers were not much interested in this activity,” she said.
“While celebrating International Women’s Day in 2018, we must go beyond the symbolism and tokens. Be assertive, but don’t be aggressive or submissive,” she said.
“In 1981, I was the only lady officer for IPS training. There was a boy who complained to our ustaad (instructor) that I was not good at the shot. Our ustaad told him that for last nine years women are taking the training and in his experience, a woman’s hand is more stable than that of a man,” she said.
She added, “When I was posted in Nashik, I focused on learning Marathi and law. The staff here was very cooperative, but were hesitating to take me along with them for conducting raids at prostitution houses, but then I decided to put my foot down and started going with them. Here I learnt how to conduct raids.”
“When I was posted at Kolhapur, I went for a raid at a gambling den and confiscated Rs 52,000. This den was (in)famous for unsuccessful raid attempts by the police. Next day, a newspaper carried a headline “Woman officer raids the den, confiscates Rs 52,000, men officer raided it but failed to confiscate even Rs52,” she recollected.
At Port, Mumbai
“Before my Mumbai posting at Port as DCP, the police force was unable to control thefts there,” she said. She narrated how she studied the links between authorities and businessmen and decided to break the chain. “Here I learnt to understand the system.”
She narrated why she wanted to get a posting as Superintendent of Police for Aurangabad and Satara districts which were communal and (in)famous for dacoity respectively. “The political people were against my posting in these districts, but I was assertive and got the postings. At these districts I learnt to take citizens with the police for reducing the crime,” she said.
Student internship in Pune
In Pune, she started internship for the students, which was a big hit but lamented how the same project didn’t work in Mumbai.
The hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Yakub Memon was disturbing but I do lots of self-talking and it helps me to come out of it. Most of my batchmates said they never expected me to handle a hanging.”
In Satara, a person from another state was inciting stone pelting in which 11 jawans were injured. I arrested that person and got the call from the Chief Minister questioning my move. I questioned him back, saying what are we doing for our 11 injured jawans? He disconnected the phone line.”
The first threat letter I got was when I was just five years into this profession. I read the entire letter and later realised that I shouldn’t have read it. After that I received many such letters and phone calls, but I never worried about them.”
Media, court and police should make integrated efforts and go in depth of an issue sans sensalisation and this will help to work better.”