Awareness key to resolving caste issues: German academician tells Centre, police

Professor Boike Rehbein, who heads the Asian and African studies department in Berlin’s Humboldt University, was invited by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), which comes under the home ministry, to speak on the topic of “inclusive policing in a changing society”.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2018 12:18 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Caste,Issues,Awareness
Police patrol the streets in Sangli after Dalits called for a Maharashtra Bandh to protest over Bhima Koregaon violence on Wednesday.(PTI)

A Germany-based academician has recommended that the Centre and the country’s police force undertake awareness studies for better understanding of socially-excluded castes of India.

Professor Boike Rehbein, who heads the Asian and African studies department in Berlin’s Humboldt University, was invited by Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), which comes under the home ministry, to speak on the topic of “inclusive policing in a changing society”.

“The past configuration of the society is responsible for the present structure of the society. Therefore, we can study contemporary society by studying historical layers which have developed over time,” Dr Rehbein said while speaking on the past practices of caste system in India.

He added that unlike western societies, India is shaped partly by ideas of caste, kinship and religion which inform contemporary structures.

“Social exclusion is best reflected in recruitment practices in India. One can study social exclusion on any research done on recruitment process in India,” Rehbein said.

Talking specifically on the role of Indian police force while dealing with what he termed as socially-excluded castes, the professor said who one lets in their house, office and so on can indicate which section of a society is excluded.

“The solution to exclusion is a political one and police in itself cannot solve this but police has to deal with the problem and it can do it effectively by raising awareness. In Germany, the police force is professionally trained to deal with socially-excluded groups and in India too, police must raise awareness about dealing with people who are from a different social class,” he said to an audience comprising officials of the ministry and other central armed police forces.

Director general BPRD, AP Maheshwari told HT: “In a diverse and multicultural society like ours where stratifications need to be appropriately addressed, inclusive policing formats and strategies alone will go a long way in fostering a people-friendly and positive policing.”

Senior officials present at the event said that the BPRD was also contemplating introducing ranking system among police forces of all states wherein police departments will be judged on conduct, mordernisation and prevailing law and order situation in the particular state.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 12:18 IST