The Cop Who Saw Tomorrow
Published: 13th Apr 2014 06:00:00 AM
Kiran Bedi, Former Supercop and Social Activist
She looks almost fragile for such a redoubtable fighter, but the diminutive Kiran Bedi is one of the capital’s tallest women—social activist, the tough cop who cleaned up Delhi’s unruly roads, TV hostess, Magsaysay Award winner and most lately the face of civil society along with Anna Hazare. She sums up the city she loves and had served for decades as “architecturally historical, behaviourally volatile, environmentally academic and culturally weak”.
Since the days she unleashed traffic cranes to bring errant drivers to task on city roads, Kiran feels Delhi has become more organised but at the same time is “bursting at the seams”.
She shares a bond with Delhi’s youth, forged in the fires of Hazare’s agitation. “They are part of the national aspirational youth. Being in the capital, they get greater exposure and media coverage, which makes them comparatively more aware and even proactive and also more emotional, histrionic and transactional.”
Yet the cop in her keeps her head level, wishing for peace in her turbulent life. “Let’s elect the right kind of government now and support it fully to make it deliver. Fight only if not heard! It is time for some truce in order to develop, grow and be creative,” she says. Delhi’s burgeoning traffic needs to be controlled by “using a huge amount of technology and unsparing enforcement. Whoever they are, violators must pay hefty fines and suffer serious penalties.”
Even though Delhi is where she has taken triumphs and tribulations in her stride, Kiran says it was Amritsar and Chandigarh that shaped her. But Delhi keeps her on her toes and also gave her a worldwide exposure and opportunities to learn and deliver. She feels it has gained in prosperity in some areas but has lost space elsewhere, including some cultural aspects. “It’s a city of immigrants. And also neo-rich,” says Kiran who loves relaxing at home doing what she feels like doing—in “my own gym, reading, watching a movie or a TV programme, writing, meditating undisturbed. With myself!”
If you were to sum up the city in one word, what would it be?
Heart beat of India
If you were to act as a character other than Emperor Akbar, what would it be?
How would you like to be remembered?
Kiran Bedi, The Cop
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