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Published On:24 November 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Karnataka's Muslim cop count just over 6%

By ND Shiva Kumar

Bangalore: Though the population of Muslims in Karnataka is 12.23%, their representation in the state police force is a meagre 6.62%.

It's not just about Muslims, the Karnataka state police force is left wanting when it comes to women and other minorities too. Women account for 4.77%, while there are no Parsis or Buddhists in the force. Sikhs are just three in number and Jains a mere 223. There are very few police officers from the minorities at top positions and of 44 superintendents of police (IPS), none belongs to the minorities.

Karnataka's total Muslim cop population of 4,768 is less than the police personnel deployed at police stations in Gujarat, which is 5,021. Though a smaller state with less percentage of Muslim population, Gujarat has more Muslim cops than Karnataka. As per the 2001 census, the proportion of Muslims in Gujarat's population is 9.1%, while it is 12.23% in Karnataka.

The trend clearly reflects that the state has to do much more to fulfill the Sachar Committee report's recommendation, which suggests more Muslim cops to build confidence among the community.

Why Less?

A former director general of police feels the skew could be due to a combination of factors. "About 12 years ago, before the reservation came in to effect, the representation was much lower. The situation improved only after reservation. The reluctance of minorities is also one of the reasons for their lower representation. However, a sociological study is needed to ascertain the exact reasons,'' he says.

He feels the Sachar Committee recommendation to have representation of Muslim police personnel in Muslim-dominated areas is largely followed in the state. "Minority personnel are posted in many, if not most, police stations where the population of minorities is sizeable,'' he says.

GK Karanth, professor, Centre for Study of Social Change and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change, says the affinity some castes and communities in the state have for police and military could be a reason. "Historically, the Marathas have shown preference for policing, while Kodavas have exhibited their love for military. Earlier, Muslims didn't have the aptitude for police force, but preferred revenue service,'' he says.

Prof Karanth feels increasing representation for minorities is due to the sensitive confidence building and broad-basing process followed by political parties and the community's switchover to the formal stream of education.

In the past, it was possible for political parties to give statements and get away without doing it. Now, mere lip-sympathy won't work. Demonstrative politics or performance demonstration becomes important. It is important for the political parties to survive. The health of the society depends on inclusive and participatory growth. The politics of inclusion necessitates and helps the minorities,'' he explained.

(Courtesy: The Times of India)

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on November 24, 2012. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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