The Bengal police administration Report for 1915 has this to say in praise of the Police Department:-
The work of the past year furnishes a splendid record of self-sacrifice and unremitting labour. Undeterred alike by the threats of the anarchists or by the ill-natured and spiteful criticism which finds daily expression in the columns of the Bengali Press, the officers of the department have continued the struggle against revolutionary crime with a courage and devotion which deserved the admiration and gratitude of all honest men. If ever the time arrives when a complete record can be published of the work of this department since its inception it will be admitted that , in the European and Indian officers of the intelligence branch, government has at its disposal a body of men second to none in loyalty ,courage and devotion to duty.
We do not grudge the police this praise, which “the governor in council entirely endorses”. Many men of the department has certainly deserved it. But it is neither correct, nor dignified, nor statesmanlike, to characterise the criticism of the Bengali press as ill-natured and spiteful. The weaver alone knows where the shoe pinches. And the Bengali press represents those innocent people of Bengal who are inconvenienced by the police shoe. Do his Excellency the Governor and members know why the police are disliked and feared? ...
Government may also deign to consider why the Bengali press does not indulge in spiteful and ill-natured remarks on postmen, postmasters, munsifs, subordinate judges, deputy collectors, &c. Questionably a far larger number of persons have to deal and come into contact with these public servants than with policemen. The theory that we are spiteful can be supported only on the supposition that we are all would be-dacoits or criminals of that description, or are in sympathy with such persons, and we hate the police because they stand in the way of out or their giving effect to criminal intentions:- which is a highly complimentary hypothesis.
We know that government cannot do without the police. They are its eyes and hands. Let them be praised and awarded. But why seek to stop our mouths? The only wise method of stopping our criticism is to raise the efficiency and elevate the character of the police. Any other method is unwise. Why are the London police not criticised, though the highest ministers of the Crown in England are often subjected to abuse and virulent criticism by the sections of the British press. Because the London police are friends and servants of law-abiding citizens. Can the same thing be said our police?
It should not be forgotten that improvement in the character and conduct of the police is due in no inconsiderable measure to criticism in the newspapers.
(Modern Review 1916)
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