Volume 9 - Issue 09
September 2011
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Posted on: Sept 30, 2011



- Conversation with Ms. Charu Sinha, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Anantapur range.

Part - 02


RS: You must face lot of political pressure in your position. In most democracies, civil servants face pressure from their political bosses. There have been press reports about some tough decisions you took that had some politicians calling for your transfer. How did you deal with it? How did knowing Baba and His teaching help you to face them?

CS: Generally, what people call political pressure, I would refer to them as political requests. It’s not that a dictum is issued and you have to follow it; these are basically requests. And if the request is reasonable, there’s no harm in considering it. If it is unreasonable, it depends from person to person how they handle it. Mine has always been the straightforward solution as I mentioned earlier. I would stick to the truth and would be absolutely honest. If it is something which can be done within the purview of the law, it would be done. If it is otherwise, it would not be done.

Ms Charu Sinha, IPS sharing her indelible experiences in her interview for Radio Sai, August 2010

RS: This takes me to my next question. You are very particular about keeping things straight and clean, and sticking to the truth. Sometimes adhering to the truth can also have its own implications. For example, Baba says we must avoid both unpleasant truth and pleasant untruth. Sometimes if the truth is very unpleasant and you stand by it, it can lead to very difficult repercussions. Have you ever encountered that?

CS: In the civil services, whether it is the IPS or IAS, difficult repercussion means basically a difficult posting. So if you are not acceptable in a particular place for the stand you take, you are shifted out from there. There have been times when I have been unacceptable to some people and have had a couple of transfers within a short period of time. But I would say that it’s all part of the game and needs to be treated and handled in that manner.

RS: As a police officer the job that you do and the way you handle people and situations has a lot to do with you as a person. You have spoken of how important it is for each person to find their fulfillment from within. I am sure a lot of young people, when they are not sure about their career choices or their life’s purpose, feel very frustrated and incomplete thinking that they are lacking something in their life and that they really need to go out and chase it and find it outside. How did you resolve this confusion and what did you find?

CS: That’s a very nice question. In fact as a teenager when I looked around, there were very few girls who were absolutely confident and sure of themselves or what they wanted to do. Even now when I look at teenagers and interact with school or college going students, I find this problem of low self-esteem which is very common. I think this is because of the conditioning with which we are brought up; particularly in India and especially if you are a girl child. This is something I wish parents would understand and ensure that the negative conditioning does not affect their child’s self-esteem or self-confidence. In India, there are certain do's and don’ts which are typically imposed on a girl child and not on a boy. Men are left freer to express themselves; women in the name of discipline, modesty or good upbringing are supposed to be more demure and quieter. Apart from that, in the basic Indian culture, there’s lot of difference in the way people look at men and the manner in which women are viewed. For instance, the way people look at a male DIG (Deputy Inspector General of Police) would be very different from the way people see a female DIG.

RS: Do you encounter this glass ceiling?

CS: Yes, every day. So one needs to understand it and learn how to handle it. For girls who are going through this every day, particularly the teenagers, I would say only one thing - let nobody tell you that you are less than divine. That’s something they must understand very clearly and go ahead. We must know that we are complete in ourselves.

Nowadays teenagers like to go partying; we find this phenomenon very prevalent In Hyderabad now. Youngsters love to go around in cars with loud music, have late night parties every weekend and splash money. They are seeking happiness and joy outside. When you seek joy outside without understanding that it is actually within you, all these foul habits like drinking, smoking and other undesirable addictions find a place. Young people also tend to enter marriage with this notion of incompleteness, thinking that someone else is going to come and fulfill the lack of ‘something’ in them. Such a union doesn’t work out at all. It will become more of a symbiotic relationship and we are not looking for a symbiotic relationship in marriage or in friendship. When you realise that all joy is within and understand that you are a complete person by yourself, your marriage will be much more beautiful.

Let nobody tell you that you are less than divine.... We must know that we are complete in ourselves.

RS:  When I hear you talk like an enlightened person, who seems to have her priorities clear and values very firmly entrenched in her heart, I wonder how is it that as a young person it was very hard for you to love yourself and to even forgive yourselves for your mistakes. A lot of young people do tend to fall into that trap and are very hard on themselves.

CS: We have talked about conditioning earlier. This is a very important part of conditioning where you are identified with your body, your looks and everything depends on how presentable and beautiful you are. And if you don’t fall into the acceptable category of good looking girls, then there are all kinds of comments that you have to face at work and elsewhere. It becomes very difficult. It keeps hitting at your self-esteem and confidence. So it takes time, to be able to understand that you are not just the body. I started out with those beliefs and felt suffocated; I wanted to hit out because something inside was telling me this is not right. I wanted to nudge my way out of that dark room. That was the period of struggle we spoke about.


RS: And Swami makes it so easy by telling us to focus on who we truly are.

CS: Yes. And, when we do that everything just falls away. The entire illusion is gone and you are the self.

RS: And if anyone truly believes that they are God they cannot but love themselves.

CS: Absolutely. Also, one more lesson Baba taught me was about making mistakes. He said, “That was just a small professional mistake; that is not you.” That made sense to me because I was very critical of myself and wouldn't allow myself to make a single mistake. If i did any, I would punish myself and ruminate over it for ages as to how I could have done that. But Baba said, “The mistake is not you. It’s over; it's past. Just don’t bother.”

About decision making, Swami mentioned to me once: “When you take a decision, if it is right, it will go the right way anyways. And if it is not so right, I will ensure that the result is not so wrong. So you go ahead and take the decision.” And from that day till this date, I just take a few seconds to ponder knowing that Baba is in every decision I take.

RS: The way you have integrated spirituality to your duty is so beautiful; it appears as if your everyday work is your worship.

CS: There is nothing that is not spiritual and I have learnt it this way.

RS: This is what Bhagawan reiterates. All work is sacred. Many people don’t seem to understand there is no dichotomy between what you do professionally and your spiritual beliefs; you seem to practise this. How does your strong sense of spirituality that you bring into your work ethic go with your colleagues, subordinates and superiors? Is it a challenge?

One more lesson Baba taught me was about making mistakes. He said, “That was just a small professional mistake; the mistake is not you. It’s over; it's past. Just don’t bother.”

CS: Sometimes they think that I am unnecessarily too rigid when I take a stand. They feel I must be more flexible. But when they talk about flexibility, it means either giving up the stand or compromising a bit, which I don’t do. So yes, I am known to be an assertive officer. Initially they found it difficult to accept but once you establish your reputation in the first three or four years of your career, no one bothers you. Nobody tries to mess with you.

RS: But then on the issue of being assertive or flexible, how do you determine that it’s not your ego that is playing up?

CS: After many years of being in service and handling every kind of situation, not once but several times, you do get a fairly good idea of the right approach to take. For us professionally, the yardstick of testing any solution is to assess whether it is legal or not. So professionally, it’s as simple as that. But there will always be attempts to try and dilute a thing. Say, if an offense has taken place, somebody would say, 'why don’t you dilute the gravity of the offense and apply a lesser section of the law.' There are officers who do that. In my message or instructions to my subordinates, I always tell them to just go as per sections of the law and apply them as they are. That’s it.


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