28 May, 2016
By Julio Ribeiro, former Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, India
Hemant Karkare laid down his life for his friends. Every man and woman in the land was his friend. He did not discriminate between man and woman, Hindu and Muslim, this caste or that. He was a professional policeman. And he was a patriot.
And that is what people expect of their public servants. Karkare belonged incidentally to the topmost tier of the pecking order in the hierarchy of castes. That factor became irrelevant when he donned the uniform. Traditional culture was subsumed by a new “police” culture, which demanded that all citizens are treated equally. In the eyes of the law all are equal. Any policeman true to his salt would follow this maxim, which becomes his “dharma”.
I knew Karkare well. He was one of the — now, unfortunately, diminishing number of — IPS officers who enjoyed an unsullied reputation for integrity, both financial and intellectual. People who wanted true justice would gravitate towards him. He did not know what it was to speak anything but the truth (or what he felt in his bones was the truth).