Mumbai, May 21: Yogesh Pratap Singh’s novel Carnage by Angels — on sleaze, sex and corruption in the police force — won the praise of former top cops Julio Ribeiro and Arvind Inamdar, but the ones in control now are not sure about the “purpose” of the “fiction”.
A few days after the book was released at a high-profile function which Ribeiro and Inamdar used to lambast the present-day cops as “spineless” and politicians as “hopelessly corrupt”, additional director-general of police D.. Jadhav sent Singh a letter asking the IPS officer “why” the book was written.
Singh, a commandant in the state reserve police, has answered the showcause, sent to him on May 7, in a manner only he can.
In a letter to director-general of police Subhash Malhotra — as hard-hitting as the circumstances in his novel where police officers buy plum posts from politicians — Singh said he is being harassed even though he has clearly stated that the book is a work of fiction.
“I stated at the time of the book release function that the plot was imaginary and that it can be compared to a Bollywood script, but still this is being done,” Singh said.
Singh has pointed out that the All India Service Conduct Rules give an officer “unbridled freedom to write on any topic under the sun and no permission is required, provided it is a work of fiction and goes through a publisher”.
Though other grave issues like corruption and ineptness were raised by Ribeiro and Inamdar, the police bosses have taken no cognisance of those aspects, Singh said, adding that “these are the issues that have led to misery and pain in our society, not my novel”.
The letter, as drastic as instances in the novel of moral degeneration and dissipation among India’s new rulers, asks why Conduct Rules have been “stretched” to reprimand him while those officers who have obtained postings thro- ugh questionable means to earn bribes were not even questioned.
“Have the DGP and the home department thought of those officers who, for example, would earn money by letting ladies’ bars function the whole night'” he asked.
Singh, as is his wont, doesn’t plead his case. Instead, he fires wordy salvos straight to the heart of those heading the administration.
“What is enormously glaring is that despite a clear-cut law in the police manual that postings cannot be done by using extraneous pressures, the home department and the director-general of police have knowingly and willingly entertained hundreds of such dubious links and given effect to such illegal postings,” the letter said.
“They have evaded their statutory responsibility to take stern action against such officers. When they are consciously and voluntarily perpetrating this fraud, it would be naive for me to presume that you shall render what the law commands you to bestow.”
Singh knows his honest indignation is also unlikely to be rewarded.
“It would be far better if the home department and the DGP change their priorities instead of hounding a person who has lost his promotion, career, posting, and is now likely to lose even a part of his salary, just because he has exposed the corruption of his superiors under whom he has to work and who decide his professional fate,” the letter said.