In this journal article, Priya Vedavalli and Tvesha Sippy undertake a temporal examination of police accountability measures in India. They discuss whether fixing the political-police relationship alone will lead to a more accountable police, and argue for the simultaneous need for bottom-up approaches focusing on police empowerment. Community policing and better training are critical structural measures that could mark the shift from a colonial police force to one that is true to the spirit of democratic policing. Excerpt below:

“People must be able to look at police as their representatives and state agents who will treat them fairly. This shift in perspective is necessary to redress the unequal power dynamic. Police’s legitimacy and acceptance of authority will then be based on fairness and trust, not purely fear. A key way in which this has been implemented in India is through community policing. Community policing, at the most basic level, involves a healthy partnership between the police and the citizens in ensuring safety.”

The full article can be accessed here.

Note: This work was done by the author/s when they were a part of the IDFC Institute and is republished here with permission.