Professional - Early Days
(Central Police Training College Magazine, November 1973 written by Kiran as a probationer)

WHAT MADE ME JOIN THE IPS ?

Mrs. Kiran Bedi (Peshawaria), I.P.S., 1972 batch U.T.

I am often asked this question because I am a woman and an Indian woman is traditionally supposed to be lacking a flare for tough outdoor jobs though she may be tackling all the backbreaking chores at home.

I strongly feel that even though I have taken up a most demanding career, because, for me, there can be no job categorization as between the two sexes.

When I come across the blunt remark, “Oh ! Working in the police is most unfeminine!”, my usual reply is, “Today there is no job specifically marked out just for a man or just for a woman. Today it is high time that we revise our conceptions of “male-jobs” and “feminity”.  A woman in no way loses her feminity if she measures up to a job which for time immemorial was the domain of man."

However, I believe that though (untrained) a man with an ordinary upbringing may attempt any job, it would not be the same for a woman.  She has to be specially trained right from the beginning so that she acquires the right mental and physical standards demanded by specific jobs. 

If  I am now physically and mentally fit for my career, the credit goes to my parents.  Right from childhood I was introduced to tough, competitive tennis and conscientious studies.  They had filled me with the highest aspirations and imbued in me a burning desire to be OUTSTANDING.   This channelised my energies towards two goals — Tennis and Studies.  I was always encouraged to be independent and self confident so that I could face challenges and solve my own problems.

I am undergoing a heavy schedule of outdoor training at National Police Academy, to equip myself for the role of a policeman or shall I say, policewoman.  It is hard but VERY interesting and varied.  I am doing all that the boys do — the same Parade, Rifle training, Unarmed Combat, back rolls and front rolls, Sword drill, Riding etc.  and till today have asked for no concessions.  I was also able to participate in the major Tennis Tournaments this year with the kind permission of our Director.

I would like to emphasise that in a job like ours, entailing maximum pre-occupation with work, one can never be successful without the steady support and sympathy from one’s husband or wife.  I am indeed fortunate in having in my husband such an abundant source of encouragement and understanding.

Let me break a long-standing myth that the Home Ministry was always against the idea of the girls joining the Indian Police Service (IPS).  I guess it was the lack of interest and self-confidence in the girls which was the major obstacle.  I too was asked by the Home Ministry to reconsider my decision but when they sensed my determination, they wished me all the luck!

So I come back to the foremost question – why I joined the police and not any other challenging vocation; because of my urge to be OUTSTANDING.

Because of the excitement, exhilaration and challenges offered by this Service.

Because I want to serve the people from a position of authority so that I can serve them best.

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