Kiran Bedi Speech


“Acceptance speech for the Ramon Magsaysay Award”

Kiran Bedi

Manila | 31 August, 1994

“Mr. President, Mrs. Magsaysay, trustees, ladies and gentlemen:

Twenty-two years ago when I decided to join the elite Indian Police Service, I saw in it great potential for the “Power to Do,” the “Power to Get Things Done,” and the “Power to Correct.” I do firmly believe that Police in any country can be the greatest protector of Human Rights and the Rule of Law- as it could well be the greatest violator of both.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award has done a couple of magical things in my case, as it does in others:
It has recognised the “Power to Prevent”: Crime prevention is usually given a lower priority and underestimated as an area of policing. What gets priority and headlines is detections and seizures, and not prevention of delinquency and breach of peace, which had all the potential of violent crime.

The Power of Policing with People : “Policing is for People,” therefore, people must be made partners in policing. Once that is done in a variety of ways, it provides transparency and accountability to the whole system. Resources which cannot alone come from police could come from participative policing.

The Power of the Team: Leaders in police or Government, if they want results, need to form teams, and allow them initiatives, delegation, support, non-interference and training with total emphasis on professional integrity. While personal example is crucial, sharing of achievements with lead to more results. This will lead to not only “Keeping Security” but “Creating Security.”

The Award has propelled me to consolidate and expand my work. For this I have registered a Trust, called India Vision, that I am breathing life into at this moment. It will carry forward projects in the fields of Prison Reform, Drug Abuse Prevention Empowerment of Women, Mental Disability and Sports Promotion. I seek your greater support in these projects. I accept the Ramon Magsaysay Award with total gratitude to the Foundation and the Philippines, on behalf of my team comprising Police-Prison-People and my family from India.

Just before leaving for the ceremony, I received a call from my Prison Head quarters (from the DIG, Mr. Sarangi) that at this very time all 9100 prisoners are having special celebrations within the prison premises.”

The Ramon Magsaysay award is considered the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. Find out how it began and what are the other categories for which you can be awarded the prize other than Government Service.

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