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I would have changed Delhi’s traffic forever: Kiran Bedi
Published on 11 Sep. 2008 1:30 AM IST
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India's most famous woman police officer Kiran Bedi says if she had been made the Delhi Police commissioner, she would have changed the Indian capital's traffic forever and turned policing into a people's movement. Interacting with guests here Tuesday after the screening of "Yes Madam, Sir", a documentary on her life, Bedi said she would have deepened people's faith in police to such an extent that even hardcore criminals from the capital's Tihar Jail would have come forward to help in policing. She said she would have changed Delhi's traffic forever by asking corporate houses to donate hundreds of cameras for capturing violators at Delhi's intersections. "And I would have used the policemen thus spared to catch criminals," she said amid thunderous applause from the audience. Calling the documentary "a statement of facts", Bedi said Australian director Megan Doneman has "given space to every viewpoint and left people to judge for themselves". "Nothing has been contrived, nothing has been re-enacted in the documentary. Megan spent seven years with me to film hundreds hours of reel. She was independent and unbiased," Bedi added. Bedi said she was denied the Delhi Police top job because of the envious bureaucracy and unprincipled peers. "But all my life I have always believed in doing what is ethically and morally right and never bothered about the consequences," she said. Asked whether she will join any political party, Bedi said: "I am public service inclined, not politically inclined. Let us see. All doors are open." Describing the towing away of then prime minister Indira Gandhi's staff car in 1983 as "a great point" of her career, Bedi said her action fired and empowered her force. Every ordinary cop felt that he could rightfully challenge Delhi's powerful people, she said. Recalling the incident, she said: "My sub-inspector Nirmal Singh had challenged a wrongly parked Ambassador car in Connaught Place. The driver came and warned the sub-inspector that this car to belonged the prime minister's office. "Without bothering about the threat, my sub-inspector told the driver that he will have to pay the fine come what may. There was a bit of a riot there, but nothing serious happened. This incident made policemen feel empowered. They felt they could take on the powerful people." Asked whether Indira Gandhi reacted to it, she laughed: "No, no. She didn't say anything."When someone suggested that her police career might have been tough on her husband, Bedi said amid laughter: "I guess so." She added she never felt like a wife. "I never raised (my husband's) expectations that I will come home to cook and then offer the meal at the table for eating. "He knew me before he married as we used to play tennis together. My whole life was outdoors and he knew what kind of a person I will be as his wife. I was not wife material." This and many unknown facets of Bedi's eventful life are beautifully captured in the 90-minute "Yes Madam, Sir".

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