Unity in Diversity

Kashmir Magazine

Tasaduq Rasheed


Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police R R Swain in an Exclusive candid Chat with Kashmir Magazine said that wearing the police uniform entails a solemn oath to respect all religions equally, and any form of disrespect towards any faith will not be tolerated.
“When we wear the uniform, we take an oath that all religions are the same for us and that we will respect all religions. We will never tolerate disrespect to any religion. We do take action against such elements. Yes, if someone has deliberately disrespected any religion, we take strict action against them. Those who act out of ignorance are dealt with differently”.
In a diverse region like Jammu and Kashmir, where various religious beliefs coexist, such principles are paramount for maintaining social cohesion and ensuring peaceful coexistence among different religious communities.
The assertion of J&K DGP reflects the broader ethos of the J&K Police, which strives to serve and protect all citizens regardless of their religious affiliations. By enforcing strict measures against those who seek to incite religious discord or disrespect any faith, the police demonstrate their dedication to upholding the constitutional values of secularism and religious freedom.
Moreover, DGP Swain addressed another pertinent issue concerning public demonstrations, particularly those related to social or political grievances. He expressed concern over the infiltration of individuals with separatist agendas into otherwise peaceful protests, citing instances where individuals advocating for “Azadi” (freedom) emerge amidst demonstrations on issues like water scarcity.
“We have seen that some people protest on water crises, and suddenly, an ‘Azadi’ guy props up among them. We cannot tolerate this also,” Swain added.
The stance underscores the J&K police’s vigilance in safeguarding public gatherings from being hijacked by elements seeking to promote divisive ideologies or destabilize the peace and tranquility of the J&K. While acknowledging the right to peaceful protest as a fundamental aspect of democratic expression, the police remain steadfast in preventing any subversion of such protests for ulterior motives.
The integration of separatist sentiments into legitimate public grievances poses a dual challenge for law enforcement agencies. On one hand, they must respect and protect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, while on the other hand, they must remain vigilant against any attempts to exploit these rights for seditious purposes.
Swain said that the J&K Police reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law and preserving the integrity of public demonstrations. Measures will be taken to identify and deter persons or groups attempting to disrupt the peace under the guise of legitimate protest, thereby ensuring that public gatherings serve as platforms for constructive dialogue rather than conduits for divisive agendas.
DGP also said that the community engagement and proactive measures are important to prevent social unrest. By maintaining and boosting strong relationships with local communities and addressing underlying grievances, the police aim to mitigate the risk of tensions escalating and maintain a harmonious societal fabric.