SRINAGAR: Some call him `Singham’, some call him `Dabang’ but senior IPS officer Basant Kumar Rath has turned counselor in the time of Corona.
In an exclusive interview with The Kashmir Monitor, Rath pitched for reviving the relationships and changing priorities in the post COVID era.
“People are in distress. How many of us are going out of our way to reach out to the people? It is not happening. We have to take family life seriously. Relationship with people matters, especially those who have invested both financially and emotionally. We do not take care of them. Parents think if they have given electronic devices to children, their responsibilities are over. It does not work that way. Children spent more time with families than in school. Education is not about sending kids to school it is about taking control of what they should know, their values and principals,” he said.
A 2000 batch IPS officer of J&K cadre, Rath was promoted to Inspector General of Police (IGP) in early 2018. He was made in charge of the traffic department and within no time he earned a sobriquet of Singam for acting against the lawbreakers.
From lifting the Audi of top police officer’s kin to implementing the helmet rule, Rath had gone the extra mile to ensure that people adhere to the law.
However, his stint as IGP traffic was short-lived as he was shifted to Home Guards wing of the police. Having a huge fan following, Rath, who hails from Odisha, is often requested by people for an instant selfie on the roads, parks and other public places
“We have to change the way we look at our work and lives. We tend to live beyond our means. Small is not only beautiful, but it is also smarter. It is not about social distancing, it is about economic distancing as well. We tend to live beyond our means because we do not respect natural resources. Be it water, electricity, oil or time. We tend to disrespect our natural resources. Look at the way things are happening to Dal lake even mountains and forest cover. We will have to respect natural resources. We do not have too much time on the planet,” he said.
Rath said capitalism, consumer culture, and technology have taken control of people’s lives. “This is the right time to rewire ourselves and reorient our life. We have to change our lives. This is the finest example. As Buddha said the biggest illusion we have for ourselves is that we have a lot of time. We will have to manage our focus. People are worried about time management. For me, focus management is more important… So we have to be extremely focused on what we want and what we do not want. The problem I have with people is that they do not take no for an answer. It is very difficult to live a life of your own without being able to say no to people including your family members,” he said.