The True Face Of Kiran Bedi by Subir Ghosh

August 26th, 2011 4:00 am by Martin Chhangte


As the holier-than-thou debate rages on in the Indian media, most of the critiques and harangues have centred around Kisan Baburao ‘Anna’ Hazare – some defending him outright, others castigating him in equal measure. Of the members of the so-called Team Anna, the one who has probably been written about the least is Kiran Bedi, the original media darling.

And that she has always been, since she shot to fame for having ordered then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s vehicle to be towed away for a parking violation. Those were not the days of 24/7 television, but she became a regular on state-run Doordarshan too. Everyone loved this gutsy, upright police officer. The media raved about her, and she remained in the news, irrespective of whether she did anything or not. She came across as someone incorruptible.

The public image of Kiran Bedi remains as spotless even now. So, when today she talks of corruption, hers is perceived to be an authoritative voice on the issue. But if corruption is to be seen as an abuse of power, Bedi herself would have to stand guilty.

Bedi would often ruffle feathers when she was posted in Delhi. Usually, these were either that of politicians or senior officers. But in Mizoram she crossed the line – it were the people of the state who took to the streets in anger. The widespread protests in 1992 were over her daughter’s admission to Delhi’s Lady Hardinge College for an MBBS course through the Mizoram quota. Aizawl had not seen so many people on the roads since 1986 when the Mizo National Front (MNF) was welcome backed by Mizos. That had been a celebration, this was a cause célèbre.

The upright police officer, posted in Mizoram as Deputy Inspector General (Range), thought discretion was certainly the better part of valour – and fled. This she did in the wee hours of one day, and without even informing her superiors. Her daughter’s admission, of course, was not scuttled. It’s a different matter altogether that the daughter never completed her MBBS studies, and instead flew over to the United States for a journalism course.

What Bedi did in Mizoram was exploit a loophole in the law. Northeast quotas exist essentially to ensure that at least some youngsters from the region get the chance to study in good educational institutions elsewhere in the country. These quotas are often seen to be a mired in controversies and corruption – Bedi made the best use of it. And never apologised or admitted.

Select justifications came, but from Bedi apologists. The ruse offered was that since she was posted in Mizoram at the time, this made her daughter eligible for an admission by reservation. What they never told us was that this was precisely the official flaw in the law that Bedi used to her own personal advantage. There is something called the letter of the law, and there is the spirit of the law. Bedi was someone who cocked a snook at the latter.

The ruckus in Aizawl did not make headlines in mainland India – it was by and large related to single columns and briefs in newspapers. Bedi’s image remained untarnished.

The Mizoram incident, however, is not one blemish in an otherwise squeaky clean career. There are many other skeletons in Bedi’s closet. The media, as a rule of the thumb, does not dig dirt about its own darlings. But uncomfortable questions over her self-professed “outstanding record” were posed by some journalists after she quit from the services in 2007.

Karan Thapar invited her to his television show. Bedi initially accepted, subsequently reconfirmed, and then pulled out without a convincing explanation. Thapar later published the questions he wanted to ask in his column:

1. To begin with, you’ve received neither the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service nor the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service. Given that these are routinely awarded after completing a certain number of years of service, isn’t your not getting them proof that your record is neither meritorious nor distinguished?

2. Secondly, is it true that on 4 separate occasions you failed to complete your tenure and at least twice left your post without permission which is tantamount to desertion of duty? (She didn’t complete her tenure as Superintendent of Police in Goa, DIG (Range) in Mizoram, Inspector General (Prisons) Tihar Jail and Inspector General of Police in Chandigarh. The posts that she left without permission were Goa, in 1983, and Mizoram, in 1992. Speaking to the Sunday Observer on the 27th September, 1992, she said of Mizoram: “I left without asking”. Her letter of 25th January,1984 to the Inspector General of Police in Goa, Mr Rajendra Mohan, establishes that she left on leave that had not been sanctioned.)

3. Let’s examine your conduct in some of the critical posts you’ve held. Is it not a fact that as DIG (Range) in Mizoram the Governor issued a formal note of displeasure against you for leaking information to the press?

4. Is it true that when President Venkatraman visited Mizoram the Governor became aware of your plans to disrupt the visit and informed the Intelligence Bureau that you could not be trusted with classified information and security? Again, this is said to be part of your service record.

5. Now let’s come to Chandigarh, where you were Inspector General for 41 days. Is it not true that the Adviser to the Administrator wrote to the Home Ministry to ask for your removal on the grounds that your presence in Chandigarh was “not in public interest”? (In her authorised biography ‘I Dare!’, its claimed Mrs Bedi asked to be posted out of the city. However, UNI, on the 18th May 1999 claims: “In a sudden move, the Union Home Ministry today transferred Chandigarh Inspector General of Police Kiran Bedi with immediate effect.”)

6. You were accused of instigating junior police officers to defy the administration because you disagreed with certain suspension orders issued at the time. The press said you were “sowing seeds of rebellion”.

7. In 1988 you were a central figure during the lawyers strike of that year. Even your authorized biography admits that the Wadhwa Commission, which investigated the matter, “found fault with Kiran”. The press has claimed he called you “a chronic liar”.

8. I put it to you, Mrs Bedi, that far from “an outstanding record”, your service record is good reason why you don’t deserve to be Police Commissioner?

9. In fact, if your service record was so good, wouldn’t the Lt. Governor, Tejinder Khanna, whose Special Secretary you were during his first tenure, have insisted on your appointment as Police Commissioner? The fact that he didn’t shows that he too thinks you are not fit for the job.

10. Finally, you’ve said Dadwal’s appointment was wrong not just because your merit was overlooked but also your seniority. But if you don’t deserve the job on merit should you get it because of seniority?

Pankaj Vohra too took Bedi to task. Among other things, he wrote about this curious incident of the scuffle between lawyers and policemen. Vohra wrote in Hindustan Times:

As DCP North in 1988, she got into a major problem with Tis Hazari lawyers. A committee headed by Justice DP Wadhwa, then a sitting Judge of the Delhi High Court, passed severe strictures against her. The report virtually established that Bedi had hatched a conspiracy along with a Congress corporator and also used some criminals so that they, with a mob, could attack the lawyers demanding her ouster. Justice Wadhwa, who later became a Supreme Court Judge, also questioned her credentials and raised doubts about her integrity.

The report was later presented in Parliament with an assurance to the lawyers who went on a 99-day strike that she will never be posted in the capital in any important position. Justice Wadhwa’s report also has observations which show how her proximity with the then Home Minister, Buta Singh, helped bail her out. Curiously, the report is not traceable in the Home Ministry anymore. Bedi, after that, was never allowed to hold a field posting and was never made additional or joint commissioner of either the Range or Traffic.

So, the report went missing, eh? Sounds suspiciously like the same kind of corruption that the Hazare-led agitationists are talking about.

Sure, no one is perfect. And people should indeed get a second chance to redeem themselves. But this always comes with a pre-condition: admit your sins first, and then atone for them. Kiran Bedi has not done any of that. To exonerate Bedi for her transgressions would be nothing short of self-indulgence. Meanwhile, you can choose to remember what you want about her

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50 Responses to “The True Face Of Kiran Bedi by Subir Ghosh”

  1. 1
    drake Says:

    anna hi hlawh tling lo mai ang a(h)

    [Report abuse]

  2. 2
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    1992 kawngzawh naah khian ka telve em kha le :-)

    [Report abuse]

  3. 3
    fx hmar Says:

    Post tha tak an ni.Keima mimal ngaihdan mai mai ah chuan #8 khian a khaikhawm ber mai.

    [Report abuse]

  4. 4
    Telphawka Says:

    a bengvar thlak e, paws tha khawp mai.

    [Report abuse]

  5. 5
    roseparvul Says:


    [Report abuse]

  6. 6
    Tcn khiangte Says:

    alo ni thei mai awm mange

    [Report abuse]

  7. 7
    No Comment Says:

    No Comment.

    [Report abuse]

  8. 8
    RenghangMan Says:

    He nu hi ka lo ngaihven em em lem ngai lo, a sawi khi a dil turah ngai hmiah ang

    [Report abuse]

  9. 9
    shabito Says:

    Anna Hazare Team a Kiran Bedi tel ve vang hian Mizorama a awm lai chungchang kha phone ka dawng (including LK admin) zing ta malh malh hle mai. Rin ang ngeiin thu dik tluantling lo deuha an beih a rinawm reng a. Mizorama DIG a nih laia Mizoram MBBS Quota a a fanu thun a nih khan khatih laia vai officer fa 7 ngawt an tel thu te chu an tiri duh tawh der lova. Khatih laia zirlai pawl te’n Kiran Bedi an beihrawnna chhan ber pawh ‘mi chak’ a nih vang mai kha a ni si a. Vai officer dang te kha an hming a lang tawh reng reng lo. (@)
    Tumah hi kan famkim lo tih erawh ka pawm e. (L)

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  10. 10
    zeus Says:

    Ka Englis diksawnari kha khawnge kan hmang tangkai leh teh ang :)

    [Report abuse]

  11. 11
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    shabito, vai dang chanchin a sawi tlat lova lawm. Kiran Bedi a kheina ania, midang a kheina chu nise a ziak tel mai lovang maw. Ka sawi awmzia chu mimal chanchin a kher naah diklo dang a thailan loh kha a pawina ka hrelo ve deuh reuh mai mai ta a hairehai . Naw awfens :-P

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  12. 12
    littlerascal Says:

    Thil in hriatsiakna tur post :-D

    Tak tak ah keichu ka lo ral ngaihsan ve khop asin, Judge Judy ang deuh mi thubuai a lo remna kha ka hman deuh khan Tv ah ka en ve thrin :)

    [Report abuse]

  13. 13
    saint sammoo Says:

    ‘MBBS zir tur hian kan tling tawk a ni..’ Lunglenthlak reuh ve…

    [Report abuse]

  14. 14
    Thinchhia_ralte Says:

    Kiran Bedi sawi hi chuan Aizawl SP Office tlanga kan awmlai kha ka hrechhuak ziak, lunglenthlak reuh. Kiran Bedi hi ka (Y) tho tho…

    [Report abuse]

  15. 15
    ZerO Says:

    Delhi police commissioner-a a tlin loh avang khan a tuar ve hle nih kha…

    [Report abuse]

  16. 16
    Pc-a Says:

    No_nick, lo nghak lawk teh ang.

    [Report abuse]

  17. 17
    Sony Says:

    At last somebody revealed the truth.

    [Report abuse]

  18. 18
    Maya Says:

    Ka lo ralkhat ngaihsan ve viau thin , mihring famkim kan awm loh zia hi a langchhuak leh thin a ni e .

    [Report abuse]

  19. 19
    nastycool Says:

    Kiran bedi kher hi chu ka ngaisang lem le e. (N)

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  20. 20
    Fergie Says:

    Mizoram a awmlai chanchin kha chu a serious lo pawl tak a lo ni zawk a nih hi maw le.
    Mahse, mimal inbeihna ang hi chuan thil hi kal thui lo se a tha ka ti. Tainted person pawh ni se, Lokpal hi kan ram tana tha tur a nih chuan ‘tainted person’ hmalakna a nih vang ringawt a hnawl chu a fuh chuang lovang. Kan ram tan a tha dawn lo a nih erawh chuan pass lo thung sela.

    [Report abuse]

  21. 21
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    Ram hnuk khawih pha chi ang hi chu mimal inbeih naah ka ngai miahlo ve tlat :-)

    [Report abuse]

  22. 22
    redknap Says:

    Ka tran tho tho che pi Bedi :-)

    [Report abuse]

  23. 23
    Alejendro Says:

    Hetiang zawng zawng hi ka sawi chhuah chak, ka hriat chian em em si loh a nia… no_nick post ah ka sawi deuh reuh tawh..

    Corruption dona tihah ringawt hian focus lo ila, a piah lam thil i thlir thiam zawk ila a tha ang. Dawn hi ti thui hlawm teh ang.

    Mahse ka in ngaihtuah chiang a. Mi thenkhat hi chu an mawl ang ang a enliam mai hi an tha in ka hria. Engmah ka sawi ve lehlo mai ang. Wait and see. Politics, leadership, etc etc vel mai mai a ni e an JOKEPAL hi.

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  24. 24
    no_nick Says:

    @posttupa: He article hi i rawn post hma khan ka lo chhiar daih tawh a, critics dang ziah te pawh ka lo chhiar ve dap tawh…!! hetah hi chuan sawi tur ka nei lo..!! Hemi thilah hian Bedi hi dan kalhin a che em ?? Che lo..!!
    Bedi hrim2 ka tran tihna a ni lova…!! Tuna Anti corruption campaing a a hma tawng pawl te hian cause an nei ka rawn tihna ani..! Chuan Anti corruption Bill hi ka hlawkpui ka ring bawk. A dang chu ka sawipeih tawh lo.!! Perspective nei in tlem emai.. te ti ila..!! (Tuman lo haw kher su aw..) Discussin maimai anih hi..! Misual ah chuan Critics kan tam a mahse perspective a tlem ka tihna lampang a ni e…!!

    @9 shabito : (Y)(Y)

    16 Pc-a: No comment. :)

    @Alejendro: “Politics mai mai a ni e ” i rawn ti thla leh rawk thin a.. Fundamental level ah i ngaihtuah tlem hle mai…!! Enge engemaw link i rawn vawmbei leh a.. Mahni ngaihdan i nei lo a mi? NOI

    [Report abuse]

  25. 25
    hlatekhua Says:

    He nu hi nu nasa ve tak chu a ni. Mussoorie-a kan training laiin lecture a rawn pe a(Mizorama a awm lai kha ni ta awm e), kan inbe nual. Mi fel fek fawk tak, ngeiawm lam lek lek niin ka hmu. Ka ei tehchiam lo a ni ber mai!

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  26. 26
    DuatDuat Says:

    @no_nick pune nula rual in an star chenia auh…i mumang mi te pawh kha an ni mai thei nia :-)

    OT loh nan kei chu lokpal bill hi ka thlop e,a mimal tak a in chhui chiam te chuan tunge maw tling zo awm ang le…Pathian fapa meuh pawh khengbet tu te kan nisi a…keini phei min chhui dawn se a thalai tlar daih pawh awm ngut a nge maw chuuuuu :-O

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  27. 27
    CyberThug Says:

    A lo di baw?

    [Report abuse]

  28. 28
    no_nick Says:

    26 DuatDuat: Pune zin tur anih chu… !! :P

    [Report abuse]

  29. 29
    funny Says:

    Let him live to die another day, but he is not a gentleman like Gandhi.

    -my coment about Anna Hazare.

    [Report abuse]

  30. 30
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    Mizoram a awm hnu, Delhi lamah pawh khan Punjabi hoin buaina an siam lai vel khan Delhi Mizo ho chuan Kiran Bedi kha hlauhna riau an neih kha mawle.

    [Report abuse]

  31. 31
    doc_lib Says:

    Ka putar hnu, life enjoy thei tawh loh hnu ah chawngheiin corruption chu ka la do ve ang. Eng bill emaw hming ka phuah ve anga, ka hlawhtlina sorkarin a passed leh hming thatna ropui lutuk nen ka hun ka hmang liam anga, a passed loh a chawngheia ka boral ta anih leh, ram tana nunna hlan angin hmingtha lutukin ka hun ka hmang liam tho ang. Thil tih hun hi an hre mai mai ngawt mai. Ka la ti ve ang. Tunah chuan ka vanglai hun ka la hmang chauh ani. ka peih rih lo :-P

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  32. 32
    no_nick Says:

    @31: Ngaihdan mawl tak ani.. (N)

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  33. 33
    mach3 Says:

    Mi hi han in chhui cheuh2 chuan rinawm tluanchhuah hi alo har aniang.Entir nan, Post Matric Scholarship ST tana la thei tur chhungkaw income tlemte fixed ania. Mahse zofa te hi la lo ngam kan awm ka hre mang hlawm lo. Kan phak tawk ah hian eirukna leh dik lo hnualsuat ngam kan tlem khawp mai.

    [Report abuse]

  34. 34
    nastycool Says:

    31, ngaihdan tha tak a ni (Y)

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  35. 35
    mach3 Says:

    31, kei chu ka hlau. Tehkhin thu a”Hrem hmun kawng chu engtia thui nge” ti tupa tawngkam anih duh hmel em mai ;-(

    [Report abuse]

  36. 36
    no_nick Says:

    @34 Ngaihdan mawl tak ani.. (N)

    [Report abuse]

  37. 37
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    #30 khi thil tak2 anih khi. Hetah hian hrechiang an awm ka ring tlat. :-(

    [Report abuse]

  38. 38
    ngaihdan tha a Says:

    post tha tak ani

    [Report abuse]

  39. 39
    funny Says:

    Mihring famkim lohna hi khawvel awm chhungin a awm reng dawna, chuvangin corruption leh zu tihvel hi pho ro tum ngawt chi anilo, control chi zawk ani. Chumi control natur atan pawh chuan an Lok Pal bill kalpui tum dan hi tha ka tilo. Rin lawk ang ngeiin tun atang mahin in beih tawnna a thleng nasa ania. A ti tute pawh hi han chhui han chhui takah chuan lo famkim bik heklo.

    Tin, a bei tute tak pawh hi engemaw advantage beiseia ti an ang phian lehnghal. :P

    Pu Hawla’n vote zawn nana pho ro a tum der ringawt pawh kha tullo kalo tih nak laia. Phoro tumin han ti tak tak sela chuan in beih tawnna vela kan buai vak bakah Mizoram sawrkar hnathawh pawh chawl rup khawpin fihlim lo kan tam ang.

    Hetiang deuh hian tuna an lokpal bill pawh hi an duh danin han pass thut sela chuan India ram hi a buai nuai ang.

    Ka lawm e. (Y)

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  40. 40
    H.Vangchhia Says:

    funny, i e-mail check zuai…tet tawt mai hairehai ;-)

    [Report abuse]

  41. 41
    hltau Says:

    Kiran Bedi in a fanu a thun khan, nie vai officer dangte poh khan an thun tho a, Dr Babu afanute poh Mizoram quota thoin an kal a, michallang anih vangte poh ani mai thei e.

    [Report abuse]

  42. 42
    hltau Says:

    Engpawh nise voin a parliament a Rahul Gandhi thusoi kha ka duh top. Congress hi ka ni ngailo a, mahse Rahula hi chu PM tur chuan ka pawm thlap, ka support zawng tak ani.

    [Report abuse]

  43. 43
    funny Says:

    News a rawn lang bak chu ka hrelo na in sawi tha ka ti khawpmai keipawh. (Y)

    [Report abuse]

  44. 44
    hmingtea Says:

    Phoro lah lo ve a kan la eiru ve hlei nem ka ei ruk ve thei hun oh zawh hunah kan la do tlang dawn nia.Han un eiru lian te te ilang a haw ber ah tan thak tur

    [Report abuse]

  45. 45
    doc_lib Says:

    @44 hmingtea, eiruk len hnu mai ani hleinem, eiruk khawlkhawm poh chen thei tawh lo khawpa putar hnu,kum 70 hnu ah a lawm do tur. Chaw in nghei vel anga, ( nghei lo mahla kum 70 hnuah chuan tam i ei thei tawh lo hrim hrim ), i do hlohtling emaw hlohchham emaw hmingthatna i khum hrim hrim. Thil tih hun hi mi fate hian an hre chat chat ania :-P

    [Report abuse]

  46. 46
    saumbura Says:

    Diran Kebi in tia mawni vang hian Jail run thimah kar khat dawn ka tang ve tawh. Pathian zarah ka la chhunzawm lo hlauh.

    [Report abuse]

  47. 47
    beethugs2 Says:

    An han lipse tak tak chu…Anna Hazare pawh Birthday ropui taka lawm nan NGO sum alo hmang teuh a nih kha…..!!! AN inhmeh hlawm khawp e.
    Lokpal MOvement hi hnam hnuaihnung ho leh Muslim ho hian an thlawp lo tih te pawh hriat mai mai a tha. MIddle Class Revolution an tih pawh hia dik viau e.

    Hetiang bawk hian Reservation system te hi duh lovin chaw ngheiin han nuar tluk tluk mai sela, nang leh kei hian SAwkar hi kan tan hlur ka ring.Teh deuh duah a…. (H)

    [Report abuse]

  48. 48
    zoho Says:

    Power game ah utopia a awm lo ve, mimal ah pawh sawiselbo an awm lo ve, duhthusam lo ah rau rau a tha zawk chu a awm mai zawk a ni. Duhthlan tur dang chhawp chhuah a awm chuang si lo a, ka (Y) e. Kal zel rawh se.

    [Report abuse]

  49. 49
    chawnghilh Says:

    The widespread protests in 1992 were over her daughter’s admission to Delhi’s Lady Hardinge College for an MBBS course through the Mizoram quota.

    Kolasib nula lehkhathiamthei tak mai Sangteii (Nunsangi, d/o Thianghlima) kan tih mai thin LUHNA tur an chhuh a nih kha … Sangteii kha a uiawm khawp mai. Tunah hian Police SI emaw niin, pasal neiin fate pawh a nei tawh ang. A pasal pawh Science lam mi bawk a ni ta tho va.

    [Report abuse]

  50. 50
    Updates on Jan Lokpal Bill « Dr B R Ambedkar Books Says:

    […] […]

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