252 / April 8, 2024

Bihar’s Decline, Working With Lalu Prasad & 1984 Bokaro Riots – IPS Manjari’s Career Stories

74 Minutes

252 / April 8, 2024

Bihar’s Decline, Working With Lalu Prasad & 1984 Bokaro Riots – IPS Manjari’s Career Stories

74 Minutes
Listen on

About the Episode

This week’s episode is in discussion with Bihar’s First Lady IPS officer who talks about Bihar’s Decline, Working With Lalu Prasad, & The 1984 Bokaro Riots Tragedy as we welcome Manjari Jaruhar to the Neon Show!

UNTOLD 1984 Bokaro Riots Story!

What Was Bihar Like In the 1960s?

Is The Indian Police Force Corrupt?

Do IPS Officers Get Influenced By Politicians?

All these juicy topics and more in this EYE-OPENING conversation about the lives of India’s civil servants. A dive into the inner workings of the Indian police force, from the perspective of a woman & how much Bihar as a state has changed since the 60s… Tune in NOW!

Watch all other episodes on The Neon Podcast – Neon

Or view it on our YouTube Channel at The Neon Show – YouTube

I was told that I was the first lady IPS officer. But when I went to report to the DG’s office, he did not even acknowledge my presence. And when he got up, he says, Oh, you’ve come. What will I do with you?

He mentioned I need Kiran Bedi’s file to see what can be given to you.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. From the bureaucracy, there was a big pushback. Nobody ever made me feel welcome in those days. As an IPS officer, you are trained to handle emergencies. I do feel that the IPS training if you do it sincerely, trains you for all kinds of eventualities.

The image of Bihar in media is, even the Prakash Jha film, Ganga Jal, Apharan, and all these are written. So, police officers, IPS officers, used to get bribes in Mithai boxes.

My own experience with politicians has been, I think caste became a very big issue later on. Everything became caste-oriented. The education system in Bihar was very good initially. We all studied there. But gradually, even there, things started creeping in.

Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav, as a chief, Mr. Yadav, as a chief, working with him, what was the experience like?

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:08


Hi, this is Siddharth Ahluwalia. Welcome to The Neon Show. Today, I have with me, the author of Madam Sir, Mrs. Manjari Jaruhar. Ma’am, welcome to The Neon Show. So excited to have you today.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:22


Thank you.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:22


And this is the first time we are having an IPS officer. And you were the fifth women IPS officer in India, and the first in the Bihar cadre.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:32



Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:32

It must be such an honor to be among the first five along with Kiran Bedi ma’am.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:40


I don’t know whether it’s an honor or it was tough because I was the first one to enter Bihar.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:46


We would love to start, you know, by your journey, right? And especially the first half of your journey before you became an IPS officer. What was growing up in Bihar back in 1960s like?


Manjari Jaruhar: 2:00


Bihar in the 1960s was a very, very… very peaceful state, a very well administered state and there was a lot of emphasis on education. There was a lot of safety. There was never any problem about not going out or doing things and people were all in, the bureaucracy was very, very conscious of doing developmental activities and we had almost everything. There was nothing that we were dependent on in any way, on any other state. But my own childhood was a very sheltered childhood. I stayed a lot with my grandparents because my parents were busy in the village and the affairs in the village. So, my growing up was extremely sheltered but with a lot of discipline, lot of love and affection. But everything had to be done in a particular way.

If you dressed, what did you eat, with whom did you interact. There was a lot of emphasis

on doing well in school and getting good grades. So all that was very well organized by my grandparents for me and my sisters and my other cousins who were staying with him.

So growing up, I don’t think I was taught anything about the social rules of life. All

facing life in general or learning any of the skills which would help me in decision making

or going out and doing things on my own all that was not possible because everything was protected everything was sheltered if I ever went out I was chaperoned. We never went for movies or restaurants though it was a lot of safety compared to what we have but that is the way young girls were brought up in those days.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 3:57


Ma’am you remember was then the Bihar capital Patna was safe back then when you were growing up?


Manjari Jaruhar: 4:05


Yes absolutely safe later on people would tell me I mean of course I was in the police force myself but later on much later on I realized that people would not allow their wives and all to go out in the night and one lady particularly told me that they had stopped going for wedding parties and all putting wearing jewelry because if they stopped at a railway crossing criminals would come and demand the jewelry so that kind of scare was there but by that time I had actually left Bihar. I had moved out so I would hear these stories but for us it was very peaceful there were girls who would cycle to college and go everywhere we were very strictly brought up but my other friends and colleagues were allowed to do a lot of things. Go to movies and parties and all but of course there were no mixed parties in those days in Bihar but yes they were more liberal their parents were more liberal than my grandparents so that is the way it was in Bihar a very peaceful and a prosperous state.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 5:14


And once you became an IPS officer and got positioned or stationed in in Bihar right what was the difference in the Bihar that you grew up and now when you’re responsible for administering Patna?


Manjari Jaruhar: 5:28


Yeah that’s an interesting question the Bihar in which I grew up was I am growing up I am being looked after by my parents I’m very sheltered I have to follow certain modes of discipline certain ways of talking to people certain ways of handling people that is the way I was there was no interaction with men or boys extremely extremely sheltered but when I went to join as a young IPS officer I went to Bihar with a lot of enthusiasm and I was told that I was the first lady IPS officer and but when I went to report to the DG’s office I have written a lot about it in my book I was quite crestfallen I would say that he did not even acknowledge my presence and uh he continued to write whatever he was writing in his file when I marched in and then when he got up he says oh you’ve come and uh what will I do with you and a lady officer is going to be with me.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 6:36


He mentioned I need Kiran Bedi’s file to see what can be given


Manjari Jaruhar: 6:40


Yeah yeah you remember that so nice of you to remember he said I’m getting Kiran Bedi’s file from Delhi and then I’ll read that and then I’ll post you, which I found very odd. I am an IPS officer like all the other men. Five other men had also come to Bihar. But their posting was done in the evening. They were posted. But I was made to wait because he didn’t know what to do with me. So I think that they were still very conservative. And now you see women everywhere, isn’t it?


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 7:11




Manjari Jaruhar: 7:12


But go back to 76. There was no woman in a khaki uniform in Bihar.


There were a few lady constables who were appointed on compassionate grounds. And there were sarees. And they do very small jobs in offices and all. And that number was also miniscule.

So to suddenly see a woman in pant and shirt, and that also khaki with a cap and a boot and coming in a jeep, I think it really hit them.


And it was beyond their imagination. So, wherever I went, huge crowds would follow me in those days. But from the bureaucracy, there was a big pushback.


Nobody ever made me feel welcome in those days. Everybody warned me, how will you do it? How will you do this? How will you do that? Where will you go? How will you do night rounds?

So there were always doubts about my abilities.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 8:06


When you used to face such doubts openly from your seniors, did you come and share it with your your husband, who helped you get self-belief back? Or was it just that you need to prove your self-determination?

Manjari Jaruhar: 8:24

No, at that time my husband was not with me. He was in another subdivision that was in Ranchi. I was in Patna, but the only thing I think which held me was my own determination. And even though the DG’s office was pushing me back, my senior SP and the DIG under whom I was trained they were very keen to train me and they made me do everything which a male police officer is supposed to do so there they did not distinguish between a male and a female officer and I’m really grateful to my DIG and to my senior SP who put everything in front of me and said that this is what you have to do this is what you have to do and they expected me they would supervise my work quite closely and I think they also took it as a mission to train me and I was of course determined to learn everything I was determined to learn anything so didn’t I didn’t shirk anything

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 9:30


But at any point of time you feel free is that the system is trying to pull you down?

Manjari Jaruhar: 9:35


Very often, when I finished my training I was looking for my first posting as an ASP assistant superintendent of police that is what IPS officers are posted. So all my batchmates were posted and I was not posted and then again I was posted to a CID a bed a table job a desk job I would say in a small cubicle I would sit I had no amenities I uh there was really no work some of my seniors were very sympathetic that I was there so they would send me to read and all but uh I never shirked work so even those few files which came I recorded whatever was expected of me whatever they expected that this is your job you have to find how the note has been written and how the case is going on so I would record and people felt that I was working very sincerely though I was almost miserable I was miserable and very often I would cry also to see that where have I been confined and you know to think that uh there were six officers who had come to Bihar my position was three at number three still you see there were people behind me but they have all been given good assignments and I’m made to sit in the CID so it was very frustrating in those days. But I didn’t give up I kept on saying that I should do a field job because in the police if you don’t do a field job in your initial years then you are considered like a desk job you know you would be considered a officer who has mostly stayed in the office.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 11:21


And when you were posted you know some of the stories that you shared for example in Bokaro when you were there and when 1984 riots erupted and for that short period of time you were on a leave and you you came back but once you came back you gave everything that had in your capability to do the right to the the Sikhs that had suffered and Bokaro had the third-highest number of killings of sikhs. Sixty-nine?

Manjari Jaruhar: 11:51


sixty nine killings

we had

right right

So bokaro happened when I was not there I was on leave and Mrs. Gandhi got assassinated and I was in Bombay and you know I was in Bombay and immediately after that the riots broke out.

Bokaro had a very large Sikhs population and in the past also when the Golden Temple attack had taken place and those incidents had happened there had been a simmering discontent but I had very good rapport with the Sikh families also and with the others so I made sure that there was proper deployment there were Peace Committee meetings, the usual things which you do when you think that there is tension in the town and I I would personally talk to people so we had averted everything anything from happening but when the Sikh riots took place the anti-Sikh riots took place I was not there and the person who was there was a very very junior officer and probably he didn’t appreciate and nobody expected this to happen so a lot of people were killed I of course when I heard about the Sikh riots that I have some I mean I got to know about it much later but in any case I was supposed to leave that day for Bombay for Bokaro so I took the train there was no flight there was no mobile phone to get minute to minute information and no flights to Bombay so I was booked on the train and I left up by train with two small kids on the way I came to know how stations had been devastated and all when I arrived I saw that the town was under curfew and the DIG told me that so many people by that time it was not even known how many people were killed he said some people have been killed but their families missing their children missing so now you take over. and looking at him I realized that this man has not slept for a few days and everybody was crowded in a refugee camp in the Saint Xavier school the DIG had taken that decision and the Christian fathers were very gracious enough to open everything for them because the school had been closed at that time so when I arrived there I I arrived home I just got into my uniform left my children with the maid and I just rushed and then I don’t remember when I came home because uh everybody clung to me and kept saying that uh you were not there and this is what has happened and we are glad you’ve come and all. I had thought people would be angry and everybody will be uh even though uh the public would be angry and all but this was a very different kind of emotion. People clinging on to me and looking for sucker and my officers they were all young officers they were all looking at me for some directions as to what to do because so far they had been only doing firefighting they had not organized themselves or anything so I said first thing first is start a group starts recording the FIR and uh I said one uh team was there and so I okay still kind of had a lot of made to go and recover people whoever said that my husband is missing i don’t know where so and so is or some family member is not there or my want to know about my shop i think. so this team started doing all that and as the FIRs were getting registered if names were coming I told the district magistrate to extend the curfew and we started picking up the people in the night itself so that had a very salutary effect and things started normalizing.

But of course the families were devastated so a lot of hand holding looking at individual needs making things available for them settling them in a new environment it was like a social work also so all that I had to handle that was a very tough time but today when I look back I’m glad that i was able to save some things though I regret that inadvertently I had just gone for a holiday and something like this happened

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 16:12


And you mentioned that uh guilt which was even not your fault kept hanging on you for a very long period.

Manjari Jaruhar: 16:18


yes yes for a long time for a very long time that if i had been there this would not have happened but immediately there was no time to even think like this immediate thing was that rescue people restore confidence open up the city it has been under curfew for three days so that was the immediate concern it’s only later on that those cases and all and many of the things i’ve written in the book is only through memory because they impacted me so much. I didn’t have any notes to go back to because I was writing the book only after 13 years so whatever i’ve recorded in my book is only by memory and some of the incidents i remember so vividly that it’s difficult.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 17:00


But you took help of case diaries to write your book from back then.


Manjari Jaruhar: 17:04


No i didn’t take i did i could not access because I had already shifted to Delhi and I was writing in Delhi you have gone to the archives and all but i did ask one or two officers about some name or I would remind them of that incident and say this is the way I remember do you know how it happened. they would support me but I mostly wrote the book sitting in Patna when I was isolated with my mother during the pandemic. So it was just from memory that I wrote.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 17:37


But it must have been a quite an experience for you to go through that trauma?


Manjari Jaruhar: 17:42

Oh yes!

and i don’t know whether my trauma or my husband not knowing what was happening to me because there was no phone nothing and the children at home. I’m not coming home

how many days you were away from your children at a stretch?

I would about three days definitely I remember.

the children never knew where you were?

I would come late in the night have something to eat, sleep, leave early in the morning so they barely must have seen me coming in and out but then there was no interaction. Their schools were also closed so it was frustrating for them to be isolated at home so then i decided to send them to my parents for some time so that I didn’t have to worry about them .


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 18:25


And your parents were a big support during all your service right even when you were posted back to patna?


Manjari Jaruhar: 18:30


Yes yes my parents always supported me in times of need and times of need were when i went for some training program which was mandatory i had to do and some training program i did by choice also because i said i must do this or there were times when i was being transferred from one place to another and somebody needed to look after the children till i established myself in the new place so my parents sometimes my in-laws sometimes my relatives they they all did support me


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 19:02

And you especially mentioned Shri Vastavs in your book who are your neighbors

Manjari Jaruhar: 19:05


oh yes yes i have kept in touch with them even now they were a big support they had two boys and they were doctors and they were living next door. So there was just a small boundary wall between both of our houses. So they would sort of just come in whenever i was not there i had to give them a phone and phone call and they would come and handle everything

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 19:28


And you you experienced that right i think in 1984 you were what around 35 to 40 years old


Manjari Jaruhar: 19:37


i’m 34 35 34 years old


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 19:40


but 34 35 is still still a very young age right to have responsibility of such a city in such a trauma do you think that your shoulders were overburdened during that period of time?

Manjari Jaruhar: 19:53


See as an ips officer you are trained to handle emergencies and I do feel that the IPS training if you do it sincerely trains you for all kinds of eventualities and of course your inner being is also very important what you are bringing into any service like your own sincerity your own passion to for doing the right things your own values that also makes a difference in the kind of services a young officer will deliver even in your profession how much you’re devoted how much you are bringing your own value system to the job you are doing how truthfully you are doing how sincerely you are doing all that matters so in the in the case of the IPS also we are trained fully we are equipped because see IPS, the professional training is academy is for one year one full year and then there is a district training for one full year so there is nothing which you are not taught and after doing this you are get posted as an ASP for a few a year or year and a half which is also under the tutelage of a senior but independent charge so you cannot say that you have you are not equipped you are fully equipped so any emergencies which happen it can be a natural disaster like a disaster which happens earthquake or a flood or anything so you know what is to be done and to tell you very frankly Siddharth there have been times that they when you are posted overnight from one place to another because you have to have only something which had happened there and that officer is removed. Then you arrive there take charge and start immediately functioning with new set of officers but by then you have been trained so well and you can always ring up somebody and ask Kya krna hai and how do I go. But that also is not available every time. So you just arrive and you start working. So I think that the IPS training whether it is the training at the academy and the field training makes you a very thorough officer.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 22:05


But in your book, it’s such a positive reinforcement of what IPS job in a police job is looking like. But we haven’t seen that image in a society of police, right?


Manjari Jaruhar: 22:19


Yes, that is true.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 22:21


Why do you think is that? Because there’s a disconnect of what the image of the police, we as kids and as adults have seen and what we see in your book, like there’s a huge disconnect.


Manjari Jaruhar: 22:32


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 22:33


Why is that?


Manjari Jaruhar: 22:34


Many people do ask me this question. And I think that it is also because of the media. You know, traditionally, the media has always portrayed police as something.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 22:46

But there can’t be a any smoke without fire.

Manjari Jaruhar: 22:48


Yeah, that’s what I’m coming to.

So they have always portrayed the police as a butt end of all the jokes, cracking jokes at their expense and showing corruption

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 23:03


As a few things. What you said corruption, misuse of power,

Manjari Jaruhar: 23:06


Misuse of power, misbehaving with people, not responding positively to situations. These things do happen. It is a fact that in every society there are people who are misfits and I think such people are they’re misfits. Even in the police. The percentage is very small. But because misfits are not to be accepted. Any mistake they make is not a mistake. Any deliberate act which they are doing, which spoils the image that really gets highlighted, that really gets highlighted. But I see a trend changing in the media that now they are doing things, are portraying police officers who are doing well, who are honest, who are respected. So, that change, that shift is happening. But let us take a small district. There will be two kinds of people there. The people who are really devoted, they are doing their work and there will be one or two people who will not be doing what the public expects you to do. Then the subordinate ranks also. Their misbehavior with the public is very well known how they are treating. And there are reasons for it. And somehow we are still struggling to correct those behaviors. And as sincere police officers, we can never condone such behavior. But I do feel that the media should be a little more charitable. And today, if the country is being held together, it is only because of the IPS and the police officers. Look at the way we have lost men in Kashmir or at the borders. And their policing to terrorism, to insurgency in the Naxal problems. We have lost so many officers of all ranks, all ranks. And we have lost them because they were doing their work sincerely.

So, that did not get highlighted. But if somebody did some kind of corruption in Jammu and Kashmir, then that really gets highlighted. Because that is unacceptable behavior.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 25:10


What has been the media portrayal of police has been, there are very few sincere officers, like you, and the large part is misusing the power.


Manjari Jaruhar: 25:19



Siddharth Ahluwalia: 25:21


What is your view about that? Is it true or is it most of the 90% of the force is sincere and only 10% of the force is bad apples?


Manjari Jaruhar: 25:30


Yeah, I would think like that. I would think like that. 90 is good and they are doing their work and it is only 10% who bring the bad name.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 25:38


Because you have seen it closely.


Manjari Jaruhar: 25:40


Yes, yes. And every time a senior police officer sees such behavior, you must crack down on it. You must crack down on it. You can’t become a party to their behavior.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 25:51


Because once one chain of commands at the top is corrupted, the entire bottom has to follow that protocol.

Manjari Jaruhar: 25:59


Yes, it can happen in a district that if the district SP is not doing the right things and everybody down the line adapts very quickly. But if you give an impression in the beginning itself that this is what I mean, I mean business, you have to do this, then the force also works like that. Yeah. So the force, the IPS is at the cutting edge to provide leadership. So the leadership becomes very important. And if you have not provided a good leadership to the subordinate ranks, then that is the way that is the place from where the bad behavior and the bad image starts.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 26:35


Has it happened at any time in your career that you took charge of a district or a station that was fully corrupted and you had to, it was very difficult for you to instill righteousness in that?


Manjari Jaruhar: 26:47

Oh, yeah, the posting to Bokaro itself was done overnight, because the SP there got into trouble for not handling the constabulary.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 27:03


What is constabulary?

Manjari Jaruhar: 27:04


The constables and junior rank officers. So, what had happened in Bokaro was that they

wanted to go on free rides in vehicles. taxi vehicles. and the drivers resisted. When the divers resisted, they had a hot exchange of words, the constables and the drivers and the Khalasis. The next thing they did was that the policemen went back to their barracks, they collected hockey sticks, etc. and came back and there was a free for all between the driver Khalasi and the constables and on the issue of making payment when they were going on these trekkers. Now, there are these challenging things like when we deploy constables and all because of shortage in those days. Now, these things don’t happen because of shortage of vehicles and all. You will say to the constable, go and do duty there. But how is he going to go and do duty there? How will he go? Where will he stay? What will he eat? All that we don’t define. And we just give him a letter, a letter of order saying that go and do some law and order duties there. So, they also don’t know what to do. So, they will want a free ride. Then why should the trekker guy give them a free ride? After all, he’s also earning his bread through that. So, then there was a free for all and the SP for some reason could not handle it and it became a major issue and he had to be transferred out. And I was sent immediately there to take over charge. And I’ve recorded about it in the book also that how I was cautioned that don’t go to the police lines and be very careful you are going because I had been agitating that I should be given a district. I had already done three years in the CID when my other batch mates had all done districts and I was still confined there and every day I would say that I want, I must be given a district because the time span is very little for us. If you don’t do your district, then you are gone. So, then when they posted me, there were all kinds of apprehensions. And how will I manage and this is what they warned me. When I arrived there, I realized that this could be an issue that they had misbehaved and they may misbehave with me also being a lady officer. And this was my first posting. So, I confronted the whole problem straight on in a police sabha about which I have written in my book. I gave them an impression that I’m not going to bear any indiscipline. I said that everybody should be in uniform. Okay. So, I was in uniform as long as they are on duty and evening time there used to be a lot of crime. So, evening time, you know, people would be in jackets and jeans and t-shirt. I said nothing doing. I was in uniform and everybody else will be in uniform. All wireless sets will be on in the evening because the tendency was to switch off the wireless sets and then walkie talkies. And the alerts, you know, that night rounds have to happen. Parade will happen. It can’t be that on the morning of the parade, you say I’m sick.

And don’t turn up for the parade. It will be regular parade. Then there was a lot of crying. And I said, I’m not going to wear any indiscipline. I’m not going to wear regular police sabhas where I would interact with the constabulary. So these things instilled a lot of sense of discipline among the people there.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 30:30


And as you mentioned, but it was not a position where the district was fully corrupt or the officers were fully corrupt.


Manjari Jaruhar: 30:37

There is nobody, it is never a time when you’re fully corrupt. You will always find officers who are ready to, willing to work straight and they are happy to be told what to do because they are also under a discipline. Yeah. You know we are a hierarchy and a disciplined force. If I tell my driver that you have to keep standing here till I come back and I’m in a meeting for three hours, he will not move from that car. Because when I come back, he’s there and I’m ready to drive off. I don’t have to tell him what I was doing. If I am going on a raid in the night, the driver has to stand by the car or there is a gunman who has to come with me or a police officer who has to come with me. And I’m in a meeting for three hours. I have to tell them that, okay, take the car that side and go there or put some people on a duty by some place, say that you stand here till we come back, then they can’t move out. So that kind of discipline is already enforced in the force. They have to follow what we have to say, what we say. And unless we practice discipline, it will be very difficult to do any kind of law of anti-crime duties because then everybody is doing everything else.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 31:55


And often the media portrays that the politicians are usually corrupt and they influence the IPS officers heavily or IPS officers who don’t listen to them get transferred does that really happen?

Manjari Jaruhar: 32:08


I really think that this is also a choice if you want to oblige the politician he will keep on asking you for things if you make it sure to them that look i can do only this much and i will not do beyond this. Because sometimes they ask for reasonable things also they are not always asking so there’s no need for you to be harsh and treat them uh impolitely after all he’s the representative of the people and he’s coming with some problem you should listen to him and if you can do something then do it if you can’t do it then you should have to explain to him and i have seen a very uh in my my own experience with politicians has been that i have never been asked to do something uh wrong

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 32:53



Manjari Jaruhar: 32:55


because probably they know my reputation that i will not do and maybe they were apprehensive ki lady hai pata nahi kya kregi. I sometimes give them the benefit of doubt but there has never been a situation in which I have not

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 33:09


Uh like they asked to to take a bribe or something which like stories in media has it never happened?

Manjari Jaruhar: 33:14


No i have never been offered a bribe. Only that little incident i told you about. When i was sitting in the time somebody would put ten rupees ten rupee notes that was the only bribe i’ve thought of but uh i have never had this good experience as i would say.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 33:29


The politicians never forced that you have to do this else you will be transferred?

Manjari Jaruhar: 33:32


No no no no i i think uh because i was the only lady officer they must have been a little apprehensive of telling me that and they knew i would not do it.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 33:42


And the image of the media the image of Bihar in media is that uh you know even the Prakash Jha’s film Gangajal, Apharan and all these which are written that police officers IPS officers used to get bribes in mithayi boxes. Was it true? You saw it happening in your time during any?


Manjari Jaruhar: 34:00


I have not seen i have not seen but i have heard that uh politicians did bring up so and so during recruitment and send them a list that these people have to be recruited or uh that he has been transferred but because he did not do this i did not have this kind of experiences

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 34:20


and you have experience


Manjari Jaruhar: 34:21


And then very soon I moved to the ground government of India so once I moved to the government of India I was insulated from these kind of pressures I think.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 34:30


But tell us more about the Gangajal incident that happened during your time?


Manjari Jaruhar: 34:36

That was a very very uh challenging it was tough and it needed a lot of mental uh discipline to handle those cases. So this blinding of people were taking place in bhagalpur because it was really crime infested and the criminal activity was of a kind which you would not hear criminals would pick up victims cut their body parts and throw them into the ganga in the river so they were never found they would kidnap people mutilate them and then take the ransom and return them. They would rape women in front of their families. And there were all kinds of really heinous crimes they were doing and police could not do anything because they did arrest them and send them to jail but the magistrate and the judge they were so scared of keeping them anywhere and they would threaten them also and how protected can anybody be if you are determined to do something so they would give them bail now they come out on bail then again do the same things. So these kind of things were happening So, the policemen, the subordinates and I am sure the seniors must have also connived with that and the seniors must have also connived and or not connived but approved silently that they decided to take out the eyes you know we have these things what is called takua. It is a big needle, thick needle used to puncture a hole in files and tie it up with a string.

So that is available in all police stations so they gouged out the eyes with that and then they poured acid. So it was really heinous and I don’t know why they did that perhaps better would have been to shoot them and finish them off but then disposal of a body and all is also different. Anyway what was the psychology I don’t know. But when they did two many and in one night they blinded nine people there was a big hue and cry and then everything came out in the open and it came to the parliament and then a committee had to be instituted to inquire into these blinding cases. So a senior DIG was being sent and that was the time when I was SP CID when I was everyday feeling frustrated that I had not been given a field job. So there was a SP who was drafted into this and I was also drafted in this team and I was drafted only because the DIG had trained me and he knew that I could write well and you know there would be a lot of work to be recorded and also he thought that I would be doing it properly. So I was also drafted and also because I was a spare SP I had really not much work in the CID. So they said she has experience. She is a hardworking person.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 37:42



Manjari Jaruhar: 37:42


She is a hardworking person. She knows how to write well. I think that this is what they must have thought and I was put in that group. Now why it was challenging was that the blinding was done by young officers and they were all police officers. These officers were supported by the public. The public was in full support of them. When we arrived there they were raising slogans against us. Why have you come to inquire? They are our saviors.


So it was that. On one hand the public felt that the police had done the right thing. It was a challenge for me because I am a police officer and I am writing going to inquire against police officers knowing that they have blinded and then the general environment around everybody wanted to protect the officers. Everybody wanted to protect what had happened. So they would put pressure on other officers who knew me on my family that I should not..

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 38:41


Your father got a call?

Manjari Jaruhar: 38:42


My father got a call that make sure that she doesn’t write anything damaging so this atmosphere happened again I’m go back to myself of my old self and I think about the kind of discipline and values and everything I’d been brought up with that I said let me do whatever is right I that I thought really consciously in fact once I had to tell somebody off that say that I don’t want to blacken my hands I’m a very young officer I just put in about eight years of service I said I don’t want to do anything wrong because I also realized that if the case goes to the courts and all they will going to grill me what am i writing am i writing anything false so I stuck to whatever it was

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 39:24


And then what was the final conclusion of that?

Manjari Jaruhar: 39:28


So the final conclusion we did find that the subordinate officers had blinded but just sending the report is not enough things had to be taken to the other logical conclusion in our case in Bihar by then this kind of thing has set in where everything is being handled very casually so though we recorded and sent everything very soon I was transferred many of our officers was transferred in due course so what happened to those cases how it they were pursued in the court and all we don’t know the courts have a huge backlog what happened but I’m told later on because I soon after I was transferred to Bokharo I went there and from there I went to the government of India that few people were suspended there was some compensation given to these people so some good happened out of that


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 40:19

But it had stopped or it still continued the blinding of the people?

Manjari Jaruhar: 40:23


No they stopped they stopped immediately after this thing came out in the open

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 40:27


But there was never a FIR or the the policemen who were accused they were never put in jail or cases?


Manjari Jaruhar: 40:34

NO, They were suspended. They were suspended

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 40:37


They were just suspended from their duties?

Manjari Jaruhar: 40:39


We didn’t have that kind of evidence to say that so and so blinded so and so. okay then only could an FIR have been encountered but it could we could say that oh this happened in this police station under this month’s jurisdiction.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 40:55


Another case I think which another Prakash Jha, I don’t know why because he’s from Bihar he is able to make such movies which which have impacted Bihar was what you mentioned in your book is Apharan the kidnappings which became prevalent in Bihar

Manjari Jaruhar: 41:10


Yeah the kidnappings then started happening when I was DIG when I became DIG in 94 these kidnappings had just started happening kidnapping for ransom


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 41:21


and you mentioned in one one of the incidences that you even crossed Ganga on a night or you used to raid do the raids crossing Ganga?

Manjari Jaruhar: 41:32


No no no not Ganga that was when I was in Bokharo. There were a lot of petty crimes happening in Bokharo in a small city these things impact a lot of people so we had a spate of the qualities the qualities meaning they come ransack the house and carry away everything and put people under threat so these were happening and you know there’s a huge cry there’s a small township it’s a steel town with little bit of non-steel workers also there so when these start crime started happening I said we must stop it and we came to know that there was a Garga Nadi. that was called Garga. it’s a small stream and then there was a hill so criminals would come down the hill when it became night and the Garga would can be crossed it was not a very heavy stream they would cross the stream commit crime and go back and there was a timing when water would be released in the Garga for plant work etc so then you know nobody could cross the river for a very long time the police force could not do it so then I started that no we will start raiding and in the first case itself we had a very good breakthrough we recovered all the material in one of the houses so then I made it into a regular habit that we must cross and organize raids that they are do patrolling once in a while I would go myself other times the force would be sent and that brought down the crime figure heavily in Bokharo that stopped. It was not the Ganga it was the Garga Nadi

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 43:08


And tell us about how did you stop Apharans or kidnappings in Bihar?


Manjari Jaruhar: 43:13

No, I don’t think that I really stopped Apharan and kidnapping.

I had only one or two in those times. And very soon I left. So I don’t have any direct experience of stopping kidnapping. But yes, any case which happened, we pursued it to the last straw. I mean, we would not let anybody go. And a couple of cases happened. And in one case, we did recover everybody. And I don’t think that in my case…

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 43:44


I think you mentioned in your book, within 24 hours, you were able to recover the kidnapped person. Yes, yes, yes. It was a businessman.


Manjari Jaruhar: 43:51


It was a businessman, Mr. Saurogi. He was kidnapped. That case I remember very well. So now, of course, there are a lot of tools because now you can trace the phone call and all that. Those days we didn’t have.

We only had a system. We only had a system of what is called Mukhbir in the police, that there are informers. They will inform you as to what had happened. And the senior SP and all these people had good contacts. And they only helped them to recover this.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 44:20


But there are some cases of kidnappings that you worked on and were successful in recovering without any harm.

Manjari Jaruhar: 44:28


Yes, there were many cases. But by then I had left Bihar. In my time, I only remember that Saurogi. Saurogi’s case. But later on, many more cases happened, I’m told. But by then I was already working with the government of India and it had become almost like a business. So in many cases, people did get released. But that was mostly for ransom. I think it was mostly for money, quick money.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 44:53


So really, after like 1990-1995, you were posted in central coastings mostly.


Manjari Jaruhar: 44:58



Siddharth Ahluwalia: 44:59


So you have been out of touch with what’s been happening in Bihar.

Manjari Jaruhar: 45:02

Yes. Though I kept going at senior levels. I kept going at senior levels, but Bihar, I didn’t go back to. I think after 1994, I did not go back to Bihar.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 45:11



But one thing which, you know, Bihar has been the epitome of education in India. The Nalanda University was there, which got burnt by Mughals almost a thousand years ago.

Manjari Jaruhar: 45:25



Siddharth Ahluwalia: 45:26


And now the government is reviving Nalanda. But why it has gone in such shambles? Is it because it’s a state which is towards a corner of a country? Or education has not been the de facto, you know, focus of the families in Bihar. Why has the state gone, like for Bihari people, it’s a negative term that they are Bihari.

Manjari Jaruhar: 45:55


Hmm hmm hmm.

I know Bihar was sunk into very bad stage.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 46:01


Some of the great writers, even your family has made up of the best writers.

Manjari Jaruhar: 46:06


We had everything. There was nothing to lose.

We had so many industries in Bihar. Ranchi itself was the HEC.

Rich of minerals, rich of natural resources.

In Baroni, we had so many things. Ranchi, Bokaro Steel Plant, Jamshedpur. And yet we have not developed the way other states developed. I think caste became a very big issue later on that everything became caste oriented. And your caste was more important than your abilities, I think. And the other thing which I can think of is that people started leaving the state and mostly for education. And anybody and everybody could get out, could afford. They went out to study. And once they went out to study, they never came back. And the education system in Bihar was very good initially. We all studied there. But gradually, even there, things started creeping in because I remember my BA exams went on for four years. The Jayaprakash movement had just started and the students would walk out of class. It was a…

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 47:20


Mandal Commission, you mentioned in your book.

Manjari Jaruhar: 47:22


So many things started happening that my exams for BA, which would have finished in two weeks, took a whole year to finish. So that finished the education system in Bihar. All the time there is delay, delay, delay. And then teachers got disinterested. People will be appointed not because of their abilities, but because of their caste. So all these things combine together. But basically, education and lack of education and caste becoming uppermost in handling any situation in the country. That was the state that spoilt the whole scenario there.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 48:09


And why did caste become so prominent in Bihar?


Manjari Jaruhar: 48:16

I really don’t know.


Siddharth Aluwalia: 48:17


You mentioned in your book, right, at one point of time when you were SP, your whole seniors were made up of Kayast and you were getting a transfer to the central position in the government and people asking you not to go because…


Manjari Jaruhar: 48:31


Yes, yes, yes, yes. That was true. That is true. They said don’t go. But but somehow I be one as a family. Also, my father never encouraged this. And I was also not bogged down by this caste system and all. And I was trained by mentors and people who did not think that because I belong to a particular caste, I should not be trained other than them. I was lucky. I think I was lucky.

And my own mental orientation was not towards that because of my upbringing. So that I think helped.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 49:09


But people mentioned to you, even in your police force, it was such a favorable time that four or five of your senior officers were all of the same caste that don’t leave.

Manjari Jaruhar: 49:18


Yes, yes. It was a progressive time to be there.

So I think when I was so junior, I wouldn’t have understood what were the planning and all going on at the top level because I was not in the… I was in the field and what was plotted at the top level, I don’t think I would have understood at that time so well.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 49:35


And tell us about, you know, you mentioned that Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav as a chief minister, you’re first stint working with him. What was the experience like over a period of time?

Manjari Jaruhar: 49:46


So I worked under him from 91 to 94, from 91 to 92, not so directly because I was just there and I was an SP in the intelligence branch, but from 92 to 94, I was DIG Patna. And that was the time when I was directly because, you know, so many things are happening in Patna and he would issue instructions, keep telling you to do things. At that time, I felt that he was a he brought a new kind of thinking. He was very hands on. He was everywhere. Earlier, I had not seen a chief minister arriving at a crime spot, arriving to handle a law and order situation. He was like that. And even giving instructions. When I was posted in the in Bokaro Steel Plant, I don’t remember the chief minister, even if he arrived, he would be sitting and discussing that what are the exact things which have to be done. After the anti-Sikh riots, the chief minister was Mr. Chandrashekhar Singh. He was a very good chief minister. He came and his idea was to put like a bomb. He told me that I had done a good job and the people were happy and that I should keep doing. So it was like that. But Mr. Lallu Prasad would come and say that this should also happen. This should also happen. It should happen like this. It was like that. And I felt that he was not asking me to do anything wrong. Whatever he was telling me was like a way of advice and very down to earth advice.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 51:21


Tell us a couple of stories that you remember from his period of time that you have been part of.

Manjari Jaruhar: 51:31


One incident about which I have written in my book also was that I had seen the Bhagalpur blindings and I had seen that when police officers don’t work for the right things, they can do wrong thing. They can be on the wrong path. So one incident was that there was an SP whom I heard was bumping off criminals.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 51:54


What does bumping off criminals means?

Manjari Jaruhar: 51:56


I mean. He was having a he if he found a criminal who was who was a who was committing crime again and again, he would have him killed, disposed of his body. I had no direct evidence, but I used to hear because nobody comes to complain about a criminal. So but once there was an incident in Patna city where a young child was, I’m told he was about the 14 years,


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 52:23


you mentioned about 14,


Manjari Jaruhar: 52:25


about 14, 15 year old kid who had been bumped off and they said that there was found a pistol beside him and he had run away with some money or purse or something like that.

I’ve written in the book about it. So, the local people came and said that this was not he was not a criminal. He was just a petty thief, a young boy. And this is what has happened and is not wrong.

So I rang up the local officers and I told them that this should not be done and it should be stopped immediately. So even in the meeting, I could make out that some people had not liked it. But I insisted that this has to be stopped and I’m not going to be a party to it at all. So.

So I think the person, the SP who was doing these things must have not liked my passing a blanket order like that because I called a meeting and I said in the meeting that nothing. And

you were the IG.

I was the DIG.

I said nothing like this can happen. I could see that there was a simmering discontent about what I was saying. But because of Harka hierarchy, nobody said anything. But very soon I got a call from the chief minister saying that what I’m trying to do is not right and maybe the crime will not get maybe the crime will not get controlled if we don’t do this. And in the past, these things have been done and this is the way maybe crime can be controlled. So something snapped inside me and I hit back.

I said that this is not something which I remember.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 53:55


You mentioned in your book. It was a late night call

Manjari Jaruhar: 54:00


In early morning, early morning, early morning.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 54:02


Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav called you and even your husband woke up seeing what is happening.

Manjari Jaruhar: 54:05


What is happening? That conversation is going on. So I said, no, I’m not going to allow this. And I’m telling you that you have a young son. Even I have a young son. And if he does something petty, he cannot be killed. And this is not right to happen. He became extremely quiet. And then he said he said, OK, and then he disconnected.

But after that, there was no incident during my tenure.

And the SP was also transferred.

And then very soon, not immediately, but very soon, I think he was also transferred. So I thought that when you tell politicians the right things, maybe he was always said that if we don’t do this, then there will be no control over the crime. So he believed what he was being told.

But when I told him this and when he reacted, I feel that he heard me. And all politicians, I think they are not bad. And if you have to explain things to them and logically, they will listen to you.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 55:06

So once you got posted to the Center, tell us about your core experiences or two or three stories from your posting at the center that changed you and made you a better person.

You mentioned about in this podcast, the Baghalpur incident, the incident of Gangajal, the Bokaro incident. What were some of those stories? Take over stories. At your working at the central government.


Manjari Jaruhar: 55:29


Yes. In the central government, when I came to work in the CISF.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 55:35


If you can also tell our audience what a CISF because..

Manjari Jaruhar: 55:37


Yeah, when I was first selected to work at the Central Industrial Security Force, which handles all industrial undertakings, they protect all industrial undertakings and gradually their work has been expanded. And they are now deployed at the airports, at metro. At government buildings, because threat to these things increased over a period of time. In my time, threats were only to the public sector undertakings and union created problems or the villagers created problems because the public sector undertaking was occupying their land, their society.

So, officers and all, you know, plant officers felt felt shaky about going and working, felt insecure about their families. So CISF was conceived to protect the plant and also to protect the workers and the machinery and all. So, in the first instance, when I came to see Bokaro, a very ugly incident had happened there also, where there was a clash between the CISF and the planter, between the CISF, the workers in the plant and the villagers. All three had had a major clash. And the CISF was found guilty of abetting theft of plant coke, which is a very important ingredient in steel making. And the villagers also used to steal. But when they were getting stopped by the CISF, because CISF was not allowing them to steal, but they were allowing the plant people and in connivance to take out good material, there was this simmering of discontent and there was a huge clash.

So when I arrived there, I was also the the commandant there was the DIG there was suspended and he was removed. The commandant was suspended. So in that situation, I was asked to join there. So, when I joined there, the first thing was to control the criminal activities of my own force. So, I reorganized them, I made them do now. get them into a proper discipline. Because it is very important for the force to know you are looking at them. You are looking at their welfare. You are very strict. So, all these messages go together. So, started parades, interaction with them, their facilities were very meagre, asked the plants to do this for them. Give them proper barracks. Remove people from all kinds of idiotic postings. Make them do only work, which is protection of the plant. So, all this put a sense of discipline and a commitment to protecting the plant. So, this was a kind of challenging thing that you know I had never worked in a paramilitary. They have a lot of discipline, there is a very strict hierarchy and these things I learnt and I inculcated because of my own mental makeup I could realize that this is what is they have become very loosely administered and that is why all these things have crept in. So, that is one thing I introduced regular parade I would go for where I would do night rounds even when I was handling a paramilitary where people thought that madam will not be coming to do parades made all the officers responsible for the post. So, all this had a very salutary effect. So, some of these interesting things you know completely the management then dependent on me for doing anything inside the plant which was a very big thing. Because you are working closely with a plant which has about 40,000 workers and you have to protect them with about say 21, 20, 100 people. And then overnight I was transferred from the Bokaro steel plant to the headquarters and that is the time the.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 59:43


And where is the headquarters?

Manjari Jaruhar: 55:44


In Delhi

and that is the time I was very upset because my younger son was in class 10, my elder son had just gone to college. When I came, why was I being transferred like this. So, that is what you have asked me earlier that the DG said jungle me more Nacha kiss me dekha.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:00:00



Manjari Jaruhar: 1:00:01


And you should come and work here in the government of India. You will get better experience and better exposure because he had inspected my offices and had often sent me on very sensitive assignments. So, when I came to work with the in government of India that yes, then I saw again that the CISs was spread all over the country. It was not confined to just Bokaro, where I was working. And then I saw the variety of jobs which they were doing. I got a chance to see almost all the public sector undertakings. I went to ports, I went to sea ports, I went to airports we did not have at that time. I went to all the major oil rigging places, major mines I saw in the country, major units of BHEL, Bharat Heavy Electric Limited. So, they were all working. They were all doing very, very unique and very specific things. Every plant was doing something very specific. And I realized that there was a world beyond just ordinary policing and then you know, your interaction with the management. And my whole thing was that because we are there to protect the plant, we should work closely with the management. We must understand their problems and try to solve them. So, that was a new beginning for the force also. They realized that working with the plant people is better than just working in a vacuum.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:01:29


And you mentioned in your book like majority of the incidents where the police is associated with a plant, the police becomes more relaxed and becomes unionized rather than upgrading the plant workforce to more sector discipline.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:01:44


That was in the initial stage at Bokaro Steel Plant. That is what I felt. And I also felt that on one night there was a theft of plant material from the boundary wall. The CISF personnel who were inside were throwing things outside and people who were outside were off duty picking up and taking them to sell it. This was complete a case of theft. So, I was on tour and my IG came to inform me that this is what has happened. And 14 people were caught doing this. So, the minute I came back, I suspended them. And one innovative thing which I did on my own was that I put them through a disciplinary proceeding day to day. It was unheard of. And I segregated all these 14 people in 14 different places and earmarked 14 officers that day to day inquiry will be conducted against them. So, every day they would meet for two hours, conduct an inquiry and at the end of it, they were all found guilty because they had been caught. And I dismissed all 14 of them. So, that was, you know, a very, very unique experience for many officers in the force. They did not realize that this could be done. And many people asked me, how did you do it? And I had to explain to them that this is what I did. And after that, I never had any trouble with the force. And then my reputation also got understood that she is not going to tolerate any nonsense from anybody. And that is why I said that if a force person is doing something wrong, I will have them punished. So, in a paramilitary force, discipline is very important.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:03:31

Tell us, you saw the Indian government in 1970s, both state and Indian government, and you worked over a large period of your later part of your career with Indian government.

How is the government today versus in action in policymaking versus the government that you came to work for the first time in 1995?

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:03:52

Towards the end of my career in 2010 and all, I did feel that things had become very, things were not moving. We had to often, you know, I was heading by then a large force and, you know, we needed to take many quick decisions. So, decisions would not be taken and things would be lingering. And the force was not moving.

The force needed things and we were not having enough money to handle everything. It was a big constraint. There were so many things which we wanted to do for the force, but we couldn’t do.

This was in the central government where the government was more liberal, and in the state it was really tough because we didn’t have there was a huge shortage of funds always, and reluctant to give them anything to the police force. But now I find which I read and I see, see and

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:04:50


i think your juniors are posted which you train

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:04:51


yes my juniors are posted which i trade I feel that the government is really supportive and willing to give anything if you deliver so uh people are able to achieve a lot i mean look at what has happened in Kashmir when i was there we suffered so many setbacks in Kashmir because we were not but properly equipped at that

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:05:12


which from which year to which year was that?

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:05:14


I think that uh 94 onwards i was in the government of india

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:05:21



Manjari Jaruhar: 1:05:22


and i would keep hearing things and then i was in the CRP from 2000 to 2001 when i was going to kashmir also to see the forces and all and those days uh in uh terrorism had started in Kashmir. so we were they were not properly equipped to handle all that and the men needed to be also trained upgraded in every way

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:05:46




Manjari Jaruhar: 1:05:47


So government took a long time to do all that I think

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:05:49


But do you feel right now India is at a much better position than you had seen in the past?

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:05:53


Oh definitely, definitely I feel that we are in a better position I see the kind of equipment and I see the kind of training which is being done for officers and for the men all kinds of trainings abroad they are being sent fo,r equipped, the communication equipment which we have we have all state-of-the-art things now available.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:06:18


And are we at par with the western countries in that yet or still a far way to go?

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:06:23


I would say we are almost at par we are almost .. all major heinous crimes in the country we are solving these days I find, even then without any of these things we were able to but now the quality of crime has also changed there’s so much of cyber crime and crime of drugs and terrorism and everything getting linked all that you know with the kind of technology which is being used AI and things that has impacted the level of solving crimes.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:06:58


And you feel that the kind of time and effort that you had to put in effort to put in to make a policy level change in the past when you were leading on that front today

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:07:09


Yes yes yes i definitely think that from what i see i don’t have direct experience in the past it would take a long time to take a decision and in the paramilitary forces we had a little more liberty to take decision because DG could take many decisions but if i had to go to the Government of India it would take time and but better than in the state definitely better than the state the state it would never happen too much of politics going on, caste and money, and and all kinds of inhibitions in taking bold decisions in the government of India they would take a decision but it take a longer longer time and now I find that uh see things are changing so fast that they are taking decisions also faster that’s what i what i hear


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:08:06


States can’t be much left behind the center so so i hope someday bihar would also catch up

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:08:12


I think we are already pushed back a lot in bihar i travel to other places uh what is the kind of stuff which uh people are doing in other states the kind of work which women police officers are doing it is amazing it is amazing all kinds of things for protecting women for solving their crimes all kinds of steps they are taking but in Bihar we have been left far behind.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:08:06


I think one of the reasons is like west bengal and bihar they have different kind of politics uh from from beginning.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:08:46



Even Jharkhand, i worked in jharkhand we began very well.

Mr. Babulal Marandi started very well but soon he was removed and then it has never been the same

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:08:57



Manjari Jaruhar: 1:08:58


there was a lot of stability in fact people say that it is Jharkhand is doing better than Bihar

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:09:04



but they have never come to prominence or center like Tamil Nadu has seen so much, south southern seats states for example.


Manjari Jaruhar: 1:09:11


Even the Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh were created along with these have done much better

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:09:17


yeah so hopefully they will catch up seeing the development at at center


Ma’am your story has been such an inspiration not only for women but for also people in tier 2 tier 3 cities that if you set your mind sky is the limit and for parents right with daughters it’s an example that you should not set the boundaries

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:09:42


Yes, yes I definitely think so

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:09:44


let the daughters discover themselves because many times they are more capable than your sons

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:09:50


yes it is possible

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:09:52


and once if you let a daughter realize her potential she can set an entire next generation of family at such a high level of potential that you can’t even imagine what will happen next

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:10:04


yes yes that is absolutely


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:10:06

and i think india still lacks far behind in women participation in workforce right i think we are even behind Bangladesh today right your example your story thank you for publishing the book madam sir if you wouldn’t have got out right wouldn’t have been example for women that yes you know they have to be a part of the workforce just not for themselves but but for the ecosystem for the country to make it happen

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:10:33


in fact a lot of women police officers who have read the book have talked to me many of them i have not met personally but have talked to me that the book enables them to handle some of the situations in which they are placed themselves.

So one person rang up to say that i was ready to even give up my job i was so frustrated till i read your book and then i realized that you have brought up two children and there are ways of handling the family and the job and now i’m really inspired that i can also continue so uh i think it it has made a difference to people, my book.

And I hope that not only the book, but in general, I think that women have become more aspirational and parents also have become very aspirational for women, for their daughters and even for their daughter-in-laws, though the numbers are very miniscule.

And women are doing well wherever they have gone, even in our service, now the numbers are huge. Whereas in 72, we had just Kiran Bedi, in 76 when I joined, there were only six.

This time about 32 women IPS officers have passed out from the academy. So the numbers have become really big.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:11:56


We would love to see in India where equal number of women officers are there in the academy as men.


Manjari Jaruhar: 1:12:01


Yes, the numbers are still very small. And in the subordinate ranks also there is reservation, there is in the government of India 33% reservation for women.

Women in the other ranks, meaning constables, sub-inspectors and all. But if broadly, if I say that the paramilitary forces are about 30 plus lakhs now, the women would be perhaps only 10,000.

Which is very small.

Without, with reservation.

And in the States, we’ve had a reservation for such a long time, 30%, but overall percentage would be only 5, 5% or so.

The women are hesitant to come because not many know about it. And they think that, oh, it’s only brawn and not brains, but wherever they are now competing, they are competing at equal footing. Now ITBP, which is deployed above 10,000 feet, all their deployments, women have joined there also. So, government is making a very conscious effort, government of India now, to in every field to push recruitment of women.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:12:12


And I hope one day India could see like 30 to 40 women parts, percent participation, women in workforce.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:13:19




Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:13:20


Right now it’s in single digits only.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:13:21


Or only in single digits. Absolutely.


Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:13:23

Thank you so much, ma’am, for recording this podcast, for sharing your story so candidly and for writing the book. We are so grateful to you for bringing about this change. Thank you.

Siddharth Ahluwalia: 1:13:23

Thank you so much, ma’am, for recording this podcast, for sharing your story so candidly and for writing the book. We are so grateful to you for bringing about this change. Thank you.

Manjari Jaruhar: 1:13:33


Thank you so much for coming and taking this recording. Thank you.


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