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Taking Charge of Your Health


Now I’m going to give you a story. It’s an Indian story about an Indian woman and her journey. Let me begin with my parents. I’m a product of this visionary mother and father. Many years ago, when I was born in the ’50s — ’50s and ’60s didn’t belong to girls in India. They belonged to boys. They belonged to boys who would join business and inherit business from parents, and girls would be dolled up to get married. My family, in my city, and almost in the country, was unique. We were four of us, not one, and fortunately no boys. We were four girls and no boys. And my parents were part of a landed property family. My father defied his own grandfather, almost to the point of disinheritance, because he decided to educate all four of us. He sent us to one of the best schools in the city and gave us the best education. As I’ve said, when we’re born, we don’t choose our parents, and when we go to school, we don’t choose our school. Children don’t choose a school. They just get the school which parents choose for them. So this is the foundation time which I got. I grew up like this, and so did my other three sisters. And my father used to say at that time, “I’m going to spread all my four daughters in four corners of the world.” I don’t know if he really meant [that], but it happened. I’m the only one who’s left in India. One is a British, another is an American and the third is a Canadian. So we are four of us in four corners of the world. And since I said they’re my role models, I followed two things which my father and mother gave me. One, they said, “Life is on an incline. You either go up, or you come down.” And the second thing, which has stayed with me, which became my philosophy of life, which made all the difference, is: 100 things happen in your life, good or bad. Out of 100, 90 are your creation. They’re good. They’re your creation. Enjoy it. If they’re bad, they’re your creation. Learn from it. Ten are nature-sent over which you can’t do a thing. It’s like a death of a relative, or a cyclone, or a hurricane, or an earthquake. You can’t do a thing about it. You’ve got to just respond to the situation. But that response comes out of those 90 points. Since I’m a product of this philosophy, of 90/10, and secondly, “life on an incline,” that’s the way I grew up to be valuing what I got. I’m a product of opportunities, rare opportunities in the ’50s and the ’60s, which girls didn’t get, and I was conscious of the fact that what my parents were giving me was something unique. Because all of my best school friends were getting dolled up to get married with a lot of dowry, and here I was with a tennis racket and going to school and doing all kinds of extracurricular activities. I thought I must tell you this. Why I said this, is the background. This is what comes next. I joined the Indian Police Service as a tough woman, a woman with indefatigable stamina, because I used to run for my tennis titles, etc. But I joined the Indian Police Service, and then it was a new pattern of policing. For me the policing stood for power to correct, power to prevent and power to detect. This is something like a new definition ever given in policing in India — the power to prevent. Because normally it was always said, power to detect, and that’s it, or power to punish. But I decided no, it’s a power to prevent, because that’s what I learned when I was growing up. How do I prevent the 10 and never make it more than 10? So this was how it came into my service, and it was different from the men. I didn’t want to make it different from the men, but it was different, because this was the way I was different. And I redefined policing concepts in India. I’m going to take you on two journeys, my policing journey and my prison journey. What you see, if you see the title called “PM’s car held.” This was the first time a prime minister of India was given a parking ticket. (Laughter) That’s the first time in India, and I can tell you, that’s the last time you’re hearing about it. It’ll never happen again in India, because now it was once and forever. And the rule was, because I was sensitive, I was compassionate, I was very sensitive to injustice, and I was very pro-justice. That’s the reason, as a woman, I joined the Indian Police Service. I had other options, but I didn’t choose them. So I’m going to move on. This is about tough policing, equal policing. Now I was known as “here’s a woman that’s not going to listen.” So I was sent to all indiscriminate postings, postings which others would say no. I now went to a prison assignment as a police officer. Normally police officers don’t want to do prison. They sent me to prison to lock me up, thinking, “Now there will be no cars and no VIPs to be given tickets to. Let’s lock her up.” Here I got a prison assignment. This was a prison assignment which was one big den of criminals. Obviously, it was. But 10,000 men, of which only 400 were women — 10,000 — 9,000 plus about 600 were men. Terrorists, rapists, burglars, gangsters — some of them I’d sent to jail as a police officer outside. And then how did I deal with them? The first day when I went in, I didn’t know how to look at them. And I said, “Do you pray?” When I looked at the group, I said, “Do you pray?” They saw me as a young, short woman wearing a pathan suit. I said, “Do you pray?” And they didn’t say anything. I said, “Do you pray? Do you want to pray?” They said, “Yes.” I said, “All right, let’s pray.” I prayed for them, and things started to change. This is a visual of education inside the prison. Friends, this has never happened, where everybody in the prison studies. I started this with community support. Government had no budget. It was one of the finest, largest volunteerism in any prison in the world. This was initiated in Delhi prison. You see one sample of a prisoner teaching a class. These are hundreds of classes. Nine to eleven, every prisoner went into the education program — the same den in which they thought they would put me behind the bar and things would be forgotten. We converted this into an ashram — from a prison to an ashram through education. I think that’s the bigger change. It was the beginning of a change. Teachers were prisoners. Teachers were volunteers. Books came from donated schoolbooks. Stationery was donated. Everything was donated, because there was no budget of education for the prison. Now if I’d not done that, it would have been a hellhole. That’s the second landmark. I want to show you some moments of history in my journey, which probably you would never ever get to see anywhere in the world. One, the numbers you’ll never get to see. Secondly, this concept. This was a meditation program inside the prison of over 1,000 prisoners. One thousand prisoners who sat in meditation. This was one of the most courageous steps I took as a prison governor. And this is what transformed. You want to know more about this, go and see this film, “Doing Time, Doing Vipassana.” You will hear about it, and you will love it. And write to me on KiranBedi.com, and I’ll respond to you. Let me show you the next slide. I took the same concept of mindfulness, because, why did I bring meditation into the Indian prison? Because crime is a product of a distorted mind. It was distortion of mind which needed to be addressed to control. Not by preaching, not by telling, not by reading, but by addressing your mind. I took the same thing to the police, because police, equally, were prisoners of their minds, and they felt as if it was “we” and “they,” and that the people don’t cooperate. This worked. This is a feedback box called a petition box. This is a concept which I introduced to listen to complaints, listen to grievances. This was a magic box. This was a sensitive box. This is how a prisoner drew how they felt about the prison. If you see somebody in the blue — yeah, this guy — he was a prisoner, and he was a teacher. And you see, everybody’s busy. There was no time to waste. Let me wrap it up. I’m currently into movements, movements of education of the under-served children, which is thousands — India is all about thousands. Secondly is about the anti-corruption movement in India. That’s a big way we, as a small group of activists, have drafted an ombudsman bill for the government of India. Friends, you will hear a lot about it. That’s the movement at the moment I’m driving, and that’s the movement and ambition of my life. Thank you very much. (Applause) Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Kiran Bedi: How I remade one of India’s toughest prisons

  1. KIRAN BEDI – A DUBIOUS CHARACTER – ONE EXAMPLE
    You must be knowing what made Kiran Bedi most famous.
    That she is so brave that she Challaned even the car of Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.
    In an interview with Ravish Kumar, Kiran Bedi has said that she was not the one who lifted Indira Gandhi's car. Indira Gandhi was not even in that car at that moment.
    This job was done by one of Delhi Police sub-inspector.
    And she also disclosed that on being asked whether the sub-inspector should be punished, she said, no, the man must be rewarded.
    And you know, the whole media exclaimed for decades that the great job, the courageous job had been done by great super cop Kiran Bedi and she never disclaimed it, never gave any credit to that sub-inspector, that is how the real man was rewarded by Kiran Bedi. that courageous sub-inspector was rewarded by Kiran Bedi.

  2.            On 5 August 1982, an Ambassador car (DHI 1817) belonging to Prime Minister Office was towed away by sub-inspector Nirmal Singh, as it was wrongly parked outside the Yusufzai Market at Connaught Place.
               In an interview with Ravish Kumar of NDTV Ms. Bedi accepted and asserted about the incident when ticket was given to Prime Minister’s car that "Sub inspector Nirmal Singh towed it away, and that time, I was asked will you take action against this officer. No, I said, I will give this person an award for showing courage."  How irony is this that she did not given credit to Nirmal Singh in her 2010 TED talk, it is how the real man was rewarded by Kiran Bedi.

    Her interview on NDTV http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/the-kiran-bedi-interview-that-has-ravish-kumar-trending/354396?utm_source=taboola

  3. Liar, Liar, Liar …..she dint towed PM's  car it was sub-inspector Nirmal Singh who did d honour ..such a shameless lady 🙁

  4. If you go for down throughout the comments, interesting is that you will see 75% of negative comments came after she joined politics. Some persons has talked about 'run away'. She has might have run away from debates (which is not true of course). But she never ran away from duties. While her opponent always ready for debate but has been running from duties since the day he stated his career.

    About Mr.Ravish Kumar, he himself is a biased jorno. 99% of his political programs and articles are anti-BJP. So its natural when Kiran Bedi joined BJP Ravish Kumar is anti Kiran Bedi.

  5. OMG!! She even lied in TED talks about the PM car being towed….. First of all it was not PM's car, it was one of the tens of car in the PMO office… Second of all she didn't towed it. She accepted it a few days back in a interview with Ravish Kumar on NDTV

  6. She is hypocrite…and making people fool …she never fined PM car. A another cop who towed PM car and on that tie PM was out of country…haha…and she took all the credit….She is failed in every expect of life. By joining BJP party she in the list of corrupt politician. 

  7. what she has achieved as an IPS is exemplary. She is not a politician and she must had restrained her from the mud, but that's not gonna make me against her, she is the real inspiration. Jai Hind.

  8. Ma'am Very Rare are personalities like you!! Blessed are your parents to have a child like you!! Very Inspiring to millions of people round the globe!! Thanks for your talk.

  9. wow is the word for you mam .
    i feel bad for delhi (india) that they chose a foolish chief minister instead of such an amazing women .

  10. The saddest part is this that she discussed Vipassana in such a short as if it was not a part of improving prisoners. Very sad. I am quite sure, whatever good changes that had happened were because of Vipassana meditation course. No worries, truth will be revealed one day.

  11. lots of kejri bakhts spotted here shame on you can never be equal to her, and your "dog" is just a bullshit.

  12. Such an amazing person of inspiration….At times we forget to talk about matters that are important and end up talking about unwanted politics Which are not needed in life.

  13. There are too many people who are willing to discredit her achievements, and they are shallow minded. They are cynics who see negativity all around them. Kiran Bedi is an amazing super cop and a woman with a passion to improve quality of life and public governance. She has to be credited with her extraordinary results in prison reformation. Over the years, Indian jails have witnessed changes and become process oriented. Also, in her recent role as Lt Governor of Puducherry, she has brought about many changes in civic and municipal administration.

  14. Kiran Bedi’s past is so full of many U-turns, controversies, spats with seniors, courts, lawyers and outbursts against Narendra Modi that an entire issue of Charlie Hebdo could be dedicated to satirizing her career.

    Her opinion on Modi, before she inexplicably (or was it part of a political strategy?) changed her mind is well known, courtesy her tweets. Till a few months before Modi became the PM — a fact that must have inspired Bedi to rearrange her thoughts and realign her political philosophy — she was continuously attacking him for the Gujarat riots.

    In March, Bedi tweeted: "One day NaMo will need to respond with clarity about riots massacre. Despite Courts clearing him so far."

    And in April 2012, she has argued that Modi may have passed the SIT exam but was yet to clear the test of ‘prevailing perception of serious incidents’ under his watch.

    PTI image

    But, hey, now that the BJP desperately needs somebody to take on Arvind Kejriwal, all such past sins are forgiven.

    The public spotlight that comes with an election may be less merciful. Now that she has taken the plunge into politics, Bedi will have to undergo a serious scrutiny of her career, persona and politics. There may not be Charlie Hebdo cartoons, but there will be uncomfortable questions.

    Why was Bedi, for instance, bypassed for the post of Delhi’s police commissioner? And why was she not found suitable for a filed posting after being reprimanded by an enquiry committee for ordering a lathi charge on lawyers?

    In July 2007, Bedi proceeded on a three-month ‘protest leave’ when she was overlooked for the Delhi commissioner’s post. Bedi claimed she was a victim of gender bias, and declared that she was weighing all ‘options including legal’. She instead suddenly changed her mind, cancelled her leave, resumed office and finally applied for voluntary retirement. The government accepted her application and relieved her immediately.

    At the time, many critics challenged her claim that her ‘merit has been compromised’ and she has an ‘outstanding record.’

    Writing for the Hindustan Times, Karan Thapar said he had invited Bedi to discuss her grievances on his TV show, but she failed to turn up. So he instead shot a volley of questions at Bedi, some of which were serious, including the grave suspicion that Bedi could not be ‘trusted with classified information and security.’

    “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?

    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.)

    In 1990, Bedi was indicted by an enquiry committee headed by Justice DP Wadhwa for gross irregularities in dealing with a strike by Tis Hazari lawyers in Delhi. In a damning indictment of her role, the committee said the lathi-charge on agitating lawyers ordered by Kiran Bedi, the then deputy commissioner of police (north), a week after the incident was "indiscriminate and unjustified".

    Worse, it declared that Bedi had connived with a municipal councilor in organising and transporting a mob to Tiz Hazari who then assaulted the lawyers. Bedi maintained that she was discriminated against during the enquiry. But it was accepted by the home ministry and tabled in the Parliament with an assurance to lawyers that Bedi will never be posted in Delhi in any important position.

    Bedi was later sent to Mizoram where her actions stirred up another controversy. People of the state poured into the streets when it was revealed that Bedi had secured her daughter’s admission to an MBBS course in Delhi’s Lady Hardinge College under the Mizoram quota.

    Bedi argued that she was within her rights to avail the quota since she was at that time posted in Mizoram. But protesters claimed the purpose of the reservation was to ensure local students get its benefit and Bedi had taken advantage of a loophole in the law. When Mizoram became too hot to handle, Bedi once again left. Incidentally, her daughter also dropped out of the course later.

    Incomplete tenures, unauthorised leaves and lots of flip-flops. And let’s not forget the words Thapar used to describe her actions while in the police of force: “desertion of duty”.

    The Delhi elections is now a battle of the bhagoras. Voters will have to decide whose dereliction of duty matter more: Arivnd Kejriwal’s 49-day tenure or Kiran Bedi’s many hasty exits.

    Published Date: Jan 16, 2015 15:57 PM | Updated Date: Jan 16, 2015 15:59 PM

    First Post

  15. i dont care whether man are more than women or women outweigh the numbers of men, but the most important thing is that vipassana are taught globally to every man and woman

  16. What a misfortune had descended upon Delhi,that they chose someone so unhappening instead of her…
    A…Historical Mistake !!!

    Bows to you…ma'am Bedi

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  18. Kiran bedi mam' has always given me strength and an impetus to pursue career in civil services . I hope one day I will follow in her footsteps

  19. I am tears after listening to this…mam great respect for you always…I am proud to be a part of your journey through your lectures and deed…God bless you always mam…Kiran Bedi…Mama I love you

  20. She is the lady ģave me the goosebumps to do more and more harder when even conditions are against. In my country India , everybody is happy with themseleve s . Rapes,loots and various illegal things are happening nobody coming forward to stop these things even those who are coming like the political parties their main aim is collapse the opposition party, in the news channel parties baising the people votes. Quality of life is very bad here becoz of pollution level here we are living in 20 times harmful more than safety level. Even i am not saying through this that i am a perfect i too do wrong things but i take learning from them and don't repeat them. I think we as a citizen can make this india like other countries eg. european & american coutries.

  21. OMG,SHE IS extraordinary women,good police officer,good human,good mother,good DGP,great governer,and still going on ..every women and men want to become like hir…god bless madam kiran bedi

  22. Respect and more power to you, Ma'am. You are a blessing to our country. Lots of love and respect, always and forever. Your huge huge huge fan.

  23. But Indians do not deserve people like her. Indians only deserve people like Lalu, Mayawati, etc who can only talk caste, and other non sense.

  24. Salute sir Jai Hind main Bachpan se aapko jab mai FIR V kis class mein Tha Main aapko Sach karna chahti thi aap Ki Marzi koshish karna chahti thi main Kisi Tarah aap ki badi Court touch touch kar li Thi Meera Ek Junoon tha aapko Yaad Nahi Hoga Jab Main 5 class mein padhti thi aap ka naam Suna Tha Kiran didi and Pratham IAS officer bus main 5 class Mein Aapki shift dress code touch kiya tha aap ko yaad nahi hoga Usi Samay se main bahar nikal Gayi aur mere papa mere husband thank you thank you sir Jai Hind Jai Bharat

  25. A complete bluff. She kept on boasting that she lifted pm's car, while actually it was taken by a junior officer. She shamessly took all his credit for years.
    And then, she destroyed BJP's chances in Delhi by her joker like mannerisms.
    #BedismRocks

  26. She is not perfect she speaks and acts before camera nicely bedi is higly selfish and name seeker in mass media she aims for political gain and posts

  27. She is awesome, if you haven’t seen doing time, doing vipassana then you absolutely must and if you decide to do a ten day course, good luck!

  28. I finally dragged myself into a Vipassana retreat after watching your Yes Madam Sir at an early screening in Singapore. Still can't get into tennis though, even after the Billie Jean King movie. You're all so inspiring, mama.

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