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The Rediff Interview / Kiran Bedi

'We had the least resources when terror struck'

December 09, 2008

Retired IPS (Indian Police Service) officer Kiran Bedi [Images] hopes to address and solve family disputes on national television, in her new show Aap Ki Kachehri Kiran Ke Saath. The show has real cases, real situations and real people, with Bedi playing an arbitrator who looks into the problems and also educates people about their rights.

Bedi talks to Rajul Hegde about the show, and also tries to find solutions for the terror attack on Mumbai.

How do you identify the cases?

Most of the cases have come from NGOs, who have been doing counselling for both parties. A production team, helped by NGOs, will source them, conduct an investigation into their authenticity, and ascertain that the contesting parties are willing to bring their dispute on camera.

What if one of the disputed parties is not willing to come on camera?

We don't force people to come here; we include them on the show if they are willing to open up about their problems. We also ask family members or relatives to come on the show to make it more authentic. Some of them resolve their dispute, some don't. It depends on the case. Many people come with their life long disputes and get solutions in one session here.

How do you handle the cases?

I try to solve issues with control and balance; I cannot be biased towards any party. I listen to both parties carefully. I do my research well. I have come here after 35 years of experience, and that helps to resolve cases. Plus, there is legal team, which also helps me.

What made you take up this show?

The concept made me take it up. It comes naturally to me, this has been the spirit of my work. I do not think there is any other medium as powerful as the television, so there was no reason to say no to this show.

What do you hope to achieve through this show?

We have already got a good response and I am happy that viewers are accepting this show. It gives me a chance to educate people about their rights. When I watch the show on television, even I learn something new. For instance, I have realised women are becoming aware of their rights now, and that's great. 

Would you agree that your name will make people come forward to be a part of the show because they can trust you?

That makes me more nervous (smiles). The perception of trust is important, therefore it is the responsibility of our show to live up to the expectation.

Do you think the Mumbai terror attacks [Images] could have been avoided?

India had been alerted but did not act on it. Yes, it could have been avoided if there was proper coordination between the Intelligence, Navy and the Coast Guard.

What do you think is needed to face terror?

We had the least resources when it happened. This is one of the biggest terror attacks that put India in the eye of international media. It's the time to recover. We, as citizens, should get together and decide that we will never let this happen again. Be ready for tomorrow and start working from today and tomorrow we will have better guns, better law and a better force. The government's priority has been the economy so far. Now, it should focus on security. Political parties should pay for their own security. I am sure things will change now and the government will become more responsible.

Do you have any suggestions to combat terror?

There should be proper coordination between the heads of all intelligence wings and the defence forces. Every city should have a digitised control room with CCTV camera where the police can view activities going on at prime locations. Cops need to be well equipped and there should be mock drills for the cops and the media.

Watch Aap Ki Kachehri Kiran Ke Saath every Monday to Thursday on 10.30 pm on Star Plus.



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