“Don’t be a Singham! Create Singhams!” Meet Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS

Bhaskar Rao is an Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer of 1990 batch borne on Karnataka Cadre.             

Bhaskar Rao is an Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer of 1990 batch, born on Karnataka Cadre.      After his Basic Training at Lalbahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussorie and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad he was exposed to several field training in the militancy loaded district of Taran , Punjab, Poonch and Rajouri sector near the Radcliffe Line (Indo-Pak Border) for Army Attachment, Special Protection Group (SPG) which guards the Prime Minister and the Urban terrorism neutralizing agency, National Security Guard (NSG).He has also undergone an attachment with Indian Parliament and at School of Weapons and Tactics, Indore, Border Security Force.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao was born in Chennai. He has studied in schools in North and South-India. He started schooling in Mount Carmel School, Bokaro Thermal Power Station, Kamala Nehru Makkala Mandira-Bangalore, Sri Kumaran’s Children Home-Bangalore, Notre Dame Academy and St. Michaels High School-Patna, Bihar.

He completed his PUC from St. Joseph’s Arts & Science College, Bangalore and Degree from National College, Jayanagar, Bangalore in Psychology, Economics and Sociology.  He completed MA in Economics from Bangalore University.   He was member of NCC (Armed Corp) and National Service Scheme (NSS). Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS has been an inspirational police officer – both for the police force and for general citizens. With thousands of Twitter and Facebook followers, Mr. Rao is a celebrity among the young and the old.

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We met up with Shri Bhaskar Rao, to discover the man – behind the radiant smile!

The interview with Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS.

Question: Welcome sir, tell us a little about your past and what inspired you to join the IPS?

Bhaskar Rao: I’ve had the benefit of growing up both in North India as well as South India and I’m steeped in both languages, both cultures, and I’m extremely comfortable in friend circles and have a wide variety of friends all over the country. That is my biggest wealth. People are the biggest wealth and My friends are the biggest wealth, that I have with me.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao as a young man

So well, studying in northern India, everybody’s ambition is to be a part of the Civil Services so that’s where I got inspired to be a part of the Civil Services when I came here to Bangalore to pursue higher education. I continued my interest in Civil Services because I always like to be part of development, people, progress well-being of the country and the world in general.

So, the thing could be more appropriate than being a part of the Civil Services. So, after having served in the Army for a brief duration. I taught Economics in college, then as a part of a research team and worked with college – NMKRV Girls College – I was teaching economics there. Then was a part of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in Rajasthan That’s NABARD. And then, finally, in my third attempt I succeeded, and was allotted the Indian Foreign Service, but I opted to serve in the Indian Police Service where it would be much closer to people and address their problems.

Now, it’s been 30 years from now, and I’ve had the benefit of working with under several Chief Ministers several Home ministers, several Directors General of Police, and several senior colleagues who have made a deep impact on my philosophies and thoughts.”

I always like to be part of development, people, progress, nation, well being of the country well being of the world in general.

Bhaskar Rao

Question: So tell us a bit about your childhood, and your parents, your schooling incidents.

Bhaskar Rao:I studied both in North-India as well as in South-India, and also in Hindi medium school as well as in Kannada medium. In Bangalore called Kamala Nehru Makkala Mandira and I studied in Dherughat, Jharkhand also called Lakkhand-Bihar. And then after that I studied in Rathore Academy and St. Michael School, Patna.

St. Michael school has had the credit of sending a lot of people to bureaucracy as well as to the armed forces. So that was a place for inspiration. Of-course it was a very naughty environment also a boys- school, and I always used to be enamored by small, tiny acts of leadership or assuming a role. I was the president of the farm and gardening club there. I was an Interactor and also was a member of the student council of various kinds.

St, Micheals school, Patna

Question: Memories which you remember of School?

We were a part of flood relief in 1976 when the River Shoon flooded, in Patna there was almost a neck deep of water and small acts of assisting the police, assisting the army in distribution of relief used to bring us great joy just being associated with the armed forces. Just being with somebody, whether it could be an army jawan or Police Constable assisting them was extremely inspirational.

River Sone in Flood

These are the people, The people at the bottom of the ladder are the ones who have inspired me. They have been a tremendous source of inspiration for me. And this is what continues to be even today also that even as a Commissioner of Police – It is the constable that Constable and the ASI, that inspires me to do as much as possible because he is the force, or she is the force on which the entire society looks up as the guardians of society.”

Question: So tell us a little bit about your parents.

Bhaskar Rao:

My father went to Bihar in 1958, and he was associated with several River Valley projects and Engineers he was an engineer from Bengaluru, and he was inspired by Sir M Visvesvaraya, under whom he worked. And when he was present the project was completed, after which he has departure from Bihar. Later Chief Minister asked him to stay back by offering him a position in the state government. So that’s why my father is not an IAS officer or an IPS officer, but he’s an engineer, but to choose to make Bihar his Karma Bhoomi. And till the year 1990 he worked there, and he worked in all parts of Bihar. And the man of extraordinary integrity, extremely knowledgeable, a loving father, and who used to discuss so much about his work with us.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS with his father!

I am the eldest. I have a younger sister who works in the customs now and a younger brother who is in the corporate now. And my mother has been an epitome of calmness and strength, which has given us a lot of confidence. She used to tolerate all our mistakes and thereby gently correct us around

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Question: Please tell us some incident with your mother which you, which you remember as childhood incident

Bhaskar Rao: See, my mother has always given us a lot of independence to learn, we used to be so adventurous and so foolhardy at times over there, but her love was not like helicopter parenting which you see these days. She would say “Okay, he’s my son but let him take his own decisions”.

So, we used to do so much of risky things over there. She used to not warn us but She used to only say us to take care of our safety because nobody else can do that for us. Even if it could be wading in the Ganges in Bihar or anything as such. We all grew up on the banks of Ganga, Poon Poon, Son, Gandak, Kosi Then Suvarnarekha. We and our naughty company used to go play the river shore there or play in the water and all kinds of dangerous things we used to do like jumping into the well and trying to swim. So if you look at it now, in present day parents would be horrified if the children did such a thing.

But despite knowing all these things that built a lot of resonance inside us and she never emphasized that only if you study you will become a good person. Of-course studies are very essential. Scoring marks is good. I was not a very good student, but she always nurtured me. A very courageous woman. She’s a graduate from Delhi University. If she had chosen to become a professional, probably she would have ended up as the Vice Chancellor, but she chose to be a homemaker and brought us up. When my father used to be away for days together, working.

My sister is four years younger than me. Her name is Anita, and at present she’s a Superintendent with the customs in Bangalore, her husband is an army officer, and her daughter is also an army officer she’s a captain in the army and at present she is in Delhi. So, we have always had a culture of uniform persons growing in our house.

My maternal grandfather was in army, and my uncles were in army too and we lost one of our uncles in the flight past in the year 1967. There has been a lot of uniform culture inside the house because my great grandfather was the Havaldar who would be sitting in Basavangudi, Bengaluru and having jurisdiction upto Kanakapura. He was a policeman.

Those days the police and revenues to be together. So, service to the nation and service to society has always been a part of our DNA And it continues even now.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS is recipient United Nation’s Medal for Services rendered in War Territory of Kosovo, Former Yugoslavia – 2000

Question: You really have had an interesting time and played various roles. Let’s come to you being Police Commissioner. I don’t think you ever imagined that it will be so eventful…

Bhaskar Rao:

All these things for an instance, the present CEO of ACC Neeraj Akhoury is a very big man. We had cycled to Muzzafarpur, along with another very dear friend Prem Prakash. We three of us cycled from Patna to Muzzafarpur on a cycle, in the year 1981. Then we cycle from Patna to Varanasi and back to single speed cycle. We cycled between Delhi and Aghra once so with very less money in the pockets and depending on people’s goodness.

And also had supreme confidence in elders and we used to even touch unknown people’s feet and seek the blessings. Thirdly, all those things must have come as a blessing now. We had no arrogance If somebody is an elder, he/she should be respected and somebody that has got some wisdom not that somebody is rich only then you should touch their feet. We have touched the feet of bangle sellers, fruit sellers who have been kind to us. We have touched the feet because there were Dhabas over there who gave us some fried rice and two samosas so that we thank them, because we never used to ask our parents that I’m going on a cycling trip so give me a high-end bike, credit card and I want to go there So it was known that your cycling trip, you are at the mercy. Drink water and near the trees and not Bisleri. Bisleri culture that has never even ridiculed it, even as late as after the joy.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS is recipient of the President’s medal for meritorious service.

We used to cycle between Delhi and Agra, so with very less money in the pocket, and depending on people’s goodness. And we had supreme confidence in elders and we used to even touch unknown people’s feet and seek the blessings. All those things must have come as a blessing now. We had no arrogance. If somebody elder should be respected should be respected and somebody that has got some wisdom told was not that somebody is rich you should touch their feet. We have touched feet of bangle sellers fruit sellers who have been kind to us.

But now, compulsion but still prefer to be as close as possible to the ground. And that inspired me after we crossed 50 years. Also, I took a group of KSRP persons from Bidar in the northernmost part of Bangalore, Karnataka to Bangalore, touching all our Battalion, because there was a time our armed forces were passing through a period of depression, people were in so much depression that they committed suicides. There were resignations etc So to put everybody together and inspire we decided that whatever has to be done, It will be done only by the armed police because there’s always a difference between armed police and civil police, and we will not accept any hospitality. And I’ll tell you my officers rose like Emperors and knives, said yes, it is our business and we will do it. So that was a huge morale booster.

And I’ve always believed in strengthening the bottom of the pyramid, because that is where I came from. Even as Commissioner of Police Bengaluru city. I openly told my constables that they are the cutting edge that when you are faced with an adversity You are the police commissioner so act, behave, think in the same path as if you have the permission to police and that was what helped me to ensure that within the first of August, 2019 to the first of August 2020 in my tenure of exactly one year. The whole of Bengaluru City, having population of 1.5 crore, never had a single instance of a cycle also being burned, or a stone also being thrown because these boys were the ones who were passionately protecting them. Because I said you are the commissioner you take a decision, and you are commissioner of mycolayMICO Layout police station, you are the Commissioner of Jaynagar Police Station or You are the Commissioner of Frazer-Town Police Station So you don’t look up to me that I would come and you will solve the problem.

Solve it on your own, and they used to do it. So that was the biggest communication, which I had with admins in my entire career. I would say that this is the greatest communication I’ve ever felt experience or others have felt responded by my junior staff for them.

And my entire tenure was a rollercoaster ride. The day I took charge I was personally preset with some of this phone tapping cases, then cases in the central Administrative Tribunal against me, after that, the Kashmir decision came through. Bangalore is the city which has people from all the states of the country So anything that happens in any part of the country has repercussions in Bangalore so handling them. And after that the Ram janam bhoomi decision came through then the condemn for DK Shivakumar’s arrest came through all these things were on the boil the new government was the BJP government lead by B.S.Yedyurappa had taken charge and they were also very particular that no odd should take place and anything that takes place in Bangalore has repercussions all over the world also because there are over 1000 multinational companies And with social media going around. Even if something has happened somewhere far away. The effect be felt in New Zealand, Germany, America. “Are you okay and are you safe?”, what is the extent etc. So, communication becomes extremely crucial.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao, IPS received the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service – 2015

Question: What are your tips for communication?

You should not be a Singham. You should create Singhams, I should never be a Singham. . The man on the street, he should be the Singham. He should have the freedom to come and tell me.

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You should have tolerance for errors by your subordinates. I am myself a bundle of errors. so you should have tolerance for errors. And the third thing is, if you look at a person. He has a mix of both good and the bad. Most often we end up listening today, concentrating on his bad quality.

Most often what happens subordinates fear their bosses, like what they say in hindi officer ke ghadi ghode ki bichadi kabhi nichalta nahi that’s second.

You should have tolerance for errors by your subordinates. I am myself a bundle of errors so you should have tolerance for errors. And the third thing is, if you look at a person. He has a mix of both good and the bad. Most often we end up listening today, concentrating on his bad quality.

He’s a drunkard or womanizer or a corrupt. But beyond that he is efficient, delivers and is obedient so you have to bring about that. And the last thing is that never listen to people who carry tails. When you sit in a group of people who say, Vo aise hai vaisa hai. These all are the people poison to your mind , Am against people who don’t have access to it. These four things    I have personally felt and I finally had to be genuine can’t do natak or tamasha and say that I’m going to do this and finally you have to be genuine with you and be as close as possible take care of the welfare, like Philip Chetwode said that- The welfare of your country which always comes first, the welfare of the people who command in the command comes second and wrote welfare comes always last one So these are all golden words, told by the illustrious men who served as well as ruled the world, and made a deep impact on leadership theories leadership policy.

Chetwood motto

And also, as and when I get time, I spend a lot of time in self-improvement books. Reading autobiographies over there. I read autobiographies of Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa.”

And also, as and when I get tired. I spend a lot of time in self improvement books. Reading autobiographies over there. I read autobiographies of Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa.

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I have read Rajat Gupta also I have read Rajat Gupta, Narayan Murthy, Azim Premji, books by Sudha Murthy, Hope factory and books by Arundhati Rao. I don’t go by ideology , I pick up whatever book can educate me in whichever way. Than Robert Greene’s book on the power, Sun Tzu’s Art of War, parts of have Chanakya. So, these books have all educated me, and I also read a little bit of Rajneesh then S L Byrappa. Then, DVG’s Mankutimmana kagga. These are all things which impact you very much impact very much in your life.

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Question:How do manage it?

Bhaskar Rao: ” I do speed reading. I do speed reading and my wife is also a great inspiration for me to read books. She being a very senior doctor she’s a pediatrician and despite that she is much more well-read much more well- read than me, and she spends a lot of time in reading books So I always recommend books to be your greatest friends. And if you’re in a position of leadership, it is constant learning, you’re learning should never stop you should keep on learning till the day you go to your grave, or as long as you’re able to see, and your consciousness, reading something always improves you.

Because the entire nation now needs only housekeeping house-keeping and housekeeping there is no dearth of people who are there to give us brilliant idea. We need people who can implement things very well, it wouldn’t tell me what we lacked.

We don’t have good intentions, all that we want to is that our greatest greed is to fill up our own coffers and fill the coffers of our children, and make our children lazy. We should never give money to our children have to lavishly spend more. my father never gave him money so that that is always that, and that is why we are always careful with our money and money should never become the central focus of our lifestyle. I come across people whose whose sole job in life is to make money and make money.

And I know so many people who are so rich. Apart from money they’re nothing nothing, or I will always keep saying that you are so bloody poor that apart from money. Nothing. They are rolling in cash down, they don’t know what to do with their volts on gold faucets also they have water but that is the kind of one vulgarity in their personal life, and that’s what that’s how the next generation gets impacted and the generation after that. If we shift our attention away from money. Our country will be a fantastic place, and our leadership actually shows that money is something which money is necessary, as much as you need. But money beyond our level. In this pandemic that is what I will have learned the irrelevance of money during this pandemic.

Complete money was irrelevant. During this. You got no hotels no fivestar bars and restaurants, no international travel, no holidays. All that you had was Do Waqt ki Roti and trying to improve yourself and concentrating on your family.

And as far as possible work from your home.

Atharva Marcom: So, you know you How did you manage to keep Bangalore so calm so peaceful, I saw one tweet from you, I’ll never forget it. You know in the later time one person asked you, I want to go to the airport to collect my parents. Where can they get an E pass from and you tweeted back saying, you can go and there was a huge, you know, response after that saying is that an E passes or is this a new Can this be a new form of E pass in which we can just send it to eat and get a, you know, verbal or a quitter.

Mr. Bhaskar Rao:

There’s no necessity of pass. A lot of times what happens is that people are not informed they’re in confusion, and they have a lot of personal obligations to nobody communication is very, very quick always as far as possible is to is to communicate, because I had decentralized network completely. And my agenda was very clear as comes to a policy.

This is I want, want to happen in the city, and this salad, this will happen. And I used to take my leadership conference that is my ECP DCP. And I always say to the if I’m wrong, tell me at number of times I used to be wrong. My TCP or expect to come and say, sir. This is a little harsh. This is a little impractical it’s better not to So I used to listen to. We have to be willing to listen to the man on the ground So if you do it my way or the highway. We won’t argue with you, but it’ll end up in a disaster of that song. And you have to give a lot of freedom

to make mistakes, you must give freedom to make people don’t make mistakes, they will never learn. It’s like learning to, but once you learn. And if you are given a genuine atmosphere for people to learn. I’ve seen the worst of the people. In fact, I have told my Director.

General of Police that even people who don’t need. I want my share of people who nobody wanted was fantastic. They performed beyond expectation. It’s not that I was supervising on a day to day basis over there. They have to come and tell me what they have done over the years to encourage them come and tell me what good work you have done. Come and tell me where you have been appreciated, all those days you are being criticized you’re being sort of put into the come and tell me, what good work you’ve done.

And I never loose the opportunity of appreciating because see people need appreciation from their boss, you must appreciate, because he will do much better the next time. Better than the next time. So, in fact, leadership itself gets delegated over there I can’t, I am the leader you are my subordinate every man on the street. He is the leader, you have to manufacture leadership there. You can’t say I am the leader.

Sitting on this position as commissioner of police or in addition to general police. I am the leader, all of your supply subordinate here. My job is to create leaders to create innovators to make people, implement things for the larger good of society or for the larger good of the stakeholders and ensure that there is no fear in our religion relationship that is truly a championship on your part because what happens is a lot of time when one wears a uniform and one is at a senior position there’s almost an immediate gap between being communication being free, which you didn’t let that happen.

There is no need to basically look at the booth hustle get in my whole year as Commissioner of Police in Benghazi are not ordered a single department inquiry. And what are why the punishments are there. I have dealt with that, in a way, which has been good for the police officer who has shown me something good, I have to say, this is the charge against to show me that you can do better than this. This should erase the comeback. Much better. . I have been tutored and nurtured by titans of the police department.

Interviewer: having mentors is great

And we should keep doing mentoring, see whatever I told you is nothing new . In Bangalore , when I was Commissioner of Police. We had 11 women deputy commissioners .

Women DCPs of bangalore: Rohini Katoch, Isha Pant, Ilakkiya Karunagaran, Divya Sarah Thomas, Dr Soumyalatha, Sarah Fathima, M Ashwini, and Nisha James

And most often you will see that a lot of subordinates are unwilling to be respectful towards women officer. So you have to empower them, what she says, Are my words, and that is the final word. So better fall in line. So, they also become responsible and they have done. Some of the officers who were not wanted by anyone. They have performed exceedingly well, because we have to create an atmosphere for them, so they can make a mistake. And improve.

Thank you so much, sir. It was wonderful talking to you and learn so much of learning.

Thank you so much. God bless you.

Shri Bhaskar Rao,IPS was speaking to Atharva Marcom. See more great articles here, subscribe to the podcasts of hear more on the YouTube channel!