New Delhi, Sep 4 :Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the most important thing in a democracy is a citizen's independence and freedom of expression which is directly linked to good policing, and this needs to be continuously improved.
He said 'beat constable' deployed at the lowest level of the police system makes the "biggest contribution" towards making a democracy successful by protecting the common man.
Delivering the keynote speech during the 51st foundation day event of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), the minister said democracy cannot be successful if law and order is not good.
"Democracy is our nature... This was our character even before independence and we accepted this after gaining freedom. This is the nature of our people. The biggest thing in a democracy is a person's independence and freedom of expression," he said.
When it comes to freedom of expression of a person, it is directly linked to law and order, he noted.
"Democracy is not just about voting for parties and forming a government... This is just a part of the system. What is the success or fruit of democracy? The fruit is that 130 crore people of the country, according to their capabilities and intelligence, get to develop themselves and the country gets the benefit of this cumulative effect for its development," Shah said.
He emphasised that democracy cannot prosper if law and order in a country is not good.
"This work is done by police and forces that guard our borders. It is very important for a successful democracy that the security of a person is ensured. The citizen should keep getting his legal rights in an uninterrupted manner. A citizen should be able to discharge his duties as per the spirit of the constitution," the Union minister stated.
And hence, he said, upgrading and improving police force is the work of BPR&D.
Shah noted that the image of police, at certain times, is maligned by certain quarters.
"I do not know why a campaign has been run to damage the image of police. Some incidents are hyped and shown, while good incidents are not popularised," he said.