Ganpati Bappa ‘Maria’

-by Scrapwala ,07.11.10

While watching this news on television that ‘US President Barrack Obama-during his visit to Mumbai- had invited Mr.Rakesh Maria –Maharashtra ATS Chief, I feel very proud about this IPS Officer and simultaneously many questions came to my mind viz. Why President Obama was curious to meet Mr. Maria – (breaking the protocol, as he should have called on the DGP) – certainly he would have heard about Mr.Maria and his style of functioning and talent this man possess.(Here we could learn and take inspiration from both of these personalities as they have succeeded against all odds).

Secondly the style of Obama, as we saw him enthusiastically and passionately mixing with our people and very selectively he invited the talented people, which also shows he is eager to share his experience and also learn from their experiences and Third and most important thing according to me is the culture of giving value to hard work and recognize talent, recognizing merit, competency and performance. Whereas in our society the balance is more on the side of sycophancy and carrying undeserving people and not recognizing talent and merit. We tend to ignore and loose talented people during their lifetime and praise them only after when they are no more or we only came to know when they are acclaimed by foreign countries.

I am sure we all would agree that during his 29 years long service in the Indian Police Services Mr. Maria would definitely have gone through all the political pressures and pressures from various influential groups and still he has managed to keep his performance above the level of expectations and still continuing to do better.

I remember when I was doing my college at Akola-Maharashtra in 1983 to 1985; Mr. Maria was posted at Akola as an ASP. He was very popular among the people as he had come down heavily on criminals, the ‘satta/matka’ and on the anti social elements. In Colleges we as Student then use to talk and hear the stories of how disciplined Mr. Maria was and how he got control over the local ‘gundas’.

People in Akola and Students like me used to gather along roads of the ‘City-Kotwali’ to get a glimpse of this man. There is a bridge in Akola near the ‘city-Kotwali’ known as ‘lokhandi-pool’ (Iron bridge, across the ‘Morna’ river,another is ‘dagdi’ pool also a old one), people use to gather every evening on these locations around the ‘City-Kotwali’ to see this tall IPS Officer and that year people celebrated the Ganesh Utsav with much vigor and enthusiasm, the citizens of Akola very happily and cheerfully praise the ‘Ganpati Bappa’ and that year it was ‘Ganpati Bappa – Maria’ all over , instead of ‘Ganpati Bappa – Moria’.