Kiran Bedi Biography
About Kiran Bedi
The first woman to join the coveted Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972, Kiran Bedi, was born on June 9, 1949, in Amritsar, Punjab. She has had an illustrious career, earning widespread adulation for her no-nonsense attitude and devotion to her work. She served as police advisor in the United Nations peacekeeping department and was honoured with the UN medal for her outstanding service. She earned the nickname ‘Crane Bedi’ for towing away the then Indian PM Indira Gandhi’s car for the parking violation.
Kiran Bedi did her schooling from Sacred Heart Convent School, Amritsar, Punjab from 1955-1964. She then graduated in English (1964-68) from Government College for Women, Amritsar, Punjab. Later, she secured a master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh. This gutsy police officer went on to secure an LL.B degree in 1988 from Delhi University and a Ph.D. on the subject ‘Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence’ from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, in 1993, even while she was in service.
Kiran Bedi was born to Prakash Lal Peshawaria and Prem Lata Peshawaria in Amritsar, Punjab. She has three sisters named Shashi, Reeta and Anu. All the four sisters excelled in their chosen vocations and have contributed to their respective fields. Kiran is married to Brij Bedi, a university tennis player, textile engineer by profession and a renowned social activist. They have a daughter, Saina, who is married to Ruzbeh N. Bharucha, a journalist by profession.
Excellence in Tennis
She has been an Asian tennis champion. Her father was an excellent tennis player and has trained all his daughters in the same sport. Here are a few of her achievements in the field of tennis:
- She along with her sister Reeta won the All-India intervarsity tennis title consecutively for three years.
- She won Junior National Lawn Tennis Championship in 1966.
- She won All-India Interstate Women’s Lawn Tennis Championship in 1975.
- She won National Women’s Lawn Tennis Championship in 1976.
- She has also won many Zonal and State lawn tennis championships throughout the country from 1965 to 1978.
- She represented India against Sri Lanka and won the Lionel Fonseka Memorial Trophy.
- She along with her sister Anu Peshawaria won the first-ever women’s festival sports title in 1975 for Delhi.
Her Tenure as an IPS Officer
She joined the Indian Police Service (IPS) in the year 1972 after receiving training at the National Police Academy at Mount Abu. She was first posted as the Sub-Divisional Police Officer at Chanakyapuri Police Station in Delhi, which covers the areas of Rashtrapati Bhawan, PM House, Lutyens Delhi and offices of many key government officers and ministers. She then became the first woman officer to lead Delhi Police’s male contingent at the Republic Day Parade in 1975. She served creditably in a host of appointments ranging from Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mizoram; Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau and many others. Her district police assignments at the North and West district of Delhi Police brought another side of her and confirmed her as an officer who not only believed but also practised. Her last appointment was as the Director-General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development, India. She took voluntary retirement on November 27, 2007, and was relieved from her duties by the government of India on December 25, 2007.
She is well known for introducing a number of reforms during her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons of the Tihar Jail in New Delhi, like detoxification programmes, yoga, meditation and redressal of prisoners’ complaints. She set up foundations like Navjyoti India Foundation in 1988 and the India Vision Foundation in 1994 for improving the lot of drug addicts, prisoners’ children and the poor sections of society.
India Against Corruption Movement
Kiran was a key member of the ‘India Against Corruption’ (IAC) movement which was led by social activist Anna Hazare. The central focus of IAC was the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill. Bedi was involved in the protests and discussions which took place between the government and the activists of the group. She was even arrested for a few hours along with other members of the movement before the beginning of Anna Hazare’s planned indefinite hunger strike. After their protests, the Parliament passed a resolution to consider three points in drafting the Lokpal Bill. Bedi split from the IAC in November 2012.
Bedi did not join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founded by Arvind Kejriwal, her former associate of the IAC movement. She supported BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi during the general elections 2014. She officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on January 15, 2015, and was declared as the chief ministerial candidate by the party for the Delhi assembly elections 2015. She contested from Krishna Nagar constituency in the polls but was defeated by AAP candidate S K Bagga.
Awards and Recognition
She has won a number of awards both in India and abroad. The prominent ones among them include the President’s Gallantry Award (1979), the Asia region award for Drug Prevention and Control (1991), the Magsaysay Award for government service (1994), the Joseph Beuys Award (1997), the Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice (2005) and the Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations.
Facts about Kiran Bedi
|Full Name||Kiran Bedi|
|DOB||09 June 1949|
|Place of Birth||Amritsar, Punjab|
|Political Party||Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)|
|Grand Father||Lala Muni Lal|
|Grand Mother||Pritam Kaur|
|Father||Prakash Lal Peshawaria|
|Mother||Prem Lata Peshawaria|
|Children||1 Daughter, Saina|
|Educational Qualification||Schooling from Sacred Heart Convent School, Graduation in English (H) from Government College for Women, Amritsar, Punjab. Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh. LL.B from Faculty of Law, Delhi University and Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi|
|Other Professions||Social activist, Lecturer in Political Science at Amritsar Khalsa College for Women (1970-72)|
|Social Activism||1988: Founded the NGO, “Navjyoti India Foundation”|
|1994: Founded “India Vision Foundation”|
|Was a key member of anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare|
|Positions Held||Served as Deputy Inspector General of Police in Mizoram; Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh; New Delhi Traffic Commissioner and Civilian Police Adviser for United Nations|
|Director General at Bureau of Police Research and Development|
|1993-1995: Worked as Inspector General of Prisons, Tihar Jail, Delhi|
|Politics||15 January 2015: Joined BJP|
|Awards and Achievements||1972: Became India’s first woman IPS officer|
|1976: Won National Women’s Lawn Tennis Championship|
|1979: Won President’s Gallantry Award|
|1980: Received Women of the Year Award|
|1994: Received Ramon Magsaysay Award|
|2004: Awarded the United Nations Medal|
|2009: Received Women Excellence Award (Aaj Tak)|