Kiran Bedi

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Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi at the SWIM Conference.JPG
Bedi at the "Successful Women in Management" (SWIM) conference, 2007
Born (1949-06-09) 9 June 1949 (age 65)[1]
Amritsar, Punjab, India
Alma mater Panjab University Chandigarh
University of Delhi
IIT Delhi
Relatives Spouse: Brij Bedi
Father: Prakash Lal Peshawaria
Mother: Prem Lata Peshawaria
Daughter: Saina
Awards Suryadatta National Award, 2007
United Nations Medal, 2004
Ramon Magsaysay Award, 1994
President’s Gallantry Award, 1979
Police career
Current status Retired
Department Indian Police Service
Allegiance India India
Years of service 1972-2007
Rank Director General of Police
Director General of Police.png
Other work Social Activist
Kiran Bedi

Kiran Bedi is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.[1] Bedi joined the police service in 1972 and became the first woman officer in the IPS.[2] Bedi held the post of Director General at the Bureau of Police Research and Development before she voluntarily retired from the IPS in December 2007.[3] Bedi was the host and judge of the popular TV series Aap Ki Kachehri ("Your Court"), which is based on real-life disputes and provides a platform for settling disputes between consenting parties.[4]

She has also founded two NGOs in India: the Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation for welfare and preventative policing in 1988[5] which was later renamed as the Navjyoti India Foundation in 2007, and the India Vision Foundation for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention and child welfare in 1994.[6] Bedi was awarded Ramon Magsaysay award in 1994 for Government service.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Kiran Bedi was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India. She was awarded a BA degree by the Government College for Women, Amritsar in 1968. She then earned a Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh, graduating at the top of her class in 1970. She later obtained Bachelor of Laws in 1988 from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. In 1993, she obtained a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Department of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi[8] where the topic of her thesis was 'Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence'.[9]


She began her career as a Lecturer in Political Science (1970–72) at Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar. In July 1972, she joined the Indian Police Service, becoming the first woman to do so.[10] Bedi wrote in 1973 that she had joined the police service "because of [her] urge to be outstanding".[11]

She served in a number of tough assignments ranging from New Delhi traffic postings, Deputy Inspector General of Police in Mizoram, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau, to a United Nations delegation, where she became the Civilian Police Advisor in United Nations peacekeeping operations.[12] For her work in the UN, she was awarded a UN medal.[13] She is popularly referred to as Crane Bedi for towing the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's car for a parking violation,[10] during the PM's tour of United States at that time.[8]

Kiran Bedi influenced several decisions of the Indian Police Service, particularly in the areas of narcotics control, Traffic management, and VIP security. During her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail (Delhi) (1993–1995), she instituted a number of reforms in the management of the prison, and initiated a number of measures such as detoxification programs, Art of Living Foundation Prison Courses,[14] yoga, vipassana meditation, Murat redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs.[15] Her initiatives for the practice of Vipassana meditation were documented in the film Doing time, Doing Vipassana. For this she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the 'Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship', to write about her work at Tihar Jail.[9]

She was last appointed as Director General of India's Bureau of Police Research and Development.

In May 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of her “humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing”.[16]

On 27 November 2007, she expressed her wish to voluntarily retire from the police force to undertake new challenges in life. On 25 December 2007, the Government of India agreed to relieve Bedi of her duties as Director General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

In 2014 Bedi, who had avoided politics earlier, expressed her desire to serve the country in the Modi led government, by offering herself as CM candidate of BJP.[17]

Social initiatives[edit]

Kiran Bedi along with 15 other police officers set up Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) in 1987,[5] NIF started with a de-addiction and rehabilitation initiative for the drug addicts and now the organization has expanded to other social issue like illiteracy and women empowerment.[5] In 1994 Bedi setup India Vision Foundation which works in field of police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development.[18] Her efforts have won national and international recognition, and her organizations were awarded the "Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award" for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations.[19]

After retirement, Kiran Bedi launched a new website. The goal of this website was to help people whose complaints are not accepted by the local police and the website is [20]

India Against Corruption[edit]

On 16 August 2011, key members of the India Against Corruption (IAC) including Bedi were arrested four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike by Hazare.[21] Bedi and other activist were later released in the evening same day.[22] After twelve days of protests and many discussions between the government and the activists, Parliament passed a resolution to consider three points in drafting of Lokpal bill.[23] During the period of Bedi's involvement, IAC protested against corruption and urged the government of India to enact the Lokpal Bill.[24] Bedi split from the group in November 2012.[25]

Bedi did not join the Aam Aadmi Party, which evolved from a section of the India Against Corruption. Before the Indian general election, 2014, she declared support for Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate.[26]

Honours and awards[edit]

Year Name of Award or Honour Awarding organisation References
2013 Honorary Degree of Doctor of Public Service Rai University [27]
2011 Bharatiya Manavata Vikas Puraskar Indian Institute of Planning and Management [28]
MSN Most Admired Indian Female Icon 2011 [29]
Avicenna Leadership Award in 2011 [30]
2010 Tarun Kranti Puraskar – 2010 in Women Empowerment Category Tarun Award Council [31]
Kalpana Chawla Excellence Awards 2010 [30]
The 9th Annual Academy Award [30]
Global Trail Blazer Award [30]
STAR Parivaar Awards STAR Plus
2009 Arch Bishop Benedict Mar Gregorius Award- 2009 [30]
Women Excellences Awards Aaaj Tak
Certificate of Recognition, Los Angeles, State of California
Indo- American
2008 Pride Of Punjab
The Indian society of Criminology
Lifetime Achievement Awards Bank of Baroda
2007 Suryadatta National Award Suryadatta Group of Institutes [32]
Baba Farid Award [33]
Amity Woman Achiever for Social Justice [33]
Public Service Excellence Award
Zee Astitva Award Zee TV
2005 Mother Teresa Awards for Social Justice Harmony Foundation
Transformative Leadership in the Indian Police Service
2004 United Nations Medal United Nations
2002 Woman of the Year Award Blue Drop Group Management, Cultural and Artistic Association, Italy. [33]
2001 Morrison Tom Gitchoff Award [33]
1999 Bharat Gaurav Award [33]
Pride of India Award American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI)
Serge Sotiroff Award (UNDCP) [33]
1998 ACCU-IEF Award [33]
1997 Fourth Joseph Beuys Award Germany
1995 Lion of the Year
Father Machismo Humanitarian Award Don Bosco Shrine Office, Bombay-India [33]
Mahila Shiromani Award [33]
1994 Magsaysay Award Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation [34]
1992 International Woman Award [33]
1991 Asia Region Award for Drug Prevention and Control International Organisation of Good Templars (IOGT), Norway
1981 Women of the Year Award National Solidarity Weekly, India
1979 President’s Gallantry Award President of India


In July 1993, Kiran Bedi, the then Inspector-General of Prisons of Tihar Jail was pulled up by the Supreme Court of India for ignoring the apex court directives for providing medical attention to a foreign under-trial prisoner by initiating contempt proceedings against her. In 1988 Wadhwa Commission criticised Bedi for her role in lathi-charge on lawyers protesting against a colleague’s arrest outside Bedi’s office.[35] Karan Thapar, host of many popular interview shows published an article on controversies surrounding Bedi after she pulled out of one of Thapar's interview show.[36]

Bedi was criticised for being a hardliner in the negotiations with government over Lokpal bill.[37] Later members of parliament proposed to bring a breach of privilege motion against Kiran Bedi and a few other activists for allegedly mocking the parliamentarians during the lokpal bill protests,[38] however withdrew the notice later.[39]

Kiran Bedi was alleged to have charged her hosts full fare for air tickets despite her paying discounted fare. She was also alleged to have charged her hosts business class fare while flying economy class and presenting false invoices.[40][41][42] Bedi was also accused by an NGO of claiming business class fare from Delhi to Mumbai, while her travel itinerary communicated to them showed she was flying from nearby Pune.[43] Bedi said that the money was not earned for personal gains, but given to her NGO.[44]

In 1992 Kiran Bedi's daughter was given admission for MBBS course in Delhi's Hardinge College under a quota for student's from North-East. Kiran Bedi was posted in Mizoram at that time. Bedi stated that it was within the rules and Central Government employees were entitled to such schemes.[45]

In November 2011, the Delhi Police, under directions of the additional chief metropolitan magistrate, registered an FIR against Bedi for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for her NGOs.[46][47] The police later found no such evidence on her,[48] and subsequently filed closure for the case.

In films and literature[edit]

A non fiction feature film on Kiran Bedi's life, Yes Madam, Sir, has been produced by Australian film maker, Megan Doneman. This film is being screened in film festivals around the world. Its commentator is an Academy Award winner, Helen Mirren. Kiran Bedi was present during its screenings in Toronto, Dubai and Adelaide, and to address the Q&A sessions at the end of each show.

The documentary has made a clean sweep of the award categories---“Best Documentary” with a cash award of $100,000, the biggest prize for a documentary in any film festival in the US and the Social Justice Award with $2500 at Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Yes Madam, Sir got a unanimous vote from the jury.

In 2006, Norwegian Mpower Film & Media and film maker Oystein Rakkenes released another documentary on Bedi and her prison revolution in Tihar Central Jail, In Gandhi's footsteps. The film was awarded Best Documentary at the Indo-American Film Festival in Atlanta, in November 2006.

Kiran Bedi features in the upcoming inspirational film Carve Your Destiny. The film is directed by Anubhav Srivastava.

Kiran Bedi also became host in 2009–10 on the TV show Aap Ki Kachehri Kiran Ke Saath on Star Plus.

The Kannada-language feature film Kannadada Kiran Bedi, starring Malashri as a fictionalized interpretation of Kiran Bedi, was released in 2009.

Biographies of Bedi:

  • I dare!: Kiran Bedi : a biography by Parmesh Dangwal[49]
  • Kiran Bedi, the kindly baton by Meenakshi Saxena[50]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kiran Bedi Biography 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee at rmaf.
  2. ^ "Kiran Bedi quits police force, takes voluntary retirement". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  3. ^ CNN-IBN, Kiran Bedi quits police force, takes voluntary retirement. Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Courting trouble". Indian Express. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Official website Navjyoti. (8 October 2011). Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  6. ^ India Vision Foundation Official website. Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  7. ^ "The 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service". Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  8. ^ a b A Kiran Bedi:Tough Lady In All Male Bastion[dead link] Kiran Bedi at living.oneindia.
  9. ^ a b c Kiran Bedi Celebrities at nilacharal.
  10. ^ a b First female police officer BBC News, Delhi, Tuesday, 27 November 2007.
  11. ^ What made me join the IPS?. Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  12. ^ Interview with Kiran Bedi Un Chronicle, January 2003.
  13. ^ Indian Heroes Kiran Bedi at iloveindia.
  14. ^ Prison SMART Program | Stress management | Rehabilitation Training. The Art of Living (10 October 2011). Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  15. ^ Kiran Bedi on being India’s first woman police officer. Reuters , 4 Mar 2010
  16. ^ Kiran Bedi's profile The Hindustan Times, 25 July 2007.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "India Vision Foundation – Objective being to save the NEXT VICTIM". Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  19. ^ Ovasdi, J. M. (2006). Management of Non-Governmental Organisations: Towards a Developed Civil Society. Macmillan. pp. 321–. ISBN 978-1-4039-2868-9. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Anna Hazare IS the movement". Rediff. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Anna Hazare refuses to leave Tihar Jail, says allow fast at JP Park". NDTV. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "Agreed! says Parliament to Anna; fast ends at 10 am". NDTV. 28 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "What is the Jan Lokpal Bill, why it's important". NDTV. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Khandekar, Nivedita (3 September 2013). "Anti-corruption body abandons Janlokpal". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  26. ^ Kiran Bedi: Expressed support for Narendra Modi as an 'independent citizen'
  27. ^ [1]. News 24. Retrieved on 20 November 2013.
  28. ^ India's Most Influential Business and Economy Magazine – IIPM Celebrates Selfless Service. Business and Economy. Retrieved on 16 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Kiran Bedi". Jagran Bureau. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  30. ^ a b c d e Awards. Kiran Bedi. Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  31. ^ Tarun kranti puraskar. Ujjwal Patni (National chairman of Tarun Award council). Retrieved on 3 February 2013.
  32. ^ List of Honorable Recipients of the "Suryadatta National Award 2003 – 2011. (29 February 2012). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Awards. Kiran Bedi. Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  34. ^ 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service- Kiran Bedi. (31 August 1994). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  35. ^ "Lawyers renew Bedi battle". The Telegraph. 24 August 2005. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  36. ^ Thapar, Karan (4 August 2007). "Ten questions for Kiran Bedi". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  37. ^ "The negotiators, their role". Indian Express. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  38. ^ "Om Puri and Kiran Bedi to get Privilege Motion notices from Parliament". India Summary. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  39. ^ "Congress MP withdraws privilege notice against Anna's aides". Times of India. 8 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  40. ^ "Kiran Lokpal Bedi buys discount air tickets, gets hosts to pay full fare". Indian Express. 20 Oct 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  41. ^ "Inflated bill: trustee of Kiran Bedi's NGO quits". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 25 Oct 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  42. ^ "Kiran Bedi overcharged us for travel, says NGO". The Hindu (Mumbai, India). 25 October 2011. 
  43. ^ "Kiran Bedi overcharged us for travel, says NGO". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 25 October 2011. 
  44. ^ "'No Personal Gain' on Inflated Air Tickets: Kiran Bedi". Outlook India. 20 Oct 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  45. ^ "'Good cop, bad cop". Business Standard. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  46. ^ Court orders FIR against Bedi for misuse of funds. Indian Express (27 November 2011). Retrieved on 13 March 2012.
  47. ^ "Delhi Police registers case against Kiran Bedi – The Times of India". The Times Of India. 27 November 2011. 
  48. ^ "Clean chit to Kiran Bedi in fund abuse case". Times of India. July 16, 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2014. 
  49. ^ Dangwal, Parmesh (1995). I dare!: Kiran Bedi : a biography. UBS Publishers' Distributors. 
  50. ^ Saxena, Meenakshi (2000). Kiran Bedi, the kindly baton. Books India International. 
  51. ^ Bedi, Kiran (1999). It's always possible: transforming one of the largest prisons in the world. Indra Publishing. ISBN 0-9585805-3-7. 
  52. ^ Government@net: new governance opportunities for India. Sage Publications. 2001. ISBN 0-7619-9569-2.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  53. ^ Bedi, Kiran (2005). As I see-. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 81-207-2938-2. 
  54. ^ Bedi, Kiran. Himmat Hai. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. ISBN 81-7182-991-0. 

External links[edit]