This refers to the article "Improving the system of policing" (Jan. 17) adapted from President Abdul Kalam's address at the 150th year celebrations of the Chennai Metropolitan Police. The simplest and most effective way of transforming the police is to transform the style and substance of the work of the constable. Every constable should be given a free email account on police networks and a cell-phone. This will ensure a substantial flow of information and intelligence while providing a reliable, documented record of a constable's contribution, credit for which is often lost to him. It will enhance the self-esteem, and motivation of the constable.

N. Krishnaswamy,
Chennai

`Go back to the basics while adapting to changes' should be the overall guiding strategy. The basic issues are undue political interference in police functioning, control of the generalist over the specialist, and subordination of the State police officers to the cadres of the Indian Police Service. Addressing these issues among many others is the need of the hour.

P. Krishna Chaitanya,
Hyderabad

Good service conditions alone are not enough to attract and retain youth in the police service. They need to be convinced that criminals will be punished. The knowledge that politicians patronise criminals who are seldom punished for their acts discourages the young from opting for the police force.

Debraj Bagchi,
New Delhi