Raj Tilak Roushan (35), who’s currently the Superintendent of Police (SP) in Osmanabad, is an IPS officer of the 2013 batch of Maharashtra cadre. The young IPS officer, who hails from Bihar, received B.Tech and M.Tech degrees from IIT Kharagpur before he qualified for the prestigious Indian Police Service (IPS). Roushan, who was earlier the DCP (Traffic) in Nagpur, is well known for his wise, humane and citizen-centric approach towards policing. During his career as an IPS officer, Roushan received several awards including the Union Home Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Investigation, the FICCI award for smart policing and the IIT Kharagpur Young Alumni Achiever’s Award.
In an exclusive interview, Raj Tilak Roushan speaks to Nation Next as he starts his new career as an author of his recently released fictional book ‘The Good, The Bad and The Unknown,’ which portrays deep, dark and captivating crime stories from India. The book has being published by Bloomsbury who have published such international bestsellers like JK Rowling (Harry Potter), William Dalrymple, Khaled Hosseini etc.
Your book ‘The Good, The Bad and The Unknown’ is getting rave reviews from readers. It has already made to the list of top 50 books on e-commerce websites. How do you feel?
It took me more than four years to write and publish the book. So, I feel really satisfied as have I put in a lot of hard work into the book. I had to manage my hectic schedule as a police officer and also find time to write this book. Also, I wrote the book with my heart and mind into it hoping the readers enjoy it and find it gripping.
While policing is a very tough and demanding job, writing is a creative one. How did you manage to strike a balance between the two?
Policing is something, which I really enjoy. If you ask me what would I do if I had a choice to do something else, I would still say policing. Policing is a stressful job and your hobbies can keep your mind alert and can keep you at peace. I think writing is a creative outlet for me. Writing helps me to be stress free and writing this book was refreshing for me.
Tell us something about the book…
‘The Good, The Bad and The Unknown’ comprises 18 short suspense stories, which are inter-connected in various ways, and which will grip you right until the last word. All the stories have a police officer as a protagonist. The basic theme of the book is crime, society and how a person’s behaviour can vary if someone is forced into extreme circumstances. It’s often said that literature is the mirror to society. I think my book is quite close to that.
How much research did you put into for writing this book?
Apart from my imagination, there’s a lot of research that went in for writing the book, as I did not want any loose threads. However, I have left subtle hints for the readers. These hints allow the readers to see the same story from different perspectives. So, every reader may decipher the story in a different manner. That is something, which makes this book unique and interesting.
Apart from writing this book, you have been writing Hindi poems for a long time. How did the writing bug bit you?
I have been writing since my school days but I think I am still an amateur poet. Over the years, my poems been published in various magazines. But with this book, it’s the first time that I decided to do things systematically and get it published.
You received your B.Tech and M.Tech degrees from IIT Kharagpur. You started preparing for the IPS while you were working after finishing your education. What prompted you to leave your job and pursue IPS?
The scope of bringing in changes and changing people’s lives is huge when you’re an IPS officer. An IPS officer can do a lot for the society’s benefit and can also see the changes happening. When a citizen tells me that he/she was benefitted because of the changes I made, it gives me an inner sense of satisfaction. That feeling of satisfaction is what made me pursue IPS. I always wanted to serve people and bring positive changes.
You have received several awards for your work as an IPS officer. What’s your idea of policing?
My engineering bent of mind definitely comes in handy when it comes to policing. I believe that there is always some method in madness, which helps us to think systematically. In spite of all the chaos, I believe things can always be planned in such a way that they can be done most efficiently with best use of manpower and technology. Even without technology, a process can be designed, which can help in getting the desired results in the best manner. I always think that whatever I am doing should benefit the people who are supposed to be benefitted.
You have a very citizen-centric approach towards policing. How important do you think it is that a cordial relationship exists between the police and citizens?
It’s very important because ultimately we are serving the people. A law-abiding citizen is a police officer who’s not in uniform. If we have proper communication with the citizens, we can know the good and bad of the society, which is the major percentage and the bad part, which is a small percentage, which we need to control and take action against. So, if we have a good interaction with the good part of society, we can easily control the bad part of society.
During your career, you have solved some really tricky cases. One of the case, was dramatised for an episode of the crime show ‘Crime Patrol.’ Do you think, in the future, you might write a book with real stories you have experienced firsthand?
Yes, I might do it if the due process permits. I have concept of my next book in my mind. I will start working towards it as soon as I get some time. I think the feedback I get for ‘The Good, The Bad and The Unknown’ will definitely encourage me to write my next book in more enthusiastic manner.