Tell us about your journey from Ravi to IPS Ravi?
I was good at sports like baseball, badminton and horse riding. In 1972 I learnt BKS Iyengar yoga during school days. After several attempts, I cleared the IPS civil service exam (he laughs). Just then the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) raised the upper age limit to 28 years. Unfortunately, I was 28 years and 1 month. In 1990, Prime Minister V.P. Singh raised the upper age limit to 36 years and I was among the three and a half lakh candidates who wrote the exam and cleared in my last attempt. In 1991 I joined as Deputy Commissioner of Police – Traffic, North Chennai, Joint Commissioner of Police, North Chennai, Additional Commissioner of Police, Headquarters, Chennai, Additional Commissioner of Police Traffic, Chennai, Inspector General Chief Vigilance officer Aavin, ADGP headquarters, DIG Admin, Joint Commissioner of Police, North Chennai, Additional Commissioner of Police (crime against woman and children) and Additional Director General of Police, Special Task Force, Erode.

Being a father of two daughters and fighting for women’s safety, how responsible and proud does it make you feel?
It gives more responsibility to being the father of two daughters. I can empathise with those who have daughters and understand the feelings of women. All men have a woman at home, mother, daughter, and wife but how many men have empathy for them. So many men indulge in domestic violence and as a police officer, I’m legally bound to protect, and in the role of a father, I can understand the whole situation better. Being a father has strengthened my resolve to work further for the safety and security of women and children.

What’s the unknown side of Ravi that many don’t know of? What are your other passions that you pursue alongside your busy schedule?
I love to cook, exercise and have won all India level shuttle championship. I believe health is wealth, nothing is more important than health. Whatever wealth you have if you don’t have health you can’t enjoy the wealth. Every day I do Yoga since childhood, meditation, weight training, aerobics, sports and few outdoor activities.

What is the reason that leads one to commit crime?
Its one’s mindset, upbringing and environment, all together shapes a person’s personality. If a person has had a bad experience in their childhood, it will always remain in the mind unconsciously and later that animosity surfaces. As per a study of criminology, criminals who commit a chain of crimes have defective chromosomes and faulty genes. On the flip side, lack of attention on children, destructive thoughts, peer pressure, social media influences and other reasons can influence to commit a crime. Few people indulge in terrorism because they are brainwashed to believe in radical ideology. During adolescent age, if one doesn’t get proper guidance, parental neglect and getting exposure to such bad things around them, they can get vulnerable to committing crimes.

One of the safest cities in India is Chennai. How challenging is it for the department to uphold the name?
Compared to Delhi and other cities Chennai is the safest city. Other state police have respect for Tamil Nadu police’s efficiency. Nowadays cybercrimes are happening a lot more than physical crimes. Everything has become commercialised in social media and there is an unfair competition going on in internet like, “who gets more views” people shouldn’t fall into victims for such traps.

Living together has become legal. Does it make any difference in society?
I don’t think so; it doesn’t make any difference to society. Living together is legally acceptable and it’s a cultural evolution rather than a revolution. It’s a willingness or concern from both the partners to be together. We have seen the background of both the partners, maybe single parent, parentless, belongs to a different country, couldn’t support a family or need emotional support. Living together is finding comfort in the company of some other person which is not wrong, even the LGBTQ community is legally accepted so it is no more a taboo. In fact, it’s actually a welcoming culture because it will definitely prevent many crimes.

The police department is serving to protect the public but there are videos on social media that cross a million views in less period of time which includes Tiktok, prank and abusive public opinion which are irrelevant for daily life. What’s the public psychology right now?
There is a saying that ‘truth walks, rumour runs’ fake news, prank videos, these kinds of things reach people fast and people like to watch these kinds of stuff. Idle mind is a devil’s workshop. When someone is idle, they tend to do such negative stuff. We have to adapt to prevent such things. When I was an Assistant Commissioner of Police, I actually took up the issue and we banned all obscene websites and registered around 21 cases against child pornography and arrested a few people. We have created awareness about child pornography right, defence for woman. It’s a remarkable thing I have done that has made an impact all over Tamil Nadu. Unfortunately, India is number one in viewing child pornography. Tamil Nadu tops in the state and Chennai tops in cities, which is very sad. Suppose anyone attempts to rape or molest a woman, she can now use the right to prevent defence and kill that person.

Tell us about your support system?
My wife understands me very well and my elder daughter is married and the younger one is doing MBBS in Gynaecology. My wife takes care of both my daughters because I have been very busy with my work. One has to strike a balance between career and family. I could do it because of the understanding of my spouse and children. A supportive spouse is a very important reason behind every successful man.

What are your future plans?
I would like to enter into public service after my retirement and do something for the society. I don’t believe in routine human living just born, live and die for yourself; one has to do something for the society too. The last pride of the Tamils should be bought back, our culture of Tamil which includes unity, tolerance, nonviolence and secularism. I want every individual to enjoy the quality of life.

— By Vinitha Venkatesha.