Haggai leader Prateep Philip began his career in law enforcement over three decades ago. He felt a distinct calling from God into a life of public service, and in 1987 he joined the Indian Police Service after graduating from the National Police Academy in Hyderabad, India. In his words, this profession was his way to emulate Daniel, his biblical hero. To Prateep, the Old Testament narrative of a civil servant whose loyalty to God defied his Babylonian superiors illustrated exactly the kind of police officer he sought to become.
Like Daniel, Prateep’s career has presented extreme adversity. In 1991, he was part of the security team guarding former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi when the leader was assassinated by a suicide bomber. There were 18 total casualties, and Prateep was wounded severely. The tragedy could have deterred Prateep from his call to protect and serve, but instead it strengthened his resolve.
“The Lord chose to save me. To this day I carry 100 pieces of shrapnel in different parts of my body as a testimony of God’s saving grace.”
In 2000, he attended the Haggai Leader Experience. The equipping introduced Prateep to other Haggai leaders whose roles in government required them to advance the Gospel first by example.
“Exposure to Haggai leaders enabled me to see that there are living Daniels in our midst. People who could combine their professions with their faith in Christ, people who lived their faith… who allowed their testimonies in their workplace to speak for them.”
Since attending the Haggai Leader Experience twenty years ago, Prateep has climbed the ranks of the police service to his current appointment as Head of the Criminal Investigation Department in the Southern State of Tamil Nadu.
Prateep’s (pictured right) current role is Head of the Criminal Investigation Department in Southern India.
Today, nations around the world are grappling with the role of police in modern society and India’s police force is facing a reckoning of its own. In Prateep’s district, the recent deaths of two men in police custody have been followed by controversy and protests. Strengthened by his faith, Prateep sees this incident as an opportunity to enact needed reforms and start a healthy dialogue between the police and the public.
“We hope the results of this investigations will be a death knell for all custodial violence and torture, and that worldwide there would be a standard of conduct accepted by police officers—that they would never resort to unnecessary force or violence against unarmed citizens who we are appointed to serve.”
The story of Daniel inspired Prateep to become a police officer as a young man, and it still guides him as a senior officer in his district. Each day, he faithfully carries out his role in government with his loyalty to Jesus as the driving force.
“I try as Daniel was able to handle these dichotomies of being a faithful believer and also a high-ranking civil servant. The challenge is not daunting but possible by the grace of God. One is able to be gentle and humble as a believer and at the same time firm and authoritative as an officer.”