“A constable who hugged Dutt, convicted under the Arms Act in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, has been suspended while the eight others whose friendly gestures towards ‘Munnabhai’ of silver screen were seen in a live coverage by television channels all over, will be facing a departmental probe, jail superintendent Rajendra Dhamne said on Sunday (August 26). “
Imagine being a constable serving at a jail in Pune. Being overworked and underpaid for several years. Being constantly used as a personal servant by your superiors. Living a life of nothing, but sheer misery.
And then comes a moment you’ve always hoped for. Munnabhai himself lands up to serve time in the prison you work on. You are suddenly a happy man. For someone who has only dreamed about movie stars, seeing one in reality is a big thing in itself. Being close to one, is just an outrageous dream come true. You are happy. All your relatives know that the iconic film personality, the original “khalnayak” of bollywood is spending time in your proximity. Your wife boasts about it to the neighbors. You go to work every morning with a smile on your face, looking forward to a day where you’ll get a close glance at Sanjay Dutt.
Life doesn’t get any better. Sanjay is released on bail. And you, in a moment of sheer joy, hoping to share a moment with the man himself, steal a handshake or a hug. Being the nice man that he is, Sanjay acknowledges.
You are on seventh heaven. You have shaken hands with one of Indian Cinema’s biggest star, made Munnabhai himself give you his Jadu Ki Jhappi. You world has come to a stop.
But wait, save the hyperbole. You are going to need it soon. The very next day, you are fired for the very moment of joy you had dreamed of. Now your world has come to a stop.
“However, questions are now being raised over the constable’s suspension as Baba Siddique, the state minister for food and civil supplies who has been constantly spotted accompanying Dutt and seen hugging and shaking hands with the actor. Many are wondering if the same treatment will be meted out to the Minister. “
First, let me put out a question. Is hugging, or shaking hands with a criminal illegal? This question is easy to answer. Under the Indian Penal Code, it is not. The next question should be, should Police and law enforcement agencies shake hands with criminals?
Well, this almost sounds rhetorical to me. It is a well known fact that in India, Police very regularly shake hands with criminals. They do more than shaking hands with criminals. There have been instances when the Police have been blamed of accepting bribes and letting criminals go. Cops and robbers do make strange roommates, but then, who’ll watch them.
Now enter the minister, who has landed the iron fist on the hand shaking cops. But isn’t there a very old saying – People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others. Criminals and ministers are regular bedfellows, and some ministers actually play both roles with aplomb. States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are known for appointing certain ministers only if they have a few murder charges on their heads. So what’s new about shaking hands with a criminal anyways?
Apparently, the particular politico in question was upset.
“Sources claim a very peeved Patil ordered an immediate inquiry after he saw visuals of of policemen rushing to greet Dutt at the Yerwada jail which he thought “sent a wrong message” about his force. “
Sending a wrong message? Please Mr. Minister, shaking hands with Sanjay Dutt hardly does that. And what is the right message that you are sending. That if you are a minister, you can shake hands with whoever you want. But if you are a constable, you cannot. That you are peeved when a poor constable gets a moment of limelight, but you do nothing when another minister in the same cabinet as you goes around doing the same?
You can squash the bug Mr. Minister, but you cannot stop the stench of the bug rotting under your foot.
Kudos to Times Now, for picking up the ante. I will hope that your positive journalism spreads across the world of mass media, and saves the job of a few poor constables.