<%-- Page Title--%> Chintito <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 126 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

October 10, 2003

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Washing Coal no going Dirt


The other day I witnessed perchance the antics of a lunatic on the street. His top was blue and lower part was khaki. Of course he was wearing clothes. What mad imaginations you guys have! Why do people always think that lunatics are to be always found in the nude? Indeed there are some very well dressed of that loveable breed around you. All you have to do is discover the madness in them.

He kept shouting at the top of his voice, 'I am a policeman, I am a policeman'.

This obviously drew the attention of a couple of cops standing nearby. In official terms they were patrolling. They are very dutiful when dealing with abnormal people. And you all know very well how they deal with normal people.

'I am a democrat. I take bribe from anybody. I will stop only if...,' the words of the wacky fellow hung in the air as soon as the two policemen came up to him. He smiled and they walked away.

No sooner had the two officers gone to the other side of the road, the crazy chap began his delusive statement: 'I am a policeman. I am a democrat. I put everyone into trouble -- the complainant as well as the criminal. I will only stop if...'. He stopped as soon as the two policemen came up to him, this time they were visibly somewhat irritated.

Thinking the guy was mad, the patrolling officers looked around apparently for some quiet place so that they could teach him a lesson or two about madness. But it was a crowded place and by now a sizeable crowd was enjoying the spectacle and discomfort of the two chaps on duty.

The mad man was quite sheyana. He actually waited for the two policemen to move about fifteen twenty yards before he again began his psychosis. 'I am a policeman. I am a democrat. I am for everybody. I love each and every one of you. I cannot record a murder against any one of you, can I? And so I refuse to even if I have seen the murder', saying which he began crying. In the midst of which he suddenly stopped and began to laugh manically and uttered, 'But I will only take murder cases if...'. He stopped as the two policemen rushed to him, this time holding their weapons with both hands.

'If what, if what?' shouted one of them.

To the utter surprise of all who had gathered round him and to the shock of the two policemen, the lunatic this time completed his sentence, 'If you let me change my police uniform.'

It was now the turn of the two policemen to have a little laugh. They are not allowed to when on duty. But the atmosphere was such that nobody would fault them for doing something restricted. In fact, our atmosphere is so good round the year that people never ever mind if the policemen do something that is prohibited. It is further fact that the British Association for Police Welfare is studying the prospect of importing large chunks of abhawa from Bangladesh so that the British public would allow their members to be a little naughty sometime. They are very unforgiving, this British people, about police misdemeanour. But we are different. Very different! We are truly a democratic country. Actually we are the most independent and democratic country in the world. You can do anything.

Back to the hungama on the street, the policemen asked the mad man why he wanted to change this honourable blue and khaki police uniform.

Replied the man, 'Then only will I stop taking bribe, know the difference between a criminal and an innocent person, would be sure it is a murder case because the poor fellow is lying in a pool of blood with bullet wounds...'

The policemen thought better to walk away but the mad man was now really at the top of his lunacy. He went on shouting: 'Let me have a jalpai green shirt or a deep dhushor (ash) one. I want blue trousers, please. Take off my blue shirt. Take off my khaki pants...'

As he began to put his words into practice, the crowd dispersed quickly.

Someone said, 'Get the police, quickly'.

Another in the crowd said, 'Are you mad?

STOP PRESS: 5 October 2003. The government has taken an initiative to change the colour of the police uniform all across the country. Although it is not yet decided what will be the new colours, several colours are being studied. The traditionally khaki-dressed policemen will very soon be seen in their new uniform.

However, instead of the long yearned for institutional overhaul in the police administration, the plan to only change the police uniform has made most police officers unhappy. ("Raang badlachchey police",Prothom Alo front page)


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