Bollywood has portrayed the khaki as a glamorous attire and the profession to be full of action and heroics.
Blame celluloid blockbusters like Khaki, Sarfarosh and Singham for the illusions of grandeur that are created in the minds of the populace. However, young men, inspired by the celluloid version, soon realise the harsh reality as soon as they don the uniform.
While most of the constabulary is deputed on duty in the city, several are deployed to assist high-ranking officers. And soon the shining celluloid dreams turn to polishing and shining the leather shoes of their superiors.
Over the years, the fate of the shining shoes corresponds with their own shining career. While some are turned into virtual domestic helps, others are happy to escort the officers' children to school and back. In fact, the habit of utilising constables for daily chores is so deeply entrenched in certain senior officers that an R K Sahay holding the rank of Special Inspector General does not consider it a violation to deploy constables to guard his father in-law at a city hospital. On questioning the move, he termed it as a personal matter. Well, the matter may be personal but the constables on duty and the vehicles are most certainly not his personal property.
However, it will be unfair to make Sahay the sole scapegoat. He was just the one who got caught. There are many more like him who have been using police staffers for personal errands. As per the guidelines, every officer of a DCP rank and higher is eligible for two operators apart from two drivers and two guards at his home.
The officer also gets an additional conveyance for the peon at their residence. Not to mention that all this is for official use. As per the records, even the Commissioner's office at Crawford market has a non-clerical staff strength of around 160 policemen, and the Director General of Police has a staff of 100 such cops. Every day these men in khakhi offer their best salutes to the sahib, and go back to their routines.