Columnist, socialite and writer Shobhaa De, who has a penchant for stoking controversies with her posts on the micro blogging site Twitter, did it again on February 21 when she poked fun at the Mumbai Police focussing on their fitness levels. She said "heavy police bandobast in Mumbai today" along with the picture of an overweight cop, punning on the word 'heavy' while alluding to the BMC Elections that were held in the metropolis on Tuesday. It was later revealed that the said picture was old, and had been doing the rounds of social media.
Mumbai police shut her down brilliantly on Twitter. They were polite and dignified in their take down. They pointed out to her that the cop shown in the picture wasn't a Mumbai Police personnel, but one from Madhya Pradesh Police. The Mumbai Police tweeted, "We love puns too Ms De but this one is totally misplaced.Uniform /official not ours. We expect better from responsible citizens like you."
Twitterati applauded Mumbai Police's response even as they slammed the celebrity. They were especially angry about the body shaming aspect of her tweet. At a time when the spotlight is on body shaming, De's comment drew a lot of criticism. Here are a couple of examples: "Kudos @MumbaiPolice for standing up for dignity! Seems celebs look out for their own image but put down ors. About time people called it out". Another tweeted, "if body shaming is worthy of condemnation for women, men deserve the same. Gender equality needs advocates, not your puns."
Miffed police officers also reacted against the slight, slamming the writer for bring insensitive towards a police force that works hard. Retired senior IPS officer and former ATS chief, KP Raghuvanshi, told mid-day, "What can we say about Shobhaa De? This sort of sarcasm is expected only from intelligent people." A senior IPS officer requesting anonymity said,"It is not a question of whether the cop in the picture is from the city or state police. Making fun of any cop in this manner is unacceptable. We donÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂt know if he has a medical issue, for instance."
The cop, who weighs around 180 kgs, while reacting to De's tweet, had voiced his displeasure claiming his obesity was due to a hormonal disorder. "I am hurt with Shobhaa De's tweet poking fun at me. I have put on weight due to hormonal disorder following my gall bladder operation in 1993. I developed insulin imbalance, and it's not due to overeating," Jogewat had said.
In an attempt to make peace, De on Saturday tweeted, "Mumbai/ Maharashtra Police Pranaam. No offence intended. MP Police, Consult a dietician, if it's an asli, undoctored image doing the round."
Dr Muffazal Lakdawala, who is treating who world's heaviest person Egyptian Emaan Ahmed at Mumbai's Saifee Hospital, reportedly expressed keenness on treating Inspector Jogewat. A team representing Dr Lakdawala has approached Madhya Pradesh Police saying they want to help the 180-kg cop. "I felt I could help him get his life back on track," Dr. Lakdawala told mid-day. "When news of my willing to help him reached him, he received advice from those close to him that he should seek treatment with me, as compared to the other options available to him. When he reached out, I sent someone from my office to facilitate his request, and also personally spoke with SP Manoj Singh and ACP Rajesh Sagar."
Jogewat had in an interview admitted that that one "wrong" tweet by Shobhaa De had changed his life. "I thank the media which took up the issue after the tweet by Shobhaa De. Hopefully, I will get a better life," Jogewat had said.
58-year-old Inspector Jogewat, who is posted at Police Lines, Neemuch in MP and is slated to retire in 2019, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday for a medical check-up. Lakdawala, who is the Chairman of the Dept. of Minimal Access and Bariatric Surgery' at Saifee Hospital, said, "He is undergoing a series of tests at Saifee hospital right now, which will help us determine the diseases he suffers from and whether bariatric surgery can help him. We will soon be reviewing his reports and post that will be able to decide on a future course of action." While there is a long way to go before his treatment sees results, but one thing is for sure, that one 'wrong' tweet from Shobhaa De and the resultant media attention are surely making things right for this cop.
Speaking to mid-day from his hometown, Ratlam, Jogawat said, "I have lost over 15 kg and am hoping to lose a few more kilos in the next 2 to 3 days. I weighed around 165 kgs on March 31. The surgery has changed my outlook towards my personal as well as professional life. My wife is the happiest person now." Jogawat, who joined the police force in 1979 as a police constable, resumed work from Monday and says he's raring to chase criminals now. The MP cop confided that he is living on a diet of buttermilk, milk and roti for now.