You’ve Seen the Bad Cops. Here Are a Few Good Ones Feeding the Homeless & Strays


You’ve Seen the Bad Cops. Here Are a Few Good Ones Feeding the Homeless & Strays

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

India is currently in the throes of adjusting to life during a 21-day lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak, and things aren’t going smoothly. Over the past few days, news has emerged of deliveries of essential supplies being disrupted, of civilians flouting social-distancing norms, and of police using excessive force to convince citizens to stay in their homes. The latter of these has come under much scrutiny on social media, as seen by the hashtag #PoliceBrutality trending on Indian Twitter yesterday, accompanied by videos of the cops thrashing people who were out on the streets with their lathis.

Politicians like Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have requested the police to be more sensitive while dealing with citizens, and it’s a sentiment that has been echoed by many. However, not all cops are as heavy-handed as the ones currently gaining infamy on social media. While the dominant narrative has portrayed a brutal police cracking down harshly on civilians, there are exceptions to every rule.

Rather than a lathi, this police constable in Delhi used red roses as a means of requesting citizens to stay indoors last Sunday, the day of Prime Minister Modi’s Janata Curfew.

The Janata Curfew was a trial run for the longer 21-day lockdown we are currently going through, but cops in Bangalore didn’t forget about even the plight of stray animals, as this pic of an officer feeding dogs went viral on 25 March.

A day later, on March 26, a clip of Delhi police officers feeding two apparently homeless men started doing the rounds, showing the humane side of the police force.

This wasn’t a one-off incident either. There were several more clips of Delhi police personnel providing food, water, and essentials to the needy, but the highlight was obviously the one where they not only handed out the required items, but also ensured social distancing norms were met by demarcating spaces to stand on the pavement.

These are trying times for all of us, police included. Theirs is a difficult job, and it’s only right to celebrate those who not only manage to do that difficult job, but also go above and beyond the call of duty.