One 38 years old Head Constable collapsed and died on the field track while running for promotion in Uttar Pradesh. He was among over 3000 policemen who were competing to run 10 km in 75 minutes – a clause mandatory for the promotion from Head Constables to the post of sub-inspectors. Over two dozen aspirants fainted and were hospitalised, and many of them are still recuperating in the hospital.

This speaks volumes about the “health” of Uttar Pradesh police. These are the people on whose shoulders rest the hopes of over 19 crore population. People sleep in peace at night with a hope that there is police to catch the thieves. And here are the police who run, faint and collapse on the track.

The basic question is who is to be blamed for this – the higher ups in the police, the political system or the policemen themselves. Every thana has a full-length mirror outside Station Officer’s office with proverbial quote `Kya meri Vardi theek hai’ (is my dress okay). With their `vardi’ haven’t policemen ever seen their bulging waist line.

Leave it. Have not ever their bosses told them about their bulging tummies – sometimes hanging like a big sack.

But how can the pot-belied officers complain. Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police and Special Director General both have waist line not less than 42 inch.

Policemen are now questioning the need to have a physical test that too as strenuous as running 10 km. in 75 minutes. Majority of these head constables are `munshis’ work as daftari (clerk) in the police stations. Why they need to be physically fit, they argued

A strange argument!

Then, there is an example of DGP of Rajasthan who ran 10 km in flat 47 min. He led by example. I doubt whether the DGP of Uttar Pradesh compliment him and do the same in Lucknow.

The death of the fellow policemen should shake up the officers. They should talk more about keeping the force slim and trim, and how they do it is up to them.

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