Till last year, Siddharth Satyajt’s general perception of the average Mumbai cop, like many others in the city, was that of callous men with a rude demeanour.
His encounter with Police Constable Rupesh Krishna Rao Pawar not only changed his mindset, it also inspired him so much he made a movie out of it, which was eventually screened at various theatres across the city during the Mumbai Film Festival.
“I was caught riding a bike without a license (had lost my wallet recently. I was certain I was going to be screamed at and possibly have to pay a bribe to be let off. When I met Rupesh he asked me, ‘What happened?” in clear, crisp English…” said 22-year-old Satyajit in an interview with HuffPost India. “It’s not just about the English, it was more about the way he spoke to me – comfortingly and kindly. I spent the next two days talking to everyone about him.”
Eventually, When the MAMI festival came up, a friend of Satyajit’s suggested he use the cop’s story to make his debut entry. In doing so, Satyajit uncovered something amazing: Pawar gave up a job as a software designer that paid him Rs 22,000 in 2004 to enrol in the police force that initially paid him Rs 7,000. "He told me that after graduating from college, he was confident enough to try out for any job. But he gave everything up when his (then) hospitalised father expressed a desire to see all his children in the police force,” said Satyajit.
While preparing for the MPSC exams, Pawar chanced across an advertisement for the constabulary exams, applied and got selected. “He said that there’s a huge presumption that if one applies for a government job in the country, one has to bribe their way in,” said Satyajit.
Since his admission, Pawar has been trying to mend the reputation of the average Mumbai police constable by adopting a lighter, kinder attitude. “We’re here to help people, and being able to communicate effectively with them is important. Someone in distress does not want to be around an intimidating policeman who maybe can’t speak the language they’re comfortable in,” he told Satyajit.
“He (Pawar) has also been told by his children’s school administration that his outfit intimidates people – this general image people have of policemen is warped. And this is something he, and now I are both trying to change,” concluded Satyajit.
Watch Pawar’s amazing story.
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