You can’t blame the man for going a little bonkers. After all, who knows what exactly Balwan Singh was feeling about turning a year older? He is 55. I will turn 30 next year, and I’m already dreading the feeling. Give me a gun and I’ll shoot someone, trust me.
Balwan Singh, a head constable with the Chandigarh police, had a gun given to him by the government, so he fired three shots. But he chose to pierce the air rather than some flesh and bones. That’s quite a feat since he was drunk and prone to taking extreme population-control measures.
“So what if I fired? It’s my birthday!” he told a colleague next to him in the court later. Balwan did not elaborate if the firing was to celebrate getting closer to the end of this miserable thing called life, or if he was frustrated about losing another year of endless possibilities to that miserable thing called life. People are concerned about lowly things, though.
Many have been wondering how he was drunk before noon. Others have been left speechless by his broad smile at cameras after his arrest. Dangerously shameless, they cry. Shut up, I say to this sanctimonious bunch. You are the kind of people who measure and count their pegs even when it’s a once-a-year occasion. What a shame!
What should happen to Balwan now? As the law goes, he has already been arrested and booked under the Arms Act and the Indian Penal Code for “endangering life or personal safety of others”. His pistol too has been seized. Here’s what I suggest: Grant the guy leave at least once a year, on his birthday, so he can vent his emotions after days of round-the-clock duty. And a toy gun as gift. That way he can get drunk as early as possible on the day, shoot to his heart’s content, and paint a picture of police that is as shameless for sure, but not as dangerous.
You know who needs a real gun instead? Constable Jagjit Singh Sahota of the SAS Nagar police. No, not for a birthday blast in the middle of a market.
This guy is dutiful, so much so that he flung a stick right at the nose of a man who was driving without helmet and had allegedly jumped a red light. “The cop did not signal me to stop, but jumped before my bike in sudden and rash manner. I lost balance and then he flung a stick at me,” the violator said. The matter ended in a compromise.
But, simple and straight, the stick was enough to deliver the message that you can avoid injuries if you wear a helmet. No challan was needed after that. Naysayers say Jagjit behaved like an untrained goon and then ended up not even penalising the violator. But this is instant justice, Punjabi style! Imagine the kind of message Jagjit would have been able to send if he had a pistol. Ask Balwan Singh.