Warrior cop got so many calls that he had to switch off his mobile
The shy policeman who single-handedly saved a Muslim boy from an enraged mob doesn’t understand what’s so exceptional about his act. He says he would have failed himself if he let the boy down.Updated: May 30, 2018 13:45 IST
When sub inspector Gagandeep Singh left for his duty at the Garjiya Devi temple surrounded by the river Kosi in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, little did he know that it was going to be the most eventful day of his life. The 28 –year-old Sikh’s heroic act of saving a Muslim man from an enraged mob has made him the poster boy of secularism and bravery in India. The boy was allegedly spotted with his Hindu girlfriend and this angered the fanatical crowd that wanted to lynch him. Gagandeep courageously defended the boy, didn’t let anyone beat him and escorted him to safety. His videos of single-handedly saving the boy tugged at the heart strings of social media users. Gagandeep inspired a number of memes and poems, many users changed their profile picture to his, and within a few hours, an ordinary sub inspector became a social media celebrity.
I saw helplessness in the boy’s eyes. He was shivering. He hugged me tightly. He had hope in me. There was no way I could have let him down. I would have failed myself.
But Gagandeep can’t understand what is so exceptional about his act that earned him the adulation of the entire nation overnight. And he doesn’t say this to sound modest. “What’s so brave or extraordinary about a policeman saving a person’s life? I was doing my duty. I saw helplessness in the boy’s eyes. He was shivering badly. He hugged me tightly. He had hope in me. There was no way I could let him down. I would have failed myself,” says Gagandeep, a shy, introverted man who didn’t know the meaning of viral videos a few days. He got puzzled by the response his act generated. “Suddenly, I started getting so many calls that I switched off my number. I deactivated my Facebook account as well. I didn’t understand what was happening,” he says.
When I was a child, my mother said to me, sardar ka kaam hai sabki madad karna. Sardar kabhi peeche nahi hatta. The foremost teaching of my religion is to help everyone, unconditionally
Raised by his mother after his dad passed away when he was hardly two-years -old, Gagandeep has struggled his way to become a cop. “It was always a dream to become a policeman. Not just because I love this khaki uniform. If you really have this desire to change things around and fight for what is right, you can do that being a policeman. You stand up for the right values, become the voice of the aggrieved, the oppressed. They look up to you with a lot of hope. In such situations, the last thing you think of is your safety. Apni jaan ka darr lage, aisa toh khayal bhi nahi aata. “ says Gagandeep, whose mother taught him to always be fearless when standing by truth. The sardar who regularly participates in langar seva says, “When I was a child, my mother said to me, sardar ka kaam hai sabki madad karna. Sardar kabhi peeche nahi hatta, The foremost teaching of my religion is to help everyone, unconditionally.”
In real life, you can’t do what Singham did. But you can take lesson from his intent. Singham fought against evil and that is the foremost duty of a policeman.
The man also believes that interfaith harmony is the only way forward for this nation. “We must learn to rise above our differences. I am a Sikh but I respect all faiths. Aaj kal mahaul kharab ho raha hai lekin hum sab mil kar badal sakte hain,” he says.
The young man also happens to be a Singham fan, and says the character should be an inspiration for all police officers. “In real life, you can’t do what Singham did. But you can take lesson from his intent. Singham fought against evil and that is the foremost duty of a policeman,” says Gagandeep, who still hasn’t learnt how to handle the attention coming his way. He was in Delhi on official duty a few days ago. “Some people recognised me on the road…I was very surprised. They asked me for selfies. Mujhe ajeeb sa lag raha thaa..Maine aisa kya kar diya..,” he asks.
First Published: May 30, 2018 13:14 IST