UP cops with robust moustache to be rewarded to revive the old trend
Now, personnel of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) who sport big, twirly moustaches have another reason to feel good about their facial asset. The UP PAC authorities have not only decided to revive the trend of rewarding personnel for keeping robust moustaches, but have also upped the amount by around five times of what it used to be.
Additional director general (ADG) PAC, Binod Kumar Singh, on Wednesday said the moustache reward was being revived for personnel of all 33 PAC battalions in the state.
“Earlier, the allowance for maintaining a moustache was ₹50. Now, the personnel will be provided up to ₹ 250 a month if they sport robust moustaches. We are mulling over a proposal in this regard. The trend (of big moustaches among cops) had declined, but now, we would like to see it revived,” he said.
The ADG said the idea to revive the reward / incentive came to his mind after visiting the ongoing Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj (on Saturday and Sunday). “There, I spotted four to five PAC personnel who had big, twirly moustaches,” said the official who joined as the head of the PAC on January 11. He was at the Kumbh to examine the PAC deployment there.
“It is entirely a personal matter whether a man wants to keep his moustache or do away with it. But the moustache does give a boost to one’s personality, especially that of a policeman. It increases the confidence of a cop and so also affects his working,” Singh said.
He said the aim of the moustache reward was to “keep old traditions alive along with encouraging modern professional skills”.
He said his focus would also be on improving cops’ fitness and basic training. “Apart from that, we want to launch mid-service training sessions for the personnel,” he said.
Commenting on the revival of the moustache reward, retired deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Harpal Singh said, “Big, twirly moustaches have been the pride of the police department since the British era. But of late, the trend has been going down. While many associate this with a decline in the image of the police and their working and efficiency, cops known to maintain big moustaches are also having second thoughts.”
He said big moustaches were quite common till 1995, but the younger generation started preferring a clean-shaven look. “Probably because of that the trend was not encouraged in the department. Back in the 1980s, the occasional incentive given to personnel varied from Rs 50 to Rs 100. That also depended on the discretionary powers of the district police chiefs. Sometimes, a well-maintained moustache also ensured a good entry in a cop’s service book,” he said.
The retired DSP said that back then big moustaches were considered necessary for policeman to be able to look menacing. “They helped a cop stand apart from the common man,” said the retired officer, who himself sports a twirly moustache and served the UP police force for many years till 2005.
Recalling his service period, Harpal Singh said there was a constable during his posting in Pratapgarh in the 1960s, who had nearly a metre-long moustache.
“That constable used to be preferred over others only because of his moustache. He was always deployed on special duty when senior officials or any prominent personality visited Pratapgarh,” said the retired DSP.
“Earlier smart, fit and strongly built policeman with big moustaches were common in the department. But over time, the image has degenerated to that of a pot-bellied cop with drooping moustaches,” he quipped.
CAPTION: ADG PAC Binod Kumar Singh sharing a light moment with a PAC personnel with big, twirly moustaches during his recent visit to Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj. Sourced