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Fat-shamed by Shobhaa De, cop Daulat Ram Jogawat is a scared man now

A senior IPS officer serving in Madhya Pradesh writes about the hardships faced by Daulat Ram Jogawat, who was fat-shamed and thrust into the spotlight by author Shobhaa De

opinion Updated: Feb 25, 2017 16:21 IST
Anuradha Shankar
Anuradha Shankar
Shobhaa De,Daulat Ram Jogawat,Mumbai police
Daulat Ram Jogawat has served his people in western Madhya Pradesh with invisible diligence, gathering almost two hundred rewards on his journey and picked up four promotions on the way. (Twitter/ Shobhaa De)

Daulat Ram Jogawat is a scared man. Since his recruitment as a constable in January 1979, he has served his people in western Madhya Pradesh with invisible diligence. He has gathered almost two hundred rewards on his journey and picked up four promotions on the way.

He has helmed police stations when he was only an assistant sub-inspector and his last annual confidential report grades him ‘A’. He looked after pilgrims in the scorching summer heat during the Simhastha Kumbh 2016, a religious congregation of more than 20 million in the holy city of Ujjain.

His rewards include those for anti-narcotics operations and preventing crimes against women. As he sits on Shiv Ratri duty at the Neemuch control room, he is scared.

A tweet from afar has triggered an avalanche of attention. He has had calls from senior officers, colleagues and every manner of media. His wife, struggling with her own ailments, is terrified that his ubiquitous photograph might inspire some image-conscious senior to retire him before the due date of November, 2020.

Had he read the Sunday supplement of a leading English newspaper in his blossoming years, Daulat Ram would have known the privilege of intrusion that a combination of language, location and looks give. However, he trudged through school and plunged into work at nineteen. He, like most of his brethren in the constabulary, was yoked to two large families as soon as he got married.

He might have gone to college but his lot fell with the only ‘twenty-four into seven’ office of government where leave is a privilege, not a right. Hence, he had little opportunity to learn anything that would open a window to the world of the new “twice-born”.

As a policeman Daulat Ram knows the importance of fitness and appearance. His illness that has saddled him with the uncomfortable girth inspires him to push harder. He went for gruelling election duty in a neighbouring state of Maharashtra while many ‘smart’ youngsters wriggled out of it.

He is also confused with the minders of the megapolis who reacted to the tweet with alacrity only to declare, “He is not ours”, as though not one of the thousands of policemen in their ranks might have waistline challenges.

Every new day piles up expectations upon Daulat Rams who serve under ever-strident scrutiny, stretching their limits. The flesh sometimes may be weak, but the spirit is willing.

(The writer is a senior IPS officer and is serving as the additional director general (admin), police headquarters, Bhopal. Views expressed are personal)

First Published: Feb 25, 2017 16:08 IST