ASHWINI A. writes: Tired of voting for all those dirty, corrupt, ugly, old rascals in our great democracy? Tired of trooping all the way to the booths, standing in the queue, and waiting in the hot sun to cast your ballot?
Not to worry, ladies and gentlemen, help is here.
Vote for the State’s Best Police Officer.
Did you say you don’t know them well enough to make your pick? Don’t be silly. An “eminent jury” (don’t ask who they are or how they were selected) headed by Justice V.S. Malimath has done the backbreaking work for you and shortlisted these four officers.
Now, all you need to do is pick your phone, punch some numbers, and utter the code.
It’s not for you to ask on what basis these four officers out of the 80,000 or so in the 27 districts were found worthy of the honour. It’s not for you to ask how the “eminent jury” zeroed in on the officers, all of whom belong to just one district, Bangalore.
It’s not for you to even ask whether these are the best police officers in the State or in the capital of the State?
Yours is not to ask.
Yours is to vote and be part of this democracy by telephony, not to ask silly questions. You have the phone, you have the “currency” in your phone, you know the code, you know the tollfree number: just go ahead and make your pick.
It’s not for you to ask if the four policemen in the running were picked after painstakingly sifting through the cases they have cracked or the credibility and goodwill they have built among those they police.
No, Sir (and Madam).
They applied for the Award just like they applied for their job. Just that they were lucky enough to catch the eminent jury’s eye, this time round.
It’s not for you to ask how the jury defines the word “Best”. Does being an honest officer make a police officer the best? Does solving cases make him the best? Does keeping a City crime-free make her the best? Does not having complaints from the public make him the best? Does having an immaculate Service Record make her the best?
Ah, yes, there is a “her” here among the four, 25 per cent reservation being better than no 33 per cent reservation.
Again, don’t ask.
Yours is not to ask, yours is only to see the face, approve your favourite even if you know nothing about the person you are voting for, and click send.
Yours is not to ask why media houses, which should be in the business of scrutinising public servants, should be honouring them. Yours is not to ask what percentage of the money the media house makes from the SMSes by using the short code.
Yours is not to ask these pesky, useless details, whether the contest is about making some money on the side while trying to add to the TRPs.
Yours is only to wonder.
Wonder if a smart police officer is getting his or her friends and relatives and chelas to be stuffing the booths and jamming the lines? Wonder if such sham exercises could be hurting morale of thousands of other policemen (and women). Wonder if their bosses will approve. Wonder if such contests are really needed. Wonder if it is ethical.
Wonder, but don’t ask, if the best looking of the four will walk up the aisle and wear the crown.
Wonder, but don’t ask.