How to describe the colour red to born cynics

The sight of men in uniform—be they police officers, forest officers or transport officers—invites sniggers in our cynical republic. They are lampooned in popular culture, in songs, films, books, TV serials, as being corrupt, pot-bellied and unfit, making their millions when we are not watching.

The only fear they invoke is in infants being put to sleep.

But there is another side, too, of sweat, toil and tears—and blood–as the spectacles and clothes of excise inspector V.N. Naik show. On Thursday, Naik was part of a team which swooped down on illicit liquor brewers in Karavigudda near Belgaum. Two officers were injured in the clash.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News