In aspirational India, the hope of a better life is what drives the young and when it is denied, they don't hesitate to come out openly against the system.
Twenty-nine-year-old Siddhanthi Pratap, a constable posted at the Charminar Police Station in Hyderabad offered to resign from his job, as it did not offer any growth prospects even after years of service. The immediate provocation for the decision to quit was his inability to get a suitable match due to the conditions of his job and the lack of better prospects in his present position. The young women too want a better future.
Pratap, like some 15,000 of his comrades who slog as constables in Hyderabad, draws a salary of around Rs 30,000 a month which is not a paltry amount when compared to the low wages paid in the police department a few decades back. However, what bothers Pratap is not his salary. "I have not talked about the pay in my letter. My grouse is only that there is no growth in this job. Everbody from sub-inspector onwards gets timely promotions, but we, constables, don’t have any such luck," he said, while busily engaged with the bandobast arrangments for Ganesh Nimajjan taking place in Hyderabad on Thursday.
According to Pratap, there is five percent reservation for promotion for such lower-rung cops as sub-inspectors, but even that doesn't happen as they do not get time to prepare for departmental examinations. In his resignation letter to the Commissioner of Police that created a flutter in the local media, Pratap said that he was depressed about his job as many prospective suitors had turned him down over his unattractive job. Recently, a girl who rejected him attributed her disinterest to his lacklustre job, as he would retire in his present position. The police constable job has indeed become notorious for long working hours and slow career growth. The girl’s response disturbed him greatly.
Pratap, who joined the force in 2014, is a graduate in engineering. A lot of graduates of late are eyeing constable jobs because of the better salary and job security. But after five years of service, Pratap says he realised that his future is bleak with no scope for growth. And that he will have to retire as a constable.
"I have seen many colleagues who were constables when their child went to nursery, are still working as constables when the child has grown and is going to college. It is depressing to think of my future," he said.
"I have been observing my senior constables who retired from service as constables after serving for 30 to 40 years without any promotions in the job. Officials ranked sub-inspector and above are given promotions and other sources of benefits. But for constables, there are no promotions and other allowances," Pratap said in his letter dated 7 September.
The higher officials in Hyderabad Police Department have not yet taken a decision on Pratap’s letter. "Everybody is busy with the Ganesh immersion programme. So they might take some more time to respond," Pratap said. Evidently, he wants to highlight the lack of growth opportunities in the most important job of law enforcement and is not really against his job per se. "Our officers are good. We only need opportunities for promotion," he said.
Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 17:17:52 IST