Unique movie title not only captures the essence of the film but is also use to hook the audience. With the title of Rohit Shetty’s first OTT movie, Indian Police Force may also act as a first move to immediately capture the audience’s attention, but there is a correction, Indian police of independent India are not a ‘Force‘ but a ‘Service‘.
In the era of British, the police were regard as an instrument of force, oppression and a tool to strike fear among the common men.
Let us take you back to the year 1861.
The Police Act of 1861 was program and design to make the police an instrument of exploitation of the masses.
The legacy of being repressive and extortionist was accompanied by lower salaries.
So, corruption, unfortunately, got associate with the police service.
It is often said, ‘Bad acha, Badnaam bura’ or ‘A bad man is better than a bad name‘.
We have inherited that reputation.
And it is true, due to historical reasons, that the Indian police have always seen as a symbol of power, force, coerciveness, and essentially the strong arm of the state instead of the strong arm of the law.
Kings were replace by the British and then in a democracy by the state.
During British rule, barring the Superintendent of Police, who was British, the rest were Indians and were use by the British to keep the public in check and in force compliance with their directives, many of which were detrimental to the person, property, and dignity of the public.
Many of the extreme sections of law being question today as colonial legacy were use by Indians in the police against fellow Indians at the behest of the British rulers.
This laid the foundation for the police ethos and subculture.
It will need considerable reform to shed this.
As the Indian police suffers from this legacy and was able to create a positive image in the minds of citizens of independent India possibly only in crises like disasters and pandemics.
The Indian Police Service or IPS, is one of the three All India Services of the Government of India.
In 1948, a year after we got independence from Britain, the Indian (Imperial) Police was replace by the Indian Police Service.
It was under Article 312 (2) in part XIV of the Constitution of India.
The value of ‘Service‘ in both letter and spirit is best express on the website of the Indian Police Services (Central) Association:
"The Indian Police Service is not a force itself but a service...". Most importantly, the motto of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad reads, "Satya, Seva, Suraksha." (Truth, Service, Security).
‘Service‘ is a shift from the colonial legacy of ‘Force‘ which is a reminder to the Indian police that they can discharge their duties with integrity if they have the spirit of ‘Service‘ to their nation and its people.
Movies titles make an unavoidable impression which may directly affect the emotions and psychology of viewers like books.
So it becomes important to choose them correctly especially if there is a evolutionary history to them and if the title is a job or career that inspires many young minds to join it, in a country like India where lakhs of aspirants dream to be an IPS officer every year.
So, films that are seen as a source of inspiration, have to be ethically right, in case of there titles also.
As the images of police officers portray in cinemas including in Dabbang and Singham are not the real images of a police officer.
Also not are they what some officers on social media show it to you.
That shouldn’t inspire you.
So, Rohit Shetty’s plan to add the word ‘Force‘ in the title of his new series might suit his filmmaking but it is not in line with the protocol of the Indian Police ‘Services‘.
Rahul Ram Dwivedi (RRD) is a senior journalist in 2YoDoINDIA.
NOTE : Views expressed are personal.