Saturday, 27 December 2014

Poor treatment of Indian Police and British Sahibs

British Raj - Indian  Policemen. www.historydiscussion.net

Regarding military services, blinded by purported racial superiority and pride, the British never treated the Indian solders well; they were rude and harsh toward the Indian natives. They did not learn any lessons from the Sepoy Mutiny of 1858 that shook the entire British empire. This was also true of the Indian police forces consisting mainly of Indian natives.

In British India the police force played a key role in maintaining law and order, robbery, thefts  on the civil side and  also criminal investigations, etc. Imperial Police (IP), was part of the Indian Police Services (IPS), the uniform system of police administration in British India, as established by India Act 5 of 1861. It was made of two branches - the Superior Police Services and the Subordinate Police Service. For  appointments to the senior grades such as  Assistant District Superintendent and above, until 1893 mainly  European officers of the Indian Army were given preference.  As for subordinate positions such as Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Head Constables (or Sergeant in the City forces and Cantonments) and Constables, they recruited Indians up to certain grades.

There were discrepancies regarding salaries being paid to the police. English policeman doing the same service was paid several times higher than the natives. The police were supposed to be provided with quality food which was essential for their physical and mental well-being. Instead they paid more attention to their health and welfare. The British police force had social clubs where they could drink and dance with their wives or girl friends. In their separate  spacious living quarters the British sahibs ate high quality, protein-rich fresh food to their heart's content. They had special cooks  and butlers with them  to  serve them. Whereas Indian police men were  provided with stale, cold substandard food made from old food stocks unfit for mad dogs.

The food provided by the police force was ''Not fit for human consumption.” News papers provide accounts of the protests in different parts of the country. Here is a report of a police strike in 1946:

"More than 200 policemen in Delhi refused to take their food on Thursday morning as a protest against their low salaries and the bad quality of foods supplied to them from the Police Lines kitchen. As the news spread to the other police stations, the men there also refused to take food ... One of the strikers said: “The food supplied to us from the Police Lines kitchen is not fit for human consumption. Even cattle would not eat the chappattis and dhal which we have to eat.''(Hindustan Times 22 March, 1946).

This was the kind of nauseating   treatment meted to the Indian soldiers under the Raj.