On Tuesday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah advised the police to stay fit, lead disciplined lives and not end up with a pot belly.
Apart from sheepish looks, this piece of well-meaning advice has raised the question of fitness and more importantly ‘the need for chiselled bodies’. One officers said, “Looks don’t matter, it’s what you do that counts.”
Another said that while everyone wants to be fit, it’s not always feasible given their long work hours and their lifestyle.
“After a long day, we crave a good night’s sleep of eight hours. Exercise and undisturbed sleep are luxuries,” said a constable.
Many pointed out that some members of the KSRP team that cycled across the State too have a pot belly. “This idea of the police having muscular bodies has come from films. Many pot-bellied officers have cracked the most complicated cases sitting at their desk,” said another officer.
They argued that the nature of crime has changed and that to crack the increasing number of white-collar crime, they need skills beyond physical exercise. “This does not mean that we are against the idea of keeping fit. It’s just that circumstances are not favourable,” another officer said.
He added that every police station has a team of physically fit personnel to fall back on, but the primary job of the police officer is to crack a case, with or without a belly.