A COMMON HERITAGE

Originally posted on 2nd March 2011 :

I find that our Police force has inherited its ethos from the legacy of the colonial era.  I have received a link to a youtube clip of a TV program in Pakistan, which depicts the functioning of the police on the western side of our border. It has been created in the lighter vein, but if you take the humor out of it, some stark truth will emerge. Corruption and high-handedness are embedded in our system.

For those of my friends who are not familiar with the specific dialect of Punjabi used in this video, I am giving the meanings of a few words below:

  • “Lammiya paa de” mean “Knock him down”
  • Mulzam” is a criminal or anti-social person
  • “LattaN na tod deyie” means “We will break his legs!”
  • Ulamha” means “complaint”
  • Dahshat” means “To create fear and awe”
  • “Chhitter and tashaddat” is the use of third degree methods with the suspected criminal.
  • Tafteesh” means interrogation / investigation  


I owe this link to Mrs Talat Zamir.

  1. JS Oberoi says:

    Mrs Talat Zamir – Thank You for such a hilarious clip. I had a hearty laugh.
    Sir – this is not to underscore the serious issues underlying the policing in our country. In many ways the attitudes of the police in our two countries are so similar. A privileged creamy layer in the upper echelons of the force and an overworked and underpaid constabulary.
    Police reforms have been gathering layers of dust in the Parliament archives.
    No – until this country is in the throes of an uncontrolled anarchy nobody will listen. Sorry I am being so pessimistic.
    “Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja, takke ser bhaji take ser khaja”.
    Beer and Petrol cost about the same Rs70 a litre so now “Ghoom lo ya Jhoom lo” – you can’t afford both.
    Thanks for a very illuminating article.
    Jaggi Oberoi

  2. DN Sood says:

    Thanks.
    Dave Sood

    Associated Indian Exports,
    D 66 Chattarpur Enclave
    By Pass Road,
    New Delhi 110074
    India

    +91 98 100 37663

  3. Kumar Kohli says:

    Please include him in ur list, thanks General

    Sgmt Major

  4. Krishan Punchhi says:

    Thank you Bha ji,

    My two cents worth on urdu punjabi phrases/ words..

    Lammiya…. When I want to go to sleep, I declare that ‘hun main lamma pe javan ga’. So, this expression means that ‘We’ll beat him so much that he’ll be unable to stand on his two feet and will be forced to lie down’.

    Mulzim is the one who has an ilzaam or accusation against him, ie an accused.

    Dahshat means terror or raw fear. A terrorist is called dahshat gard….one who perpetrates dahshat.

    Chhitter means footwear. A beating with the chhitter, a very handy item, is an ultimate insult. If someone is always upto miscief, you say that eh chhitter da yaar hai ie yeh chhitter kha ke hi theek ho ga. To such a person, one gives a threat … dil karda hai ke chitter lavaan lah, maaran sau te ginaan ik !!

    Tashaddat means excess, in ill treatment etc.

    Tafteesh means investigation.

    Regards…………..K K Punchhi

  5. Hemi Bhagat says:

    You are right .It is acomon heritage.The only difference is that the Indian Policeman is more subtle

  6. Billoo Brar says:

    Dear Sir, Thank you for showing us the copy of a police thana of Punjab. Can you find a slightest difference between our police and that of our separated brotherns including their language being used? The genes of police people ex colonial area are fully alive. Independence or no independence.

    Best of luck. Be happy and cheerful always. We all love u a lot.

    Cheeeeeeeeers………………………….God bless.

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