Reporter's diary: Colonial hangup continues with the ‘Yard’

Two years ago, the Bombay High Court observed that Mumbai police is the second best after Scotland Yard, while asking a woman who was booked for offensive social media posts against Maharashtra CM, to cooperate with the police.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: In a recent event at a city police station, HR&CE Minister PK Sekarbabu termed the Tamil Nadu police the second best after Scotland Yard. Of course, the Minister is wrong, but it’s not a gaffe as this certification for Tamil Nadu police is an urban legend perpetuated in popular culture through movies and the media. No one knows from where it started.

There is no reason why Scotland Yard is the best police in the world. There is no ranking system for police forces and policing itself is dictated by the challenges posed in the region. Logical reasoning apart, proof that this is a myth is when I came across a rather banal book by a former Kolkata Police Commissioner, who termed the Kolkata police the second best after Scotland Yard.

Two years ago, the Bombay High Court observed that Mumbai police is the second best after Scotland Yard, while asking a woman who was booked for offensive social media posts against Maharashtra CM, to cooperate with the police.

The second-best police department after Scotland Yard seems like a pan-Indian myth, which managed to find root even before the advent of SMS and WhatsApp. Maybe white men in pre-independent India had probably told every police force in the country that they were the second best after their own as some kind of pep talk and the myth held on. Colonial hangup much?

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