The Bonalu festival went horribly wrong for P Banu, a banker when in a state of sheer enthusiasm, he hugged and gave a policeman in Vidyanagar area of Hyderabad a peck on his cheek on Sunday night. The Sub Inspector of police K Mahendhar was not amused and filed a complaint with the Station House officer at Nallakunta police station in the city, accusing Banu of obstructing him while he was doing his duty. Banu was booked under Section 353 of the IPC.
Banu is an employee of Mahin Bank in Vijayawada. The case is now under investigation.
The episode can be seen from two different angles. One, the Hyderabad police whose motto is friendly policing can afford to take this rather overfriendly gesture in the spirit of the Bonalu festival. Banu clearly meant no offence and after all, a Jaadu ki Jhappi in a movie like Munnabhai MBBS received much applause. If the police start booking people for seemingly minor offences like this, they would only be increasing their own workload. Mahendhar’s decision to file a complaint seems dictated by a desire to show the power of his uniform.
The counter view is who are we to judge how Mahendhar felt when he was forcibly hugged and kissed. It is quite possible he may have felt disgusted. Yes, he reacted by slapping him but did not go beyond that.
Also if Banu had done the same with a woman cop, would we have spoken of it in the same vein or by now, be baying for the banker’s blood.
Even though a minor case, there is no black and white way of looking at the incident.