Hyderabad: Lack of familiarity among the Telangana police about the nuances of Urdu is creating a hurdle to their ‘friendly policing initiative’. The problem arises when cops posted in areas dominated by minorities, fail to understand the intricacies of the regional dialect and the language. Several sub-inspectors and inspectors posted in Old City are not well versed with Urdu. As a result, citizens who interact with cops are upset, as they feel that the inspectors are arrogant and abusive.
For instance, in Urdu, the word aap is used when someone is addressed courteously, but officials unfamiliar with this replace it with tu, a word used when addressing a person of a lower social standing or with friends. A similar problem occurs when using the word re.
“It is alright when harsh or offensive words are used against criminals, but using such words when dealing with petty complaints is ill-advised,” said Mohd. Abdul Rasheed, an advocate from Falaknuma. Another advocate, Samiuddin said, “Their intentions might be good, but they are unable to use the correct words to communicate. This leads to people complaining,” he said.
An Indian Police Services rule mandates that officials posted to a particular state learn the local language. For instance, IPS officers allotted to the Telangana should learn Telugu while those posted in Jammu and Kashmir must learn Urdu. However, there is no such rule for the state police force.
“This concept was devised to help officials build contacts quickly with locals. In fact, for officials serving in pockets dominated by minorities, learning Urdu was made compulsory,” said a police official.
Priyanka Padhi, Clinical Psychologist said that when the police are able to speak the same language as the locals, they enhance communication and prevent misunderstandings.
“Sharing a common language can reduce communication roadblocks and foster better understanding. Language barriers regularly prevent the law enforcement system from functioning as well as it could,” she said.
A senior police official said that during interactions with the public, he came to realise the gravity of the problem. “The department plans to launch capsule courses soon for the personnel to familiarise them with the language and bridge the gap between the public and the police,” he said....