Have Gurkhas fallen out of favour?

June 05, 2014 12:31 am | Updated 12:31 am IST - Bangalore

The sight of an amiable Gurkha patrolling the city streets through the night evokes nostalgia. Members of the Gurkha community, which hails from Nepal, had once complemented the city police in watching over the city. But, they are no longer to be seen with the advent of the private security industry that draws personnel from across the country.

The practice has not been done away with completely, though. Gurkhas are still seen in the old parts of the city such as Chamarajpet and Malleswaram where members of the community have been working for generations. But the burgeoning private security industry has certainly put them out of favour.

The public demand for Gurkhas has declined because their public image has taken a beating in the recent years. There have been instances of people migrating from North-East India and Nepal, employed as security guards, being involved in crimes for gain in the recent years, said Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Bangalore. “This has led to stigmatisation of the entire community and loss of trust,” he said.

In reality, while there have been many incidents of private security guards turning to crime, there are a negligible few involving Gurkhas.

But they are the ones who have been put off the streets. What also works against them is the fact that the private security industry is, to a certain extent, organised and the agencies have a database of their employees. But the Gurkhas, in most cases, have no references making members of the public uncomfortable in dealing with them.

Community policing

The IT city is growing perpetually in all directions.

With the advent of urbanisation and people losing contact with their immediate neighbours, the police is finding it difficult to gather intelligence at the local-level.

But, the short-staffed city police have been encouraging a community policing initiative started by Dedicated Servants of India, a city-based NGO. The members act as the eyes and ears of the police, keeping a watch on any untoward incidents in their locality and report them to the beat policemen.

M. Shariff, founder of the NGO, said that this initiative is very effective for the police in terms of gathering intelligence at the local-level.

Since community police work is voluntary, it is working out to be cost-effective for the police. “The initiative has not only helped monitor law and order situation but also improve police-public relationship,” Mr. Pant said.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.