A rare stucco figurine of a guardsman, which is believed to be 250 years old, is on display at the Tamil Nadu Police Museum.
The four-foot tall figurine is of the police transiting from the Tamil Maharaja rule to British rule. It is made in stucco, an Italian modeling style by using soft lime mortar and burnt clay with iron skeleton support. The guardsman sports jackets, bows, decorative turbans and belts.
Interestingly, the guardsmen, known as the Oor Kavalar then, refused to wear the heavy shoes as they were unable to walk with them.
The figurine was acquired by Steve Borgia, MD of Indeco Leisure Hotels and Honorary Curator of the museum, from Murugesan and his family members in Pudukottai. It was gifted to commemorate the first anniversary of the Tamilnadu Police Museum.
It was formally unveiled by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, K. Phanindra Reddy and Director-General of Police (DGP) C. Sylendra Babu on Wednesday.
Commissioner of Greater Chennai Police Shankar Jiwal and CB-CID head Shakeel Akthar were present.
A curator said: "Unable to tolerate the bare bodied Oor Kavalars of our maharajas, the invaders chose to give some kind of uniform similar to other government servants. The uniform changed from time to time. Around 1967, M. Karunanidhi, then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, brought in khaki uniform for the police in Tamil Nadu."