Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Indiafirst banks on brand police to sell insurance products

THE brand police is back on Indian streets. Despite Indian police personnel suffering an image crisis thanks to day-to-day experiences of ordinary citizens, a newly set-up insurance company has put up huge hoardings along the roads of major Indian cities featuring two police officers. The message is to drive home a nationalistic feeling and connect to the audience that India comes first.
While launching IndiaFirst Life Insurance, a joint venture among Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and UK-based Legal and General Group, advertising agency Mudra Connext has played up the fact that Indian police officers sacrifice their lives for the nation. Yes, several Bollywood movies have made outstanding police officers, or rather police inspectors, as central characters, but it’s rare to spot a company selling their products through “brand police”.
Yet, unlike Indian Army which has a highly nationalistic brand image, Indian police officers suffer from that. It’s not that Indian police officers are non-nationalists, or lack spirit, but their daily brush with common people creates a situation where police are feared, but not respected. Also, the sacrifice made by the police is often belittled by an image like teen molester cop SPS Rathore, which symbolizes arrogance, corruption and misuse of the system.
Many police officers often blame the media for bringing in a bad reputation to the police, but the fact is that the TRP-dependent India’s television would not have highlighted Rathore’s case so much if they find no audience for that!
Indiafirst surely takes a well-designed risk in highlighting “brand police” to sell their products, but that could be the beginning of a changed image for Indian police. If not anything else, it should act like a morale booster for the IPS community to work on brand police more seriously.
Also Read 

Police Booth
a) Maoists attacked joint forces camp in West Bengal’s Sealdah area of West Midnapore District on Monday evening and killed 14 security personnel on the spot.
b) The media personnel covering the Pune German Bakery blast accused the city police commissioner Satyapal Singh, a 1980 batch Maharashtra cadre IPS, of discrimination against them by not allowing them to visit the site whereas permitting Shiv Sena leaders to do the same. For the record, Singh is an outstanding officer, and is armed with a number of degrees such as MSc and M.Phil in chemistry, MA and PhD in public administration and MBA to boot.


  1. Though Indian police is belittled by some unethical incidents done by some of the officers/inspectors , still IndiaFirst is trying to uplift their image by making them as their brand motivators.

  2. Dear Editor,

    The Indian Police is thoroughly inefficient police system even in Asia. It operates on the lines of caste and with feudal mind set of colonial milieu. The Indian Police Service officers are miniscule in the whole system of policing and good number of them also plays hand in glove with politicians. Even the police officers including IPS have amassed enormous wealth and property by unfair means. Corruption in the police force is more tragic as it wields the power of arrest and detention and the concomitant humiliation that goes with it. As many as six Director-Generals of Police in Haryana and Punjab have been jailed for corruption while only recently an IPS officer was held for murder.

    The lowest rung of the police administration is appointed through a system in which paying bribe is a pre-requisite. A semi-literate person recruited as constable and who subsequent hold important position like Sub Inspector, SHO and Dy. S.P. in the Police Administration position becomes upholder of law. How do you expect a person who has paid a bribe before his recruitment and amassed wealth with use of corrupt practices to be a protector of Law?

    The manner of training is archaic and their way of writing record and using language is medieval. There is no methodology to expose the police force to modern technology, education on moral, social value and ordeal in which depressed classes, women and minorities has to pass through in the society of this country. The police stations are dens of illegal activities. See the havoc played by policemen in Gujarat, Punjab, J&K and North Eastern States. Rapes happen and humans are killed in police custody. Wherever policemen stand they extort bribes from hapless citizens. The women and men of Scheduled caste and Scheduled Tribe classes are mercilessly beaten and paraded naked on roads and streets in many parts of this country. Bihar and Assam are examples of such incidents. Dominant communities with the tacit approval of police force wield guns, swords and lathis and threaten other depressed classes and Tribal’s by showing their unlawful might. See the incidents in Punjab by Sikhs against Dear Sacha Sauda etc.

    Law and order being on the State List, police force is controlled by the State Government. The recruitment is done in a manner in which the political outfit holding power is always in look out to induct their own men in the force so that they act as their stooge when in power and informer when the said outfit is out of power. The rule of law is a casualty.