A new uniform has recently been launched for the 200,000 men and women serving in the provincial police department, with distribution in the provincial capital set to kick off today.
People have become so accustomed to the black shirts and khaki pants of the Punjab police that the uniform has become iconic by this point. However, the change has been long overdue. For too long have we been seeing those black shirts turning into a sickly indigo from repeated and ruthless washing. The dark, olive-green shade of the new uniform is a breath of fresh air, if only because it is different, depite its questionable aesthetic appeal.
As the issuance of the new uniforms looms overhead, Lahoris have been left divided by whether or not the change is one for the better or the worse. The reactions have a wide spectrum, ranging from adoration, to hate, disgust, and even claims of the clothes being an Indian conspiracy.
Many people from the city have been more than receptive of the new uniform. One of the pet appreciations have been that the dark, charcoal coloured shirts the police currently sports were not suitable to the province’s weather and was a hindrance in the extreme heat.
The new uniform’s aesthetic appeal is not a strong suit, however, with many scoffing at the dull olive green shade. Strangely, a common criticism among people was that the uniform lacked professionalism and resembled that of a postman.
While the earlier disapproval can simply be attributed to the populace having become used to the black-khaki combination, a number of people had more pressing concerns. There was a rampant demand amongst the city dwellers for the police itself to change before any changes in the uniform. Bringing to question where the real priorities lay, a number of persons took the opportunity to demand proper structural and systemic police reform.
At the same time, many other people decided to look much deeper into the new design than was necessary. A number of people insinuated that something was fishy because the uniform resembled that of the Indian police force, with others saying it was copied from the Israeli army. Another gentleman was of the opinion that the resemblance with Nazi uniforms was uncanny, scaring people of the possibility of a holocaust aimed at Pasthuns.
TV anchor Gharida Farooqi was one of these people and tweeted a side by side comparison picture, claiming that the uniform resembled that of the Indian police force.
Nobody seems to have thought that perhaps police uniforms are similar for practicality. The Indian police also do not have a universal uniform, with the resemblance only being with the Bombay police usually shown in Bollywood movies.
And while there may be a resemblance, does it really matter? Besides, by the same logic the police should also stop using guns, because well, the Indian police use guns too.