New Delhi: Among the many realities of aspiration and defeat, idealism and realism captured by the Amazon Prime show Paatal Lok last year was the story of Imran Ansari (played by Ishwak Singh), who works as a constable in the Delhi Police only to eventually crack the UPSC exam, and become an IPS officer.
Ambitious, young and English-speaking, Ansari was everything one does not associate with the police constabulary, according to the show. He was meant to be a “sahib”, inhabit the svarga lok, not the maze-like paatal lok, which keeps sucking one back in, no matter how hard one tried to climb out.
As his character was being talked about extensively on social media, especially given his identity as a Muslim striving to become a part of the “system”, a real-life story with uncanny similarities to Ansari’s character was unfolding in the Delhi Police.
Firoz Alam, who had been serving in the Delhi Police as a constable since 2011, had cracked the UPSC exam in his sixth and final attempt last year, and was set to become a police officer. For his parents, who have only studied till Class 6, and are scrap-dealers, it was an unimaginable feat.
It was right after clearing his Class 12 examination in 2010 that Alam, a resident of Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district, joined the Delhi Police.
“I was surrounded by officers throughout my career, and I found their ability to work for the society breathtaking. I was so inspired, and knew I wanted to crack the civil services, and be like them (the officers),” he told ThePrint.
Alam said he would study for the exam, even as he kept his job, “but made sure that my preparations never came in the way of my duty”.
“I appeared for the exam for six years, cleared the Mains four times, but couldn’t proceed further (he would previously fail the interviews)…It was in the sixth and last attempt that I finally cleared,” he added.
The 10 years in service in the police department would serve him well going ahead, said Alam. “I have seen officers very closely, I understand how it works,” he said. “I also understand the problems and the welfare of the constabulary, so I do think I can do something for them.”
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Delhi police proud of Alam
It is not just his family that is brimming with pride as Alam undergoes his training to become a police officer. It is also the Delhi Police department.
Harendra K. Singh, DCP, Delhi Police, Wednesday tweeted, “He joined @DelhiPolice as Constable in 2011 but the dream to make it big led to qualify #CivilServices. Firoz Aalam joining now as ACP in Delhi Police and begins his training tomorrow. Dreams never get old, desire to fulfill has to be young.”
In another tweet, Singh said Alam’s achievement is akin to a clerk of a company becoming its managing director (MD).
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)