July 8: Very soon, a banner will appear in the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in Delhi. It will read:

The Tourist Police
For you, with you,
Always.

But, most people are scared that it might actually mean “The Tourist Police, For you, with you, after you, Always.

Polite Police
Polite Police [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]
Disappointed with the police force and its rude ways of dealing with the public, the Ministry of Tourism now wants to have its own police force, says a report in ‘The Indian Express’ newspaper.

The tourist police will be in charge of the safety and well being of visitors to the country. And to become a tourist policeman, there is only one criteria – politeness.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has said yes to getting new recruits on the police force. But, it has not decided the dress code for the tourist police yet. But, the Ministry of Tourism is quite sure that it won’t be khaki. Khaki is the colour that Indian policemen wear at present.

Good thinking. The tourist police prefers to start afresh. With a new colour. So that it can keep up its image in the minds of people.

Some states in the country which get many tourists, have already formed their own tourist police forces. Among them are Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Ministry of Tourism also plans to have a new set of officials at the international airport, to help foreign tourists with the information they may require. These officials will be fluent with various foreign languages, like Japanese, French and German.

The question on everybody’s lips is: Will the officials be as unhelpful in French, German and Japanese as they very often are in Hindi or English?