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Dear Delhi HC, Here’s What Kejriwal Ji Means When He Says ‘Thulla’

The Delhi CM used the word ‘thulla’ to refer to the police. Here’s a look at some other slang words used for cops.

Updated
India
2 min read
Delhi Police officers in their khaki uniform. (Photo: iStockphoto)

For almost a year now, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been dealing with a ‘thulla’ issue. No, not like that. It’s just that the politician referred to police officers as ‘thulla’ – and ticked off a few people.

Speaking about the central government’s control over the Delhi police, he said, “even if a thulla is caught demanding money from street vendors, we can’t try him.”

Now, after a year of the case being filed, the Delhi High Court has asked Kejriwal to explain the meaning of the word ‘thulla’ while staying a trial court order summoning the Delhi Chief Minister in a criminal defamation complaint.

But is it really defamation? Allow us to enlighten the lost souls who might never have heard of thulla.

Dear Delhi HC, Here’s What Kejriwal Ji Means When He Says ‘Thulla’

Since many cops, specially in northern India, wear khakhi uniforms in a similar shade to the jute sack, they are often referred to as thullas. Now, is that offensive?

What India Calls its Cops

While the urban west likes to call their officers pandu, the rural west prefers pandu hawaldar.

Dear Delhi HC, Here’s What Kejriwal Ji Means When He Says ‘Thulla’

Travelling east, the forces of law and order here are colloquially referred to as Mama, pronounced exactly the way it is spelt. .

Dear Delhi HC, Here’s What Kejriwal Ji Means When He Says ‘Thulla’

As Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?”; when was this nomenclature ever a real issue, anyway? Pandu, Thulla, Mama, have been doing the rounds for ages, so why is everyone talking about it today?

Let’s face it, Kejriwal’s ‘unparliamentary’ utterance of a Hindi slang-word for cops is something we hear every second Delhiite say all the time. Why then are we perplexed now? Don’t we have bigger issues to worry about?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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