Hyderabad: Amidst heightened security concerns on Thursday, celestial alignment brought together two significant religious events: Milad-un-Nabi and the Ganesh immersion procession. On this day, observers of the procession were treated to an uncommon sight. At several locations, uniformed police officers were seen enthusiastically dancing to the pulsating music emanating from loudspeakers as Ganesh idols made their way to Hussain Sagar.
Notably, even senior officers joined in the revelry, including Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police for the South Zone, B Anand. Known for his considerate and sensitive demeanour, Anand was often seen paying his respects at Ashoorkhanas during the month of mourning, Muharram, and also observing Gyaarvi Shareef. In other parts of the city, constables showcased their dance moves near Tank Bund, with one officer stealing the show with his signature Tollywood dance style. Standing atop the blue barricades, constructed soon after the Hyderabad e-Prix, it was clear that this police officer had impressed the crowd.
Ganesh Festival procession is one of the most important and visible festivity in Hyderabad. Somewhere, in early eighties a group of Congress members and others created mayhem enroot the Ganesh festivities beginning from Ramakrishna Theatre up to the then State Bank of Hyderabad headquarters in Basheerbagh. The shops owned by the Muslims had been looted and many of them burned down.
The hardcore Hindutva elements also used this important procession to voice their immense dislike against the minority community in their speeches. The name of the occasion for them is Bhagyanagar (not Hyderabad) Ganesh Utsav. They claim that the original name of Hyderabad before it was founded by the Qutb Shahi kings was Bhagyanagar.
But today’s festivities marked a departure from the past. Video clips capturing these spirited moments quickly went viral on social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.
Reactions on social media were mixed. While some regarded the dancing as a departure from professional decorum and called for disciplinary action, others applauded the police force’s tireless efforts over the past ten days to maintain communal harmony and uphold law and order in the city. They saw this display of dancing as a well-deserved release of pent-up stress.
Priya Rathnam, a user on X, remarked, “Now who’s got the swag in their moves… Telangana-friendly police it is! After the exhaustive work during the immersion process, a total of 35,000 police personnel were dedicated to ensuring the success of this mega event.”
Mahesh expressed admiration, stating, “This is so wholesome and cute… #hyderabad #Police #Telangana #immersion,” while Shaikh Imran highlighted the essence of secularism, saying, “It’s a beauty of #Secularism, on duty a bus conductor cannot wear a skull cap in Karnataka.”
On the contrary, Amit K Paul voiced his disapproval of uniformed officers participating in such revelry. “Should be suspended. There is dignity and sanctity attached to the uniform. Do these things without it if you want to,” he stated. An anonymous user known as “Little Umbrella” also called for their suspension.
It remains unclear whether uniformed officers dancing at multiple locations, perhaps for the first time in the history of Telangana, on Ganesh immersion day, had received approval from the top brass. Given the timing and the potential for communal incidents due to the convergence of two major festivals, one can only speculate whether this was a strategic move to build trust among devotees. Regardless, it appears to have been a win-win situation for the police force: the Milad-un-Nabi procession, originally scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed to October 1, and the Ganesh immersion procession proceeded smoothly without any reported untoward incidents.