One doesn’t know whether to sympathise with the Uttar Pradesh cadre IPS officer Devendra Kumar Panda or condemn his conduct for bringing disgrace to the office of Inspector General of Police. Sympathise, because the man seems to have lost his sanity and doing all that he is doing in the same state; and condemn, since his conduct has brought disrepute to the entire police set-up of the state.
Panda’s declaring himself a reincarnation of Goddess Radha, Lord Krishna’s beloved, putting on a woman devotee’s female attire – complete with nose ring, lipstick, finger and toe nails painted red – and singing hymns in praise of ‘her’ Krishna and dancing proves beyond doubt that he has lost his mental balance and that he is not by himself. And therefore, no eyebrows should be raised if government takes some punitive action against him.
But what has happened to Panda didn’t come about overnight. Although it remains a matter of conjecture as to what factors are to blame for his present state, one thing is for sure that both officialdom and other authorities concerned feigned ignorance and were negligent for quite some time about the whole affair. Even Veena Panda, wife of Devendra, says that ‘Panda hasn’t been behaving like a husband for quite some time.’
It seems that Panda’s colleagues were extracting some kind of sadistic pleasure out of the poor man’s plight all these days. In all likelihood, Panda will be shown the door sooner than later; but what about his colleagues, who despite claiming to be a saner lot are hardly any different from him. One wishes that they were also thrown into the same mental asylum where Panda is destined to land.