The Elderly Hindi Typist of Lucknow and His Typewriter


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Ashutosh Tripathi
Ashutosh Tripathi, Journalist.

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Young Ashutosh Tripathi wanted to join the army, but his parents would not allow it. So, in 2011, he opted for journalism. Soon he realized that he was in the worst profession as some people who had taken to journalism as a career were earning as low as ₹ 2000 per month. However, some seniors encouraged him and said that someday he will feel glad that he chose the media, the fourth pillar of democracy, as his vocation.

Saturday, October 10, 2015, proved to be the lucky day for the news hungry Ashutosh. In the morning, while having breakfast at an eatery near the General Post Office (GPO) in Lucknow, he saw police sub-inspector Pradeep Kumar violating traffic rules by riding a motorbike on the bicycle track. He then saw the police officer kick a milk container of a vendor selling tea on the pavement. The budding journalist thought the action of the policeman was newsworthy.

When the sub-inspector started threatening the vendors and others plying their trade on the pavement outside the GPO and ordered them to leave, Ashutosh started clicking his camera for he wanted to expose the  brutality of the Lucknow Police.

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Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar kicking the typewriter (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)
Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar kicking the typewriter (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)

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While everyone left, the 65-year-old Kishan Kumar, a frail typist who has been doing Hindi typing outside the General Post Office for the past 35 years was slow to leave. The irate police officer kicked the old man’s typewriter.

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Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar smashing the typewriter into the ground (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)
Sub-InspectorPradeep Kumar smashing the typewriter into the ground (Photo: Ashutosh Tripathi)

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With tears flowing down his cheeks, the elderly man collected the parts of his typewriter and tried to put them together. The sub-inspector then snatched the typewriter from the poor man who then with folded hands besieged the officer to spare his machine. But the arrogant policeman threw it on the road smashing it.

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Kishan Kumar picking up the parts of the damaged typewriter (Photo - Ashutosh Tripathi)
Kishan Kumar picking up the parts of the damaged typewriter (Photo – Ashutosh Tripathi).

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Sobbing, with tears hiding his sight, the old typist started collecting the pieces of his mangled typewriter.

When the sub-inspector saw Ashutosh taking photos of the incident he objected and ordered him to delete them. Ashutosh was bold and interjected. He asked the police officer how he could do this to an elderly citizen. The sub-inspector told him not to teach him but to do his job.

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Pradeep Kumar, the Police Officer who damaged Kishan Kumar's typewriter (Photo - Ashutosh Tripathi)

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As Ashutosh continued taking photos, the stubborn sub-inspector told Ashutosh that he could show the photos to anyone and even posed for him.

Ashutosh comforted the sobbing elderly typist who told him the machine was completely damaged and it was the source of his income.

Ashutosh Tripathi wrote the story for the newspaper Dainik Bhaskar where he worked. He also shared the story on Facebook hoping someone might take note of the incident and get the typewriter of the old man repaired.

After a while when Ashutosh logged into Facebook he saw his story had gone viral. Ashutosh’s brother tweeted the photos on Twitter which many celebrities retweeted.

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, took note of this incident and ordered the suspension of the sub-inspector. He offered financial help for Kishan Kumar and gave orders to replace the damaged typewriter.

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Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow presenting a new typewriter to Kishan Kumar
Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow presenting a new typewriter to Kishan Kumar.

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Mr. Rajesh Pandey, SSP and Mr. Raj Shekhar, the District Magistrate of Lucknow met Kishan in person and tendered an apology for the police officer’s misbehaviour. They also presented him a new typewriter.

On Monday, two days after the incident, Kishan Kumar was threatened over the phone. The caller said that he had done a “bad thing”. After the threat call, the police have provided the necessary security to Kishan Kumar and are probing the threat call.

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