Inspector Vijay Khanna -- Zanjeer (1973)
Yeh police station hai, tumhare baap ka ghar nahi. Isi liye Seedhi tarah khade raho, says the angry-young-man Amitabh, at his inception, to Sher Khan played by Pran. Prakash Mehra's Zanjeer was where Amitabh's journey as the hot-blooded youngster begins. It is the story of an honest police officer, who gets tangled with a gang leader Seth Dharam Dayal Teja (Ajit) and is wrongly accused and jailed. When released, Vijay has nothing but revenge on his mind and won't rest until he has it. The flamboyant cop, who delivers his own brand of justice, became a hit with the fans and also became a youth icon.
ACP Ajay Rathod -- Sarfarosh (1999)
Mai apne mulq ko apna ghar samajhta hoon, says ACP Rathod, played by Aamir Khan in John Mathew Matthan's Sarfarosh. Although this underlines the film's theme, there is more to ACP Rathod than meets the eye. The character of a hardened taskmaster of a cop, an obedient son, a loyal friend and a shy poet-lover, Sarfarosh shows Aamir Khan as a multi-dimensional hero. His powerful performance and dialogue delivery, which later became an unconscious style, are loved by his fans even today. A hardcore mainstream hindi film with songs, ACP Rathod was the added dimension which set the film apart from its competition.
Sub-inspector Anant Velankar -- Ardh Satya (1983)
Ek palde mein napunsakta, ek palde mein paurush; aur theek taraazu ke kaante par, ardh satya; are the final lines of the theme poem by Dilip Chitre and the lines define all there is to the film. This Govind Nihalani film, whose script is written by the immortal Vijay Tendulkar, focused on a universal existential issue of whether you continue with what you have or take a risk to change things for the better. The stunning performance by Om Puri, wherein he portrays a character whose predicament can be resolved only from within, is captured with two endings, one written in the script by Tendulkar and one which Nihalani deemed fit.
SP Amit Kumar --Gangaajal (2003)
Samaaj ko police waisi hi milti hai jaisa ki samaaj khud hota hai, are the words of Ajay Devgn, who plays SP Amit Kumar in Prakash Jha's national award-winning film Gangaajal. The film is a dark look at the socio-political system that reigns in Bihar and shows how this charismatic cop leads a team of dysfunctional and corrupt policemen, who are used to malpractices and wrongdoings, to fight crime and re-establish an ideal status quo. Following questionable methods, the team brings down a mob leader in the town so as to restore order and civility in a society plagued by extortion, corruption, bullying and lawlessness.
Inspector Sadhu Agashe--Ab Tak Chhappan (2004)
Tu khush bass iss liye hai, kyon ki tu zinda hai aur woh mar gaya; Nana Patekar's disenchanted remarks and precise dialogues that have no pretentions make Ab Tak Chhappan a difficult dish to digest for all those with romantic ideas about the police force. This Shimit Amin film explores the dark side of the police force, where Sadhu Agashe, makes a name for himself by killing criminals instead of locking them up for trial. Centered around him, the film explores the Mumbai police, Agashe's method and his alleged connections with the underworld, without taking a judgmental stance anywhere.
Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on December 21, 2012