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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 13:19 GMT
Indian police given moustache pay
Indian security forces
Many Indian men see the moustache as a sign of masculinity
Police in a district in India's Madhya Pradesh state are being paid to grow moustaches because bosses believe it makes them command more respect.

Ten policemen in the northern state are already receiving 30 rupees (66 US cents) every month for their efforts.

Jhabua district police chief Mayank Jain told BBC News Online: "The response is growing and in the months ahead we expect to see more moustachioed policemen.

"Moustaches are improving the personalities of our constables. They are acquiring an aura of their own. They are creating a positive impression on the local people and getting a lot of respect."


The police chief hit upon the idea of moustaches-for-cash after a seminar attended by district policemen and local people.

"There were two or three moustachioed constables in the gathering and I saw people were looking at them very respectfully and pleasantly. That is when I thought of making more policemen grow moustaches," Mr Jain said.

The decision to pay them a whisker more every month for their efforts was just a "little motivation", he said.

Mr Jain said he was keeping a watch on the shape of the moustaches so that they did not look too intimidating, and so have the opposite effect on people.

"It takes time to keep a proper moustache. A good one has to take a turn near the angle of the upper lip," Mr Jain said.

He said that in the next few months many more of the 1,100 policemen at the district's 22 police stations would begin sporting moustaches.

Men in rural India have traditionally sported impressive moustaches to assert their masculinity.

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