An Indian, who became an overnight star when an image of a policeman kicking his typewriter went viral, has said he is fed up with all the attention — and just wants to go back to typing letters, AFP reports.
The photograph of the officer harassing Kishan Kumar, who makes a living as a street-side typist in the northern city of Lucknow, provoked an outpouring of sympathy from Indians outraged at his treatment.
Local authorities reacted swiftly, suspending the officer who destroyed his typewriter and promised Kumar a compensation of Rs 100,000 ($1,500) as well as a new machine.
But Kumar, who is in his 60s and does not know his exact age, said he was “fed up” with his new-found celebrity, which had made it impossible for him to work.
“I just can’t work with so many people surrounding me. I haven’t earned a single penny for the past two days,” he said outside the Lucknow post office, where he plies his trade.
“What will I feed my family if I do not get to earn? … I come here to work, not to give media interviews.”
Although typewriters have largely disappeared from many countries, street-side typists remain a common sight in many Indian cities.
They can be seen hunched over often ancient machines, tapping out affidavits, family title deeds and court applications for around Rs 10 per page.
Kumar said he had received an anonymous threat of violence since the incident on Saturday, while promises of money from well-wishers had failed to materialize.
“I have received a couple of calls from people asking for my bank details … (but) I haven’t received any money from anybody,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ashutosh Tripathi, 27, who made the policeman, Kumar and the smashed typewriter go viral, recalled the incident to Reuters.
He said he was having breakfast at a Lucknow eatery when he spotted a policeman policeman riding a motorbike on the bicycle track, which is a violation of traffic rules. While he was setting up the camera to click this, the policeman got off the bike and started kicking the milk container of a tea vendor who was sitting with typist on the pavement.
The policeman said vendors are not supposed to do business on the side walk and told them to leave immediately.
Kumar, being, was a slow in getting up. Seeing this, the policeman started kicking the typewriter. When the typist requested him to spare his machine, the policeman started abusing him and went on kicking the machine.
When the policeman noticed that Tripathi was clicking his pictures, he asked him to delete them.
When the photographer asked him how he could behave this way to an old man, he said, “Do your job, and don’t teach us ours.”
He seemed to be least bothered and even had the audacity to tell Tripathi to click away and show the photos to everyone.