State / Cop who turned lathi into flute becomes internet sensation

The New Indian Express : May 31, 2019, 12:04 PM

Usually, when police wield their lathis, the crowd faces the music. But a cop here is playing music of a different kind with his lathi much to the delight of residents. 

Chandrakant Hutgi, 52, has become an internet sensation after turning his lathi into a flute. He has been receiving plaudits from his colleagues and scores of people in Hubballi and Dharwad. A day ago he was invited to Bengaluru by senior officers and honoured.

Chandrakant grabbed the attention of netizens when senior IPS officer Bhaskar Rao shared a video of him that went viral. Apart from his skill in playing the flute, his creativity in converting a police lathi into a musical instrument has also won praise.

Chandrakant who is serving as the head constable in Hubballi Rural police station for the last 10 years has often had to stand for long hours during the course of his work.

“Many times I used to get bored while standing still during bandobast duties. Hence I decided to convert the lathi into a flute as it had a hollow portion. As I was a flute player, I had an idea about how this could be done. Holes were drilled in the lathi and now I can play it like any other flute after practice,” he said.

Chandrakant was interested in music right from his school days. He liked to play the flute but there was no one to guide him. Once he even tried to play the flute at a college function but failed. “I was insulted and no one supported me. I took that incident as a challenge and started practising. Within a year once again I played at college and everyone was surprised. I also play the tabla since my college days. But mostly I like playing the flute,” he said.

Megha Hutgi, wife of Chandrakant, said it was a proud feeling to see her husband getting recognised for his musical talent. “At home, he plays the flute many times on our request. It's soothing to hear. He has named both his children after ragas, Santosh Keshav and Sohani,” she said.

“Many of my friends congratulated me after they watched internet videos of my father playing the flute. We are happy about his achievement,” said Sohani, daughter of Chandrakant.