Written by Monika Asthana
“Never let your Jawani to get too Deewani to follow safety measures”, “Peena Yahan Marna Yahan” — the Pune police are now using cheeky memes, catchy GIFs and witty one-liners on various social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, to get their message across to the younger generation.
Tweeting from its official handle — @PuneCityPolice — the city police, which has earned the distinction of being one of few agencies to have an efficient cyber cell, has been borrowing from popular Bollywood movies to increase its outreach, especially among the youth.
One of its tweets that has caught the eye of the twitterati, uses the titles from the movie ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ to say: “Never let your Jawani to get too Deewani to follow safety measures.”
Borrowing from actor Raj Kapoor-starrer song ‘Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan’, another tweet says: ‘Peena Yahan Marna Yahan’ to call out drink driving.
A Mr Bean video along with a message: “Deserting your vehicles after wrongly parking them can have dire consequences! Park responsibly”, and an excerpt from the song ‘Main Nikla Gaddi Leke’, from the movie ‘Gadar’, to urge people to follow traffic signals are among a host of other messages that the Pune police has put up on the micro-blogging site.
In another tweet, the Pune police has put out sketches of various types of headaches and compared them with the one caused by the regret of not wearing helmet. Advising the masses to wear helmets while riding two-wheelers, the tweet says: “No helmet is an all-in-one recipe for disaster. Avoid it.”
Another tweet, that draws from the Hollywood movie ‘Avengers’, says, “Not all heroes wear capes — some remind others to wear their seat belts. Be a hero.”
“Police agencies have no option, but to be on Twitter. While many police jurisdictions do it just out of compulsion, there are some who are effectively using it. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru police were among the first few to start using the micro-blogging site initially. The Pune police, however, is not behind,” a police officer, who is a part of the team that handles the department’s social media platforms, told The Indian Express.
“While some memes or tweets are borrowed, some are composed by our team. People can connect easily with humour. To make people aware, especially the youth, requires that the tweets to be as engaging as possible,” the officer, who did not wish to be named, said.
For 21-year-old college-goer Subhiksha Manoj, who follows the Pune Police twitter handle, said: “Among the most followed things in India are Bollywood and cricket. Pune Police has attempted to attract and create awareness among Pune residents using these.”
Appreciating the move, Pranav Jalan, 22, said: “I believe today’s youth can understand things more easily via memes. I really appreciate this effort undertaken by the Pune Police to cater to make the youth and working-class population aware of the need to follow traffic rules.”