HT Brunch Social Media Star of The Week: @MumbaiPolice
If you follow social media handles for information with humour, then the official Twitter and Instagram handles of Mumbai Police should be on your list. Take this post from April 20: the meme where they asked people to celebrate 4/20 by waking and baking a cake, not by getting baked. With more than 1m likes, the post is a classic example of how to enforce laws with humour.
“Getting baked” is what you call a cannabis high, and the meme spreading awareness against drug abuse went viral. Since their debut on Instagram in April 2020 and on Twitter years earlier, they’ve put out plenty of witty, punny memes to raise awareness on laws.
But who’s the brain behind this creativity? A team helmed by Suchika Pandey, founder and CEO, HAT Media, which took over the in 2015. But, most suggestions come from the police themselves! The first #HoshMeinAao post about drug abuse awareness – “If you roll, we’ll weed you out” – was suggested by the then police commissioner, Ahmed Javed.
“I ‘m proud to be associated with a hard working, creative and dedicated bunch that has arguably done quite a bit for the image of Mumbai Police and our bond with the city and its people,” says S Chaitanya, DCP Operations, Mumbai Police. “They are witty and give us great suggestions. The cops told us 420 was coming up. Young officers know all the current trends and lingo,” Suchika adds. A witty reply to the guy asking if he could meet his girlfriend was by a constable. They also have a WhatsApp group to brainstorm.
Says Mumbai-based stand-up comic Abbas Momin: “Knowing this is not a robotic interaction gives the establishment some humanity.” Mumbai baker Anandita De says, “Because the content is so catchy, it’s reposted and retweeted, increasing awareness.” She feels secure knowing that the cops are active online as they’ll respond quickly.
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From HT Brunch, May 2, 2021
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