Say It With Wit and Humor- The Kerala Police Way
- Bhakti Kothari
- Published on 11 May 2021, 4:54 pm IST
- 6 minutes read
Kerala police, known for their online presence, has been releasing videos to spread COVID-19 awareness in humorous and thoughtful ways. Here is its latest offering.
The Covid19 pandemic in India doesn’t seem to die anytime soon. The cases are rising by the day and lakhs of people have lost their lives or family members. It is mayhem and each and every citizen is scared for themselves and their loved ones.
During such a melancholic time, when health workers and officials are trying their level best to control the spread of the virus by treating and helping patients, the police too are doing their bit to maintain order.
On one side, they are standing in the scorching heat of the sun to keep citizens inside their homes, and on the other, looking after the mental well-being of the citizens. At the same time, they are trying to spread awareness through various unique and often rib-tickling pictures & video messages on social media.
KERALA POLICE AND ITS UNIQUE, WITTY MESSAGES
Keeping this in mind, Kerala Police has come up with unique and fun ways to fully utilize its social media presence and create Covid19 awareness among people in a happy and laugh-inducing manner.
The State Police Media Centre of Kerala recently released a short video against a soundtrack of melodious music – flute cover of the song ‘Poomuthupole’ from the film Joseph – on the first morning of a nine-day lockdown in the state. In the video, there’s a vehicle moving forward which is not visible. All that we can see is what’s in front of the moving vehicle – an empty road with police officials standing every few meters with a message on a placard. The placards read, one after the other: “Where are you going? Why are you going? Think again if you have to go; there are more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19 every day, more than 5,000 deaths so far. Think again. Go back. There are people waiting for you at home.”
At the end of the last message, everything turns black and white and the vehicle appears to go in reverse all the way back home. The video portrays a strong message of staying inside our homes, in a beautiful manner.
“The idea is that these messages should reach the maximum number of people. Sometimes we get criticized, and some people ask if the police have no other work. But these online posts and videos help take messages of safety to a large number of people,” says Mr. Arun BT, who is part of the media cell, handling social media for the Kerala Police. He is the person behind the concepts of most of the videos made by the media cell.
FUNNY VIDEOS ARE FAST SPREADING AWARENESS
The Facebook page of the Kerala Police had become so popular that at one point it was chosen as a subject of study by Microsoft – when it crossed the New York Police Department’s Facebook page in terms of a number of followers. However, it was only recently that its Twitter page too began getting attention.
“We use Twitter to reach out to people in places outside Kerala. Once we used a video by [Telugu film star] Allu Arjun for a promo of the police app Pol-App. And it had gone viral among the people of Andhra. We realized the power of star reach. Next time we used a video of Rajanikanth to spread a message on following COVID-19 protocol. That too worked,” says Mr. Arun.
CREATIVITY THROUGH ANIMATION
The team launched another video, this time making use of animation skills. The video shows coronavirus – walking like a human – during the earlier lockdown, away from the city into the darkness. But once the cases came down and people began getting careless about following protocol, the virus returned from the darkness, bigger and stronger. “I am back,” says the ominous caption under it.
A DEDICATED SONG FOR AWARENESS
The Pathanamthitta police in Kerala went a notch further to spread awareness by composing an entire song, solely dedicated to raising awareness about the pandemic.
USING CLIPS OUT OF FAMOUS FILMS
Carrying on the memes trending on social media, Kerala police used a tiny clip from one of the most popular comedies in Malayalam cinema – Nadodikattu- in which the film’s actors Mohanlal and Sreenivasan are looking worriedly at the coronavirus coming from one end (in the film, it is a scary looking policeman), and then they see a mask and sanitizer at the other end and cheer up (in the film, it is a picture of Mahatma Gandhi).
A new movie used by the police in their awareness messages is Joji. A scene between brothers arguing in a hospital is used to convey the message to stop blaming each other and follow the protocol instead. The film, made during the pandemic, has its characters wearing masks, but two of them have pulled it down to the chin and that’s what the meme is about.
MAKING USE OF CUTE LITTLE FUR FRIENDS
When nothing works, an adorable video of little puppies and kittens is definitely capable of hooking people’s attention and making them understand the preventive measures put in force.
Making use of people’s general love for animal babies, the department launched a video showing a man stepping out of the house, you only see his legs, and a puppy following him and persistently pulling at his pants to stop him from going. On cue, the police put out the message to stay indoors during the pandemic.
Where there are dogs, cats can’t be far behind. A picture of cats on a roadside, resting, with at least two meters between them, is used to tell you they too are following physical distancing. So, why don’t you?
In a heartwarming video, a sub-inspector can be seen stopping his vehicle every day on the way back from work, to feed two skinny street dogs. He tells another policeman in the video how it broke his heart to see them looking like skeletons one night and he began taking food for them every day since then. They come running as soon as they see his vehicle. His name is Subrahmanian Potti, the Sub Inspector of Police at the Nemom station.
Kerala Police is doing all that they can to motivate people to stay indoors, wear masks, use sanitizers, trying to keep them safe from the virus.
END OF THE ARTICLE