The Rajasthan Police's Twitter handle is making waves - with cheeky humour and dialogues borrowed from Bollywood classics. One particular tweet, quoting a line from "Mughal-E-Azam", which stars Dilip Kumar, Prithviraj Kapoor and Madhubala, has gotten over three thousand likes and retweets since being posted on Thursday afternoon.
The tweet, written in Hindi, warns people against honour killing, and reminds them that under a new bill passed by the state assembly last week, any person found guilty of attacking a couple for marrying against family or communities' wishes could face a life term or death and a fine of Rs 5 lakhs.
"Careful. The era of Mughal-E-Azam has gone. If you hurt or try to hurt a couple, then the Rajasthan government, under #HonorKilling Bill 2019, can sentence you to life in jail or even death, in addition to a fine of Rs 5 lakh... because to love is not a crime," the tweet read.
For context, in the film, "Anarkali" (the character played by Madhubala) and "Jehangir" (Dilip Kumar) fall in love, but that love is fiercely opposed because she, a low-ranked court dancer, is seen as an unsuitable match for the heir to the Mughal Empire.
"Pyar kiya to darna kya (why be afraid of falling in love) is a dialogue we all know," Maruti Joshi, Additional SP and head of Rajasthan Police's media team, said, adding, "So we decided to use this dialogue because the idea on social media is to get noticed. If we had published a black-and-white article on the new law, nobody would have noticed it. But this has created a buzz."
From "Sholay" to Akshay Kumar's latest film, "Mission Mangal", these tweets are making people sit up and take notice; in fact, the tweet that borrowed lines from "Mission Mangal" to encourage people to use seat belts was liked by the actor himself.
"We want to spread a message in a light-hearted way, without causing hurt or pain," LB Soni, ADG Crime, said.
Rajasthan Police aren't the first to turn to Twitter to get their messages across - Mumbai Police has often been cited as a benchmark in this regard.
Mumbai's police has picked up several issues and infused them with humour, from drug awareness and showing rescue and relief efforts when the city is waterlogged during the monsoon, to sharing memes on traffic-related problems, especially raising the issue of not wearing helmets.
And in July, police in Guwahati in Assam, in a tongue-in-cheek bid to call attention to the drug problem, asked social media users which was "the most popular place to buy ganja" in the city, referring to cannabis.
What next for Rajasthan Police's social media team? Well, the state government has also passed a law against lynching, so we might expect a tweet on that soon.
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