As India’s national capital continues to struggle with the Coronavirus, it's the force's way of reshaping its image among the Delhiites.
"Yeh Dilli hai mere yaar. Bas Ishq, Mohabbat, Pyaar," croons Tanvi Shah in the song 'Dilli-6' from the movie of the same name.
Delhi, indeed, prides on its 'dil'. For as long as one can remember, 'dil' and 'Dilli' have gone hand in hand. From first-time visitors to India's capital to Bollywood movies, we're told Delhiites are full of heart. Most even use 'Delhi' and 'Dilli' interchangeably.
It's also what the capital's police wants you to believe, going by its recent efforts at remaking itself during the pandemic. Delhi, as of June 2, 2020, has reported 22,000 cases and 556 deaths.
The pandemic has stretched the force's limit. It now has to go beyond law protection and enforcement. It has to also ensure lockdown rules are followed, social distancing is maintained by people outside at all times and, most importantly, people infected with the virus are taken to the hospital/quarantine centre. An while doing all this, it also has to look after itself.
Delhi Police decided to change to appeal to the hearts of the people residing in the city it swore to protect, the 'dil' of the 'Dilli Wala'.
Shakespeare once said, "What's in a name". Well, Delhi Police certainly feels there's much to a name, and that's why it changed its social media profiles to 'Delhi Police Dil Ki Police'. It even put up banners and posters at checkpoints to ensure people see it and remember it. Brand recall is a strong and effective method to drill in a point, and the same principle is applied here – the more you see something, the more you are likely to remember it.
On its social media channels, you will see messages ending with (the hashtag) #DilKiPolice. You will also get to view many sharply cut videos of the force helping people in need – Delhi is a sprawling city and the virus and the lockdown have affected everyone.
Anil Mittal, ACP and additional PRO, told The Print on April 23, that this initiative has been undertaken to strengthen the relationship between police personnel and people. “We want to sustain the trust that people are showing in us now, and ensure that the masses continue to cooperate with us.” He added that this initiative was taken under the direction of commissioner of police S.N. Shrivastava.
The unwarranted fear of the police is prevalent across the nation, and may be that's the reason the force wanted a change of image that makes it more approachable to everyone.