From Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to cricketer Virat Kohli, celebrities changed their display picture on the appeal of Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh. The minister urged citizens of the state to change their display picture of their respective social media accounts to Maharashtra Police’s logo to boost the morale of 2.25 lakh police personnel working tirelessly to save people from COVID-19 in lockdown in the state.
Deshmukh also offered his deepest condolences on the demise of ASI Sunil Dattatray Kalgutkar of Kurla’s Vinoba Bhave Nagar Police Station – who fought against COVID-19.
“This takes the number of Maharashtra Police personnel who have succumbed to Corona to six while as many as 648 have tested positive. It is exemplary that the entire 2.25-lakh strong police force is working for long hours through what is one of the biggest public health challenges we are facing. To those who say this will affect the morale of the police, I want to affirm that in difficult times, the efficiency of police has in fact doubled.”
He however admitted, “It is essential to underline to the police force that they are not alone in this fight. From the flurry of messages, phone calls and social media posts that people sent to me on various platforms, I know this is an issue, for which the citizens feels as strongly as me.”
He highlighted how whether it was the 26/11-terror attack or the great deluge of 2005, which drowned Mumbai, Maharashtra police has always gone out of its way to help citizens even risking life and limb to help citizens. He pointed out and said, “I decided to honour the selflessness of police personnel by putting up the Maharashtra Police logo as my display picture (DP) on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc and asked citizens to join me for honouring the police force.”
The appeal has met with a tremendous response across the state as many citizens followed suit by changing their DP. This included grassroots activists, homemakers, collegians, political activists, corporate captains, sportspersons and well-known celebrities who feel strongly about showing solidarity with the police.
Politicians too responded to Deshmukh’s appeal and changed their DPs. These include NCP MP Supriya Sule, Irrigation and Water Resources Minister – Jayant Patil; cricketer Virat Kohli; chairman Mahindra group Anand Mahindra; actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, Genelia Deshmukh, Ajay Devgn, Arjun Kapoor, Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra, Suniel Shetty, Gulshan Grover, Rohit Roy, Arjun Bajwa, Vatsal Sheth, Katrina Kaif, Dia Mirza, Tisca Chopra, Bhagyashree, Mrunal Thakur, Pooja Hegde, Hina Khan; music composer Jatin Pandit and his son Rahul; well-known film publicist Saleha Yohann; filmmakers Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala; scriptwriter Rajat Aroraa; ghazal exponents Talat Aziz and Penaz Masani; fashion designer Neeta Lulla, model-choreographer Lubna Adams and Shaurya Pratap Singh among others. Several political activists and functionaries from the NCP and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) also followed suit.