scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Saturday, May 08, 2021

Dancing lessons

Kerala’s college students show how to respond to hate — with imagination and energy.

By: Editorial |
Updated: April 13, 2021 7:47:36 am
Lawyer Krishna Raj took what was a fun viral video featuring two students from Thrissur Medical College and tried to turn it into a communal issue.

Lawyer Krishna Raj has, as youngsters today would say, no chill. He took what was a fun viral video featuring two students from Thrissur Medical College and tried to turn it into a communal issue. There they were, Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, letting loose after class by dancing to the 1978 Euro-pop hit Rasputin by Boney M. And then, along came the lawyer, with his wagging finger and uncalled-for social media post couched as a warning to Omkumar’s parents about letting their daughter dance with a young Muslim man.

Kerala’s youth soon showed Raj how little they cared for his comment and stood in solidarity with Omkumar and Razak. #RasputinChallenge videos from across the state went viral, the applause they received drowning out the handful who echoed the lawyer. The students’ union at Thrissur Medical College released its own video, with more students in scrubs, titled “If you’re planning to spread hate, we intend to resist it”.

Indeed, unlike Raj, Kerala’s youngsters have a lot of chill — one young woman did the #RasputinChallenge wearing the traditional mundum neriyathum and carrying a thookuvilakku (hanging lamp). The chutzpah on display in the videos even inspired the state government to release its own version in which animated vials of Covaxin and Covishield dance to Rasputin, while the Kerala Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, or Milma, released an advertisement in support of Omkumar and Razak. In interviews since their video went viral, Razak and Omkumar themselves brushed off the hateful post. The unified message to those who raise the bogey of “love”, “dance” or any other kind of “jihad” is to be quiet and not trip up those more nimble-footed and open-minded than them.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Opinion News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
0 Comment(s) *
* The moderation of comments is automated and not cleared manually by indianexpress.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
x