Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, students at Thrissur Medical College(Videograb)
Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, students at Thrissur Medical College(Videograb)

Remember #RasputinChallenge? Shashi Tharoor gives it a political twist

  • Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, students at Thrissur Medical College attempted to break the monotony and spread cheer with their dance moves on Boney M’s 1978 hit Euro-disco track ‘Rasputin’, as part of the popular Rasputin challenge that is sweeping social media across the world.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Mallika Soni | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 27, 2021 12:24 PM IST

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted a video of medical college students of Kerala taking on the Rasputin dance challenge, praising the video as an example of peaceful coexistence amongst people of different religions in the state of Kerala.

Highlighting how the students used dance as a medium of solidarity, Tharoor, who is a member of the Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, wrote on Twitter, “The medical college students who first did this (&were attacked because one of them was Muslim) have started a wonderful viral trend in solidarity. Kerala will always remain a place where all religions coexist. The communal virus will not be allowed to spread in our state.”

Amid rising coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, medical practitioners across the country are at the frontline of the challenge that the second wave of the pandemic poses. At a time like this, when the country passes one grim milestone after another, Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, students at Thrissur Medical College attempted to break the monotony and spread cheer with their dance moves on Boney M’s 1978 hit Euro-disco track ‘Rasputin’, as part of the popular Rasputin challenge that is sweeping social media across the world. Although the video went viral on social media, it took a communal turn when the video began garnering hate as the two students belonged to different religious communities.

To protest against the hate meted out to the video, more medical students have joined the Rasputin dance challenge and shared videos on social media platforms. These videos were then reshared using the hashtag #StepWithRasputin and have also been collated on Instagram by student political organisation SFI’s Cochin University of Science and Technology wing.

Earlier as well, Tharoor had praised the original video by Janaki Omkumar and Naveen Razak, tweeting, “These kids deserve applause and encouragement, instead of the Hindutva venom being spewed at them because of their different religions. They ooze both talent & comradeship, the best of Young India. And they will make empathetic doctors one day!”

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