Boney M’s 1978 hit Euro-disco track Rasputin seems to be topping the charts again. If you are active on social media, chances are you might have seen several videos of people taking up the Rasputin challenge – people sharing videos of themselves dancing to Boney M’s Rasputin.
The latest to have jumped on to the bandwagon is the Kerala Police. In order to spread awareness among the people on the need to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, the Kerala Police has posted an animated video of Covaxin and Covishield vials shanking their legs to the beat of the song on their social media handle. “Get vaccinated from nearest vaccination centre…crush the curve…back to basics,” said the video’s caption.
The video has gone viral with many applauding the Kerala Police for their effort to create awareness amongst the public. "What a lovely video with an apt message," one user said. Another one added, "How creative. Kudos!"
A Twitter user from Slovakia wrote, “Great approach Greetings to sunny Kerala from Slovakia. Wish I could visit Kerala again.”
The video is made by Kerala's Health Department, as part of Crush the Curve, a massive vaccination awareness campaign launched by the Health Department, after the state has been witnessing another spike in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks. The video, which is also in solidarity with the two medical college students who had been attacked on social media for their dance video recently, was released by Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.
Earlier this month, a video of two students from Thrissur Medical College, Naveen K Razak and Janaki M Omkumar, dancing to this song went viral. While the duo won a lot of hearts for their dance moves, it also drew flak after a lawyer pointed out a possible ‘love jihad’ situation between the two.
Soon, the fun video was turned into a communal issue and the two began to get a lot of flak. Calling out the bigotry, the medicos around the state began to rally around the two and soon ‘The Rasputin Challenge’ began on the social media platforms by the medical students' network in the Indian Medical Association.
Soon, many videos came in of medial students and students from other colleges dancing to the song. These videos have since been re-shared on Twitter under the hashtag #StepWithRasputin.
Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, praised the students for their creative show of solidarity. Tharoor said, “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!”
The Kerala Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation or Milma, the apex body of the dairy cooperatives of the state, also released an ad in support of the medicos Naveen and Janaki.