It’s been a few weeks since the mass molestation incidents that occurred on New Year’s eve in Bangalore came to public consciousness. Debates have since raged over the safety of women in public spaces.
There have been many responses to the incident including protests, marches by women and public discourse. One such response has come in the form of a video that begs people not be a “mannequin”. Riffing off the idea from the popular online trend called the “Mannequin Challenge,” the video tells people to take action. This is a dark take on the decidedly lighthearted online phenomena which finds its participants being still in front of a moving camera with music in the background and suddenly bursting into dance. Even popular celebrities like cricketer Virat Kohli have taken part in it.
Similar to the original concept, in this video too, people stand transfixed as the camera pans from one person to another. But it doesn’t end with laughter and mirth – a girl holds a placard that reads, “Out of the 60,000 people who were on Brigade Road, possibly 1,000 were molesters. The rest 59,000 were mannequins. #DontBeAMannequin.”
The uploader, who goes by the name Mithun Cotha, also leaves a similar message for the viewer adding, “It’s time we put an end to India’s #MannequinChallenge. Don’t agree? This video might change your mind. #DontBeAMannequin.”
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Since the time it has been uploaded, the video has gone viral and has been viewed 57,600 times. People have also taken to social media to praise its message and execution.
— Noopur Vasuraj (@noopurvasuraj) January 13, 2017
— Richa Bhatt (@Richa0884) January 12, 2017