Fake news changed how 200 million Indian WhatsApp users can forward their videos. False and misleading videos shared on social media led to 22 deaths in India this year. To combat the spread of fake news, Police superintendent Rema Rajeshwari in southern India’s Mahbubnagar district uses song and dance to fight these deadly messages.
That she uses Twitter and has thousands of followers is no surprise when you learn about her master’s degree in computer science and her previous employment in that industry. Yet the the high illiteracy rates among the 400 villages that she oversees, required some creative thinking. First her police officers went door to door to campaign against sharing suspect videos. Later, town criers announced the same news. When she asked her police officers to form a dancing cultural team to sing and dance a song campaigning against the sharing of violent videos, it had great impact on the communities she served. No one has been killed in her region because of the fake videos.
Just loved this creative use of song and dance to educate their villagers. It’s quite possible that it’s culturally more accepted in India, but the way the children took it to heart really captured my attention. Stories, song and dance have a way to impact and change minds in ways not seen in other means of communication. Perhaps YWAM teams shouldn’t leave that form of communication to just the performing arts arena. Plays and visual arts have their place and this piece of news just confirmed that to me.