India tries to get a handle on Instagram ‘Reels fever’

4 days ago 36

NEW DELHI - A woman in a short mustard top and grey jeans breaks into a dance in a crowded Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) coach. The Delhi Metro’s all-too-familiar welcome announcement, remixed and set to an electronic beat, forms the dance track for the video.

Two passengers film her, while others look on bemused.

The video is among several recent videos that have ruffled the feathers of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). So much so that it put out a warning on Mar 13 banning the filming of Instagram Reels or dance videos as well as any other activity that may bother other passengers.

“Be a passenger, not an inconvenience,” read its tweet.

A similar warning was issued around five years ago but that failed to curb this trend, prompting the DMRC to reiterate its order given “too many occurrences” of such videos, said DMRC’s spokesman Anuj Dayal.

“The metro is basically for a comfortable and normal commute… We don’t want our passengers inconvenienced by this sort of activity,” Mr Dayal told The Straits Times.

In another video that received more than 58,000 likes but also drew criticism, a young girl swings on the handrails and dances on seats in an empty section of an MRT coach. She even waves and blows a kiss at the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera.

The hunger for online popularity has kept authorities elsewhere in the country busy too as Instagrammers and other social media users take to filming at some iconic locations, often posing risk not just to themselves but also others.

In Ghaziabad, a city on the edge of Delhi, cops were forced to install 45 CCTV cameras recently on a 10.3km elevated section of an expressway after it became a coveted spot for video-makers in recent months because of the panoramic views it offers over the city.

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