Mahbubnagar Police Chief Rema Rajeshwari leads fight against Corona Pandemic plus misinformation ‘Infodemic’

Dr Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui for BeyondHeadlines

The Mahbubnagar Police in Telangana State led by its charismatic chief Rema Rajeshwari (IPS) is fighting the coronavirus pandemic and the misinformation ‘infodemic’ together. It has launched an awareness campaign about the deadly coronavirus with a lyrical folk song that is generating immense interest among the masses of the Mahbubnagar district and beyond it. The folk song in Telugu has been shared with Beyond Headlines. An English translation of the song is presented to the readers of BeyondHeadlines. It is to spread the message and hopefully love’s labour is not lost in translation!

Our rich Indian cultural heritage is a matter of pride for us. Rema Rajeshwari, IPS, has strived to take forward our enduring Indian legacy through words, sounds and music for social causes apart from wielding her baton to send shivers down the spines of criminals. Rema Rajeshwari’s intellectual articulation has rubbed on to her subordinates, wherever she was posted – Ranga Reddy or Khammam or Mahbubnagar. The birthday girl who had a modest celebration by her colleagues under ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday was eulogized by none other than the BBC News with a news report – ‘The Policewoman who stopped WhatsApp killings’ in September 2018. She has been India’s frontline warrior against ‘fake news.’ This time, Rema Rajeshwari and her able team of cops are leading a fight against Corona and the misinformation epidemic that comes as an unwanted appendage.

Though the cultural programmes of Mahbubnagar Police are suspended temporarily, the video song was enacted and captured in the police office campus.  The highlight of the song is that the Janapada element is beautifully embedded with the lyrics. Janapada is a combination of two words – Jana (people) and Pada (tribe). It is a short verse joined together as a ‘sandhi’ – a grammatical term. The folk culture and the colloquial tongue of Kannadiga and Telugu people were known by this name from the time Kannada and Telugu came into existence. 

The awareness Telugu folk song about Coronavirus begins with Janapada thus:

Jajjanakare janaare janaku janaa janaare

English translation of the song:

Listen! All our people!

Coronavirus is attacking us. Behold!

Don’t neglect it, it will affect our families.

If we take precautions, Corona does not come near.

Don’t shake hands as the virus attacks.

Don’t move in crowds.

Corona follows you!

If you cough and has a cold, use handkerchief.

Wash hands regularly and repeatedly.

If we maintain cleanliness,

Coronavirus disappears!

Take precautions Corona will go away Liston Brother.

Our government says:

We will all fire at the Corona devil!

Our entire society will move to fight Corona.

If we neglect alarm bells will ring.

Precautions are the main solutions!

Jajjanakare janaare janaku janaa janaare

The awareness song ends with Janapada. The song is a moving enactment with emphasis on taking precautions like washing hands regularly and repeatedly and to observe the basic etiquette of using a handkerchief if and when we sneeze and cough. The hilarious element comes out when we hear the cops saying – we will all fire at the Corona devil. They are true cops who cannot stay away from firing! There is a villain or a devil in many folk stories. Here, the Corona is symbolized as a ‘devil.’ The simple lyrics, the haunting music, the perfect imagery and the artistic symbolism are enchanting. Above everything else, the message to fight the pandemic Coronavirus is loud and clear!

Our message at BeyondHeadlines is similar too. Stay safe for your sake and for our beloved country’s sake!


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