Monday, July 6, 2020

Charminar turns into a TikTok shooting spot post-unlock 1.0

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Hyderabad: After the government announced the lockdown relaxation and allowed all the businesses to reopen, many are unhappy with the decision. They are demanding for a lockdown to be imposed again due to the spike in coronavirus cases in Hyderabad. But for TikTokers, the relaxation seems to be an opportunity to get famous on social media and they seems as they seem to be unaware of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The historic Charminar is no longer the spot it was for tourists, shoppers, and worshippers as the Laad Bazar, Nimrah Hotel, Makkah Masjid downed their shutters due to the COVID-19 scare in the city. After they declared a ‘self-lockdown,’ it seems to be like the Irani Chai joints, popular Bengal stores and pearl shops of Charminar have disappeared. By taking advantage of the deserted surroundings of the structure, many teens have turned the historic Charminar into a shooting spot for recording videos for various social applications — especially TikTok. 

Although there is no prohibition on taking photos or making videos near Charminar. Hence, its surroundings are now a hub for TikTokers. 

When siasat.com spoke to the police officers deployed near Charminar, they said, “No timings were fixed for shooting videos near Charminar. It has now become very common during day time and even in night hours. TikTokers are ready to make videos, though we try to warn them not to do such things but they say we have come to record a social message. Some say that their work involves social media.”

The Charminar which used to witness thousands of visitors daily filled with street vendors, push carts, customers and tourists since the Janta Curfew. The monument is deserted even after the relaxation. The Charminar does not look anything like its pre-pandemic self especially considering the scarcity of people around it. Although it does feel a like that bit with TikTokers who come to shoot their videos. 

One can observe that youngsters are making videos as if they are shooting a movie. A group of five to six with props like chairs, table, cycles are posting these videos on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #Hyderabad, #Hyderabadi, #Hyderabadi_Nawabs and #Charminar.

A street vendor who sells bangles on a push cart near Charminar said, “These people are requesting for chairs and tables as props. There is no business and we are being entertained by watching such people who make videos.” 

Even though police officers ask them to wear face masks during filming, people are taking these precautions as granted. 

The video concept they visualise are based on Bollywood songs, Hyderabadi movies, negative characters played by Sanjay Dutt, Vivek Oberoi from Shootout at Lokhandwala, Salman Khan as Radhe in Wanted and etc. 

A young TikToker who was making a video near Charminar said “Earlier there was no place near the monument as it was surrounded by vendors. Now that they have been removed, we are making videos. There is nothing wrong in making any video at Charminar, nor are we making any trouble. Within 10 minutes, we will wrap up our shoot and leave the area,” he added. 

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