The Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and prime minister Narendra Modi are among scores of celebrities, sports personalities and politicians taking part in a new fitness craze that has taken the country by storm.
Twitter users have been posting videos of their favourite workouts, varying from press-ups and planks to yoga stretches, and then issuing a “#FitnessChallenge” to others.
The phenomenon appears to have originated with the sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, who won silver for India at the 2004 Olympics in the double trap shooting event. After performing an impressive set of press-ups, Mr Rathore wrote: “Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media.”
Post pictures and videos of how you keep yourself fit and send a #FitnessChallenge to your friends on social media. Here's my video 😀and I challenge @iHrithik, @imVkohli & @NSaina to join in🥊 pic.twitter.com/pYhRY1lNEm
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) May 22, 2018
Cricket star Kohli was one of the first nominated, and showed off his preferred core exercise - a plank with alternate raised legs. He in turn nominated the prime minister - and Mr Modi responded, writing: “Challenge accepted, Virat! I will be sharing my own #FitnessChallenge video soon.”
With the hashtag receiving prime ministerial approval, other senior members of the ruling Hindu nationalist BJP were quick to jump on the bandwagon - to the best of their abilities.
I have accepted the #FitnessChallenge by @ra_THORe sir. Now I would like to challenge my wife @AnushkaSharma , our PM @narendramodi ji and @msdhoni Bhai for the same. 😀 #HumFitTohIndiaFit #ComeOutAndPlay pic.twitter.com/e9BAToE6bg
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) May 23, 2018
Jayant Sinha, the civil aviation minister, performed some yoga moves, while home affairs minister Kiren Rijiju juxtaposed the very formal setting of his office with a somewhat improvised exercise on a chair.
From the acting world, Saumya Tandon’s video made creative use of two bungee cords, while Anushka Sharma - who is also cricketer Kohli’s wife - completed what seems like a never-ending set of weightlifting.
I accept your challenge @imVKohli. Here’s my video for the #HumFitTohIndiaFit #FitnessChallenge. I’d like to nominate my friends, @DipikaPallikal and @Varun_dvn Great initiative @Ra_THORe sir! #ComeOutAndPlay pic.twitter.com/SmdmkArT6U
— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) May 24, 2018
And other sportswomen and men to get involved included the para-badminton player Manasi Joshi, who skipped without her prosthetic leg, and boxer Manoj Jumar, who climbed a rope using only his arms.
Thanks @mall_rohit for tagging me. As para-badminton players, we need to be on our toes and skipping sans a prosthetic keeps me fit.
Thank you minister @Ra_THORe for encouraging #humfittohindiafit.
I request @Sukant_Kadam @poorvishasram24 @domzybatra to share their videos. pic.twitter.com/EaWv9k0Q7E
— Manasi Joshi (@joshimanasi11) May 23, 2018
@Ra_THORe #HumFitTohIndiaFit #FitnessChallenge Here is my fitness session video. Let’s stay fit together to keep #India Fit.
A great initiative by Honourable sports minister Shri @Ra_THORe Ji. pic.twitter.com/daIuuk020p
— Manoj Kumar 🇮🇳 (@BoxerManojkr) May 23, 2018
Participation has not exactly gone smoothly for all public figures, however. Some users questioned the technique of singer, actor and BJP politician Manoj Tiwari, who interspersed his press-ups with a selection of poses for the camera.
— Unofficial Sususwamy (@swamv39) May 23, 2018
And in an unlikely turn of events, the official account of the Mumbai Police waded in after the actor Hrithik Roshan filmed himself cycling without a helmet.
Most took the exercise in good spirits, however, and for some it was a logical extension of the “Fit India” movement called for by the prime minister in March.
Now approaching 67 years old, Mr Modi has been keen to show off his personal fitness levels to voters ahead of next year’s general election. Supporters noted the way he trotted up a flight of stairs to his plane departing an informal summit with Vladimir Putin this week.
He is a devotee of yoga, sharing a number of his own pictures and videos showing his exercises in the past, and during his tenure has made a major event out of International Yoga Day on 21 June.