Monday, February 16, 2015

Big B, Khans ahead of Narendra Modi on Twitter: Bollywood beats cricket stars in list of Indian celebrities with most followers; Sachin Tendulkar left far behind

Who is the most popular Indian on Twitter? Big B, Amitabh Bachchan, has 13.2 million followers.

Bachchan was active on Twitter long before other celebrities took to it.

Second is Shahrukh Khan, the Badshah of Bollywood, with over 11.4 million or 1.14 crore people following him on this micro-blogging site.

Surprisingly, Aamir Khan comes after him with 11.2 million or 1.12 crore people following him. 'Dabangg' Salman Khan is fourth with 10.6 million or 1.06 crore people following him.

But PM Narendra Modi is giving them a tough competition. The Prime Minister of India has over 10 million followers (10.1) too, and this makes him a rare politician in Asia with such a huge number of followers on this social media platform.

Modi has more than 0.1 million followers now. The difference of one digit may seem less but there is still a difference of 3 million or 30 lakh with Big B and over 1 million or 10-14 lakh followers between him and King Khan.

In fact, earlier it was reported that Modi was second only to Barack Obama among politicians in terms of popularity on Twitter. India's huge population is definitely an asset for its movie personalities as well as its politicians.

Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra are also knocking at the door of the crore-pati [10 million followers] club on Twitter. Deepika has 9.5 lakh followers while Priyanka Chopra has 8.79 lakh. Then comes Hrithik Roshan [8.5 lakh]. Akshay Kumar is also in the line with 7.5 lakh people following him.

Tendulkar is not a crore-pati on Twitter yet: Bollywood beats God of Indian cricket

The general perception is that two things Indians love most is Bollywood and Cricket. But here, cricket seems to be lagging. The 'God' of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has 5.07 million or over 50 lakh followers. Not a crore-pati on Twitter yet. Even Karan Johar has more followers that him. 

The exception is Virat Kohli, who has quickly reached 5.5 million. Given his popularity and that he is in full flow, he is likely to give a tough competition to other celebrities on the social media site.

Dhoni has 3.5 million or 35 lakh followers. My hero of yesteryear Sunil Gavaskar has less than 50,000 followers. Can there be anything more saddening? We all know that on Twitter, many inactive tweeple follow their celebrities, even if the latter rarely tweet.

But given the huge difference in following, it seems, cricket maniacs are less in number now. The movie stars are far ahead. Among politicians, once, Shashi Tharoor, was far ahead in popularity. But now, he is far behind, with 2.78 million or 27.8 lakh followers. Digvijaya Singh is close with over 25 lakh followers.

Twitter: The handles of these celebrities are mentioned below

List of the TOP TEN Indians on TWITTER

Celebrities               Twitter handle                          Number of followers

Amitabh Bachchan @SrBachchan                                        13.2 million  [1.32 crore]
Shahrukh Khan       @iamsrk                                                11.4 million  [1.14 crore]
Aamir Khan            @aamir_khan                                        11.2 million  [1.12 crore]
Salman Khan          @BeingSalmanKhan                             10.6 million  [1.06 crore]
Narendra Modi        @narendramodi                                    10.1 million  [1.01 crore]
Deepika Padukone  @deepikapadukone                                  9.5 million [95 lakh]
Priyanka Chopra     @priyankachopra                                     8.79 million [87 lakh]
Hrithik Roshan        @ihrithik                                                  8.51 million [85 lakh]
Askhay Kumar        @akshaykumar                                        7.54 million [75.4 lakh]
Karan Johar             @karanjohar                                            5.6  million [56 lakh]
Virat Kohli              @iamvkohli                                               5.5 million [55 lakh]
Sachin Tendulkar    @sachin_rt                                               5.07 million [50.7 lakh]
Arvind Kejriwal       @arvindkejriwal                                   3.63 lakh
Dilip Kumar            @TheDilipKumar                                 3.36 lakh
MS Dhoni                @msdhoni                                          3.52 lakh

The leaders are mostly movie stars, politicians or, yes, some cricketers. The rabble-rousing politicians (the names which may come to your mind) have followers in thousands only.

[Just the most popular personalities with highest following on Twitter have been mentioned. Not all celebrities have been mentioned here. The statistics are till February 15, 2015]

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AAP's victory in Delhi broke a psychological barrier: Cracking jokes, making fun of politicians is no longer blasphemy, even 'bhakts' are doing it finally

By Indscribe

Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) victory has not just shattered the myth of Narendra Modi-Amit Shah team's invincibility but has also broken a psychological barrier.

People in cities, hundreds of kilometers away from Delhi, including many BJP supporters, are cracking jokes, laughing and seemed genuinely enjoying the landslide.

Perhaps, they are enjoying it like a great Indian tamasha or they are just happy seeing an underdog's victory. One can interpret differently but this was unthinkable for a long time.

In WhatsAPP groups, people complained that how even a slight criticism of Narendra Modi upset the rest and old friends would get angry, as if it was a sort of blasphemy.

Post February 10: Not just cartoons are being shared in social media and even in groups [Facebook, WhatsApp] dominated by the BJP supporters, the laughter is back. Even BJP supporters are sharing these jokes and very few are feeling offended anymore.

Congress sympathisers would often rue that 'they crack jokes about Pappu and his mother all the time but if we speak a word, we are cornered and old friends are ready to snap relationships'. 'Yeh ho kya gaya hai'. Yes something had happened to people.

Now, many even seem relieved. They include BJP supporters. Why? I get call from a childhood friend, with whom I had stopped discussing politics long ago, as I didn't want to ruin my friendship. He said, 'checks and balances were required in politics and it would do good for the BJP'.

This will help the party as they won't be complacent anymore and it would also be in the interest of the citizens as both parties would compete in doing good work. Hmm. Such pieces of wisdom are coming from all sides.


The neighbourhood shopowner waved at me and I had to stop though I was in a hurry. He said, 'ha ha...kya karwa diya Dilli mein...badhiya ho gaya'. I knew, he was a BJP supporter, but why was he enjoying.

Why was he so happy that he felt like sharing it with others. Others were also receiving calls or discussing it. They may or may not like Kejriwal's win but seem to enjoy this 'unexpected thing'. This is in our psyche that we support underdog and naturally such a performance has flabbergasted everyone.

But the question is that why have we suddenly rediscovered the ability to laugh or crack jokes. Many of them will vote for BJP in their states but are right now, savouring the moment. Why they had stopped cracking and making fun of politicians?

This is like old times when after a victory in a cricket match, friends would call each other and discuss. The feeling of joy, when you want to share with others. 'Maza aa gaya yaar, kya kar diya'. There are many such examples since Tuesday.


In fact, there was a hard polarisation--Modi walas and the rest. So you were a 'traitor' if you didn't love Modi. This sort of positioning can't go on for long. People were simply spellbound. In Jammu-Kashmir, Modi-Shah failed to form government though the BJP got lot of seats.

Now, Delhi has shattered the myth of Modi's invincibility. People realised that he couldn't bring black money or get things done magically, as promised. Yes, even Kejriwal would be put to scrutiny, now.

Modi government is to stay for four years. In fact, it may win states after states. But, at least, people are out of the phase. For long they acted like they were 'possessed'. They are back, being natural. It was a strange psychological barrier. And it has gone. 

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Controversy surrounding Urdu newspaper Avadhnama after publishing Charlie Hebdo cover and its editor's problems

First, the facts of the entire controversy. Mumbai-based Urdu daily Avadhnama stopped its publication after the controversial cover of French paper Charlie Hebdo was reproduced in this paper.

The editor of Avadhnama, Shirin Dalvi, is now out of job. She has several FIRs in police station in different cities in Maharashtra, for hurting the sentiments of Muslims, and is living in hiding for fear of being attacked.

Either it was mistake or foolhardiness, the newspaper had published apology for the photo. The issue should have ended there. The Avadhnama group shouldn't have shut the paper. Some Urdu editors said that she shouldn't be harassed after the apology.

Her problems, her living away from her children, has been mentioned in several news reports [See the news link HERE], people tweeted in her support, but will this help her? No. The reason is double standards in applying law in the country. Her LETTER, [read it on NDTV website], 'I, an underground citizen...' led to outrage on social media.

Why just 'outrage' won't work: Double standards in applying law in the country

1. Getting multiple FIRs registered against a person is a sure shot way to harass him/her, in a big way. The person would spend years, making rounds to the police stations and courts, dealing with lawyers.

2. In MP, an influential Hindi newspaper published the Charlie Hebdo cover. There were massive protests (and yes a law-and-order issue of bigger magnitude than the one cited in Maharashtra), but the police didn't register a single FIR. The Cops said, 'We are examining the complaints and will take action after preliminary investigation'.

3. But, in Maharashtra, FIRs against Shirin Dalvi was registered in half-a-dozen police stations in different cities. Why? It is because she is not a big shot and probably because her paper was not influential enough.

4. Though, both Maharashtra and MP are BJP ruled states, and the laws are also same. The issue was exactly the same, then why police in MP didn't register FIR despite huge gatherings. The reason is 'show me the Man (person), I will show you the rule' style of functioning.

5. It is totally in the hands of police to deal with such issues. If those at the 'top' give nod, FIR is registered, else police conveniently say, 'give us a written complaint, we will examine'. This is a way to delay the FIR and hush up the issue. Often, people are satisfied by just handing their complaint.

6. It requires political or administrative will to take a decision at that level, not going by the book. Citing law-and-order, police may register FIR or they may not. This happens in almost all crimes around us, depending on complainant/accused's influence, financial status, connectivity.

7. There are exceptions though. Someone like Raj Thackeray may have numerous cases registered against him, but being a politician with a cadre, he can get away for long. MF Husain also faced scores of FIRs but he had the means to live away lavishly, though he had to leave the country.

8. It is just like, if you have a row with an MLA or MP or business tycoon, and you go to police station, they generally ask you to leave your complaint, not registering FIR immediately, unless you also have some 'weight' or you are too persistent. This is the problem in our 'system'.

9. The issue is this 'freedom' to register FIR or not register FIR, at will. To register FIR or not register FIR, under pressure or influence. Everyone is affected by these double standards. And even 'police reforms' in certain states and the introduction of commissioner system in certain states, failed to tackle the anomaly.

10. The issue of filing multiple FIRs also needs to be redressed. Though it is a fundamental right, but often, organisations with all-India presence, do it to hound a person. They are able to do it because of their network. Should such FIRs be clubbed or can it be discouraged! Can this issue be redressed?