By Dushyant Shekhawat Feb. 01, 2018
It boggles the mind to think that India’s most adored superstar could be so touchy about something as superficial as a Twitter follower count. But losing those followers seems to have hurt AB more than the Bofors allegations and Nishabd combined.
If you held a gun to any foreigner’s head and forced them to name a famous Indian, the odds of them replying “Amitabh Bachchan” are very good indeed. The Big B is a legit international superstar, a living legend, and lest we forget, also 75 years old. He’s been in the Bollywood limelight since the ’70s, and has managed to remain king of the hill even in 2018. With the advent of social media, he converted his celebrity status into influencer status, quickly becoming the most followed Indian on Twitter.
Despite winning so many accolades during his career that there is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to cataloguing his accomplishments, Bachchan seemed to treasure his Most Followed status more dearly than any number of Lifetime Achievement awards. For good reason too. He’s upended every stereotype of the elderly not being social media savvy… But only as far as the number of followers is concerned.
Because as even the briefest adventure (and it is certainly an adventure) into his social media profiles will prove, his understanding of the world of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is exactly what you’d expect out of your septuagenarian grandfather.
Our beloved gramps, Amitabh Bachchan had a bit of an episode today, when he lost pole position on the Most Followed charts to the upstart Shah Rukh Khan. This probably stirred up unpleasant flashbacks to the plot of Mohabbatein, and Bachchan posted a very upset tweet declaring that it was “time to get off” Twitter since they’d reduced the number of his followers. Losing those followers seems to have hurt him more than the Bofors allegations and Nishabd combined, but as of the time of writing, Big B is still on Twitter. My guess is if you walked into Jalsa right now you’d hear an unmistakable baritone crying out, “Arré Abhishek! Yeh Twitter account delete kaise karte hain?”
If Bachchan actually follows through on his threat of quitting Twitter, it would be a sad day for the platform, which will lose a gold mine of unintentional comedy.
It boggles the mind to think that one of, if not the most adored superstars in the country could be so touchy about something as superficial as a Twitter follower count. But AB takes Twitter very seriously. Just like your nana expects a Thank You note after he hands you an envelope on Diwali, Amitabh Bachchan thinks it’s only proper to courteously reply to him when he wishes anyone “Happy Birthday”. If you don’t, he’ll take you to task on, where else, Twitter, and it doesn’t matter if you’re Ranveer Singh or Shilpa Shetty. Big B also diligently numbers his tweets, so he can accurately track his descent into dotage by his timeline.
If Bachchan actually follows through on his threat of quitting Twitter, it would be a sad day for the platform, which will lose a gold mine of unintentional comedy. Even Yours Truly would be sad to see him go. Amitabh is also on Facebook and Instagram, and is as much of a clueless granddad on those as well, so at least there’s a sliver of hope. A possible reason for the decline in AB’s followers could be Twitter cracking down on fake accounts. I wonder why a man who has a literal temple built in his name needs to rely on bots when he has IRL devotees?
To that question, only Amitabh Bachchan has the answer. I think the best way to sum up his approach to Twitter would be to paraphrase one his own dialogues: “Asliyat mein toh hum Bollywood legend lagte hain, magar handle hai @SrBachchan.”