A lot of us probably read about the flurry of star activity on Twitter recently when Bollywood stars reacted to Osama Bin Laden being killed at long last by American forces. While most in the Hindi movie industry hailed and cheered the death of an arch villain, there were some Bollywood celebrities who made some very pertinent comments on Twitter –
In his characteristically blunt style, Mahesh Bhatt asked “While you ‘rightfully’ celebrate the killing of Osama Bin Laden, who will hang the other terrorist George ‘Butcher’ Bush?”
Minissha Lamba expressed cynicism upon the rather convenient timing of the killing “Osama is dead. Second term guaranteed for Obama. Trust Americans to steal the world’s attention away from the royal wedding. Interesting timing,”
Rahul Bose seemed to be the voice of moderation when he tweeted “Am hoping a sense of balance is maintained in the US at the Osama news. Closure is good, revenge isn’t.“
Bollywood stars now seem to have firmly accepted the idea that internet is a great and powerful way for them to reach out to and keep in touch with their fans. It is a way for them to speak directly and communicate with their fans which is which is something that has caught on in a big way with the public.
For those of us who are not familiar with twitter, it is a tool for people to follow what other people are doing. You have a limited number of characters to describe what you are doing, reading, thinking or just express an opinion or an idea that you had.
It is open access SMSing and is known as the internet’s SMS. A lot of Bollywood beauties are using twitter to create quite a flutter, with Priyanka Chopra, Mallika Sherawat, Soman Kapoor and Lara Dutta all tweeting and twittering and competing with each other to see who has the most followers.
This is the way for stars to convey their sentiments about important issues; such as when Amitabh Bachchan writes so emotively and eloquently on his personal blog about various occurrences of national significance.
Then of course there is all the petty backbiting and the name calling and the public squabbling on star blogs that people seem to find riveting; such as when Amir Khan announced on his blog that his dog was called Shah Rukh.
Actors also use their blogs to issue clarifications and explain questionable behavior. They share their likes, dislikes, (Aamir loves tennis and other sport for instance and loves going to Roland Garos) their peeves and their passions, and the readers just cannot get enough! Witness the thousands of comments people make on these blogs!
Such star blogs invite the kind of hits, readership and comments that most bloggers can only dream of. Successful star bloggers is another example of that old cliché, nothing succeeds like success! The fact that Amitabh Bachchan’s blog is extremely readable because he writes and updates regularly, is very articulate and comes across as a thinking, intelligent man is just a plus!
Aamir may not be as regular on his blog, but he also shares private news with his fans and readers about how he and his wife lost their baby when Kiran had a miscarriage and that he would be away from the blog for a while to give them time to ‘heal’. The outpouring of sympathy and support was only to be expected!
The Internet connects star to fan
Blogs and Twitter are a great way for stars to give out regular sound bites to an ever eager fan following. Stars twitter and tweet truisms, jokes, personal anecdotes, opinions, observations, wit and wisdom into the hearts and minds of celebrity loving India. Those with a more erudite turn of phrase, such as Mr. Bachchan write at length about things close to their hearts and share stories from their own lives, thrilling people with the idea that they are being personally spoken to, and even more thrillingly, that they are being listened to by the star himself or herself by way of the comments sections.
The internet has connected star and fan in ways never before imagined possible, and really, everyone is lovin’ it!