Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Celebrities have millions of followers on various social media platforms. In 2020, some of the stars managed to gain more traction than others owing to controversial statements they made as well as important announcements.
Here’s IANS list of the year’s biggest social media celebrities:
SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT
His death played out like loud drama on news TV, and the fallout was direct on social media. Fan clubs took over, venting ire on everyone from his girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty, to her mentor Mahesh Bhatt to Bollywood’s nepotism brigade. No one was spared.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.
As Sushant’s family members — particularly, sister Shweta Singh Kirti — went viral on a daily basis sharing nostalgia and updates about the investigation of his death, others like Kangana Ranaut, Ankita Lokhande, and Shekhar Suman got big hits on their respective social media pages by simply discussing or posting about Sushant. #Justiceforsushant began trending soon after his death on June 14 and continues to be a discussed topic six months after his death, as the probe is still on. Sushant must be a rare celebrity who became a bigger social media celebrity after death than he was while he lived.
For years, her social media accounts had been handled by her team. In 2020, she decided to join Twitter saying: “This year, I have seen the power of social media, and I observed that how the whole world has come together in the fight for Sushant (Singh Rajput), and we have gained success… All this has given me a lot of hope, and I have an aspiration that through this we can launch reforms for new India… and that is the reason for the first time I have come on Twitter.”
Ever since she took over managing her social media, she either won hearts or got slammed by people, including her fraternity members for sharing her strong opinions on nepotism, drug menace in Bollywood, and more. Her latest war on Twitter is ongoing, with Punjabi star Diljit Dosanjh over farmers’ protest.
Soon after Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in June, many celebrities expressed their grief on social media. Karan was one of them. But the tribute didn’t go down too well with the late actor’s fans amidst the whole nepotism debate. The filmmaker, who has worked with many star kids like Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, and Ananya Panday, was slammed for casting celebrities’ children and not talented outsiders like Sushant. In fact, Karan continues to be targeted online. Whenever he posts about his personal or professional life on social media, Sushant’s fans remind Karan about the late actor.
In August, a trade expert announced on Twitter that Sanjay Dutt has been diagnosed with lung cancer. While some netizens wished for his speedy recovery, others didn’t have kind words to say and trolled him for being a star kid and former drug addict. Around the same time, the trailer of his film “Sadak 2”, also starring Alia Bhatt, was unveiled.
Amid the raging talk of nepotism, the trailer got instant dislikes. Netizens made fun of it with memes. Then in October, Sanjay shared with his fans that he had “come out victorious” in his battle with cancer. Some alleged that all this while he was “faking” his illness, but most people showered him with warm wishes. In any case, the widespread reaction he drew made Dutt one of the most-discussed Indian celebrities online this year.
Well, talking about fakes, singer Neha Kakkar, who has over 50 million fans on Instagram, knows how to do it in style. She recently made headlines by posting her photo with a pregnant belly. It turned out to be a fake stunt, to promote a new song. Just weeks before, Neha was the talk of the town for marrying singer Rohanpreet Singh. Before the marriage ceremony photos came out, many thought it was just a gimmick, as earlier she was involved in a wedding publicity stunt with singer-show host Aditya Narayan.
With a strong “ARMY” of fans constantly backing them, the South Korean boy band is generally among the biggest topics of discussion on social media. This year was more special as they created history. The band, comprising RM, Jin, Jimin, V, Suga, and Jungkook, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Dynamite”. It is their first single sung entirely in English.
Fans poured their love and celebrated the achievement by talking about it on social media platforms. A few weeks ago, they earned a 2021 Grammy Awards nomination in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category. As much as it was a dream for the band to get nominated in a major Grammy category, it was a big moment for their admirers too. What’s more? Their new single “Life goes on” also bagged the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100.
The “Black Panther” star died in August after silently fighting colon cancer. The final tweet, posted on his verified account, announcing his demise got as many as 7.5 million likes. Many left RIP messages including his “Avengers” co-star Mark Ruffalo, who commented: “It was the highest honor getting to work with you and getting to know you. What a generous and sincere human being. You believed in the sacred nature of the work and gave your all. Much love to your family. And much love from all of us left here.”
In September, the “Captain America” star posted an explicit photo by mistake. Even though it was quickly deleted, it got many reactions on social media. He didn’t immediately address it, but days later he tweeted: “Now that I have your attention.VOTE Nov 3rd!” That again became a popular tweet. It got about 1.2 million likes.
Earlier this month, the “Black Panther” star shared a post on the Covid-19 vaccine. The video tweeted by her featured host Tomi Arayomi expressing skepticism about vaccines in general and specifically the one for the coronavirus. Netizens soon criticized her for sharing the video. She seemed to be taking all the criticism well for some time as she went on to respond to many fan messages. But soon, she deleted her Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The “Juno” star, formerly known as Ellen Page, recently came out as transgender and introduced himself as Elliot Page. The tweet got 1.8 million likes, and the news was received warmly by many. Some heaped praise on him for being an “inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people”. (IANS)
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.