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Has social media campaign against Ranveer Singh affected prospects of movie ’83’?

Last Updated on December 29, 2021 at 6:47 pm

A ghost which was burried in the past seem to have come out of its grave to haunt popular bollywood actor Ranveer Singh once again.

After being mired in delays on numerous occasions in the past, finally, just when the film ’83’- based on India’s first win in cricket World Cup in 1983 hit theaters on the eve of Christmas this past week, coinciding the release, a hashtag ‘boycott 83’ has also started trending on Twitter with users spewing venom against the actor and his latest flick calling for its complete boycott.

Ranveer singh movie 83

Infact, it had become one of the top trends on the microblogging website- Twitter recently. 

The users targeted Ranveer Singh for his alleged mocking (as claimed by them) of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput in a television advertisement of a chips making company wherein former was seen replying to elders by using physics terms in a gibberish sentence.

Sushant Singh Rajput was known for his inclination towards physics and often delivered insighful speeches on the subject on different platforms. 

The advertisement was released last year when the actor had drawn flak from SSR fans back then as well. Since, the film has released this past week, the netizens (read fans of SSR) who had taken it as an insult to their idol and ‘great’ actor, now want to avenge by boycotting the film starring Ranveer Singh.

Now that the collections of the film has not done as good as one would have expected especially for a Christmas and year-end release; the actor would have wished this ghost away atleast for this moment let alone be exorcised permanently. 

If this incident and similar numerous others were to be dissected, we would discover that as a society we are not only at the cusp of witnessing a dangerous trend setting in which in it’s all likelihood will become a norm gradually.

Now by just sitting at the comfort of your house, you can simply start a ‘hashtag’ to either ravage- deriding the importance of years of labour and hard work or catapult somebody’s  career to the top of charts in a matter of minutes.

A trending hashtag on social media platforms is more like a double-edged sword that can either make or destroy careers. It’s a weapon and empowers you when used judiciously or simply ends up making you vulnerable.

Cricket is like a religion in India and cricketers are accorded status of demi-gods and fans not only adore them but venerate them with utmost devotion. And when two great actors of contemporary Indian cinema would essay roles of two legendary cricketers; Sushant Singh Rajput played role of Mahendar Singh Dhoni in MS Dhoni- untold story in 2016 and now Ranveer Singh played Kapil Dev in ’83’, there would certainly be comparisons and daggers are bound to be drawn.

Let alone the performances, fans of these two actors have even been comparing the daily collections of the movies and taking potshots at each other. Unarguably, these hashtags or tweets certainly have the potential to cause substantial damage to revenue collections of a newly released film. 

One of the netizens KIZIE #Justice for SushantSinghrajput tweeted: “In 2016, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story earned Rs 21 crore on first day. In 2021, 83 The film earns just Rs 10-12 crores on first day. And this Ranveer Singh was thinking that he can beat Sushant Singh Rajput’s MSD biopic”.

Another user tweeted “Ranveer Singh can do as many cricket biopics as he want, but he will never be able match the perfection level of Sushant Singh Rajput in MS Dhoni !! Because Acting needs PRACTICE /HARD WORK & NOT GANJA / DRUGS ! ! RT if you agree!” (sic)

Last year, Deepika Padukone starrer, Chhapaak was also mired in controversy after the actress visited the JNU campus to express solidarity with students at the varsity. The actress’ decision to visit JNU couple of days prior to release of her film backfired when she was subjected to netizens’ ire who not only spewed venom against her but caused substantial damage to the revenue collections of the film. And there are number of such films and artists especially in past decade and a half or so which were subjected to scrutiny of netizens who in turn decided their future. 

While the constitution of India accords us the right to freedom of speech and expression but it needs to exercised in judicious and responsible manner. But after the advent of world wide web (internet) and especially after social media platform have come into vogue, it has provided us opportunity to express and share our opinion or perspective on any local, regional, national or international concern openly.

But in the absence of a proper mechanism to ensure surveillance and regulation of content on online platforms, users often without any fear of being caught or penalised have started misusing them now. Apart from originating at individual level, social media platforms are being used by political and religious groups to propagate or neutralise a particular controversy or ideology.

An unfettered and plethora of hate is being spread on these platforms on daily basis. We are into a technologically transitionary phase now and concrete measures have to be taken before we get accustomed to these “hate-mongering hashtags” before they become norm.