It’s natural to admire your favourite celebrity or even a beloved TV show character. However, just this easily this admiration can sometimes cross the line into obsession, where the lives of these public figures begin to dominate our own. At what point does our curiosity blur into invasion?

In the digital era, we often perceive celebrities as intimately connected to us, despite the apparent unattainability of their glamorous lifestyles. We develop parasocial relationships with them to bridge this emotional discomfort, seeking a sense of closeness. This phenomenon has been amplified by the rise of social networking platforms, which have blurred the lines of intimacy. The documentation of celebrities’ lives on these platforms feels remarkably relatable, constructing a facade of authenticity. Through the conversational features prevalent on social media websites, audiences experience a heightened sense of closeness to celebrities, even though these celebrities may not be aware of our existence.

Loneliness holds a significant influence over our engagement with parasocial relationships. It triggers a compelling fascination that draws us deeply into the lives of celebrities. This fascination often begins when we sense a void in our own lives, an emptiness amidst the monotony of our lives. In response, we turn to the lives of celebrities in search of emotional intimacy, hoping to infuse our lives with excitement and connection. Due to this, we inadvertently project our insecurities onto these celebrities, elevating them to a pedestal of flawless perfection. What escapes our notice is that the images of these celebrities are meticulously curated by their extensive PR teams, carefully sculpting a facade that conceals their own complexities and imperfections.

Reality TV extensively capitalise on parasocial relationships, offering viewers a glimpse into the seemingly “intimate” lives of celebrities. This exposure fosters a sense of closeness and approachability, despite the conscious understanding that their lifestyles are vastly different from our own. Over time, this proximity blurs the boundaries of our social realities, leading to an unconscious feeling of ownership over these celebrities. We may start to believe we have ownership in their life decisions. It’s essential to acknowledge that celebrities should not be exempt from ethical standards but also possess the autonomy to lead their lives beyond constant public scrutiny.

The power dynamic in the music industry accentuates this phenomenon. Artists often draw inspiration from their personal experiences, leading audiences to develop a sense of ownership over what an artist chooses to reveal. Speculation about the behind-the-scenes aspects of an artist’s life becomes common, and we tend to construct narratives that satisfy our curiosity. For instance, Taylor Swift’s personal life has been intensely scrutinized by the media over the years, with numerous speculations about her relationships and feuds, despite her choosing to address these topics mainly through her music.

In 2020, when Olivia Rodrigo’s hit song “Driver’s License” was released, there was a surge of speculation surrounding the heartbreak anthem. Many people began to assume that the reference to “the blonde girl” in the song’s lyrics was connected to the love triangle involving Sabrina Carpenter, Joshua Bassett, and Olivia Rodrigo. This connection led to some individuals taking the matter quite personally, with Sabrina Carpenter and Joshua Bassett even facing death threats as a result.

In a more tragic and extreme scenario, Christina Grimmie, a singer who rose to mainstream prominence through her YouTube music covers, fell victim to a fatal shooting during a meet and greet with a self-proclaimed “fan.” These instances represent the dangerous consequences of fans who overstep boundaries, infringing upon the basic rights of celebrities and even harbouring a disturbing sense of ownership over their lives.

However, despite the dangers, parasocial relationships play a pivotal role in the journey of celebrities toward mainstream success. Public relations teams meticulously craft and nurture these connections because such bonds are fundamentally essential for artists and public figures in these industries. Relatability has become a critical expectation for all celebrities; they are anticipated to exhibit a sense of authenticity and connection with their fans. However, striking the right balance is crucial; it cannot appear too manufactured as if they are making an excessive effort to be relatable.

These expectations frequently impose a heavy burden on celebrities, blurring the lines between their personal and public lives. They grapple with the sensation of being accountable to millions of their followers. The paternalistic and controlling nature of this relationship sometimes extends into intrusive territory, leaving celebrities with limited autonomy in their decision-making over their own life.

The complex world of parasocial relationships highlights the evolving nature of our connection with celebrities in the digital age. As we seek intimacy and relatability through these relationships, we must grapple with the boundaries between genuine connection and curated persona. The power dynamics at play underscore the delicate balance between our desire for closeness and the rights of celebrities to their personal lives. In this era of hyperconnectivity and ever-evolving media, perhaps it’s time for us to closely analyze the effects of being chronically online and navigate such challenges through a grounded lens.

Image Credits: iStock


Sri Sidhvi Dindi

[email protected]


Here’s taking a look back at all the celebrity appearances to close off the session 2019-20. From politicians, to musicians, DU Beat presents to you celebrity highlights of the year. 



1. Shashi Tharoor interacts with students on the eve of DUSU Elections


The NSUI along with Kerala Students Union on the occasion of the DUSU Elections 2019, organised a student interaction session with Dr. Shashi Tharoor on 4th September. Several questions were asked to Dr. Tharoor and he dealt with every question patiently. He also talked about demonetization, National Register of Citizens (NRC) Bill, and the Kashmir issue. Dr. Shashi Tharoor concluded the session by giving some advice to the students. He told them to not compete with others but with themselves; and that failure was a part of life, that without it there was no success.




1. Workshop with ‘Little Things’ Star Dhruv Sehgal

Dhruv Sehgal_Hitesh

Rose to fame from Filter Copy and Little Things, actor and writer Dhruv Sehgal conducted a workshop on creative writing at Indian Youth Conclave on 31st August 2019, which helped the aspiring writers to ace writing skills. He stressed on making observations which are free of cost, how everyone has a story, and how the blank pages are the best instrument for writers. Dhruv also highlighted the diversified and stark competition in the web series business, and insisted on the importance of following the rules which flourish creativity as opposed to the millennial’s obsession of breaking them.




 1. The Trinity of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy at Rendezvous


The famous Indian musical trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy performed magnificently at Rendezvous: The annual cultural festival of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD) on 2nd October 2019. The trinity which completed 20 years in the industry interacted with the audience and made them groove at their beats and rhythms. They performed their classical hits such as Locha-e-ulfat, Mitwa, and Dil Chahta Hai which made the audience take a trip to nostalgia of the 2000s. Saving the best for the last, the trio concluded their performance with  Phir Bhi Dil hai Hindustani and Breathless.


2.  Moonwalk Magicians MJ5 at Rendezvous


The winner of India’s Dancing Superstar- MJ5 gave a riveting performance at day two- on 3rd October 2019 at Rendezvous: The annual cultural festival of IIT Delhi. The boy dance group is famous for its unique variations, formed from the inspiration of the famous pop icon Michael Jackson. The record holder group enthralled the audience with their beautiful synchronisation and smooth moonwalks. They also engaged with the crowd and got them grooving along with their performance. They put together a series of classic Michael Jackson steps along with some famous bollywood mixes for the audience to be entertained.


3. Amit Trivedi Steals The Night At Rendezvous


Singer, composer and lyricist, Amit Trivedi performed on 5th October 2019, the fourth and final day of Rendezvous at IIT Delhi, with his team consisting of Meghna Mishra who sang in Secret Superstar, and others. He swooned the audience with his majestic compositions from Udta Punjab, Manmarzyaan, Andhadhun, Dear Zindagi, and others. The audience was bewitched at the Coke Studio renditions of Chaudhary and Badri Badariya by the singer and his team. The mesmerising synchronisation of the harmony of the artists brought the night to an end in a way which was a memorable experience.


4. Laxmi Agarwal Gets Candid at Rendezvous


Acid attack survivor and a campaigner for rights, Laxmi Agarwal spoke candidly at Rendezvous at an event called FAIL. This was initially conceptualised in MIT, but had a desi side to it by having successful Indian speakers- talking about their failures in life. Laxmi was the first speaker and she had her audience hooked to her, for her life story was captivating. She told about her journey candidly: How she was spewed with acid at the age of 15, and how she came out of that as a warrior. She has started a campaign called Save Sale Acid, and has never looked back in her life.


5.  Rajat Sharma Engages at Rendezvous


Chairman and Editor-in-chief at India TV, Rajat Sharma spoke at the event FAIL in which successful people share their failure stories. The Aap Ki Adalat host addressed the public in a different manner than other speakers and had a lot of interactive dialogues with them. The journalist also asked a lot of questions to the audience to keep them engaged, and shared his life story with them. His speech concluded his life journey and left the audience inspired.


6. Poetic Mehfil By Kumar Vishwas At Rendezvous


Poet and politician Kumar Vishwas won hearts on day three- 4th October 2019, of the annual cultural fest of IIT Delhi: Rendezvous. The poet recited a series of poems having a satirical hint to it and took jabs at the government during his show. He performed his ever famous poem Koi Deewana Kehta Hai and Ek Pagli Ladki Ke Bin which had the audience hooked from the charm of his endearing and mesmerising poetry recitals. 




1.DJ Trinity Rocks At Antaragni’19


DJ Gian Nobilee, DJ Bonka, and DJ Ravator gave a rocking performance at Antaragni’19, the annual cultural festival of IIT Kanpur on the opening day- 17th October 2019. The EDM artists who have names around the globe, pounded the campus with some hard beats. His Italian music inclination, featuring live energy and electronic music had the crowd grooving to his amazing beats. The popular remixes by the DJ trio was the highlight of their performance and was much awaited by their fans.


2. Jab ‘Chai Met Toast’ Met Antaragni’s Crowd 


Performance by the celebrated Indie pop band-When Chai Met Toast at Antaragni, IIT Kanpur, left everyone mesmerised. The young band, which hails from Kochi is known for mixing sounds from across East and West. The uniqueness in their style was reciprocated by a huge fanbase in the crowd. With their tracks like Firefly and Believe,’ they made the crowd intoxicated and thrilled with their music which had made a soulful connection with them.


3. Rap Hustle At Antaragni’19


At IIT Kanpur’s annual cultural festival Antaragni, took place the Rap Hustle between famous Indian hustlers like Kaam Bhari, Spitfire and SlowCheetah. The talented rappers jammed with the audience and had them awestruck with their rhymes and lyrics. Loud cheer followed every hard hitting lyric and their beats dropped with applause and charged up reactions. The arena was filled up to its brim, and so was the excitement among the attendees at the festival who enjoyed every bit of the battle.


4. Karunesh Talwar’s Hilarious Monologue At IIT Kanpur


The annual festival of IIT Kanpur- Antaragni, included a hilarious performance by the acclaimed Indian stand-up comic, Karunesh Talwar. The creator of stand-up specials like, Paka Mat Na Mote’ and ‘Pata Nahi Par Bolna Hai’ made the audience break into laughter and giggles throughout his performance. The former member of the popular comedy group AIB, delivered the whole crowd some hysterical jokes and anecdotal stories which had the crowd side splitting. The comedian with his perfect timing had his audience cracking up the entire time.


5. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Trio Closes Antaragni’19


The highly acclaimed musical trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy in their own magical way, closed Antaragni- the annual cultural festival of IIT Kanpur on day four- 20th October 2019, with their strong, energetic, and eclectic performance.  As expected, the performance saw an overwhelming crowd and an exhilarating performance by the band, which had everyone rooting for them throughout. The band played a host of their famous tracks and the audience danced to the tunes of their famous songs including Sajdaa, Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe, Pretty Woman, Zinda and Gallan Goodiyan.




1. Prominent Filmmaker Imtiaz Ali Talks At Oasis’19

Imtiaz Ali_RishabhGogoi

The 49th edition of BITS Pilani’s flagship cultural festival, Oasis, held huge and star-studded events, and on 20th October 2019, saw the inauguration of the BITS film festival by Highway and Rockstar-director Imtiaz Ali. The director known for his work at redefining modern love in contemporary times had everyone transfixed when he communicated with them. Ali talked in detail and depth about his experiences with Oasis and reminisced about his student days. He also talked about handling rejections, among other matters which waved a sense of positivity in the atmosphere.


2. Sunidhi Chauhan Wins Hearts At Oasis’19


Sunidhi Chauhan, the queen of power ballads in Bollywood, gave the audience at BITS Pilani a whiff of nostalgia as she performed her classic songs from the 2000s and 2010s. Her performance drove the crowd to pure madness as she and her team of harmonized and whipped out their best moves together. Their synchronisation was top notch. The entire crowd danced all night and just  couldn’t have enough of the singing diva.


3. Nucleya Hits EDM At Oasis’19


The EDM sensation of India-Nucleya, arrived at the BITS’19 cultural festival-Oasis, to give a powerful performance. Along with his desi brand of dubstep which is a major aspect of making his performance lively, were the trippy, random, and vintage Bollywood inspired visuals playing on the colossal stage screens. The credit for these designs goes to the EDM Maestro Nucleya’s frequent designer, Diprav Jadhav. With tracks from acclaimed albums like Raja Baja and Bass Rani, the DJ gave a splendid performance and be it the track Heer or Laung Gawacha, the crowd absolutely loved him.


4. BITS Brings Biswa To Perform At Oasis’19


The hilarious stand-up comic Biswa Kalyan Rath performed on the last day of the festival Oasis at BITS Pilani. The house was filled to its brim with spectators even occupying the floors. Mast Aadmi‘- Biswa went on with his banter on engineering students, Indian civic sense, and other matters, leaving the audience in fits of laughter. The engineer turned comedian has not only come up with stand-up specials like In Your Face’ and ‘Sushi, but also has created the web series Lakhon Mein Ek that showcase the dark realities of our society.




1. Jass Manak Gives a Sweet-sounding Performance


Jass Manak, a famous singer-songwriter, performed at Symphony, the annual cultural fest of Janki Devi Memorial College on the 10th  January 2020. His fans welcomed him on stage with posters and portraits. The audience was riveted by the Punjabi singer’s performance as he made everyone in the audience sync their steps with songs like Lehenga, Prada, Kajra Mohabbat Wala, Viah and many other Bollywood songs. The students of Janki Devi Memorial College were seen holding banners to stand against violence in educational institutions which was the theme of Symphony 2020. 




1. Harsimrat Kaur Badal Speaks about Women Empowerment


Member of Parliament, Bhatinda, and Union Cabinet Minister of Food Processing, Harsimrat Kaur Badal gave a speech on the empowerment of women and their rights on February 12th. She talked about the struggles she had to endure to be where she is today along with the struggles of many other brave women fighting for education. She pointed out how the majority of women in India are married against their wishes. She also took a minute to talk about her journey with Nanhi Chhaan movement to help women in Punjab.


2. Cast of College Romance Enlightens Everyone at Business Conclave


Three actors from the cast of web series ‘College Romance’ namely Shreya Mehta, Gagan Arora and Keshav Sadhna were a part of the YouTubers’ Panel at Business Conclave 2020. The actors discussed how YouTube is an extremely welcoming platform for aspiring content creators. They also pointed out the importance of originality and how relatable content gets noticed relatively more quickly. After the discussion ended, the audience asked several questions from the panelists such as the progress of season 2 of College Romance. On being asked about their political views, the three actors took a pass and politely asked the mediator of the panel to not bring politics into the picture. 


3. Comedian Aakash Gupta Gives a Hilarious Monologue

AakashGupta compress

Aakash Gupta, the winner of Comicstaan season 2, enchanted the audience with his wit and sarcasm on 13th February. The gymnasium of Shri Ram College of Commerce roared with laughter on account of Aakash Gupta’s hilarious imitations of people sneezing and laughing in the most unusual ways. He left the audience hooting with laughter as he went on to explain his crazy escapades in Delhi. Day two came to an end with the audience dying with laughter and it was a day full of entertainment.


4. Gautam Gambhir Gives a Noteworthy Speech at Business Conclave


Gautam Gambhir, an ex-cricketer turned politician, talked about his journey in the field of politics and addressed the audience about Bharatiya Janata Party’s  (BJP) recent defeat in Delhi Assembly Elections despite the party’s innumerable attempts to win the elections. He stated that no politician should ever be thanked for it is the duty of a politician to help the masses. The Padma Shree Awardee also pointed out the importance of self-motivation. He apprised the audience about his accountability to not just his constituency but all other constituencies that his party contested for.


5. Kapil Sharma Apprises the Audience at SRCC


Kapil Sharma, a prominent comedian in the television industry engages with the audience at Business Conclave on 14th February. In his speech, he stressed on the importance of writing part of a show and how the plot is among the most important factors that contribute to the success of a show. While giving the speech, he was reminded of his own college days in Amritsar. The comedian turned actor was also a part of his college theatre group which led him to pursue his dreams that later turned into a reality. The panel ended with a bunch of zealous students jamming on stage with Kapil on a rap song


6. Prajakta Koli Distinctly Converses with the Audience


Prajakta Koli, a renowned content creator and YouTuber who goes by the name of ‘Mostly Sane’, was welcomed on stage. She began to talk about her experiments with different fields and trying her hands on various careers. She started off as a radio intern and later explored content creation which worked out extremely well for her. She went on to become one of the most famous YouTubers in India. She mentioned that she was in collaboration with Lily Singh who is better known as the Superwoman. She described an indescribable moment of her life which was having tea with Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the US. She also highlighted problems in her career as such YouTube censorship. The audience was given a chance to interact with her and on special request, she enacted her character Montu for all her fans in the audience.


7. Kapil Sibbal Engages with the Audience at Business Conclave


KapilSibal, a renowned politician of the Indian National Congress and a Member of Parliament began his speech by mentioning how his family came to India after the Partition. He shed light upon the importance of freedom of the youth and the education system which seemed to have innumerable downsides. The Rajya Sabha MP also claimed that on the orders of the NDA government, educational institutions were ruthlessly ransacked where students were attacked. He could not stress enough on the importance of expression of dissent in a democratic country. He was hopeful about the country electing better leaders and better vice-chancellors of universities.




1. Darshan Raval’s Exuberant Performance at Rhapsody’20


The students of Delhi University were enthralled by Darshan Rawal’s performance on the 21st of January at Rhapsody, the annual cultural fest of Maitreyi College. Despite the strict entry procedure, Maitreyi College resonated with Darshan Raval’s captivating voice. He started off with a few romantic songs and later went on to sing party songs like ‘Kamariya’ and ‘Chogada’ to make his zealous audience dance. The 25-year-old singer also dedicated songs to boys in the audience. He also gave challenged everyone in the audience to match the steps of his team. However, Darshan’s energy was unmatchable and his power-packed performance made Rhapsody’20 a memorable one.




1. Rahul Subramanian Performs a stand-up at One Plus Comedy Night


Stand-up comic Rahul Subramanian performed at the pre event of the cultural fest of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies- Crescendo in association with One Plus on 25th January 2020. Amidst skepticism of cancellation, the show took place and Subramanian showed up casually with minimal efforts in appearance, and performed a spoof of his Amazon prime show ‘Kal Main Udega.’ He made jokes about DJs and how his life was as a  management student in Greater Noida. He also interacted with the audience for most of the time and did improvisations.




1. Fusion band Pakshee grooves in Udgam at Ramjas College


Ramjas College celebrated its annual cultural fest, ‘Udgam’ that was collectively organised by the college’s five cultural societies. The highlight of the fest was the performance by Pakshee, a Hindustani and Carnatic fusion band on 27th February. The performance by the band was electrifying and the students loved the unique beats of the band. The band members themselves were thrilled to see such an excited audience. With the band’s performance, the fest culminated. The performance was enjoyed by over 200 students that attended the ‘Star Night’.




1. The Yellow Diary Rocks The Evening At Nexus


One of the best indie bands: The Yellow Diary performed at the inaugural day of Nexus- the annual cultural festival of Sri Venkateswara College on 28th February 2020. They had the audience captivated by their fusion rock music and soothing synchronisation of Rajan Batra’s voice with instruments of the band. They uplifted the crowd with their performance of popular songs like Rab Rakha, Marz, and Tere Jaisa Hor Dissa among others. They saved the best for last and sang Kashmir which was much awaited by the fans. The band also distributed free T-shirts to some fans at the end of the show.


2. Ankit Tiwari Gives a Dazzling Performance at Nexus


The singer, music director and composer, Ankit Tiwari enthralled the audience at Nexus- the annual cultural festival of Sri Venkateswara College on 29th February 2020. Even in the midst of intermittent raining and delay the crowd was large and awaited the presence of this bollywood singer. Tiwari sang Bollywood blues and got the audience to sway especially when he sang his USP song of Aashiqui-2, Sun Raha Hai Na Tu. The singer also invited students to join him and sing on the stage and the vibe was celebratory.


Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat

Image Credits: DU Beat

Umaima Khanam 

[email protected]

Suhani Malhotra 

[email protected] 

Aniket Singh Chauhan 

[email protected]

Avni Dhawan

[email protected]





Disclaimer: This is a work of opinion, and views highlighted are limited to the writer. Any resemblance is not coincidental but an intentional attempt at satire, without any desire to defame. Reader’s discretion is advised.

Are you guilty of knowing what kind of stucco or flooring Katrina Kaif has, or how dazzling Ayushman Khurana’s trophy display cabinet is, or do you have a head going ‘Coronaviiiiruuuss’ like Cardi B every random second? If you test positive with affirmation to the above mentioned questions, then you my friend- are not alone!

Everytime things go down- socially, politically or economically in that order of importance, the media reaches these celebrities with Flash’s speed to get their comments. No wonder they mostly refrain from speaking, because judging without generalising from their increased shared screen time with fans these days- (Courtesy: COVID-19), their blinding insensitivity peeks from time to time which they try to hide, or subconsciously let out from their interactions which are awaited by their millions of fans.

Bollywood star Katrina Kaif was found brooming, what was visibly an already cleaned floor, and the scene was as good as her acting. The ‘all time favourite’ sweep however, still credits to Hema Malini, for her awesome pitchforking on the roads outside the parliament in 2019.

image-2 Vicky Kaushal

Image Source: Instagram/vickykaushal09

Actor Vicky Kaushal also put together efforts to dust an already clean fan while flaunting his height. Well maybe he did clean it, but showed us half of the video?

image-1 kaif

Image Source: Desimartini

The attempts of these actors to relate with their fans to show how similar they have become to us, and how we are all in the same boat is a catch-22. They are clearly on a cruise, we are in the boat, and yet there are others in the ocean without life jackets, and just about anyone can sink against the odds.

We are in the middle of a pandemic, and our coping mechanisms vary significantly due to our privileges. While some A-listers like Ellen DeGeneres compare their million dollar mansions to prisons, some like Ali Sethi appear regularly on instagram lives to dissolve boundaries, and unite folks for the love of classical music renditions.

While this article could have been about migrant labourers, or status of vaccine for COVID-19, or doctor’s plight amidst the pandemic, among various other things, and the lost opportunity cost is regrettable. How many of those in whom we find recluse tell us about things which actually matter? Ignorance is a bliss, until you are not the subject of it, and while big shots may put up random TikToks, which may lighten your mood, or ease you in oblivion- someone dies, or starves or just longs to go home on your peripheral. In such times it’s important to remember that- we all may not be in the same boat, but all of us maybe at the brink of sinking in the same ocean!

Feature Image Credits: VICE India

Umaima Khanam

[email protected]

This piece is an overview of Stan culture in India, from the lens of Bollywood Stan Twitter.

The way in which pop culture has been consumed in 2010s has changed the landscape of, what means to be a fan of an entity or a production. Social media has drafted a hyper reality based conundrum, which is responsible for bridging the gap between the idol and the fan but, stitching itself into the aggressiveness and hostility of online trolls.

Stan Twitter is a section of Twitter dedicated to celebrities, even to the most harmful lengths. It is a by-product of a widespread Stan culture, which took its roots in the appreciation and love for a person, but has now reared its ugly head to become a pressing issue for those who surf the Internet.

While some say the term is a combination of a “fan” and “stalker,” “Stan” was first coined in 2000, when Eminem dropped a twisted allegory in a song called Stan, about a man who was pushed to the edge when his idol wouldn’t answer his fan mail. The word used to be synonymous with overzealous or obsessed. But nearly 20 years later, it’s become a badge of honour for fans, who show enough commitment to go all out for their favourite star on the Internet.

Bollywood Stan Twitter, contrary to popular opinion, consists of a worldwide audience, all of whom are part of pockets of fandoms where they spend time celebrating their favourite artists.

In the conditions of anonymity, a Stan Twitter user said, “I once tweeted that I didn’t think Tamasha was a good enough movie that warrants such appreciation. Never had I thought, that a harmless opinion I had tweeted out whilst in a conversation with a friend would become a source of violent threats, from the fans of the movie; ranging from death to me and my family.”

They added, “Twitter has blessed me with some really good friends but after a point it got extremely toxic for me and started to affect my mental health real bad. For instance, I tweeted about Salman Khan’s criminal records once and his fans crowded my mentions with rape threats. I had to lock my account and delete it for awhile. The place is filled with negativity and, yet most of us are addicted.”

Kalyan, who has been a part of Bollywood Stan Twitter for 7 years now said, “Stan Twitter is a great bonding experience for us, a kind of escape from our gruelling personal lives where we can find dependable friendships. However, it gets taxing because of the blind way people defend their idols, despite their wrongdoings. There’s both a negative and positive side to it, both of which can’t be discounted.”

It’s a rarity that fans ever hold their idols accountable, in a lexicon as infused by toxicity and immaturity. However, little over a year ago, fans of actress, Deepika Padukone, started a trend, #notmydeepika after she and Ranbir Kapoor, were spotted with Luv Ranjan, a director who’s been accused of sexual harassment and is infamous for his movies based on misogynistic ideals. The trend reached national publications and, as of today, Deepika is not doing the movie, even though Ranbir is.

This entire Culture raises some pressing questions, “Why do these things happen? Why do hordes of fans maliciously attack critics? Why do Stans behave in such an obsessive manner?”

Haaniyah, Culture Critic explains, “Some say that social media is to blame and that isn’t a completely ludicrous view. As stated earlier, Stans existed long before the age of the Internet, but the anonymity and the mass reach of social media, allows harassment and stalking to be extremely harmful while sheltering them from consequences. You can’t get a restraining order against an anonymous person who could use various accounts to stalk you. If Stans are harassing those critiquing their favourite celebrity, blocks may prove futile, as they could make uncountable new accounts, and online harassment may continue until the aggressors get bored or the target finally gives in and deletes their account, whatever.”

The over-saturation and popularisation of Standom has cemented a kind of obsessive behaviour that earlier existed at the fringes of society – one which was punishable by law, by the widespread nature of social media prohibits that too. The invasion of privacy, obsessive fantasies, aggression and possessiveness, absolute disregard for others’ well being- these are not the marks of a true fan. Stan Twitter, however, will troll me for saying this.

Feature Image Credits: NME

Paridhi Puri

[email protected]