"India will teach you a lesson."
"Everyone should block Deepika."
Ever since Chhapaak actress Deepika Padukone chose to stop by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to show solidarity with the students following the violence, chaos, and eventually the protests in the capital, a section of Twitterati in India has taken it upon themselves to teach the leading actress of Hindi film industry a "lesson".
For this, hordes of outraged netizens have come forth to "block" and "unfollow" the actress on Twitter, who is followed by nearly 29 million fans on the micro-blogging website.
Not only this, the enraged public went one step ahead and "tagged" the brands on Twitter that Deepika endorses and demanded to know if they were in approval of the actress's solidarity with the "anti-nationals" at the JNU.
Since then, #BoycottChhapaak and #BlockDeepika have been the top trending hashtags in the country.
Hello friends, 🙏🙏Please block this two-fetched actress Deepika Padukone and stop watching its films. @deepikapadukone #Chhappak #boycottbollywood #boycottdeepika #boycottchhapaak Jai shree Ram 🚩🚩🚩 pic.twitter.com/gVK41hpRkQ— 🇮🇳कृष्णा चौधरी आंजनेय 🔰🚩💪 (@Krishana_Aanjna) January 7, 2020
Blocked @deepikapadukoneCountry is important for me not actress who stands with anti nationalists..#DeepikaPadukone you have not lost your fans only .. You have lost the all the respect today..#boycottbollywood #BoycottChhapaak pic.twitter.com/1zIvn800fC— Vinita Hindustani🇮🇳 (@Being_Vinita) January 7, 2020
Did Deepika risk it all given her movie Chhapaak (which she is also producing) is only a couple of days from release? Probably.
Does she have to worry about the mass "unfollowing" and block brigade that is after her on Twitter? Probably not.
Because as per Socialblade - a website that tracks social media analytics, Deepika has seen a steady growth in followers in the past week on Twitter. In fact, even after her appearance at JNU, the actress has gained double the followers than those who follow her on the "usual" days.
However, on Wednesday, a day after #BoycottChhapaak was coined, Deepika's following list got a massive boost with approximately 40k followers on the platform.
But why has the online outrage been in stark contrast with the climbing numbers of followers subscribing to Deepika's Twitter feed?
The answer may lie in the hashtag #IStandWithDeepika, which was started by colleagues, fans and social commentators alike, as a counter to #BoycottChhapaak and #BlockDeepika trends on the website.
The fact that Deepika chose to take a stand despite the obvious ramifications and the dreadful past when she was subjected to death threats during the release of Padmaavat, was hailed as a "brave" and "bold" move by several eminent personalities on social media.
Thank you @deepikapadukone for giving this movement a mainstream narrative. For using your position to choose the correct path. It always comes to the women and yes, they do deliver! Big love sister! #WeAreWithJNU #noplaceforfascism— Sayani Gupta (@sayanigupta) January 7, 2020
As producer today @deepikapadukone would’ve been standing in the preview theatres in Mumbai waiting to hear praise being showered on her maiden production. She instead chose to stand in solidarity with #JNUstudents knowing fully well the ramifications of her actions. #RESPECT— Nikkhil Advani (@nikkhiladvani) January 7, 2020