List of Top Twitter Indian Celebrities

Lately there has been a flurry of Indian Celebrities on twitter!
First it was Shashi Tharoor who caught everybody’s attention by being “different” net-savvy kind of Indian politician, who garnered too much attention initially, but then probably fell in controversy trap by his holy cow comments and then finally some more controversy for being open and candid – as they say “going against party lines” – which finally did cost him his cabinet seat too.
Then there was a flurry of Bollywood and Media personalities – Konkona Sen, Gul Panag, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai – so on and so on. I myself used to follow most of the Indian celebrities earlier, but then I felt that they were creating too much “noise” on my twitter page! … lately I created twitter lists for them and then burnt those list on RSS and I read it on my feed reader (probably deserve a separate post to explain). However I got luxury to “unfollow” those celebrities on twitter because of above trick. (actually felt good to unfollow a celebrity lol 😉 )
Now, lately we are seeing the gods themselves joining the twitter – likes of Shahrukh Khan, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Hrithik, Salman etc … “celebrity” is actually a very small word for these people, they enjoy nothing less than God stature in India. I think this will cause chain reaction for Indian twitter scene, causing more and more celebrities to join twitter – and hence more and more (usual) people (the aam aadmi) to join twitter too!
Anyways, I wanted to find out which Indian celebrities have most number of followers … where they stand compared to their global counterparts etc etc. I searched a little on internet but didn’t found any satisfactory result – so I knew will need to make my own list 🙁
So, here is a compilation – an excel sheet – of top twitter accounts from India. It took me a while to create this excel, but I guess it was totally worth it. (I guess I will keep updating it from time to time too.)
Note – Currently it has mostly bollywood entries only – I plan to add popular bloggers, media personalities, Indian journalists etc to make this list more complete, so do watch out this space. (if you find anyone missing, please mention on comments and I’ll add). Also, the 2nd last column in this sheet gives you the twitter link – in case you want to follow them individually. And the last columns gives you my twitter LIST link – in case you want to follow them thru LIST.
Again, this was manually created -so it doesn’t update automatically as #followers will increase/decrease in future. Here is a direct link to the sheet.
I used twitaholic to find out “Global Twit rank”, although I guess there are few more sites which provide similar service of ranking twitter users based on number of followers. The first thing I notice – American celebrities have most number of followers, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga … you have them all with more than 1 million followers. This mainly reflects the internet penetration of America. India, as we know, has the worst internet penetration of the worlds, so it is not surprising that all the celebrities of India has less than 1 million followers.
I looked up twitaholic to find what is needed to be on Top and I found –
To reach Global Top 100 – more than 1,548,258 followers are needed
To reach Global Top 200 – more than 1,126,051 followers are needed
To reach Global Top 300 – more than 570,537 followers are needed
Shashi Tharoor is the only Indian personality who is in to Top 300, I guess soon he will be joined by the gods (Sachin, Shahrukh etc) and together they will rise to Top 200, and then probably to Top 100.
However, it may take some time for this to happen – a county of billion people, growing at 8% GDP – we are moving inch by inch, slow and steady as they say! It needs more than one thing to happen – good level of Internet penetration, then a good number of people should be on social networking sites, and hence on twitter. Probably a good number of mobile based internet users helps twitter too, as I have read and heard that most twitter users like to use twitter via mobile.
Finally, a good number of celebrities should also be on twitter and they should be active too (which is already happening)… so let’s see how it all goes!!
Final Postscript – there may be other PIOs (person of indian origin) and NRIs types, whom I have not included in this list. Eg – Padmasree , an IIT Delhi Alumnus has more than 1 million followers!
Updated Later-
I created a mashup page too –

Sapnon Se Bhare Naina (eyes full of dreams!)

So I watched “Luck by Chance” today … and it was definitely a good movie.

If you have not seen it yet, I will highly recommend to watch it first before reading this post any further… I have few spoilers ahead (but not too many).
Since you are still reading, I will assume that you have either seen the movie already or want to take the “risk” of consuming whatever spoiler I have, so here you go-
This movie revolves around two struggling actors in Bombay – Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan Akhtar) and Sona Mishra (Konkona Sen Sharma) – who are from “humble background” but trying to make it big in Bollywood.
As any other good movie, this movie has multitude of other interesting characters very well played by some of the best actors in Bollywood.
Incidentally, one thing which I really like about this movie is how all the actors are perfectly chosen for the role they are playing – they have either gone through similar experience in real life, or being close to film industry they know it very well “how it feels”.
For example – the two main leads Farhan and Konkona are perfect fit for the role they are playing. Konkona, I believe, has struggled a lot in real life to reach a position in film industry she is in today. I mean I don’t know her biography but we all have seen the zeal for her acting in each character she has played. Farhan too, although success as Director/Producer in real life, is struggling to make his place an actor. I am always a fan of Konkona. And though I liked many movies Farhan has been involved with … but now I have started to like Farhan too after seeing him in Karthik calling Karthik and Luck by Chance.
Then, apart from the main cast, we have Rishi Kapoor brilliantly playing a longtime successful bollywood producer “Romy Rolly” and Juhi Chawla as his wife “Minty Rolly” – both doing complete justice to their roles. Lastly, Dimple Kapadia as “Neena Walia” – a superhit star of 70s, Hrithik Roshan as a superhit star “Zaffar Khan” – are just few other samples from the movie!
Second thing which makes a movie special is “moments” which leave you deeply touched – like the way Farhan and Konkona keep encouraging each other, even if ridiculed by everyone else. or the one specific scene, which is title of this post too!
The “sapnon se bhare naina” scene ….!!!
So, it happens that Farhan distributes his photographs (portfolio as they call it) and then gets a call from a very big bollywood production house to meet next day. His happiness has no bounds, he tells everyone that he got the break he was waiting for … and then next day he goes to the place with great anticipation and confidence – he opens the door and then finds that there are like 100 more people called for the audition! … This is a shock both to him and audience (like me) as we assumed that he had got the break. But, as they say, truth is never simple! … the reality hits Vikram Jaisingh that nothing comes easy. A very aptly song is placed to capture the emotions “sapnon se bhare naina” – (brilliant song placement is the one thing that I like about bollywood movies, seriously 🙂 ) – with that song playing – and in those 5 minutes – we see all emotions on Farhan’s face – him entering the scene with full of confidence, getting heartbroken to see the competition, look on his face trying to restore his confidence, looking around to weigh the competition he is about to face, helping out few people who are probably not as deserving as him? (somebody who cannot write in english?) … noticing new entrants to the scene who can pose significant challenge to him?
In short … it is not just about him alone, it is about the competition. You can watch that scene here embedded –
The movie then unfolds in a way that we see why it is called “Luck By Chance” – we get to see that it is not just about the talent, but right things happening at right place at right time which makes “success”. There are at least 5-6 events that happen which gets Vikram Jaisingh a lead role in the movie by a big production house. (I will let you watch the movie to find out what those events are) However, I can probably mention a chit-chat in the movie between Karan Johar (as Karan Johar) and Hrithik Roshan (as Zaffar Khan) – KJ says that most of the top bollywood actors are made because of sheer luck – Amitabh got Zanjeer only because 6-7 top actors rejected that movie. Shahrukh got Darr and Baazigar only because noone else at that time wanted to play such negative roles.
Still, the movie tells us that it is not luck alone which makes “success”. Farhan tells Konkona (before he becomes star) that it is upto us to choose success and failures – at every point in life! It is like we have both the options open to us – and what we choose is what we get! And he is right, we all know it, it sounds too good to be true, but it is… we need to take the first step towards success, it will not come to us on its own … right?
It reminds me of a doha by Kabirdas too –
“Jin Dhoondha Tin Paiyan, Gahire Pani Paith,
Main Bapura Boodan Dara, Raha Kinare Baith….”
Those who fear drowning cannot jump into the ocean and can’t get pearls and gems. But only those who are courageous enough to dive in the depth of ocean gets pearls and gems. One who is fearful of drowning simply sits near the bank, can not get anything and remains empty handed.
Anyways, LBC has interesting tidbits too … like loads of other stars playing themself – Abhishek, Akshaye, Diya Mirza etc. – and their interesting reactions as events unfold. There is Shahrukh’s special appearance too at almost the end of the movie – when Farhan has already become a big hit in Bollywood and then he meets SRK at a restaurant. SRK congratulates him and they sit together for light chit-chat. The conversation is interesting, As we know, SRK himself has come from very humble background – he is not any star son, but still the biggest bollywood actor currently – if I may say so. He gives simple tip to Vikram Jaisingh – “When success hits you, it’s hard to have balance and control over it – but still – one thing is make sure that you dont forget your old friends and family, who in someway are part of your success, and still they are the only ones who will give you fair criticism without any bias”
Vikram Jaisingh realizes his mistake – because he too alienated love of his life “Sona”, while trying to become a star. He then tries to fix it, but a very realistic and warm conversation happens between the two. The result is that they don’t reconcile (final spoiler, but I think gone are the days when we wanted hero-heroine to have “happy ending”, it feels good to have more realistic ending! And in final scene we see Konkona Sen happy and satisfied … she is in a taxi going to do “what she likes most” to work in Filmcity, Bombay…. and closing titles start, leaving me thinking about what all that happened.
So, as you can see, I really liked the movie. I mean there are very few movies that leaves me thinking while credits are rolling :-D. And there are very few movies from Bollywood which may not be be big hits, but I genuinely like and remember for long time. like “Tum Bin” and “Swades” – LBC (Luck by chance) probably is not in that top league, but it leaves similar experience.
PS – It will leave this post incomplete if I don’t mention the brilliant music by Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy. I feel ashamed to admit that it took me so much time to find this gem. You can listen here.