Vijay's selfie was tweeted on February 10, and was seen as a response to the Income Tax Department conducting raids on him and his financier.

Vijays selfie from the sets of Master with hundreds of fans in background in Neyveli
Flix Social media Tuesday, December 08, 2020 - 11:42

Twitter India released the top trends for the year 2020, and Tamil actor Vijay’s selfie with fans in Neyveli emerged as most retweeted with 145.7K retweets. As Twitter published its recap for 2020 with the hashtag #ThisHappened2020, Vijay’s tweet from February 10 where he has tweeted “Thank you Neyveli” with a photo of himself and his fans in the background has topped the list. 

The selfie that went viral before physical distancing due to COVID-19 was mandated in the country was taken by the Kollywood star from on top of his vanity van with in Neyveli, Tamil Nadu, while shooting for his film, Master. The background shows a huge crowd of fans who had gathered to catch a glimpse of Vijay. The tweet had trended for several days in February when it was first posted. 

Vijay's selfie was seen as a response to the Income Tax Department conducting raids on him and his financier. The selfie was after Vijay was questioned for two days over his salary from his film, Bigil, and the profits the film made. Vijay was accompanied by I-T officials from the movie's sets to his house in Chennai. Later, when the actor came back to the same set and clicked this picture, it went viral. Through this period, state BJP leaders kept targeting Vijay, casting aspersions on his income and his movies. Tamil Nadu BJP state unit members conducted protests after the selfie was taken and tweeted by Vijay. The protesting BJP members said that they were protesting against permission granted to the filmmmakers to shoot in the “highly secure” area which is also a mining belt. Right wing Twitter accounts had also targeted the actor, calling him ‘Joseph Vijay’, which could be a reason why it was retweeted extensively.

Actor Vijay’s fans are already celebrating the news of their favourite superstar dominating Twitter in 2020. Last year too, Vijay’s tweet for his movie Bigil was among the top Twitter trends for 2019.

Meanwhile, Virat Kohli’s tweet announcing his wife Anushka Sharma’s pregnancy was the most liked tweet with 642.7K likes. Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan's tweet announcing that he tested positive for COVID-19 was the most quoted tweet with 43.6K quotes. Prime Minister Modi’s tweet on lighting lamps at his official residence was the most retweeted political tweet while former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni’s tweet thanking PM Modi was the most retweeted sports tweet. 

In a year that was dominated by news around the novel coronavirus, #COVID-19 was the most used current affairs hashtag while #IPL2020 was the most used sports hashtag. Hashtags related to Bollywood actor Sushanth Singh Rajput’s death and the tragic Hathras rape incident were among the most tweeted topics. 

In a press release, the Managing Director, Twitter India, Manish Maheshwari has said, “Being the year it has been, conversation on Twitter in 2020 was unique. From the fight against this global pandemic, rejoicing in celebratory moments, standing up for those communities impacted by the pandemic, to bonding over rediscovered shows, interests and memes, India came together beautifully on Twitter this year.” 

Read: Vijay's Neyveli selfie and the art of responding to political targeting

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