Features Friday, February 06, 2015 - 05:30
By Ankit Barlota  Follow @AnkitBarlota One is trolled for his mannerisms, the other for his aged looks. One is heavily criticized for having political ambitions, the other for not standing up/showing up in solidarity for people of his profession. One is abused for his over-the-top acting skills, the other for his inability to rock the dance floor. One is.. wait.. If I start writing up these thoughts, this would become a look-out-for page for one of the most dreaded diseases that has occupied the online space- the Thala-Thalapathy Syndrome. Thala (Leader) is the nick name for Tamil star Ajith Kumar, a man loved by his fans for his on-screen style and off-screen charisma. Ilaya Thalapathy (Young Commander) is the title for actor Vijay, a darling of the masses for his outstanding screen presence and dancing skills. Hero-worship has been most popular in the southern part of the country from the days of Rajini-Kamal. And though technology has replaced 'real' fan-fights with 'virtual' fan-fights (read tag wars on FB & Twitter), the trademark 'paal-abhishekham' on the day of movie-release still continues. It’s always nice to see unconditional love for their stars (Gods) but it is the level of hatred for the rival, which is absolutely alarming with both stars' family being targeted with a flurry of abuses. And that's not it, you also see quite a few other celebrities like Premgi, Chinmayi, etc. being dragged into it. Of course, they have done their bit to spice up the already raging fight. Today, if you ask anyone in Tamil Nadu who they like between Thala and Thalapathy, and the person will give you an answer. And to be fair, each one's opinion would be understandable. But over the past few years, especially the last year or so, the opinions have been turning into widespread hatred on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Hate tags, horrible memes are now the talk of the town. It has almost become a rule that if you like one, you can't like the other (actually you need to hate the other). Disagree? Try posting a tweet favoring Thalapathy one day and a week after, post something good about Thala. You are likely to get a flurry of bad words. Reading them, you would actually feel sorry for your parents!  Words like addict, fan, army, etc have replaced many personal identities on Facebook and Twitter. Pictures of their favorite stars have replaced their own display images. In fact, ask Twitter to conduct a survey on most-used word in this region of the country and you would know that "da" would emerge the winner. Reason? Mangatha da.. Thuppakki da.. Aarambam da.. Kaththi da.. Today, a Thala fan waits more for a Kaththi trailer release and a Thalapathy fan waits eagerly for the release of Yennai Arindhaal just so that they can create those memes and troll them. If you ask them why, they say, "maasss kaatturom da" (we want to show our dominance). And this is just one side of it. The other set of people, I mean the clever set of people, have cashed in on this fight attracting thousands of followers/viewers by adding fuel to the fire. They try to woo both groups of fans by projecting themselves neutral to both Ajith and Vijay. Their tweets include praise and criticism for both stars, eventually igniting a fight between the fans.In fact, I have even seen a post like "Neutral fan da". Good way to attract both groups of friends/followers. Isn’t it? The bottom line is both Thala and Thalapathy have openly accepted in numerous public forums that they are friends and are in constant touch with each other. It’s only the young and immature people on the cyber space who take it as a matter of 'pride' for themselves to show up for their star. Some have even accepted that they love their stars more than their own parents. And in the process, they get 'used' by a set of people, the so-called movie trackers/reviewers for their success. Both the celebrities are supposedly active on Twitter and are aware of these fights. Thala has abandoned his fan clubs and Thalapathy has asked his fans to concentrate on social issues and take care of their families. But, in the recent past, they haven’t done anything substantial to reduce the heat between these two groups of people. It should be noted that the bigger stars of this country, namely, SRK-Salman-Aamir have made regular public appearances and that has brought a lot of calm in the way their fans behave. Having said all that, nobody knows when this will end and probably no scientist has a solution for this syndrome. All one can do is give his/her opinion and hope not to be abused. And about the next Superstar, the answer is simple. If Bollywood can handle three Khans at a time, Kollywood can manage two as well. But try telling this to the die-hard fans!! On that note, I wind this up with the hope that I don’t get abused by the third set of people for not mentioning their star’s name, the Suriya fans! Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same. Tweet

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