In the backdrop of actor Naseeruddin Shah’s vocal support for the ongoing farmer’s protest, several Twitter accounts have cropped up in his name. On February 8, Twitter handle @naseruddin_shah posted a tweet criticising the supporters of political parties opposing the farmers’ protest. “Bootlicking and slavery of the parties will not satisfy your hunger. You will need food to fill your stomach. Support farmers if your conscience is alive,” reads the tweet. (तलवे चाटने और पार्टियों की गुलामी करने से पेट नहीं भरेगा, पेट को भरने के लिए, अनाज चाहिए इसलिए ज़मीर ज़िन्दा है, तो किसानों का समर्थन करें, सहमत #रिट्वीट.) It has garnered over 9,000 retweets so far.
The account has put out several tweets in support of the farmers this month.
Journalist Nidheesh MK posted a screenshot of another Twitter handle (@NaseeruddiinSah) and asked whether the account belonged to the actor.
Is this his real account? Should I buy myself a Biriyani today to celebrate?! pic.twitter.com/UoIK65MDQQ
— Nidheesh M K (@mknid) February 9, 2021
A Twitter search for the handle @naseruddin_shah revealed that it earlier operated with the username @RakeshTkaite, possibly impersonating farmer leader Rakesh Tikait.
Moreover, actress Ratna Pathak Shah, wife of Naseeruddin Shah, clarified, “Mr Shah doesn’t have a Twitter account but has been unable to stop these fake accounts”. Her statement comes in the light of an unverified profile in her husband’s name posting a series of tweets about the ongoing farmers’ protest.
Last year, the actor had also taken to Instagram to clarify regarding fake Twitter accounts created in his name.
View this post on Instagram
After getting called out on Twitter, @naseruddin_shah has now added a description in the bio which says, “Not affiliated With Naseeruddin Shah ,FC, Parody”. As of this article, the account has over 60,000 followers. At the time when he posted pro-farmers’ protest tweets in Shah’s name, the account did not have a bio (screenshot on the right).
Since Naseeruddin Shah has clarified that he is not Twitter, the account @NaseeruddiinSah has also been created by an imposter. Moreover, it neither has a huge follower base nor is it verified.
Therefore, Twitter accounts impersonating actor Naseeruddin Shah posted tweets about farmers’ protest. It may be reiterated that the actor is not on Twitter. This is not the first instance when a Twitter account impersonated a prominent personality. In January 2020, an imposter account had quote-tweeted Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan calling for support towards Kashmiris against “oppressive government.” Last year, a video of VHP leader was shared as Naseeruddin Shah’s brother supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.