This is a typical case of adulation going bizarre. It is not a strange phenomenon for die-hard fans displaying competitive zeal in worshiping their onscreen heroes in film-crazy Andhra Pradesh. But, the fans of leading stars Chiranjeevi and Balakrishna have gone a step further, taking their battle to cyber space.
The fans of the two actors have opened hate websites and blogs, spewing venom at each other. This has caused acute embarrassment to the film fraternity. Chiranjeevi, the 54 year old matinee idol of Teluigu cinema who has since the donned the role of a politician, still commands a huge fan following. Balakrishna, 51, is the son of legendary hero late N.T. Rama Rao and brother-in-law of Telugu Desam Party President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Both the stars have a strong fan base.
Of late, there has been growing rivalry between the two factions, reflected in the mushrooming number of hate websites and blogs. They contain vulgar jokes, spoofs, defamatory and offensive comments against the targeted actor. The websites also carry morphed pictures of the actor, poking fun at him and his family members.
In websites like “Ihatechiru.com” and “Jokesonchiru.com”, Chiranjeevi, his actor-brothers Pavan Kalyan and Nagendra Babu, son Ramcharan Teja and nephew Allu Arjun are targeted. rival websites like “Ihatebalayya.com” and “wehatebalayya.blogspot.com” ridicule Balakrishna and his family members connected with the movie industry including Junior NTR, Kalyanram and Tarakratna.
The state Crime Investigation Department (CID) has registered cases under various sections of the Information Technology Act, 2000. It has been found that the content from these websites are circulated on the internet and social networking sites.
With the cyber war by the fans getting dirtier by the day, both the stars have approached the Hyderabad cyber crime police. “We have registered cases under Section 66(a) and 44 of the Information Technology Act. If a computer is used for sending and posting grossly offensive content and criminal hatred, it is punishable by three years imprisonment and a fine,” the Additional Superintendent of Police of CID (cyber crime) U Ram Mohan said.
Balakrishna and Chiranjeevi were removed online, the content was still in circulation on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Khaleej Times