Mumbai: Actor Amitabh Bachchan on Monday was heavily criticised for one of his tweets, which claimed vibrations from clapping, blowing conch shells as part of Sunday’s #JanataCurfew would have reduced or destroyed coronavirus potency as it was ‘amavasya’, the darkest day of the month. Bachchan’s tweet comes in the wake of several similar fake news stories misinterpreting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal of clapping and clanging plates to express gratitude to those providing essential services during this global health crisis.
The 77-year-old actor took to Twitter and, in a tweet that has now been deleted, wrote, “An opinion given: 5 PM, 22nd Mar, ‘amavasya’, darkest day of month; virus, bacteria evil force at max potential & power! Clapping shankh vibrations reduce/ destroy virus potency Moon passing to new ‘nakshatra’ Revati. cumulative vibration betters blood circulation.”
Bachchan posted the tweet along with his picture, which had three question marks scribbled on it, leading many to wonder if the actor was sharing his opinion or questioning the theory floating on social media.
However, his tweet was met with criticism as netizens slammed him for tweeting something which was not factual.
On Sunday, even the Press Information Bureau busted the viral fake claim, writing, “NO! The vibration generated by clapping together will NOT destroy #Coronavirus infection.”
Lyricist Varun Grover was among the first ones to slam Bachchan, writing that the actor should’ve been more responsible at a time like this.
“Shameful superstitions propaganda coming from a person with such huge reach. And we have learned to let go of ‘besharmi’ (shamelessness) of many of our celebs but this is DANGEROUS too. Indian lives are at stake here and you need to be more responsible,” Grover tweeted.
Bachchan is one of the most active and followed celebrities on social media. His followers count on Twitter alone stands at a staggering 40.5 million.
A Twitter user wrote that it’s painful when a respected opinion leader like him resorts to forwarding such opinions.
“I feel intense pain. Please only spread very scientific and medical views – people will promptly abide by you. They have so much faith in you. Please,” the user wrote.
Bachchan’s tweet was also slammed by many journalists, lawyers and activists, who asked people to “mass report the tweet” so that’s it’s taken down by the microblogging site for spreading misinformation.
Recently, Twitter removed a video uploaded by actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth who claimed the 14-hour window of total social distancing as advised by the PM was necessary to curb the spread of virus.
The video was reportedly pulled down as it violated Twitter’s rules on misinformation.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country rose to 415 on Monday. Seven people had died till Saturday evening due to the virus.