They have massive following, but also draw flak in equal measure. We meet the people behind three hugely popular parody accounts on Twitter
Twitter followers: 20.6k
Active since: April, 2012
Parodies: Omar Abdullah
@abdullah_0mar, (yes, with a zero) has been blocked by the real Abdullah in the past, but the man behind the account tweets on everything he thinks the politician would.
How did the account come into being?
I was inspired by Manmohan Singh’s parody account, @PM0India. I wasn’t happy with the situation in Jammu and I’m still not. So, to criticise the current scenario and the policies, I chose to start an account to mock Omar Abdullah.
You were blocked by the real Abdullah.
He blocked me a year back. He said I was using his name. But my bio reads it’s the unofficial account. And I’ve never abused or used obscene language. It’s only satire. Surprisingly, he unblocked me when he lost the elections last year. Now he’s blocked me again.
In fact, my account was even suspended by Twitter India. They said impersonating someone was against their policies. Eventually, I did get my account back.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Jammu and studied engineering in Pune University.
Do your family, friends and colleagues know that you operate the account?
My family doesn’t. Some of my close friends do, and in office, my project manager knows.
Have you ever been scared about getting into trouble?
Initially, I was. When the Palghar sisters got arrested for posting about Bal Thackeray on Facebook, I got scared and didn’t tweet for a week.
How much of your time do you spend tweeting? What are the challenges you face?
Pretty much the entire day (laughs). There aren’t really any challenges except people abusing me. I don’t abuse back. That’s not what I’m here for.
JERSEY NUMBER 10
Twitter followers: 75.5k
Active since: August, 2009
Parodies: Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar’s fans worship him so deeply that an airline which asks for his name earns tremendous flak on Twitter. But Apoorv Sood shows his fondness for the cricketer by tweeting from his parody account, @trendulkar. We interacted with him over mail to find out about him.
You’ve shared your personal details in your bio. You don’t mind your identity being revealed, clearly.
I had been anonymous for quite some time, but my name and identity were pretty much out in the open, thanks to a few interviews and cross-platform sharing on Facebook and Instagram.
How did the account come about?
I made the handle only during the 2011 cricket World Cup, and started live-tweeting. It was fun for me, and it connected well with a small audience at the time.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Mumbai, and brought up in Mumbai and Ahmedabad. I went to Delhi Public School, followed by an Engineering degree from BITS, Pilani and an MBA from NITIE, Mumbai. Professionally, I sailed as an engineering officer on merchant ships in the past, and now have moved into e-commerce marketing.
With Tendulkar having retired, does it make the handle a little irrelevant?
Not at all. That doesn’t have any consequence to my social account. Although I miss his on-field presence, I continue to tweet about other current happenings.
How do you manage the content?
It’s not a content-rigid space. I usually live-tweet sporting events and create humour and satire posts around the current happenings in the world of politics, pop-culture and technology.
WILL THE REAL NORINDER MUDI PLEASE STAND UP?
Twitter followers: 17.9k
Active since: October, 2013
Facebook likes: Over 1,30,000
Parodies: Narendra Modi
“PM awf INDIA, teak che. i loev DOKLA and forign t00rz…(sic)” declares the Twitter bio of the parody account Norinder Mudi. The handle, and its hugely popular Facebook counterpart, is known for poking fun at pretty much
everything PM Modi says or does. Via email, we speak to the primary members behind the account, who go by the pseudonyms Swagmohan (SM) and Nameless Faggit (NF).
How did the Twitter handle and the Facebook page Norinder Mudi come about?
NF: The founder, Swagmohan, is a huge fan of the Dolan Duk comics, an internet meme. The Dolan concept takes a famous character (say, Donald Duck), makes a Microsoft Paint-like horrible quality sketch, uses improper English, and gives the character a major contrast from his known personality. On seeing the Pakistani Dolan Facebook pages of Adrifi (parodying Shahid Afridi) and Nowaz (parodying Nawaz Sharif), Swagmohan wondered why our country didn’t have an array of Dolan pages.
SM: Any good joke on Modi will go viral or, at least, get noticed. His obsession with the camera, foreign tours and the controversies surrounding him are perfect recipe to make fun of such an influential figure.
How many members handle the Facebook and Twitter account?
NF: In 2014, during the Lok Sabha elections, when the page was in full swing, there were around six to seven administrators. Now, only Swagmohan and I post on Facebook actively.
Tell us a little more about the members.
NF: Most of us are between 15 and 22. We are based all over the country, bit it Mumbai, Delhi, or Chennai.
SM: I am 22 and I’ve just started a career in IT a few months back.
How do you deal with staunch Modi supporters, and trolls?
SM: Once, a bunch of pro-Modi Twitter handles tried to track us down but failed to get the location. There have been comments on the Facebook page by angry Modi fans who wanted to report the page to the police. But we have never heard from the cyber cell or the BJP IT cell. I’m pretty sure we’re not terrorists.
Do your friends and family know you handle the Norinder Mudi account?
NF: Some parents of our members do, some don’t. One day, my mom showed me a WhatsApp forward, which was one of our comics. Little did she know it was made in her own house. A few of my friends know about this.