“IIPM” – if you haven’t heard of this name ever before, I doubt your general awareness. But hope most of you have heard of it, even my grandmother who lives in Patna knows Arindam Chaudhuri by face, thanks to newspaper ads. The guy with ponytail, shiny teeth and thick lens frame. Surely one of the most hyped and talked about professor across the whole nation, with Facebook following challenging movie stars and cricketers, he deserves to be discussed. He also knows this fact pretty well, may that’s why his each impression is so well dressed.
One of Arindam’s recent poster celebrating his celebrity status said “Arindam Chaudhuri, the highest followed Economists, Management guru and teacher ON EARTH now has 2 million fans”. Followed by 220K likes, 10k shares and 3300 comments. Let’s discuss each of these Facebook jargon and it’s relevance in this case.
2 million fans, and that too of an Economist, and that too in India. Holy Jesus, I am stunned. Such a huge number of ‘likes’ for a Bollywood star or cricketer makes sense, but for an Economist and Professor? Man, this is nonsense!
India is certainly not that intellectual yet. We are a country of ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ fans. Going gaga over this data, I searched for FB page of Amartya Sen, the highest liked page I could find was having 18k likes. Mr. Sen, being a Nobel Laureate doesn’t makes you a true economist, you fell way short of Arindam when it came to real life number game.
Now lets discuss comments on this pic, giving a rough summary most of them said “Nice”, “Bahut Achha”, “So true” and even some cute “Awwss”, few “<3" and a "Stunning sexy mind blowing!" beside some Aircel cheap call rate ads. Level of sophistication of comments on a pic of Professor of a sophisticated subject like Economics were certainly not up to the mark. These comments hold good for pic of puppies or some Shiv Khera's quote but definitely not for a Professor. But comments were there, that's true as well. 10k shares, means 10 thousand people thought the divine feat of 2 million likes deserves more than just like and gave this some space over their wall. Some in my friend list shared it too hopefully out of sheer respect. If these 2 million likes are for a economist, India is changing indeed, but if these are for a dummy God, well then way to go India. Now what drove people to make this poster Gangnam of Facebook India. For IIPMians, it’s understandable and for others, maybe they dream to be like him someday, means either he is inspiring enough in true sense or either we Indians are too gullible when it comes to choosing source of inspiration. 2.2 million likes on Facebook fan page can’t be taken lightly, not at least in a democratic country. These figures are a kind of mandate which can’t be ignored. IIM Ahmedabad Facebook page has 35 thousand likes while IIPM has over 1.4 million likes, India is indeed daring to think beyond IIMs. So may be Arindam is Salman Khan of education world. Or may be justice Katju was true with his 90% idiot remark. Another shocking fact is huge difference between Facebook and Twitter following. While on facebook Arindam has 2.2 million fans, on Twitter he has a mere 30 thousand followers (‘mere’ is used because we are comparing 30k with 2.2 million). There is a huge contrast, seems India has yet to catch Twitter or Twitterati are more cynical than Facebook worms or justice Katju thumb rule of idiocy doesn’t hold true on Indian Twitterverse, a lot can be interpreted. A curious case of Arindam Chaudhuri, much like Mona Lisa, infinite interpretations can be drawn of his smile. To clarify his stand on URLs blocking case he even appeared on News Channels, there he was very energetic, shouting, yelling, exactly the way he appears in one of his posters. A perfect example of “I am what I am”, and a notable fact, he looks same in real life as he looks in his Facebook pics. In one of this statement he told you can call me ugly but you can’t ruin my business, well that’s a sign of true businessman, look even Mukesh Ambani doesn’t care about his looks and neither does his son, as a matter of fact neither does me. But my case is different, I am neither good looking, neither rich. After recent URL blocking brawl, it appears Arindam and IIPM have booked a permanent slot in Suggested Post section of FB. May be to neutralize the negative current, but I think he shouldn’t care much about that, Salman never does. Fans are fans, they worship you, they are in awe of you, they have discovered Diamond in you Arindam, in you.