Death hoax: Dilip Kumar, Big B, SRK & others whom the internet 'killed'


The internet is a wonderful medium that has proved to be beneficial for the society and mankind, but it also has the ability to ‘kill’ a person by spreading fake news of death. Time and again, celebrities have fallen prey to internet death hoaxes.

Just recently, legendary Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar was again rumoured to have died. His wife Saira Bano was in for a rude shocked when she was bombarded with phone calls and messages on Thursday night, June 22. She quashed the rumours saying that with Allah’s grace, Dilip Kumar was doing fine and requested people not to spread such bad rumours. The actor also took to Twitter and assured his fans that he was doing fine, in a series of tweets.

The veteran actor had been the victim of death hoaxes earlier also, more than once. In 2013, when Dilip Kumar was admitted to Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai after suffering a heart attack, messages of his 'death' started circulating on messaging app WhatsApp. Then two days after attending the wedding reception of Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan, his death rumours surfaced again. At that time, Amitabh Bachchan clarified by tweeting, “Some baseless rumours being spread about Yusuf Saheb - Dilip Kumar, being ill... Saira ji just informed me he is perfectly fine!"

Amitabh Bachchan also was reported to have ‘died’ in a car crash in the United States in 2012. A blog post reported the death and also gave details about Big B’s funeral. The post went viral and created a panic among his fans.

In late May, Shah Rukh Khan was ‘killed’ by a European news network which reported that the superstar died in a private jet crash, along with seven others, while travelling to Paris for a meeting. The fake report was picked up by several websites and also made it to WhatsApp group of Mumbai Police. The actor’s management had to field calls from anxious fans and contacts, including Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police Deven Bharti.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was hit by death rumours when in April this year, reports surfaced that she has committed suicide by overdosing on tranquilizers. The fake report attributed the reasons for her attempting suicide to her marital discord with husband Abhishek Bachchan and ill-treatment by the Bachchan family. It even went on to say that the Bachchan’s called the doctor secretly to check on Aishwarya to hide the news.

Popular television actress Shweta Tiwari was declared dead on social media for the third time. In fact, her colleague Sakshi Tanwar fell for the hoax and even posted a condolence message on Twitter before husband Abhinav Kohli spoke to wife Shweta and quashed the rumours. Speaking about it, the ‘Kasautii Zindagi Kay’ actress was quoted, “I don’t feel like reacting to such rumors now. Believe it or not, this is the third time people have declared me dead and I have become used to it. Abhinav was the first one to call me up. He was nervous while speaking on phone. I told him to relax and just ignore such baseless rumours. I am very much alive and happily enjoying the evening with my children.”

Earlier this year, veteran actress Farida Jalal too became a victim of death hoax after fake news of her death circulated on social platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Farida Jalal put a stop to these rumours by issuing a statement through her publicist K Himaanshu Shuklaa. She also told a publication which contacted her, “I am hale and hearty. I don't know from where these baseless rumours are coming from. Initially I laughed, but from last 30 mins my phone has been constantly ringing and everybody is asking the same question. It's a bit irritating, I wonder why people spread such rumours.”

False news of veteran actor Shashi Kapoor went viral on social media last year and fans started tweeting last respects for the legendary actor. It prompted his nephew Rishi Kapoor to dispel the rumours and tweeted, “Uncle Shashi Kapoor is doing fine. Hope this ends all the speculation about him. Some rumour mongering is happening.”

Social networking site Facebook ‘killed’ Katrina Kaif in 2013 by publishing a fake report of her death which went viral. It sent her fans into a panic till Katrina’s representatives assured that the actress was absolutely fine and there was no truth to the story.