Actress Parvathy and singer Chinmayi Sripaada along with a few other personalities have slammed the jury of ONV Cultural Academy for honouring MeToo accused lyricist Vairamuthu. The awards are instituted in the name of Jnanpith laureate ONP Kurup.
Singer Chinmayi, who had accused Vairamuthu of sexually harassing her during the #MeToo movement, has reacted to the Tamil poet winning the prestigious award. She tweeted, "Mr. Vairamuthu gets the fifth ONV literary award instituted by the ONV Cultural Academy. Wow. Late Mr ONV Kurup would be proud. [sic]"
"ONR sir is our pride. His contribution as a poet and lyricist is incomparable; how it has nourished our culture. Our hearts and minds have benefited through his body of work. This is exactly why it is immense disrespect to give such an honour in his name to the accused of sexual assault crimes," Parvathy questioned in her post.
She then questioned the jury whether it could justify its decision to honour a person who has been accused of sexual harassment by 17 women. She explained, "17 women have come out with their stories. We don't know how many more have been wronged. There seems to be enough whataboutery to continue wronging those who are wronged.
Only to uphold the reputation of those in power. Nothing is more important than humanity. If you come at me with the art vs artist debate, let me tell you that for me the humanity of the person creating the art is the only thing I'd choose to look at. I can live without the "art" of those who hollow out lives with absolute impunity. How do you justify this? #adoorgopalakrishnan and the jury who decided to the accused Vairamuthu this honour. [sic]"
Bangalore Days Director's Reaction
Anjali Menon, director of Bangalore Days and Ustad Hotel fame, also shared her disappointment over the jury's decision to award Vairamuthu. She tweeted, "ONV Sir's name resounds with deep sensitivity, dignity and respect for any Malayalee. Therefore very disturbed to know that ONV Academy has chosen an alleged perpetrator (called out by 17 women) for the #ONVAward. Are these the values they celebrate?"