On Friday, Silverscreen India published a long-form article comprising the accounts of women who accused poet-lyricist Vairamuthu of sexual harassment. The article dwelled upon his sordid modus operandi and how he still continues to be revered by the industry despite those in authoritative positions knowing of this’open secrets’ for years.
Reactions have been pouring in from the industry for the piece.
In one part of our article, singer Chinmayi had mentioned that she had called a friend of hers from the industry when she was threatened by the lyricist to sing a prayer song for an event. While the name was kept under wraps in the article, the friend in question, director CS Amudhan, known for his parody films Tamizh Padam and Tamizh Padam 2, put out a tweet on Twitter divulging that he was the friend and added that the lyricist had to be called out for his behaviour.
I was the one @Chinmayi called when she was being threatened to participate in a program against her will in the event described here. Her fear was real. This man needs to be called out by our Industry. https://t.co/1AFSkxtOL2
— CS Amudhan (@csamudhan) June 6, 2020
While Madhan Karky, who’s mentioned in the piece, put out a tweet saying he’s never spoken ill of his father, actor-director Karthik Kumar, posted a long message on supporting these women, while acknowledging the truth behind their accusations. Here are some of the top reactions from the industry.
— taapsee pannu (@taapsee) June 6, 2020
More strength and power to @Chinmayi and all the other brave women who have spoken out. We need to do better as a society to help women and stand with them instead of trying to shame and silence them. https://t.co/vqri0AbWgN
— Aishwarya Kalpathi (@aishkalpathi) June 6, 2020
When will we wake up to take action? How many more articles need to come out? This is beyond disgusting. https://t.co/vVr7qs5I5O
— Lakshmi Manchu (@LakshmiManchu) June 6, 2020
Karthik Kumar said, “#Vairamuthu is your favourite lyricist / poet. #Vairamuthu is a Predator. #Vairamuthu is talented. #Vairamuthu is powerful. All these statements are equally authentic. One doesn’t cancel out the other. They are all equally true. Many people in the industry know the allegations against him are authentic and have no doubt that there is great truth in every accusers narrative. They all resist corroborating the same because of ‘fear’ and ‘why would i bring harm upon myself for something that is not my issue’… This isnt very different from being the silent people, because the problem isnt affecting you. Justice will not be pronounced on this case by a Grand judicial body – don’t wait for that to happen to form your opinion on it… If you still believe all this cannot be TRUE at all, then it only goes to show how unmovable you are on holding onto your earlier truth… which itself was only based on perception anyway considering #Vairamuthu himself is for most of us – only a silver screen image. The Film Industry is very very encouraging of the habits of the likes of #Vairamuthu and there are many many many #Vairamuthus out there… the Film Industry will condemn this only if it benefits it to condemn it… so far no benefit can be seen by them to condemn it… and hence they havent! But that doesnt mean that they DENY its existence or it having happened… they just dont ‘publicly condemn’ it yet. Off the record – everyone knows it and wonders ‘why am i to bell the cat’… Unfortunately the only ones who are belling the Cat are those who have been scratched by it… All those who havent been scratched by it- are merely quiet coz they know the cat can scratch… not because they think the cat is harmless. But YOU – who hasnt worked with #Vairamuthu or the many like him… have SURELY experienced many like him – YOU should not be QUIET. YOU have nothing to lose in supporting those who are Belling the Cat. DONT be QUIET(sic).”
Thank you @krupage
This details how Mr Vairamuthu’s modus operandi works.
I am not surprised that Mr Vairamuthu and his son slutshamed me though. And if anything Mr Vairamuthu is NOT the reason for ANY song that has come my way. So much for writing poetry on Pen Urimai 🙏 https://t.co/uGw1taTFrt
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) June 5, 2020
Such high quality journalism. Incredibly well written. The effort taken to uncover all angles and speak to everyone 🙌🏽 We’re very lucky to have journalists like you @krupage
And my appreciation isn’t just because of the topic discussed. Just a great piece of journalistic work🙌🏽 https://t.co/VDN2SqvmOT
— Rahul Ravindran (@23_rahulr) June 5, 2020
One of the most important articles for anyone even remotely connected to the film industry, or even otherwise. Please read, react & note what you feel by the end of it. Remember this feeling. It’s important. Thank you for this @krupage and as always, more power to you @Chinmayi https://t.co/f32elCJj9J
— Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli (@LakshmiPriyaaC) June 8, 2020
Powerful reporting @krupage.Without brave hearts like you #metoo movement in India would have been long dead and dusted while the voices go muffled & invisibilised. Well, now the predator will feel defamed & amuse us with a victim card. I am scratching my middle finger now. https://t.co/gwWaBHbE4K
— Leena Manimekalai (@LeenaManimekali) June 6, 2020
A recent article quotes that I spoke ill about my father to a person. It is not true. No son will do it. Those who know me and have worked with me will know that I have never talked ill about anyone at any point of time.
— Madhan Karky (@madhankarky) June 7, 2020
Lakshmi Ramachandran, TN Joint Coordinator, INC-Shakti State Gen Secy, TN Mahila Congress, said in a tweet, “Speak up against predators like him so that our daughters don’t have to suffer people like him in any field.”