Actor Renu Desai was the target of a threat from fans on social media after she announced her engagement. Desai was previously married to Telugu actor Pawan Kalyan, whose fans objected to the news of her engagement to another man.
Shortly after she posted pictures from the event, Desai was inundated with threats and ‘advice’. The actor posted messages she received on Instagram. “This is a special category of crazy. I wonder how they are with their mother and sisters. I really worry about their mental health,” she wrote.
In one message, a fan tells her not to get married for the second time. “Please do not get married for the second time. A lot of women lead normal lives while being single. Don’t become bad by getting married again. If you do, then what will be the difference between you and outsiders.”
Another agrees that it is her decision, but also tells her that it is her responsibility to make sure that her actions do not affect his ‘god’ (Pawan Kalyan). “All hell will break loose if you marry again, that’s for sure. So please think about your decision. But because of you, my God should not be affected. It is your life and your wish, but my God should not face any problem because of this.”
Desai told Times Of India that she received death threats on her social media accounts. Following this, she made sure the tweet got deleted. “Some of the threats were extremely scary. There was one person who threatened to kill me if I marry again. We were forced to take police action and got the tweet deleted. It’s scary, because even though it’s a virtual threat, we don’t know what the person is really capable of.”
Pawan Kalyan is currently married for the third time, and was never subjected to any criticism. Desai days that these reactions are a reflection of the misogynystic society we live in. In a tweet, he congratulated Desai on her engagement and wished her happiness.
My wholehearted wishes to Ms.Renu garu for entering a new phase of happiness.I wish and pray Almighty & the Mother Nature to bestow upon her abundant health, peace and prosperity.
— Pawan Kalyan (@PawanKalyan) June 26, 2018
“The barrage of abuses hurled at me are a reflection of the misogyny that’s inherent in the patriarchal society we live in. I also think it’s a reflection of how we bring up our boys. I am confident that I have raised Akira in such a way that he will never speak to a woman this way. The people who troll need to be educated so that they are aware of what is and isn’t acceptable.”
Some fans of Kalyan have urged others to unfollow Desai as she is not their ‘vadina’ (sister-in-law) anymore.
Last year, Desai mentioned in a television interview that she might marry again. This led to a barrage of abuse from Kalyan fans who told her that she will ‘lose their respect’ if she marries again. Singer Chinmayi Sripada was also targeted when she offered support to Desai. At the time, Desai wrote on her Facebook page:
“How we live in the midst of men who have such mindset. I’m worried. On one [sic] hand we are talking about gender equality, women empowerment, security from rapes, and on the other hand I just expressed that I’ve been lonely for seven years now, and it would be good if I had a partner, for which I’m receiving these ‘hate messages’. In our society a man can do anything, and can marry any number of times, but it is a sin for a girl to even think about another relationship. Should a woman live alone for lifelong with the regret???”
Kalyan remained silent then. And he still refuses to comment on the social media abuse of his former partner, which has only given free rein to his followers to troll Desai.