The #MeToo movement, which has been calling out the sexual predators within the entertainment and media fraternities, had its first encounter in Kollywood, with journalist Sandhya Menon posting an anonymous account on national award-winning lyricist Vairamuthu.
Spotting the lyricist's name on the list was nothing less than a heartbreak and shock to a lot of people, which reminded us of one of the lines from his recent work, 'idhayam thaanguma?' meaning will the heart bear it.
Popular Indian playback singer Chinmayi tweeted about various instances when he misbehaved with young girls.
On 9th October, Chinmayi took to Twitter to narrate her own ordeal with the lyricist during an event in Switzerland in 2006.
While placing serious allegations against the lyricist, Chinmayi said that the organisers asked her and her mother to stay back while everyone left home and she was allegedly asked to stay with Vairamuthu in a hotel room.
"I asked why. He told me to cooperate. I refused. We demanded to be sent back to India. He said ‘You won't have a career!" she wrote on Twitter.
Check out her tweets here for more:
Year 2005/2006 maybe.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Veezhamattom. An album for Srilankan Tamizhs that I had sung in, as had Manikka Vinayagam sir.
I dont remember if it was a book or an album release or both now; the performances and launch happened in Switzerland in (Bern / Zurich maybe)
In 17 years not one man in the industry across languages Hindi Tamil Telugu Malayalam Kannada Marathi has misbehaved.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Not one man has indecently messaged me or touched me.
My work place is mostly clean save for some bad apples.
I call Vairamuthu (Sir) out alone and I dare.
The staff at Vairamuthu sir’s office KNOW. His closest confidants know. They are also his enablers.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Vairamuthu sir, you KNOW what you did.
With due respect your #TimesUp
I dont care if I ever sing or dub in this industry ever.
This is my story. And this is the truth.
I am glad I spoke up NOW.— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 9, 2018
Not 5 years early. Not 10 years later but NOW.
Some of us die with the stories. Many of us women still will.
All of you have heard 0.2% of the stories.
Look around. Ask around. You ll know.
Dont. Ask. Why. Now. Why. Not. Earlier.
Once the singer shared her own experience, some Twitterati couldn't handle their rage and started questioning her. People posted old tweets of the singer sharing dias with Vairamuthu at events and asked her why she didn't speak about it earlier. Some commented that a police complaint will serve a better purpose than posting on Twitter while some had issues with the singer's tweet praising the lyricist's work earlier. One even posted a tweet by her mother thanking Vairamuthu and musician AR Rahman.
She says he tried to abuse in 2004 but #Chinmayi mother tweet about #Vairamuthu in 2014 ennangada idhu? Idhu thaan thanni oothi valakuratha ? & Falling on feet is culture ? Did she fall on every elders feet in her marriage? If he is bad y she did#MeToo #MeTooIndia #meetoo pic.twitter.com/NmOiSFfNhM— Tamils Views (@tamilsviews) October 11, 2018
Why these cheap ladies playing high on Respectable #Vairamuthu— Sanjuna (@SanjunaMC) October 9, 2018
on and offf..
If u r abused, then make a complaint.. Go by the law.. Why a twitter game???
Her lines here are truly from the heart but now seems it lying#Chinmayi about #vairamuthu's work in #VaagaiSoodaVaa -"I wonder how a poet,a man,is able to suss out what a girl could feel at a given point in time and write lyrics"https://t.co/2mPQAo2BhQ pic.twitter.com/XZk10PHAXg— திராவிடசூரியன் (@DravidaSuriyan) October 11, 2018
#Kollywood hit by #MeeToo bug , very well known lyrics writer #Vairamuthu and a lucky Mascot of #Rajnikant now hitting HEADLINES ,#ChinmayiSripaada a bubbly singer accuses Vairamuthu of SEXUAL HARASSMENT who is good enuf 2 be her father, C Chinmayi double speaks #NanaPatekar pic.twitter.com/C7T6lFdOf9— elkay (@elkay14) October 10, 2018
While one account posted a picture from her wedding saying, "Self Proclaimed Feminist @Chinmayi is claiming #Vairamuthu asked her for sex in 2005... When did she get married?? Lol. Your reason is not valid. #Chinmayi," another user questioned why she had to take his blessings on her wedding day.
She says 2005 / 2006 He tried to misbehave with her then why she invited #Vairamuthu for her marriage on 2014 ? & Why she Fall on his feet ? Which girl will do this to a sexual predator? No one asked her to fall on his legs #MeToo #MeTooIndia #Metoomovement #Chinmayi #dmk #admk pic.twitter.com/3AXbVnau0u— Tamils Views (@tamilsviews) October 9, 2018
However, the replies took an ugly turn as some of them shamed her in caste lines. People alleged that she was backed by RSS and BJP to humiliate Vairamuthu, who went under severe criticism by right-wing unit in Tamil Nadu after his controversial speech about Hindu goddess Andal at an event.
#Chinmayi backed by #RSS to target #vairamuthu ? Look at her earlier tweets who did praise the same man ! Being a Brahmin she is used by right wing extremists to retaliate for #andal issue ! Also she was heavily linked in #suchileaks !!! pic.twitter.com/ZJqmcDHhTS— Pradeep Narayanamoorthy (@Pradeep2402) October 9, 2018
Yes!— S.Ve.Sekar (@EchchaRaja) October 9, 2018
She is favoring Brahmin Lobby to take Revenge on #Vairamuthu on Andal Issue.
She will join BJP Soon, the only place for Purest souls like Chinmayi
One Twitter user called it a 'caste-based accusation,' by posting the tweets of celebrities such as actor Siddharth, musician Anil Srinivasan.
This is how brahmin chain works.. cheap tactics on false ACCUSATION in #MeToo.. those how committing sins will be paid #siddharth #chinmayi #Vairamuthu #Castebased #PublicityStunts #CheapTrick #Tactics pic.twitter.com/4K8gcGMWop— villain (@thetweet_KING) October 9, 2018
#metoo #MeTooIndia #Metoomovement #MeeToo— villain (@thetweet_KING) October 9, 2018
I'm not supporting harassment but look at those names #srinivasan #subramanian #Chinmayi from one community join their hands together against #Vairamuthu.. need to be #Examined rightly pic.twitter.com/KER6CA7Xs6
But, these claims don't seem to be true as Chinmayi called out the name of Tamil Nadu Brahmin Association's head, accusing him of allegedly harassing a woman on the pretext of getting her a job.
President of the Tamilnadu Brahmins Association - N Narayanan pic.twitter.com/X3OmAea2DM— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) October 11, 2018
Though Vairamuthu denied the allegations with a statement on Twitter, people haven't stopped calling out his name yet, with Chinmayi posting more accounts of people. There are some who don't know which side to take, so they decided to go with memes.
யாரை நம்புவது நடுவே விழி பிதுங்கி நிற்கும் ட்விட்டர் வாசி நான்.... pic.twitter.com/HOsmQSPRtJ— தர்மபுரிகாரன் (@n193n9hUrtJPw0x) October 10, 2018
Reading the replies to the award-winning singer's tweets, there's just one question that pops up in our mind, 'why is it hard to believe the survivors? (we are strongly against calling them victims)'.
We leave it to the readers to decide if it is right to bring someone's religious identity into a powerful movement, which has finally enabled women to open up about all their nightmarish experiences.
A writer on Twitter rightly pointed out why men need to listen to the victims. It works for women too.
Shut up and listen, men of Twitter. We need to shut up and listen.— vivek tejuja (@vivekisms) October 8, 2018