Actor Parvathy on Thursday condemned the ONV Literary Prize jury for ignoring the MeToo allegations against Tamil songwriter and poet Vairamuthu and choosing to honor him with a prestigious prize in memory of legendary poet ONV Kurup.
She said awarding this award to Vairamuthu did not respect the memory of ONV. “ONV Meneer is our pride. His contribution as a poet and lyricist is incomparable. How it has fueled our culture. Our hearts and minds have benefited from his oeuvre. This is exactly why it is a huge disrespect to pay such honor in his name to the sexual assault accused (sic), ”she said in her tweet.
Thank you very much to the women who speak in support. #Parvathythiruvothu pic.twitter.com/TKXXf4MQD2
– Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) May 27, 2021
This is how our society validates and empowers someone who has been declared a sexual predator by multiple women.
Utterly embarrassing! https://t.co/WB3VMjFTff
– TM Krishna (@tmkrishna) May 26, 2021
For the uninitiated, Vairamuthu faced a slew of allegations of sexual harassment against multiple women in the wake of India’s MeToo movement. “Seventeen women have come out with their stories. We do not know how much others have been wronged. There seems to be enough to continue unjustifying them. Only to uphold the reputation of those in power. Nothing is more important than humanity. If you come to me with the art versus artist debate, let me tell you that for me the only thing I would like to look at is the humanity of the person making the art. I can live without the “art” of those who erode lives with impunity, “Parvathy said in her Instagram post.
Singer and activist Chinmayi had publicly claimed that he made her feel uncomfortable at least twice. She was even told that ‘her career is over’ if she refuses to ‘cooperate’. Her story sparked a series of allegations against Vairamuthu.
How do you justify this? #adoorgopalakrishnan and the jury that decided to give the accused Vairamuthu this honor (sic), ”asked Parvathy.
The ONV Cultural Academy started in 2016 with the ONV literary award after the death of ONV Kurup. The award honors poets from Malayalam and other Indian languages with a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh, a quote and a plaque.