After an outrage on social media, lyricist and poet Vairamuthu took to Twitter to announce that he will be returning the ONV literary award. The jury decided to confer the Indian lyricist “for his excellent writing”, informed the head of jury Adoor Gopalakrishnan. His decision came in after the jury declared re-examination.
— வைரமுத்து (@Vairamuthu) May 29, 2021
Here’s a timeline of the controversy that pushed Vairamuthu to return the ONV award:
-On May 26, the Tamil lyricist was chosen for the fifth ONV award instituted by the ONV Cultural Academy.
-After his name was announced for the honour, an outrage erupted on social media over the aspect that a sexual harassment accused was being confered.
-Actor Parvathy took to social media to slam the jury over the decision on May 27. She mentioned that it is “immense disrespect” to give such an honour to the “accused of sexual assault crimes”.
-Besides Parvathy, actor Rima Kallingal also marked their dissent. “ An award in the name of one of our greatest literary figure shouldn’t go to a man accused by 17 women of sexual harassment,” she wrote in one of her Instagram story.
– “As per the request of the award committee, the ONV Cultural Academy has decided to subject the ONV Literature award to reconsideration,” an official statement released on May 28 read.
-The lyricist took to Twitter on Saturday to announce that he has taken the decision to return the award even before receiving it. “Due to the interference of a few envious people, it was announced that the award is being re-examined,” he said in a video shared on Twitter. “I also don’t wish to put a group of distinguished judges in a difficult spot,” he added.
-Singer and dubbing artist Chinmayi Sripaada alleged in 2018 that Vairamuthu made her feel uncomfortable on two occasions.
-However, Vairamuthu denied the allegations of sexual harassment raised by the singer. Without making any direct reference, the former mentioned in a tweet, “it had become fashionable to engage in uncivilised act like slander against well known-personalities”.