“I was trolled and abused mercilessly for loving Vijay’s Kaththi”

Singer Chinmayi has recalled the incident when she was trolled and abused mercilessly by Ajith fans for saying that she loved Vijay’s Kaththi.

“4 – 5 days of seeing the abuse unfold on a journalist and the witch hunt on her, talking to some of the fans on twitter and reading responses from other journalists who wouldn’t stand up – ‘it happened to me too, so what?’, to ‘a ‘journalist should be responsible in what she/he says’, to polarised sentiment that the actors that fan these sentiments should apologise – and asking what I think. My stand has always been the same. Rape Threats and Abuse *Cannot* be a tool to express displeasure or disagreement.

I lodged my complaint in 2012 which led to the first arrests for abuse on social media. I was widely criticised for taking my ‘feminist wrath’ out on hapless men ‘irresponsible’ views. Time passed, more and more such ‘irresponsible’ tweets and social media harassment on women has led to suicides by the victims at worst,” she posted about the recent incident of Vijay fans abusing a woman journalist.

“I tweeted I loved Katthi a couple of years ago. I was trolled and abused mercilessly (and so was racer Alisha Abdullah. Some called her a traitor) by another set of fans. At another time I posted what I thought was a harmless meme which I found genuinely funny. I got rape threats. An employee working at Cognizant, no less, called me a prostitute. I called him out saying I may write to the company asking what it thinks of an employee’s behavior on social media. Cognizant as a company couldn’t pull their employee up. A response similar to what I got from NIFT when I wrote to them asking if the problem could be sorted instead of going to the police. They too said they could do nothing. SKP was an Associate Professor at NIFT who was arrested following my case,” she added.

“Taking this into account it would definitely be nice if actors condemned misogyny in their films and the truth is the industry as such is changing. Directors are realizing the impact. Dialogues are being written differently. But the Indian film industry (and its stars) has grown and established while propagating misogyny as well. Every star worth his stardom has mouthed copious dialogues on what makes a ‘seriyaana pombala’. Every star is guilty of it. And now, change is happening because of public discourse,” she added.

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