Chennai

Chinmayi says ‘truth is on her side’

Days after accusing poet Vairamuthu of sexual harrassment, singer Chinmayi Sripaada on Friday reiterated that she has truth on her side.

Speaking to reporters at Chennai airport, Ms. Chimayi said that there are no institutional structures in the media and entertainment industry to address issues of sexual harrassment. “The laws have to change. I neither had the guts nor strength to file a case and answer questions such as ‘how did he touch you?’ and how ‘how did he pull your hands?’ etc. back when it happened. But I am not scared anymore,” she added.

Asked about Mr. Vairamuthu’s response to her allegations on social media, she said: “He didn’t say that he didn’t do it. He has merely said that this issue is similar to other issues where he was insulted. This has happened to my colleagues as well, I will be their voice as well. There are many others who have been affected. I have received messages from others after I spoke up,” said Ms. Chinmayi.

She also rubbished the idea that she is coming up with such allegations for ‘publicity’. “I have sung all the songs in 96 and I have dubbed for the film as well. The film is such a huge hit. I have won many awards for my singing and I have sung in 8 languages. I am successful and I don’t need to do this for publicity. I have put my career on the line and Vairamuthu knows what I am saying is the truth. Truth is on my side,” she insisted.

Pointing out that Bollywood directors Sajid Khan and Vikas Bahl have already been removed from projects, Ms. Chinmayi said that ‘female solidarity’ in the movement has made all this possible. “This issue is not simply confined to media, film industry or stand-up comedy circles. This issue is concerned with every household in India,” she said, adding that she had taken help from her lawyers to explore further courses of action.

Kamal support

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan extended his support to #MeToo movement. “There is nothing wrong in those associated with the movement making allegations...Since the time of Kannagi, we have been telling stories of women facing harassment, but it is should be fair,” Mr. Haasan said.

DMK MP Kanimozhi also tweeted her support for the movement. “The #MeToo campaign should start a debate and make people introspect. Truth should be told to the world. This is a step towards stopping sexual exploitation. Let’s encourage women to expose the faces behind the mask. Let the perpetrators be put on trial and not the victims.”

Meanwhile actor Siddharth raised questions about why the Tamil film industry was maintaining a deafening silence regarding the allegations levelled against Mr. Vairamuthu.

Quoting his lyrics from Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (Kadalil meen onnu azhudha Karaikku seydhi vandhu serumaa?), the actor tweeted: “One more day of silence on #MeToo #TimesUp from our #TamilCinema. Maybe once more names come out... Paapom. The system needs change. Guidelines must be put in place. We must create a safe working place for all.”

Minister ‘Mafoi’ Pandiarajan also said that Ms. Chinmayi's allegations will be investigated if she files a formal complaint.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 2:44:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chinmayi-says-truth-is-on-her-side/article25209724.ece

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