Ever since popular Malayalam actor Parvathy called out Mammootty film Kasaba for its sexist dialogues, a vitriolic cyber attack was unleashed on the actor known for her performances in many acclaimed movies like Take Off.
Parvathy's statement seems to have polarised the Malayalam film industry. Though other actors and celebrities too have been subjected to online abuse in the past, Parvathy decided that she will not take the abuse lying down. Parvathy has filed a police complaint against a few users on social media who hurled abuses and sexual threats at her.
Parvathy filed the complaint with DGP Loknath Behera, the cyber cell and the CMO.
Confirming the news to TNM, an official at Cyber Cell said that they were in the process of tracking a few accounts that abused the actor and one that even sent rape threats.
"We are monitoring 4-5 accounts on Twitter and other platforms. Most of them are fake accounts, that's what people resort to for abusing people on social media. We have requested Twitter to provide us the details of these accounts. As and when we receive the information, it will be forwarded to Ernakulam South police station, where the case is filed," the official said.
Not just Parvathy, but TNM has learnt that another complaint has been registered by women who too have been abused for supporting the actor and her statement. These women have also included the IDs of various people indulging in cyber abuse in their complaint to Kerala police.
Though the comments were made two weeks ago, Parvathy's social media accounts are still getting hate messages and threats. Many videos mocking her and making derogatory comments are still being widely shared on social media. On the consistent cyber abuse she has been facing for the last few days, Parvathy told TNM that trolls cannot get to her.
From death threats to rape threats, Parvathy saw vitriolic abuse come her way.
"Death and rape threats were there, and so was work intimidation. Many of them threatened me saying I will go out of work for what I had said. They said my career would be finished," Parvathy told TNM.
Although the trolls believe that they have the clout to intimidate her, they actually don't possess that power, Parvathy said.
"They think they have the power, but they don't. This abuse is not just on me, but also to those people who are close to me. They want my friend's work to be affected by this attack, but in reality, it is not affecting us.This is not affecting me. These are all noise," she said.
Asked about the culture of normalising social media abuse, Parvathy said: "Definitely there is a culture of playing it down. We are told to ignore it, pretend as if we haven't seen it. We are asked to lie low until the abuse subsides.That's what we have been doing for years.Do we wait for these abuses to be a reality?How many of us are going to be sacrificed before we take this seriously? Before we decide to react?"
She added, "We cannot control those on social media and we should not take away their freedom of speech. But people need to differentiate between what is abuse and what is not. At least a few who have crossed that line and sent sexual threats against women have to be held accountable."