On International Women’s Day, Kollywood director Aishwaryaa Dhanush performed Bharatanatyam at the UN headquarters in New York. Aishwaryaa, who is a UN Women Advocate for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in India, called it a ‘great opportunity’ and an ‘honour’. Her fans have called the performance ‘mesmerising’.
The internet, though, ever unforgiving, has not been kind in its criticism of Aishwaryaa’s performance. While Aishwaryaa’s performance was amateur, many wondered why she was asked to perform at the UN when they could have picked any experienced dancer from India.
Dancer Anita Ratnam, in fact, called her performance the ‘pathetic state of Bharatanatyam at the UN’. She also tweeted that there are many deserving dancers without ‘political or star clout’.
Not just Anita Ratnam, but many other artists too criticised Aishwaryaa's performance. Suprisingly, pictures and videos uploaded by various Aishwaryaa fan clubs have been deleted.
Predictably, trolls have been working overtime on videos ridiculing the performance. While some decided to make an Aishwarya vs Sivaji Ganesan comparison…
...others reimagined her performance as a ‘How to learn Bharatham in one night’ tutorial.
All quite entertaining though Aishwarya is unlikely to be amused.
But when trolls come calling, can misogyny be far behind? While some of the videos and memes have stuck to the performance itself, most of the tweets hitting out at Aishwarya are rather personal in nature. Some have even called her names, and ‘praised’ her for taking the attention away from her husband Dhanush, who was named in tweets put out from singer Suchitra’s handle last week.
Aishwarya's dance, to be honest, is embarrassing and it is a fair question to ask why she was chosen for the performance. But as we all know, it doesn't take too long for things to get ugly on the Internet, especially when there's a woman involved, and that's where the trolls seem headed with this one.
Watch the full video: