Centre responds to Chinmayi's allegations against Vairamuthu, NCW to intervene

In October 2018, Chinmayi had named lyricist Vairamuthu as a sexual harasser on Twitter.
Centre responds to Chinmayi's allegations against Vairamuthu, NCW to intervene
Centre responds to Chinmayi's allegations against Vairamuthu, NCW to intervene

Four months after singer Chinmayi alleged that Tamil lyricist Vairamuthu had sexually assaulted her when she was 18 year old, the Central government has finally taken notice. Responding to Chinmayi's tweet on Tuesday, regarding lack of action in the matter, Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi stated that she has escalated the case to the National Commission for Women (NCW).

Tweeting to Maneka Gandhi and the NCW on Tuesday, Chinmayi wrote, “Ma'am, it’s been 4 months since I named Mr Vairamuthu as my predator. I have since then been banned from work in the TN Film Industry (Dubbing Union). The law as of today doesn’t allow me to file a case. Please give me a solution.”

She further pointed out that naming her predator has cost her, her basic income.

“Many of my colleagues who have named Vairamuthu and men are afraid of coming out in the open because speaking up has cost me my basic income in the past 4 months. Please tell me what I should do, what more I should do. Due process has failed me. Please help this Beti. And others,” she tweeted to the Minister.

And responding in just over an hour, Maneka Gandhi confirmed that she has taken up the case with the NCW and directed the singer to send her contact details directly to the Minister.

Following this, Chinmayi said that this was her third and fourth tweet to the Minister. “It has been acknowledged now. I've sent them my contact details as requested,” she added.

In October 2018, Chinmayi named Vairamuthu as a sexual harasser and detailed how she had allegedly been asked by the organiser of a programme in Switzerland to "cooperate" with Vairamuthu. She was reportedly asked to visit him in a hotel in Lucerne. When she refused and demanded that they (Chinmayi and her mother) return to India, she was supposedly told that her career was over. Chinmayi says that the incident took place in 2005 or 2006. Before that, when she was still a teenager, he allegedly groped her at his office. Following her decision to publicly reveal his name, however, the singer has been facing massive backlash from the Tamil film industry and was even ousted from the dubbing union.

The acknowledgement from the Centre comes at a time when another face of the MeToo movement, Priya Ramani received bail after her alleged abuser and former Minister MJ Akbar filed a defamation case against her.

Chinmayi was amongst the first celebrities in Tamil Nadu to come forward with allegations against Vairamuthu. Following her revelations, several others in the industry too, both anonymously and openly, admitted to having similar experiences with the lyricist.

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