Two days after allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct were made against lyricist Vairamuthu, he has reacted with a cryptic tweet referring to the accusations without making any direct citations. Many anonymous women and singer Chinmayi had come forward sharing their experiences of sexual abuse by this powerful man in the Tamil film industry and literary circles.
In his reaction, Vairamuthu said, “The uncivilised act of spreading rumours about well-known people is becoming ‘civilised’ across the country. In recent times, I am being humiliated continuously; this too is one of those instances. I am indifferent to anything other than the truth; time will tell the truth.”
Vairamuthu seems to be alluding to the recent controversy over his speech on Andal. Right wing groups and BJP had protested asking him for an apology. He seems to suggest that the allegations against him during the #MeToo movement is in the same vein as the Andal controversy.
அறியப்பட்டவர்கள் மீது அவதூறு பரப்பும் அநாகரிகம் நாடெங்கும் இப்போது நாகரிகமாகி வருகிறது. அண்மைக்காலமாக நான் தொடர்ச்சியாக அவமானப்படுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறேன்; அவற்றுள் இதுவும் ஒன்று. உண்மைக்குப் புறம்பான எதையும் நான் பொருட்படுத்துவதில்லை; உண்மையைக் காலம் சொல்லும்.— வைரமுத்து (@vairamuthu) October 10, 2018
Shortly after Vairamuthu's statement, Chinmayi responded with a tweet that said "LIAR!"
On Monday, the first anonymous accusation against the poet lyricist was posted by journalist Sandhya Menon on her Twitter page. The woman had sexual harassment at the workplace by Vairamuthu when she, as an 18-year-old, was working with the poet on a project.
Following this, on Tuesday, singer Chinmayi came forward with her own account.
Chinmayi 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.
Further, the singer added that 3-4 years ago, Vairamuthu had asked her to sing the Tamizh Thaai Vaazhthu at a book release function. When she refused him, he allegedly threatened her and said that he would tell a politician that she'd spoken ill of him onstage.
Multiple women have sent private messages to both Sandhya and Chinmayi over Vairamuthu’s behaviour at a women’s hostel run by him.
Actors Siddharth, Samantha, and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar expressed their support for the MeToo movement in recent days.