Recently ONV Literary Award to Tamil poet and lyricist Vairamuthu has kicked up a row, with several actors, writers, and women’s rights activists criticizing the jury’s decision to confer the award on a person facing multiple #MeToo allegations. ONV Cultural Academy told that the trust would re-examine the decision.
Actress Parvathy from Kerala film industry, who said that decision disrespected ONV’s memory. “ONV sir is our pride. His contribution as a poet and lyricist is incomparable. How it has nourished our culture. Our hearts and minds have benefited through his body of work. This is exactly why it is of immense disrespect to give such an honour in his name to the one accused of sexual assault crimes. Seventeen women have come out with their stories. We don’t know how many more have been wronged,” she wrote on her Instagram page.
ONV Cultural Academy Official Statement
On 26th of May 2021 Academy announced that Vairamuthu will be awarded. After series of allegations and negative statements raised against Vairamuthu after the announcement on 28th of May 2021 ONV Cultural Academy chairman and renowned Malayalam movie director Adoor Goaplakrishan said that they will reconsider the decision. Earlier Adoor backed Vairamuthu by saying award is for his excellence in writing not for his personal character.
Vairamuthu was considered by the jury for his excellent writing. I do not know if the jury knows he is a person facing such charges. My personal opinion is that awards should not be decided on the basis of character. As chairman of the Cultural Society, I do not interfere in the decisions of the jury,Adoor to Malayalam News Portal
For the statement of Adoor Writer N.S. Madhavan also criticised the move and tweeted: “Adoor is so wrong when he said that the ONV award was given to Vairamuthu for his writing and not character. Remember 2018 Nobel for Literature was cancelled because there were #MeToo charges against the husband of a jury member. Be sensitive when you deal with arts, please”.
Even Vairamuthu met Tamilnadu Chief Minister MK Stalin shared the information about his award.