Award to Vairamuthu to be re-examined, says ONV Cultural Academy president Adoor Gopalakrishnan
The Tamil poet was conferred with the prestigious award yesterday
Following a strong backlash from various corners, ONV Cultural Academy president Adoor Gopalakrishnan has issued a statement in which he said the decision to honour lyricist Vairamuthu will be subjected to re-examination.
The statement said: "The ONV Cultural Academy informs that it has decided to subject this year's ONV Literary Award to re-examination at the behest of the award selection committee."
There has been a strong backlash against the award being honoured to Vairamuthu. Earlier yesterday, actor Parvathy had slammed the ONV awards' jury for conferring Vairamuthu with the award. Her Instagram post read, "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 immense disrespect to give such an honour in his name to the accused of sexual assault crimes."
She also highlighted the fact that 17 women have come out against Vairamuthu and many more could have been harmed. She went on to address the art vs artist debate saying, "Let me tell you that for me the humanity of the person creating the art is the only thing I’d choose to look at. I can live without the “art” of those who hollow out lives with absolute impunity."
ONV Award is given to litterateurs, poets and lyricists across the country in memory of late poet ONV Kurup. Vairamuthu is the first non-Keralite celebrity to be chosen for the prestigious award.
Singer and voice artist Chinmayi Sripaada was one of the 17 women who confessed against Vairamuthu during the #MeToo movement in 2018. She was banned from the dubbing union for voicing out for the movement and her singing offers dried up after she called out the lyricist.