Days after several netizens and celebrities from the south film industry expressed disappointment over the prestigious ONV award being awarded to #MeToo accused Vairamuthu, the Tamil poet-lyricist has now taken to his social media handle to declare that he is declining the honour. For the uninitiated, following a severe backlash, the ONV Cultural Academy had issued a notice stating that the award will be re-examined.
Well, in the video shared by Vairamuthu on his Twitter handle captioned in Tamil as, "I will return the award" (loose translation), he said, "The ONV Cultural Academy announced that they are honouring me with the ONV Award this year. I was happy to receive the award. But, owing to the interference of a few envious people, it was later announced that the award will be re-examined. I feel this decision may belittle me and poet ONV Kurup. The jury should not be pushed to a troublesome situation and therefore I wish to decline the award amid controversies and outrage. I have only one thing to say. I am being very honest. No one has to verify my truth. I have made my final decision and I am returning the award to the ONV Cultural Academy."
Along with the announcement, he added that he will be donating a sum of Rs 2 lakh to Kerala Chief Minister's Relief Fund to show his love for Kerala and its people. He added, "I request the academy to donate the cash prize of Rs 3 lakh, which they awarded to me, to the Kerala Chief Minister's Relief Fund. Along with that, I will be personally donating Rs 2 lakh to the Kerala CM's Relief Fund to show my love and respect towards Malayalees. Let the brotherhood between Tamil and Malayalam thrive. I thank Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Tamils across the world for wishing and congratulating me wholeheartedly upon knowing about the award."
For the uninitiated, Vairamuthu was allegedly accused by 17 women including singer Chinmayi Sripaada of sexual harassment during the controversial #MeToo movement.
On a related note, ONV Award is given to poets and lyricists across India as a recognition of their work, and the Tamil poet was the first non-Keralite to have been chosen for the award.