Singer Chinmayi recounts instances of sexual harassment

Singer Chinmayi has accused popular YouTube reviewer Prashanth of running a hate campaign against her after she rejected his overtures.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Updated: October 8, 2018 6:24:39 pm

Singer Chinmayi #MeToo Chinmayi recalled a series of instances when ‘respected men’, usually way older than her, behaved inappropriately with her.

Singer Chinmayi is the latest high-profile celebrity to publicly recount instances of sexual harassment.

Chinmayi recalled the first time she was subjected to unsolicited touch at the age of just eight or nine years old. “It is very, very tough for women to remember accounts of when they were touched inappropriately; a ‘harmless’ hug that looks OK but makes them alone cringe (sic),” she wrote on her Twitter page.

In the following Twitter thread, she recounted sexual harassment she faced from her childhood to the recent past. “I was 8, maybe 9. I was sleeping. My mom was supervising a recording session for her documentary. Felt a man in priestly robes feel up my privates and I woke up. Told her ‘that uncle is bad’. This was in the studio called Santhome Communications that still exists.(sic).”

“Maybe I was 10/11, December Music Festival, ‘respectable mama’ whose name I dont remember kept pinching my thigh throughout a concert. I heard more gross stories of Sabha secretaries. In retrospect, a lot of children weren’t safe around some adults.(sic),” she added.

Chinmayi recalled a series of instances when ‘respected men’, usually way older than her, behaved inappropriately with her. “A woman speaking up *and* naming the man has a consequence of slut shaming, ‘what did you do that he behaved like that?’, being discredited, being called unprofessional and also losing work/career. A risk women cant take. And that has enabled the men. No longer. #TimesUp (sic).”

It is not the first time that Chinmayi has started a conversation on sexual harassment. She has always been forthcoming about sharing her unsettling experiences in the past and has encouraged others to speak out as well. “‘Respected Man’ once raged and raged when I refused to do his bidding in a professional setting due to a prior commitment. Threatened political trouble from ‘Higher ups’. I was shaking. Thought the end is near. It left me in tears,” she recalled.

“I filed the first case ever that led to arrests (it is not an achievement) after online harassment and threats to disrupt concerts/public events for over 3 years. Mom and I begged them to leave me alone. But I faced more bile and hate from Twitter for the case,” she said, adding that some women cheered on men who launched an abusive campaign against her on social media.

Chinmayi also accused popular YouTube reviewer Prashanth of running a hate campaign against her after she rejected his overtures. “One of the successful ‘Youtube’ reviewers now – Prashanth offered to ‘support’ me and immediately launched into, ‘Dont worry sweetheart/darling I will Support you.’ Made me cringe; I deleted the DMs & said ‘Dont call me sweetheart’. He launched into a hate campaign right after (sic),” she alleged.

“He called me an oppressor to whatnot; things that people believed then. I was the sole voice against 100s of men raging that I had called out a man who threatened to rape me. An actor’s PRO’s wife posted that they are filing a case of ‘Oppression’ against me(sic),” she added.

Responding to the allegations, Prashanth wrote on Twitter, “Enga @chinmayi , if i have done anything unlawful. Feel free to complain to the cops as you always do and get me arrested. Sanikalama sayangalam ipdi disturb pannurathu thappu aamaa! Cheers! :) nothing against u, and fantastic work in #96TheMovie!”

Chinmayi’s viral thread encouraged many to send their stories to her directly on Twitter. And she shared some of them on her Twitter page after blanking out the name of the survivors.

“Some of the instances and stories of rape by older men, teachers, uncles, religious priests, grandfathers even on young boys is heart breaking. To all the men and women who shared – I wish with all my heart you heal. I know it is not easy. Hoping for a better society(sic),” she said.

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