Soon after Kamal Haasan received flak for naming the Malayalam actress who was abducted and assaulted recently, actress and his former partner Gautami Tadimalla, has said that while she can’t comment on whether it is right or wrong to do so, there’s a law that forbids it.
“The basic stance is there is a law against it. I hesitate to use the word ‘victim’ but the reason I hesitate is because, for somebody to go through an experience like this and stand up and fight it, she’s a hero. To me, she’s a hero. You know to face society, face the people around her, to face her attacker, she needs tremendous courage. So I hesitate to use the word victim, but that definitely holds true,” she told India Today.
The actress further emphasised why the case of Nirbhaya and the Malayalam actress are different when it comes to the issue of naming. “One is of the girl’s mother who has come forward and said, ‘Name my child because I want her fight and her struggle and her heroism to be recognised by name.’ I think the perspective of that is different from an onlooker naming a victim, and it is my understanding, and I might be inadequately informed… that there are rules, regulations and laws that govern this.
The actress, who has always been vocal about issues such as violence against women or the political scenario in Tamil Nadu, lauded the Malayalam film industry’s initiative of having a Women’s Collective. “I think the Women in Cinema Collective is a wonderful initiative that they have taken, and from all that I have seen, I do know that they are very dynamic, proactive both in terms of standing up for women, and even creatively. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do.”
Speaking on her former partner’s show Bigg Boss Tamil and several right-wing outfits calling for a ban on it, Gautami said that one has to understand the strong power that comes with disclosing things in public.”
“It’s not about banning or allowing any type of content, it’s about being responsible with what you are putting out there on a public platform for people to consume… A celebrity has an incredible ability to impact people… You have to recognise and acknowledge what we are putting out there on a public platform has a very strong power to influence people.”
The actress will soon be seen in her comeback Malayalam film E, directed by Kukku Surendran.