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Shown As A Schoolgirl’s ‘Desire’ For A Middle Aged Man, This Vairamuthu Song Is Slyly Pedophilic

Posted: May 29, 2021

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A new song by Vairamuthu has a teenager paired with a middle aged man, and is being called out for blatant paedophilia.

In recent years, there has been a growing new concern for parents. Incidents of sexual abuse against minors and related news surface from time to time, leaving parents and primary caregivers very little room for peace or relief.

In the state of Tamil Nadu, where people are still reeling from the shock at the rise in allegations against teachers who are said to have been repeated perpetrators of sexual abuse against their students, the song “En Kadhala” (My beloved) which is currently airing on Tamil TV channels, has stirred a storm in its own right.

No, there are no obscene scenes in the song per se – that is, there is nothing that is obviously vile. What is irksome is that the song is a depiction of an underage girl falling for a middle-aged man.

It is a woman’s right and privilege to fall in love and marry a person of her choice – given that she is of appropriate age (read as 18+ or older) and has the maturity one has to have in such a context. But, to portray a school girl ebbing with desire for a middle-aged man is downright normalisation of pedophilia and sexual grooming.

Poet Vairamuthu, who wrote and published the song as a part of his ambitious ‘Natpadu Theral’ project, has given the introductory text to the song as follows:

“The song is different. It goes to say that a difference in age, makes no difference in the eyes of love… Love is blind. The difference in age doesn’t matter.”

The girl in the song is shown wearing a school uniform, so we know for sure that she is a schoolgirl. Even according to their script, how old could a schoolgirl be?

This song presents the idea that a girl of that age yearns for the romantic affection of a man much older than herself. Is it not suggestive to predatory minds of those that already look at young children with lust?

Opposition on social media

Many socially responsible voices have expressed concerns on social media, criticizing the theme and visualization of the song.

Singer Chinmayi Sripaada has posted a tweet on her Twitter page quoting the same post.

What is said in the song?

Despite the poet’s assurance in his introduction to the song that ‘this is love sans lust’, the lyrics of the song insist otherwise.

“Would a kissing mouth worry about the difference in age?”

“There is no father in my life!
I want a husband like a father!

The ocean is too old
The river is ​​too young
But who has the right to question
when the river merges with the ocean?

Is social responsibility eclipsed by the paedophilic compulsions?

Where exactly is this going? On one hand, social activists are struggling to eradicate child marriage which is still a reality in nooks and corners of the country. On the other hand, we have ‘creative, poetic depictions’ such as this song doing the rounds in public without shame or sympathy.

Isn’t it vicious to represent a child as a willing participant, all set to enter into a relationship with a man much older than herself? Is it not time we stood up against normalizing sexual grooming by/for predators, no matter how poetic or aestheticized the representation is?

Were the makers blissfully unaware of the implications? Media is so powerful, and people definitely know better.

Will Mr. Vairamuthu, and other men of ‘grand talent’ and ‘following’, come to acknowledge that their actions (no matter how right/ wrong/ intentional/ unintended they are) will influence and encourage people who look up to them, to follow in their footsteps? Will they come to act with social responsibility, ever?

I don’t know if anyone is listening, but parents and caregivers, please let’s be as vigilant as we could be in keeping our children safe.

First published in Tamil here.

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