A couple of days ago, filmmaker Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam had alluded to a Malayalam film, Kappela, and made some comments about the use of rhetoric in old Telugu films.
Fans of Mahesh Babu took the post as a slight to their favourite hero and began abusing Tharun. He lodged a complaint with the Cyberabad police, but the National-award winning director says that the episode has taken an emotional toll on him.
Tharun feels that the freedom of expression guaranteed in a democratic set-up is being misused.
“Everyone wants 15 minutes to be noticed and to trend on social media. This is a pseudo type of bullying, where netizens try to find fake causes to attack people,” the director alleged, adding that most of those who abuse him on social media are youngsters who lack maturity.
“Perhaps they (fans of Mahesh Babu) felt my comparison was not in good taste, and I am okay with it. But constantly spying me and looking to find fault with me is scary,” said Tharun.
This isn’t the first time fans of a star hero are targeting Tharun.
“Fans of Jr NTR misunderstood that I said something about the actor, and they started hurling abuses on social media, a couple of years ago. I spoke to Jr NTR and clarified the matter, and he was so cool with it and asked me not to pay any heed to the bullying,” the filmmaker revealed.
“We need stricter laws,” he said. “Today we can’t even talk about cinema. While we are talking about nepotism in the film industry, my question is, what about such horror stories about social media? What if people like me go into depression?” the Pelli Choopulu helmer asked.
“Star heroes don’t have control over their fans,” he feels.
“Some heroes don’t even react; they just don’t want to get into this mess and get their hands dirty. However, not reacting to such abuse is also a crime,” stressed Tharun, adding that such social media bullying is setting a dangerous precedent.
Saying that he had been mentally affected by such abuse, he went on to add that, “What’s more scary is that I have to become thick-skinned to withstand this oppression.”
“The government and society can’t take cyber abuse lightly anymore,” he said.
“I have tracked a few user ids and spoke to them about the consequences of their abuse, but they did not pay any heed,” he revealed, but added that some netizens had however backed off after learning about his strong political ties.
He leaves us with this question, “What would my fate have been if I didn’t have any political background?”...