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Pawan Kalyan fans beat a man and then release a video: Is it a crime to criticise his films?

Pawan Kalyan’s fans tracked down a Twitter user who criticised the actor’s recent release, Agnyaathavaasi, and thrashed him. They also uploaded the video of the entire episode.

regional movies Updated: Jan 18, 2018 20:07 IST
Priyanka Sundar
Priyanka Sundar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Pawan Kalyan,Pawan Kalyan fans,Pawan Kalyan fans violent
Pawan Kalyan’s fans attacked a man for criticising his film Agnyaathavaasi.

Actor Pawan Kalyan’s fans are at it again. A video surfaced online of a group of men hitting a guy and we hear the warning in the background. “Whoever speaks against Anna will face the same situation.” They then cheer loudly, “Pawanism! Pawanism! Jai Pawanism!”

It all started when a Twitter user posted a video of himself spitting at a poster of Pawan Kalyan’s recent movie Agnyaathavaasi and showing a slipper to express his frustration. He says, “Is this a movie? I lost my money on it. It’s utter flop.” The user had captioned the video, “Powerstar fan review on #Agnyaathavaasi. Feel the pain.” The user intended it as a joke that would get people laughing. This was done in a lighter vein, but fans of the actor were offended. Only instead of the verbal battle online, they tracked this guy down to issue a warning. While it is not right to abuse anyone as the fan did, it is also not right to hit him in the name of loyalty for your favourite star.

Kalyan’s fans have attacked people before for slamming the star. A week after Katamarayudu’s release in March, 2017, two fans who were invited to a local Telugu channel to discuss the movie. After the shoot, they demanded to know from the anchor why he gave the film only three stars and went on to vandalise the set and manhandle the anchor. The episode was captured on camera.

Recently, critic Mahesh Kathi called Pawan Kalyan’s party authoritarian in an interview. This criticism had self professed Pawan Kalyan fans attacking the critic online, trolling him for more than a week. These individuals also shared the critic’s phone number and requested other fans to troll him. Through out this, the actor did not address his fans.

In the past, every time their fans step out of line, stars like Ajith and Vijay issued statements asking them not to abuse anyone in their name. The fans respect the actors and in turn the actors can influence them. Also, when fans use their idol’s name while bullying his detractors, it is the actor’s credence that is at stake. His silence can also be taken as acceptance of his fans’ behaviour. Does this not affect actor and Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan?

Author tweets @Priyanka_S_MCC
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First Published: Jan 18, 2018 15:54 IST