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“Most of them were by Young boys” Parvathy Thiruvothu on How she fought through Rape and Death Threats!

She brings her own sunshine, she walks away with her own thunder; when Parvathy enters a room, there’s a luminous aura around her accompanied with her wholesome smile. With confidence in her stride and strength in her words, Parvathy is well aware of the consequences of speaking up in an industry that chooses to let sleeping dogs lie. In the face of adversity, she is the woman who gives it a wink and strives on, defining the old adage: ‘As the going gets tough, the tough gets going.’

In 2019 cover shoot with JFW, Parvathy opened up about how she delt with social media hate. Parvathy is a proud feminichi, a localised version of the word Feminist which was christened to her by trolls who just couldn’t take the fact that she spoke her mind. The year 2017 was a tough one for her, where she faced the wrath of thousands of trolls on social media, periodically shaming and threatening her for calling out a migogynistic scene from Mamooty’s movie Kasaba. While calling a spade a spade, she didn’t realise that so many would come after her. But it lead to her developing this titanium skin that guards her so well even now. “I would not change a thing about the year, because I actually discovered a beautiful set of friends from various fields. We started a group called OMKV (alluded to a hashtag she had started) on WhatsApp. These are all women Facebook warriors who were supporting me and in turn getting trolled for that. So we started this thing where if someone was getting trolled, we would go troll them. Now, any political theme or anything that happens in India, there are debates and discussions happening there in the group,” she says, beaming with pride.

With utmost confidence, she states that she would, two years later, still repeat everything that she said back then 15 more times. “However, I do wish it were easier on my parents because they saw me physically get affected. Emotionally I never got affected. My body took the toll because I was the only one waking up every morning, taking screenshots and sending it to the lawyers, getting people arrested and doing it all by myself. All for the good though!”

‘A lot of the trolls were young boys!’

When the trolling began, actress Rima Kallingal forewarned Parvathy about reading the comments on social media. Being a veteran in dealing with trolls because she started speaking up long before social media made an impact on one’s life, Rima knew what it would be like to deal with so much hate online. “At that point, I started reading comments from a legal perspective because I started getting rape and death threats. Most of them were by boys who were 16-17 years old!” Soon, Parvathy realised that it wasn’t just about her anymore. “This could happen to any woman and should be talked about, and I have a platform to do that. My first two months, I was still in the wrong for most people. It took a long time before I got the support from people,” she says.

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