In this day and age of fast food and social media, gaining fast fame and becoming Internet stars overnight is easy duck soup than catching a viral fever or even common cold. Breaking all the erstwhile records on instant popularity within a day, a new viral social media celeb has emerged who took not just the internet but the entire country by storm fanning her fame all over the cyberspace and breaking the hearts of untold Indian youth (who could not even sleep a wink) with her one wink in just forty winks time.
( Images source: YouTube.com & Wikidata )
As the whole country witnesses the (all of a) sudden rise of this new overnight star, it also woke up to the alarming fact of how the Internet and social media can catapult anyone to fame or shame on a dime. The mass viral fame attained by the sensational Malayalam actress Priya Prakash Varrier (or Warrier) had also led her to ensure a slew of controversies and legal battles that moved the actress to even appeal to the Supreme Court of India for justice on the untoward cases and FIRs filed against her from nameless individuals and religious groups.
Was Priya’s instant fame the reason behind attackers to make her guilty?
Priya, an 18-year-old Malayali girl who was born and brought up in Kerala had framed her mind to become a famed star since her childhood from the time she began learning classical dance and music. However, it was only her debut Malayalam film Oru Adair Love (2018) which gave her the initial platform to perform alongside a new co-star who also had his share of the limelight like her when the song in which they winked at each other went viral within a few hours of the song release on youtube. The instant popularity that she gained from a wink in the song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’ had her Instagram account flooded with more than 600 thousand people following her. The instant hit song went onto have an astounding 4.3 million views by the youtube audience in just 2 days. Still and all, it is not all the way serendipitous for Priya Varrier as it also veered her way towards uninvited problems in the form of FIRs and court cases by certain heretical sects of Indian society who also had issues with the song’s director and lyrics.
- A bunch of young men from Hyderabad placed a police case at odds with the filmmakers and the teaser song claiming it has hurt Muslims’ religious sentiments.
( Priya Varrier’s near iconic wink that broke storm on the Internet – source: DNA India )
- The short clip from the teaser song that garnered instant stardom to the 18-year-old even before the film’s release, has rubbed some people the wrong way and an engineering student Abdul Muqeet is one among the millions of listeners who found “objectionable” reference to the wife of Prophet Muhammad in the original Malayalam lyrics and went to the extent of filing a police complaint.
- Another instance from Hyderabad is when Zaheer Ali Khan, a Businessman also rushed to the police demanding to either reprimand the song from the movie or alter its lyrics.
- Despite the outcry from certain Muslim sects regarding the song’s portrayal, the director Omar Lulu rejected demands to remove the song. He upheld the fact that the song penned by CMA Jabbar was sung by Malabar Muslims from Northern Kerala for over four decades in various auspicious functions and hence it is not objectionable then and even now that makes it obviously impossible to hurt any religious sentiments.
( The ‘wink’ cast in a selfie mode – source: YouTube.com )
- An added relief to the filmmakers in the midst of this mindless upheaval was when they received support from many women activists as women activist Shamina Shafiq rubbishes the complaints the song received for allegedly offending Muslim groups and even blamed the groups for not taking action for the right reasons and problems surrounding the community like heinous crimes or young girl’s education and the likes.
All through these allegations, the actress has maintained her calm and even moved the highest of the courts to deliver judgment in her favor. With the issue however being resolved, it is still unfathomable as to what led these heretical groups to file a case against a wink or a song. Is it done deliberately to tarnish the heroine’s image and the song’s popularity or is to intimidate one and all while safeguarding their religious rights by being dogmatic even at the slightest hint of any objectionable content in a movie or a song.