Pawan Kalyan's Fans Harassing Me, Says Film Critic Mahesh Kathi

"They have called me all sorts of names, from dog to pig to what not. They made memes with mean comments and circulated it," said Telugu film critic Mahesh Kathi


"Who do I complain against?" asked Mahesh Kathi (courtesy Facebook)



  1. "I did not say anything abusive," said Mahesh Kathi
  2. "They have called me all sorts of names," he said
  3. "Pawan Kalyan could have just tweeted an apology at least," he added
Telugu film critic Mahesh Kathi is at the receiving end of hatred from fans of actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan. The 40-year-old film critic, who has also been a filmmaker, says he is a victim of organised harassment and threats from hundreds of so-called fans, who are angry about what he had said in public on Pawan Kalyan's films, his political role and also his party Jana Sena. "I did not say anything abusive or what can be considered improper. I was asked for my opinion on his political foray and I answered honestly about what I thought,'' Mahesh told NDTV. "Suddenly the phone calls and messages started and that is when I realised that my phone number had been shared on Facebook fan pages and Whatsapp groups, with the specific calls to target me.''

Mahesh said he has consulted lawyers and friends to know how to deal with this. "There are some 10,000 numbers from which I got calls. It is like a mob. Who do I complain against?"

He has now identified some names and numbers of those who had abused him over phone and on social media platforms like Twitter and Whatsapp. Some of them had called him on a live show on a Telugu channel and had not just threatened violence but had spoken in a provocative manner to incite feelings that could put him in the risk of being attacked.

Mahesh was recently evicted from the Telugu Big Boss and all the recent trouble surfaced post that, in an interview he had done post his eviction. But this is not the first time Mahesh is being trolled by fans of Pawan Kalyan. His comments on the popular Telugu actor's film Katamarayudu had provoked a lot of vitriolic abuse.

"They have called me all sorts of names, from dog to pig to what not. They made memes with mean comments and circulated it. And the man they claim to defend the interests of has not thought it fit to rein them in. He could have just tweeted an apology at least," Mahesh said. "How many people can I block?"

It was in fact Mahesh's comments that Pawan Kalyan's political activism is limited to tweeting on different subjects sporadically that infuriated his followers and fans who started "non-stop harassing me. None of them would answer when I asked how they got my phone number."

All Mahesh is asking for is a tweet from Pawan Kalyan, asking his fans to stop calling Mahesh. "He should control, stop or disown such fans.'' Pawan Kalyan has so far not reacted to this controversy.

His fan Kalyan Dileep Sunkala has posted a video on Facebook saying comments like that of Mahesh Kathi should not be ignored because "first one dog starts barking. If you don't stop that, many more will start barking''.

Trolling is nothing new for fans of actors, who get after anyone who they feel has made adverse comments on their screen idols. At least two Tamil film reviewers have reported being trolled by fans of actor Ajith Kumar after their review of his new Tamil film Vivegam. Journalist Dhanya Rajendran was similarly trolled by fans of actor Vijay and she finally lodged police complaints against them.

Ajith, fondly known as Thala, has taken a strong stand against trolling and online abuse by his fans and has apologised unconditionally for any harm caused. In a recent statement released by his legal counsel, the actor has stated that he has not authorised any individual, group, associations or social media handles to express statements on his behalf. It also clarified that the actor has no official account on any social media platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

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