190806 saravanan
Saravanan Image Credit: Supplied

The adage ‘Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time’ rings true for Bigg Boss Tamil contestant Sarvanan who bragged about molesting and groping women when young in a crowded bus in an episode that aired weeks ago. He is now evicted and eliminated from the popular reality show on Vijay TV that courted trouble after its flippant attitude towards sexual violence against women.

In the Monday episode of Kamal Haasan-hosted show, now in its third season, we saw Sarvanan being reprimanded for his toxic comments in the show’s confession room.

“Though you had apologised in the episode on July 29, the 'Bigg Boss' team has decided not to take this incident lightly ... Crores [millions] of families in Tamil Nadu and outside are watching this programme. The message we want to send across is that though the incidents happened in the past, we strictly condemn it. Hence it has been decided that you shall not continue in this show. Saravanan, you are evicted from the Bigg Boss house,” said Bigg Boss, a voice that oversees the participant’s conduct and progress.

“Crores of families in Tamil Nadu and outside are watching this programme.”

The tone was different a few weeks ago when Sarvanan made the toxic remark. The National Award-winning actor was visibly flippant when Saravanan bragged about his young college days when he got onto a public transport vehicle to feel up women. At that time, Haasan brushed off his offensive remarks, claiming that Saravanan is now a reformed, changed man.

The episode unleashed a furore in Tamil Nadu and triggered debates on their disturbing exchange that extolled ‘boys will be boys’ mentality.

Singer Chinmayi even took it to twitter and condemned the action with: “A Tamil channel aired a man proudly proclaiming he used the Public Bus Transport system to molest/grope women - to cheers from the audience. And this is a joke. To the audience. To the women clapping. To the molester. Damn.”

Saravanan’s eviction has been met with mixed reactions. While the majority hail the decision, many others felt Saravanan was being unjustly punished.