Chennai:  After receiving severe backlash on social media, Tamil Bigg Boss contestant Saravanan has apologised for his “small mistake” of touching women inappropriately, without their consent, on public transport.

Sarvanan admitted to groping women on public transport on the Bigg Boss show when host Kamal Haasan was talking about allegations put forth by Meera against filmmaker Cheran.

Haasan was talking about how it is difficult for people to travel in public transport systems wherein people are in a hurry to reach their destination in time. Along these lines, Kamal Haasan said, “There are some others who do come onboard just for the sake of groping women…” when Saravanan interrupted and admitted to have done so in the past. 

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Kamal Haasan was confused thinking Saravanan beat up anyone who did so but turns out he was one of those people who actually groped women in public transport. 

His admission was received with thunderous applause from those watching it and even Kamal Haasan didn’t reprimand him for his act, but seemed to laugh it off. 

What followed next was that several people on social media hit out at not only Saravanan, but also Kamal Haasan. 

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Advocate Sudha Ramalingam spoke to MyNation and said, “Having done such an act is wrong, being proud of it is wrong as it is not something to be proud of, and the host not reprimanding him is also wrong.” 

Saravanan on Monday (July 30) apologised to the public and said that he intended for youth to learn from his mistakes.“To everyone who is watching the show, I have to clarify something. When Kamal Sir asked the question, I hastily agreed to doing it several times. During my college days, I have made certain mistakes, tiny ones. The intention was to ask viewers to not do these things but it got cut and I couldn’t say it. I am repeating it once again," said Sarvanan to the audience.

He further went on to say, “I did whatever I did when I was young and I want all youngsters to know that it’s wrong. Which is one of the reasons why I am talking about it. Be it before Bigg Boss or after the show, I will still keep telling people not to make the same mistakes I made. There are punishments for these kinds of behaviour. I am sorry if I have hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he added.

Chinmayi Sripaada, who had levelled allegations against music composer Vairamuthu during the #MeToo movement also condemned Saravanan and Kamal Haasan for normalising and laughing about such a serious issue. 

Kamal Haasan reportedly made light of the situation by saying, “Avar adhaiyum thandi punidham aayitaar (He has gone beyond all that and is now become pure and holy)," a dialogue from his film Guna.

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Speaking about what a woman should do, advocate Sudha Ramalingam iterated, “Women should report such incidents. When such incidents come to the fore, even the crew on the train or bus should report such incidents. There is ample laws to take care of such incidents, there is no need for new ones. The matter must be reported. That is primary.”

When asked if the perpetrator can be identified after the FIR even when we cannot drag him to the police station, Ramalingam added, “Do we not have ways to identify chain snatchers? The same way such things too can be handled.”