Actor-director Renu Desai has spoken out against a section of fans of Telugu superstar and politician Pawan Kalyan, her former husband, for their insensitive comments towards her. She claimed that she has been receiving such negative remarks for 11 years, but was particularly affected by fans’ response to a video she posted on Instagram to celebrate her son Akira’s 19th birthday on 8 April. The video showed Renu with her son and she wrote, “Happy 19th Akiriiiii. [He still fits in my lap].” A Pawan Kalyan fan criticised her for frequently hiding the face of their “brother [Pawan Kalyan]’s son” from them. Renu pointed out that Akira was her son, not just their brother’s.
She then shared a screenshot of the comment on Instagram, writing, “I keep ignoring and deleting and blocking these kinds of comments. But today is my son’s birthday. It just hurt me to read this insensitive comment”. Some social media users argued that it was part of “Telugu culture” to attach the father’s name while asking for someone’s whereabouts, but Renu asked if it was also their culture to disrespect the woman who gave birth to them. In another post, she wrote, “For the past 11 years, I have been dealing with negative comments. On the day of my son’s birthday, I got hurt because I am a mother. When will the narrative of portraying me as a villain end? I’m really tired of this. Keeping quiet and not reacting has affected my mental health.”
Renu Desai and Pawan Kalyan married in 2009 and separated three years later in 2012. The couple appeared together in two films, Badri (2000) and Johnny (2003).