|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
August 2013 – 18 May 2014
|Preceded by||N. Chaluvaraya Swamy|
|Succeeded by||C. S. Puttaraju|
29 November 1982
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress|
Divya Spandana (born 29 November 1982), who was known professionally as Ramya (Kannada: ರಮ್ಯಾ Ramyā), is an Indian film actress and politician. She primarily works in Kannada film industry, but also appears in Tamil and Telugu language films. Ramya is the recipient of two Filmfare Awards South, an Udaya Award, and a Karnataka State Film Award.
Ramya made her acting debut in the 2003 Kannada-language film Abhi. Although she has sporadically worked in Tamil and Telugu films her work in Kannada film industry garnered her greater attention; she won the Udaya Award and Filmfare Award for Best Actress for the Amrithadhare (2005) and Tananam Tananam (2006) respectively. Her performance as the eponymous heroine in the 2011 romantic drama Sanju Weds Geetha garnered her further critical success and a Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress. Ramya has also starred in the 2011 blockbuster fantasy film Katari Veera Surasundarangi and other commercially successful films including he 2016 epic-fantasy Nagarahavu.
Spandana joined the Indian National Congress in 2012 as a member of its youth wing; she later won a 2013 by-election to become a Member of Parliament for Mandya constituency in Karnataka, but was defeated in a general elections the following year. She has been appointed as the head of Congress' digital media team and had been credited by media outlets for having transformed the political party's image on social media.
Ramya was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, on 29 November 1982. Her mother, Ranjitha, is a senior member of the Congress Party in Karnataka, while her foster father, R. T. Narayan, was an industrialist. Her birth name was Divya Spandana. Ramya is the name given to her by Kannda actor Rajkumar's wife, Parvathamma, on the set of her debut film Abhi. Ramya is from the Vokkaliga community. Her parents are from Mandya. She studied at St. Hilda's school in Ooty, and at Sacred Heart School (Church Park), Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Ramya made her feature film debut with Puneeth Rajkumar's 2003 Kannada film Abhi. She made her first appearance in the Tamil film industry with the stage name Ramya, with the 2004 film Kuththu. The film had a successful run at the box office, as did her next Tamil film, Giri. Her debut film, however, gave her the name 'Kuthu' Ramya, by which she was then popularly known in Tamil Nadu, she had major box-office success with three Kannada films – Aakash, Gowramma and Amrithadhare – garnering critical acclaim for her performances and establishing her as a leading actress.
In 2006, she starred in Julie, a remake of the 1975 Hindi-language film, but it failed to attract audiences. After her following release, Datta, her next Kannada release, Jothe Jotheyali, was a successful venture in spite of unfavorable reviews by critics. Her final 2006 release, Tananam Tananam, an average performer that released to mixed reviews, gained Ramya her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She had described her role in the film as "little complex" and "challenging". In 2007, Ramya starred in three feature films; the first of these, Arasu, was a huge hit. She then appeared as a sex worker in a film made to create awareness about AIDS as part of Mira Nair's AIDS Jaago project. Her last 2007 film was Polladhavan, released during Deepavali; it was considered a commercial success and her breakthrough in Tamil. Rajinikanth was all praises for the entire crew of Polladhavan.
Her first 2008 release, the Kannada film Mussanjemaatu, was a big hit, and gained her a nomination for a Best Actress Award at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. She followed this with the Tamil film Thoondil. Ramya later stated that she regretted accepting the film. Later that year, she starred in the films Bombaat and Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu, the former performing well at the box office. Her final release in 2008 was Gautham Menon's Vaaranam Aayiram, which also won that year's National Award for the best feature film in Tamil. She was credited as Divya in Vaaranam Aayiram. She dubbed her own voice for this film, which became a critical and commercial success. She did not have any releases in 2009, since both her films, Bhimoos Bang Bang Kids and Jothegaara, were delayed due to financial problems.
Her first release of 2010, Just Math Mathalli, received rave reviews, with appreciation for her role. She had two more releases that year, the long-delayed Jothegaara and Kiccha Huccha. Her next release was the Tamil film Singam Puli, followed by the romantic drama Sanju Weds Geetha. This film opened to highly positive reviews, with Ramya being unanimously praised by critics for her performance, which was considered among the best in her career.
Her first release in 2012 was a comedy drama, Sidlingu, in which she portrayed the role of a school teacher. This was followed by a light-comedy movie, Lucky. She appeared in the semi-mythological movie Katari Veera Surasundarangi. In August 2013, Ramya announced that she was considering quitting acting to pursue a career in politics.
Following her brief political career, Ramya made her acting comeback in 2016 with Nagarahavu, a film which placed deceased actor Vishnuvardhan in the lead role through visual effects. The film received negative reviews upon the release and failed to attract an audience despite this gimmick.
Ramya joined the Indian Youth Congress in 2012. She became the Indian National Congress (INC) Member of Parliament from Mandya constituency in Karnataka by winning the by-election in 2013. In the 2014 Indian general election, she again contested from Mandya but was defeated by C. S. Puttaraju by a margin of 5,500 votes.
In May 2017 she was given the task of reviving INC's social media wing and was made national head of Congress's digital team at national level. She took over the social media team from Deepender Singh Hooda. According to various newspapers and media houses, she is instrumental in turning around Rahul Gandhi's and INC's social media image.
In August 2017, Ramya created the online campaign #AintNoCinderella to support Varnika Kundu, a woman who was "chased and almost kidnapped" one night in Chandigarh. Senior Haryana state BJP politician Ramveer Bhatti told press the attack was Kundu's fault for being out so late: "The girl should not have gone out at 12 in the night. Why was she driving so late in the night? The atmosphere is not right. We need to take care of ourselves."
The campaign started when Ramya and friends began posting photos of themselves out late at night with the hashtag #AintNoCinderella. "Why shouldn't women go out after midnight?" Ramya told the BBC. "I'm asking people like Mr Bhatti who are they to set curfew hours for us? I want to ask him who is he to question us? This is such a regressive mindset."
On October 3, 2018, there was a rumor that she was reportedly upset with Congress Party and there was a speculation that she had stepped down as its social media head.
Awards and Nominations
- Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Amrithadhare (2005)
- Nominated - Filmfare Award South Best Actress - Kannada - Amrithadhare (2005)
- Filmfare Awards South Best Actress — Kannada - Tananam Tananam (2006)
- Nominated - Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Tananam Tananam (2006)
- Nominated - Filmfare Award South Best Actress - Kannada - Mussanjemaatu (2008)
- Nominated - Suvarna Film Award for Best Actress - Mussanjemaatu(2008)
- Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Mussanjemaatu (2008)
- Suvana Film Award for Favorite Heroine - Mussanjemaatu (2008)
- Nominated - Filmfare Award South Best Actress- Kannada - Just Math Maathalli(2010)
- Nominated - Suvarna Film Award for Best Actress - Just Math Maathalli (2010)
- Nominated - Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Just Math Maathalli (2010)
- Suvarna Film Award for Favorite Heroine - Just Math Maathalli (2010)
- Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Sanju Weds Geetha (2011)
- Filmfare Awards South Best Actress - Kannada - Sanju Weds Geetha (2011)
- Suvarna Film Awards for Best Actress - Sanju Weds Geetha (2011)
- Suvarna Film Awards for Favorite Heroine - Sanju Weds Geetha (2011)
- SIIMA Award for Best Actress - Kannada - Sanju Weds Geetha (2011)
- Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for Sanju Weds Geetha (2011).
- Nominated - Filmfare Award South for Best Actress - Kannada - Sidlingu(2012)
- Nominated - SIIMA Award for Best Actress - Kannada - Sidlingu (2012)
- Nominated - Suvarna Film Awards for Best Actress - Sidlingu (2012)
- Nominated - Udaya Film Award for Best Actress - Sidlingu (2012)
- Shyam Prasad, S. (23 July 2009). "No filmy husband for me". Bangalore Mirror.com. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "No filmy husband for me - Bangalore Mirror -". bangaloremirror.com.
- "Yes, I'm seeing someone, says Ramya - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dnaindia.com. 29 November 2010.
- "Mother campaigns for daughter". 14 August 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Actor loses foster father". 3 August 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Living by her own rules: Sandalwood Queen Ramya's journey through acting and politics". The News Minute. 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
- "Congress banks on beauty Ramya to save face in Mandya by-election".
- "Caste war heats up as Sadananda isn't Gowda enough".
- "Ramya The Golden girl". Oneindia. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
- "Ramya rules". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 May 2008.
- rediff.com: Ramya: Golden girl of Kannada cinema. Specials.rediff.com (April 2006). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- "Just can't wait for Ramya". Times of India. Jan 24, 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- "Ravising Ramya – Darling of Producers". IndiaGlitz. 30 November 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- K., Bhumika (17 May 2008). "Metro Plus Bangalore: Ramya rules". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Full of life". IndiaGlitz. 23 June 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Jothe Jotheyali 100 days function". Oneindia.in. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Kannada films – 2006 part II". IndiaGlitz. 29 December 2006. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Vijayasarathy, R. G. (25 September 2006). "Jothe Jotheyali is just silly". Rediff.com. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Jothe Jotheyalli Review by RGV. Nowrunning.com (22 September 2006). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- Jothe Jotheyali. kannada.indiavilas.com
- Vijayasarathy, R. G. (28 November 2006). "Tananam Tananam disappoints". Rediff.com. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Shiva Kumar, S. (1 December 2006). "Friday Review Bangalore / Cinema : Down the drain". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "The Bangalore Times Film Awards 2011". 21 June 2012.
- "Tananam Tananam hardest for Ramya". Oneindia.in. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Ronamai, Raymond (14 August 2007). "Arasu completes century". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "'Prarambha' by bill gates". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Daihota, Madhu (1 February 2007). "All stars for AIDS awareness film". Times of India. Indiatimes.com. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Polladhavan Divya gets bolder". Behindwoods. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- 'Kuthu' Ramya aka Divya is on the moon with the success of "Polladhavan". Bolly Treat (21 November 2007). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- Suresh, Sunayana (29 November 2010). "Yes, I'm seeing someone, says Ramya". DNA. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- Kannada Box-Office (Sep1-5). Sify.com (5 September 2008). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- "Ramya comes back with name changed". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
- Hooli, Shekhar H (17 March 2010). "I'm very much excited about IPL: Ramya". Oneindia.in. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- Wire, Sampurn. (13 January 2011) Ramya in love with a mystery man – Oneindia Entertainment. Entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- Review: Sanju Weds Geetha – Rediff.com Movies. Rediff.com (1 April 2011). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- Movie Review : Review: Sanju Weds Geetha. Sify.com. Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- "Sanju Weds Geetha Movie Review". bellitere.com. 2 April 2011. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
- "'Sidlingu' starts". Indiaglitz. 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "May quit acting if I win: Ramya". MANDYA: The New Indian Express. Express News Service. 17 August 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
- "Nagarahavu movie review: Even Vishnuvardhan can't save this film". indianexpress.com. 14 October 2016.
- Ramya joins Youth Congress. Sify.com (19 April 2011). Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- Ramya joins Youth Congress. The New Indian Express. Retrieved on 23 March 2013.
- "Constituencywise-All Candidates". Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "For More Aggressive Online Brand, Rahul Gandhi Makes New Choice". archive.org. 6 January 2018.
- "Meet Divya Spandana who plays crucial role in Rahul Gandhi's social media team - Catch News". archive.org. 22 December 2017.
- "Meet Ramya aka Divya Spandana, the woman behind Rahul Gandhi's social media push". archive.org. 22 December 2017.
- "Varnika Kundu". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- Pandey, Geeta (2017-08-09). "Why Indian women are no Cinderellas". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- Livsey, Anna (2017-08-09). "#AintNoCinderella: Indian women mock politician who blamed stalking victim". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- Pandey, Geeta (2017-08-09). "Why Indian women are no Cinderellas". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- Gallucci, Nicole. "#AintNoCinderella: Why women in India are sharing midnight selfies on social media". Mashable. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
- "AIDS Jaago's Tamil version launched".
- "Movies : Movie Tidbits : Filmfare Awards presented". archive.org. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "State film awards announced, Puneeth, Ramya bag top honours". newindianexpress.com. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
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