Karan Johar’s controversial book “An Unsuitable Boy” is essentially about the director’s life experiences in the film industry and his changing equations with his celebrity friends. It is filled with indirect hints, signs and suggestions towards Karan’s sexuality too. However, at nowhere in the book Karan dares to write – “I am homosexual.” He has said in several interviews that he will never say those three words, given the parochial view of our society and legal status of homosexuality in the country.
The New York Times, in an article on the Indian filmmaker has preferred to call him “The Man Who Let India Out of the Closet” leaving a lot to the understanding of the readers whether or not KJo really has so much to be credited for.
The New York Times’ article concludes, “Mr Johar may not have uttered the three magic words, but his life and his work are a portrait in courage. Watching him play the host that night, I couldn’t help thinking that, for all his contradictions, he is a man who has done more than anyone to make India safe for love. One wants him not merely to be brave, but happy — and, needless to say, gay.”
It’s not hard for anyone to see Karan Johar’s endeavour to bring a change in the attitudes of the society through his work. He has been prolific in that sense. Be it movies or his talk show Koffee With Karan, the audience has always seen Karan wading comfortably through a conversation about sex. He has also given Bollywood some films surrounding gay relationship including Bombay Talkies, Dostana and last year’s Kapoor and Sons.
He should be given a lot of credit for slowly starting a conversation around homosexuality in Indian society. He generously indulges in conversation about sex with his guests on Koffee with Karan and doesn’t shy away from veering off a conversation about the topic. That’s what New York Times op-ed hints at and gives Karan due credit for starting that conversation in India.