Karan Johar: Speaking on personal life in India can land one in jail

"We are in a tough country and to speak about one's personal life in today's time can land you in jail," Karan Johar said at the ninth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

By: PTI | Jaipur | Updated: January 22, 2016 10:10 pm
Karan Johar, Karan Johar intolerance, KJO Jaipur Literature Festival, KJo intolerance, KJo FIR, Karan Johar AIB roast, Karan Johar on intolerance Filmmaker Karan Johar.

Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar said India is a “tough country” where speaking about personal life can land people behind the bars and he did not want to fight the “governance” by talking of issues like “intolerance”.

“We are in a tough country and to speak about one’s personal life in today’s time can land you in jail,” the director-producer said at the ninth edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Watch Video: Freedom of speech, democracy ‘a big joke’, Says Karan Johar

He was in conversation with author Shobaa De and his biographer Poonam Saxena on his upcoming biography “An Unsuitable Boy”.

Karan Johar, who has made films on contentious issues such as homosexuality (“Dostana”) and relationships outside wedlock (“Kabhi Alvida Na Kehana”), said as a filmmaker he felt bound at every level.

“I feel bound on every level, be it what I put out on the celluloid or what I say in print. I feel like there is always some kind of a legal notice awaiting me everywhere I go.”

“I’ve become some kind of an FIR king,” Johar said referring to the controversy over the AIB roast, staged in Mumbai last year which involved the western concept of insult comedy. (Shah Rukh, Aamir ‘tarnishing’ India’s image: Sadhvi Prachi on intolerance debate)

The Bombay High Court recently asked Mumbai police not to file charge sheet against the filmmaker and others facing a criminal case for allegedly using obscene language on the show.

Karan Johar said he did not want to fight the “governance” by speaking out on “intolerance” like his colleagues in Bollywood industry did last year.

“Look what happened as a result of anyone who said anything on it. I make movies, I’m fighting megalomaniac movie stars everyday. Do I need to fight the governance? (Aamir on intolerance: Khan’s statement has given substance to intolerance debate, says Sharad Pawar)

“We’re fighting the censor with every film. You write anything, you can’t say anything. How are we democratic then?” he posed.

Talking about section 377 of the Indian penal code, which criminalises same sex relationships, Johar said “it’s a hurdle we need to combat.”

He also said he appreciated endeavours made by politicians like Shashi Tharoor who had brought up the bill in the last Parliament session.

“You can change the way the governance works, but how do you change the sensibility of the average man in the house, it doesn’t matter what bill you pass and what dharna you do until the DNA or the mental fabric (of society) changes,” the 43-year-old said. (Aamir Khan on intolerance: Kiran asked me if we should move out of India)

KJo also said he doesn’t “judge” people who don’t come out about their sexuality.

The director who has made blockbusters such as “Kuch Kuch Hota Hain,” and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham,” among others shared an anecdote when he tried to pull a prank on a friend who he thought secretly stocked beef.

“We set up two policemen to go and arrest him … And it was a successful prank. That guy was horrified,” said Johar adding that the incident could have turned serious had it not been a joke.

Meanwhile, other topics in the conversation included Johar’s secluded childhood in South Bombay to his family’s hard times, his obsessions with film songs and the importance of following your dreams.

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  1. A
    Amit
    Jan 23, 2016 at 1:07 am
    Can this dumbo get just one single point ? If he has the right to put anything on celluloid, I have an equal right to not watch his movies and request my friends to do the same. This is what I did to Dilwale and this is what I am going to do to Dangal. My freedom. Please tolerate.
    Reply
    1. M
      Mervin
      Jan 22, 2016 at 4:00 pm
      Let this man concentrate in making films only Not to mistake his pority to talk authorative way .we in west watching these group of certain people talking out of there field
      Reply
      1. H
        Human first
        Jan 22, 2016 at 4:57 pm
        comment section approves what karan is saying. #intolerance
        Reply
        1. B
          Basant
          Jan 23, 2016 at 4:18 pm
          You ghati chaddiwale, you d##$k will be crush by Raj thakre first.
          Reply
          1. R
            Rattihallirao
            Jan 22, 2016 at 9:27 am
            It is true that PILs and some corner FIRs can land any body in custody if Judiciary decides. For every thing right or wrong (mostly wrong), people like Swamy are ready to play the ball.
            Reply
            1. S
              Sukh. Singh
              Jan 22, 2016 at 7:48 am
              Look who is speaking . karan where were you when you show your decency doing AIB. When entire India tolerate your nonsense,
              Reply
              1. I
                Indian Citizen
                Jan 22, 2016 at 10:31 pm
                See this is intolerance. You are calling a superstar of your country a ' foreigner ' . u just proved my point u a**h*le
                Reply
                1. I
                  Indian Citizen
                  Jan 22, 2016 at 8:27 am
                  Indians have the mentality of backward and third world country.
                  Reply
                  1. I
                    Indian Citizen
                    Jan 22, 2016 at 8:20 am
                    Karan Johar is right. If India had any tolerance than people wouldnt have reacted the way they did at Aamir's statement
                    Reply
                    1. I
                      Indian Citizen
                      Jan 22, 2016 at 8:19 am
                      Karan Johar is right. If India had any tolerance than people wouldnt have reacted the way they did at Aamir's statement.
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        ams
                        Jan 23, 2016 at 1:37 am
                        He is not begging you to watch his films. Nor is anyone else. You are not doing anyone any favor by watching their films.
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          ak dev
                          Jan 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm
                          Has Karan gone insane? Indians have given him more than he deserved.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            author
                            Jan 22, 2016 at 11:21 am
                            Indian men I would add here.
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              BM Singh
                              Jan 22, 2016 at 10:27 pm
                              We in this country give too much importance to these actors and performers. Please do not raise their level to level of intellectuals. A commercial cinema producer has written his biography using another writer and he wants his biography to be a commercial success. Please do not give importance to his views, he is only trying to prove that he is a unique rich individual who can buy media . I wonder who would be interested in reading his biography?
                              Reply
                              1. R
                                rajan
                                Jan 22, 2016 at 6:41 pm
                                No other job in USA
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  rajan
                                  Jan 22, 2016 at 6:44 pm
                                  U go to Syria or Iraq and be free there as much as u want.
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Karunakaran
                                    Jan 23, 2016 at 1:38 am
                                    About 200 million Dalits will be voting against the BJP and the selfie-hunting joker at the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019. BJP was super lucky to receive 31% votes at the last Lok Sabha elections. At the next Lok Sabha election, BJP cannot get more than about 15% of the votes. No Muslim votes. No Dalit votes. No South India votes. No Delhi votes. No Bihar votes. And believe it or not, hardly any Gujarat votes! So get ready for Mr Nitish Kumar to be the next PM.
                                    Reply
                                    1. B
                                      Bala
                                      Jan 23, 2016 at 5:41 pm
                                      ...and Amartya Sen today, at a speech at Netaji Research Insute in Kolkata, says that Secularism and Democracy are becoming a big joke. Are these 2 part of the congress sponsored leftist brigade solders?
                                      Reply
                                      1. B
                                        Bala
                                        Jan 23, 2016 at 5:41 pm
                                        with elections coming soon, more such synchronized events are on the horizon...the loser being India as a w.
                                        Reply
                                        1. C
                                          Chandrashekhar Deshpande
                                          Jan 22, 2016 at 8:23 am
                                          The person who have had surrendered to Shivsena Supremo for the release of his film, now taking on head the government this is miraculous . The spineless should not show any bradov.
                                          Reply
                                          1. K
                                            Kaliyug
                                            Jan 23, 2016 at 5:13 am
                                            All these people should migrate to stan and start wood studios there and not come to India anymore.
                                            Reply
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