When Karan Johar along with Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan chanted ‘Nepotism Rocks’ at IIFA Awards 2017, the Twitterati refused to laugh off their ‘joke’. The three men of Bollywood have inherited the legacy of their star parents. While Karan Johar is carrying forward the legacy of renowned filmmaker Yash Johar, Saif Ali Khan is the son of yesteryear diva Sharmila Tagore, and Varun Dhawan is director-producer David Dhawan’s younger son.
But it seemed like the privileges they have been blessed with naturally is something they tried to take advantage of to take a jibe at Kangana Ranaut. For the unversed, Kangana fueled the debate around nepotism during her stint on KJo’s chat show Koffee With Karan and called him the ‘flag bearer of nepotism’.
While Badrinath Ki Dulhania actor Varun Dhawan publically apologised for hurting anyone with his act at IIFA, Karan in an interview with NDTV took the responsibility of the act calling it solely his idea. “The idea of that joke was entirely mine, so I take the onus of the idea of what we said. And I think we went a bit too far with the Kangana mention,” he said. After facing a barrage of criticism for promoting nepotism, Karan said, “Of course I don’t believe that ‘nepotism rocks’. Of course, I believe that only talent rocks. If anything that rocks, it’s your talent, hard work and conviction. It’s the energy you bring to your job. What we said was meant to be a joke, which I think has been misplaced, misunderstood and I think it went wrong. I regret it.”
Ever since the word ‘nepotism’ was mentioned on Karan’s show, it has become the buzz word in the film industry. But the filmmaker is regretful that he brought up the issue time and again. “No matter what I say or feel about my issues with what Kangana said on my talk show Koffee With Karan, I think I was raised to be a dignified, a chivalrous, and a decent person. That’s the upbringing that I was given and I feel that I failed on those accounts. I felt that no matter what my thoughts or personal issues on this, I should not have repeatedly brought that up. For that, I’m deeply regretful,” quipped Karan.
At IIFA which was held last week in New York, as Varun Dhawan stepped on the dais, Saif raked the joke by saying, “You are here because of your pappa.” Taking the joke further, Varuna and Saif said, “There was a song in your film… ‘Bole choodiyan, bole Kangana.” Karan, with his quick wit, then commented, “Kangana naa hi bole toh achha hai… Kangana bahut bolti hai. (It’s better Kangana doesn’t say anything, she talks a lot.)” Talking about it, Karan said, “It was something that we said in humour, it may be terrible humour, bad humour, misplaced humour, but our intention was not to hurt anyone. That very core is what failed. Then I got carried away in the moment and I regret that.”
Closing the chapter of nepotism in his life, Karan had his last word as he said, “I want to once and for all say and close this chapter after this and subsequently I will not speak about nepotism nor Kangana because it would be distrustful for her and it would be ungraceful at my end, which I’ve already been. Nepotism is easy to access, nobody can deny that, but what you do with that access is what moulds you into a professional.”