Dear Karan Johar, till this date I thought you were a bright, prolific and maverick Bollywood personality who has this magic wand to do a humungous amount of creative work. You say that you are a man of opinion. For years, as a nation, we have heard your views on almost everything. We listened to you as you spoke about your lonely life, how you dealt with depression and your relationship with stars. And we celebrated you for your work, which is hugely entertaining if mediocre. We also celebrated you for your opinions. But today, when Kangana Ranaut used the same right to voice her opinion on your show Koffee With Karan, you called it ‘playing a victim card or woman card’.
WATCH | I Am Done With Kangana Ranaut Playing The Victim Card: Karan Johar
You told Kangana that “if you are so terrorised by the industry, leave it”. Nobody owns the industry and has no right to ask others to leave. So, doesn’t your comment make you ‘movie mafia’? It is hard to see this statement as anything other than bullying.
We know Kangana left you baffled if not angry and we know exactly why. For the first time ever, an outsider, an actress left you feeling slighted on your own show where you talk with such abandon and flippancy with your film buddies. It’s like a lion being beaten in his own den and it sure feels humiliating. For the first time, you were meeting this young outspoken woman who somehow didn’t know how to, and didn’t want to, mince her words.
Watch | Karan Johar’s response to Kangana Ranaut calling him a ‘Flag-bearer of nepotism’
— Neha Bhatt (@iAmNehaBhatt) March 5, 2017
Your hypocrisy clashed with Kangana’s supremely confident attitude on your show and you sure didn’t like it. Not knowing where it comes from added to your confusion. But then, is it fair to say Kangana is playing the victim card for just speaking her mind and exposing a harsh truth about nepotism and Bollywood? By that measure wasn’t Raj Thackeray playing the political card when he almost stalled your Diwali release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil? But, of course, we never heard you say that. Every question on Raj Thackeray was met with a pin-drop silence. Perhaps Kangana is a weaker foe whom you can easily take on. How very convenient!
So, what does nepotism means? Oxford dictionary defines this word as, “The practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” Nepotism isn’t just about working with your son, daughter or family. That, of course, is a part and parcel of it. Nepotism in the context of film industry works when you are biased towards launching or working with kids of your own film friends, at the cost of outsiders.
You speak of having launched a string of directors. The films of all these directors were produced by you and it starred your favourite actors. That includes every single one of them including Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Ok Jaanu, Dear Zindagi, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Baar Baar Dekho, Kapoor and Sons, Shaandaar, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania,Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and many more. If you need any further proof, please revisit all the above-mentioned films.
Let’s talk about Kangana now. Kangana has come up the hard way. She has been at the receiving end many times. And she chooses to speak about it, when asked. She is not on Twitter or any other social media where she keeps sharing her thoughts. She spoke about Hrithik Roshan when she was asked.
You proudly associate yourself with Kapoor and Sons and often mention it as one of the best films of the last year. The film was directed by Shakun Batra. Why don’t you talk about your own films so proudly? The regret of making bad films with superstars is so clearly reflected in your interviews. You yourself called Kuch Kuch Hota Hai a silly film. In complete contrast, look at Kangana who is so damn proud of her work. Just look at her repertoire of creative work and as you yourself have confessed in Kofee With Karan.
You have often spoken about submitting to demands of the industry at the cost of creativity. You have mentioned you are not original. Here’s the contrast: Kangana came from nowhere and still worked in Bollywood on her own terms. You have been raised here, worked here and still aren’t able to do the work of your liking.
If you remember, Kangana spoke about how she chooses a brand. She said that she follows certain sets of values (not because she needs to but instinctively). If an actor can put so much thought before signing a brand, imagine her efforts and dedication to bring out those characters alive on-screen.
If her values clash with a rampant hypocrisy of film industry and she decides to speak about it, where do you see the problem? It’s a change, can’t you see? Or are you terrified of this change? Her appearance on your show brought a certain conviction which only a true artist can display.
As you have often mentioned, the show is flippant and is not supposed to be taken seriously. Then why not take Kangana’s comments in a light-hearted manner and let them go? What happened to your great sense of humour? Sorry to say, Karan but what Kangana has said is nothing but the truth. And truth is always a bitter pill to swallow.