It was an act that was uncalled for. It was an act that IIFA 2017, also (laughably) promoted as the Oscars of India, could have easily done away with.
Three respected figures of the Indian film industry dug up a grave and brought alive something that is potent enough to divide the industry into camps: Nepotism. The collateral damage was the reputation of an actress who was brave enough to call a spade a spade.
Yes, the unexpected happened at the IIFA 2017 award ceremony when Karan Johar, his protégé Varun Dhawan, and Saif Ali Khan took to the stage and poked fun at nepotism prevalent in the industry and at the actress who dared to speak about it on national television.
The latest in this episode is that Varun has apoligised on Twitter for his remarks. Ditto for Saif Ali Khan. In an exclusive interview to Firstpost, the actor admitted that he was quite disturbed after the show and the joke was not funny.
Karan too, has now apologised for his remark. But we can't help but wonder if this is a case of the boy who cried wolf.
To be honest, Karan’s attitude to this whole situation with Kangana, even after an apology, seems like a jilted lover's.
After verbal volleys were exchanged in his show — the content of which 'should not to be taken seriously’ as admitted by the filmmaker himself — he hit it hard from shores afar. Johar countered Kangana’s nepotism charges few weeks later at a London School of Economics event. All this while Kangana maintained a dignified silence.
His Town Hall chat with Barkha Dutt in the month of April clearly stated that the spat was now a closed chapter, however again in New York he took a u-turn. It’s apparent that this not yet a closed chapter for the filmmaker.
But this is the deal: it amazes me how a 40 plus old director simply refuses to grow and forget the past. It only reinforces the age-old fact that truth is a bitter pill and Karan learnt it the hard way in his own show when Kangana took him by the horns.
Karan should not forget that he was able to rope in Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan for his debut film only because of his proximity to the movers and shakers of the industry. It was Karan Johar’s father Yash Johar’s proximity to Yash Chopra, which helped Karan assist Aditya Chopra for his debut film, which in turn paved his way for approaching Shah Rukh Khan.
Had Karan been an outsider he would have surely learnt this the hard way.
If the nepotism word infuriates Johar so much, then what was the case with Nikhil Advani, who got his big break with Kal Ho Naa Ho? Nikhil had assisted Karan during the making of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, and is also related to NN Sippy, Ekta and Tusshar Kapoor. Ayan Mukherji, who directed Wake Up Sid, hails from the Mukherji family, is Kajol’s first cousin and Rani’s second cousin. Sidharth P Malhotra directed We Are Family for Karan’s Dharma production. Legendary Prem Nath is Sidharth’s grandpa. Karan also gave breaks to Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and their pedigree is well known.
The bitter truth is that had there been no Yash Johar, Karan would have taken years to make his debut film. Chances are he would still be struggling and carrying his portfolio from one office to another.
Karan’s repeated jibes at Kangana only looks poor in taste and surely looks far from the refined man image he has built for himself. The trio cracked a poor joke at the cost of someone who has risen the ranks in the film industry by sheer dint of her talent and hard work, and never believed in the concept of Godfather.
There is a lot to learn from the journey that Kangana has taken in her career. The journey from a small town in Himachal Pradesh to joining the Elite Modeling Agency to now a Bollywood star.
Karan should be thankful to his stars (pun not intended) that he has been part of a privileged background that allows him the freedom to write scripts at his own pace and time, and more or less, the freedom to direct/produce films he likes. Not everyone has that privilege.
Published Date: Jul 19, 2017 02:05 pm | Updated Date: Jul 19, 2017 03:42 pm