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Twitterati put Karan Johar et al back in their skin for belittling Kangana in her absence

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 17, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
Posted: Jul 17, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago


By Minerwa Tahir

To be born with privilege is one thing. To actually go on to humiliate others and refuse to acknowledge your privilege is a different thing altogether. Karan Johar, Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan pretty much ganged up against Kangana Ranaut to do exactly that.

In the name of humour, the three men made their best attempts at the IIFA Awards in New Jersey to trivialize the Bollywood nepotism debate and belittle Kangana.

Karan, son of producer Yash Johar, and Saif, son of actress Sharmila Tagore, co-hosted the IIFA Awards, where Varun, son of director David Dhawan, won Best Actor In A Comic Role for his work in Dishoom. As Varun joined Karan and Saif onstage to collect his award, Saif – who is Kangana’s co-star from Rangoon – referenced the debate that caused such turmoil in Bollywood earlier this year.

“You are here because of your Papa,” Saif said to Varun. Varun responded, “And you’re here because of your mummy.” Karan added, “I am here because of my Papa.” The trio then chanted in unison: “Nepotism rocks.”

Kangana did not attend the IIFA Awards. And Twitterati were not amused at this distasteful attempt at humour. A flood of criticism was unleashed, with Twitter users describing what the three men said as unfunny and calling them out for joking about Kangana in her absence.

The debate

On Koffee with Karan earlier this year, Kangana said Karan was ‘intolerant’ towards outsiders and a ‘flag-bearer of nepotism’. As a result, the two exchanged remarks about each other via interviews to different media outlets.

A few weeks later, Karan said he was done with Kangana playing the ‘woman and victim card’. Kangana responded by saying that she uses ‘every card possible’. “At the workplace, it’s the badass card to fight cutthroat competition,” she said. “With my family and loved ones, it’s the love card. When fighting the world, it’s the dignity card, and for a seat in a bus, it’s the woman card.”

She further went on to ask why Karan was ‘trying to shame a woman for being a woman’. “This kind of talk is demeaning to all women,” she said. “I can’t speak for Karan Johar’s understanding of nepotism. If he thinks that it is restricted to nephews, daughters and cousins, I have nothing to say. But, to say that he chose not to give me work is to mock an artiste. His memory appears to be poor because we worked together in a movie (Ungli), which was produced by him. And quickly realised our sensibilities did not match.”

Karan finally wrote a column, in which he admitted that ‘nepotism is a reality’ and that ‘it exists’. “Nepotism is a result of easy access to an exceptional resource,” he conceded. “I acknowledge that my father was a producer and that made my first film, even the idea of it, possible. But let’s also not forget that I started as the son of a producer with five failures behind him.”

Let’s wait for Kangana’s response to ‘nepotism rocks’ now.

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