Dear Karan Johar, this is coming from somebody who though is really not a fan of your work, has watched Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham umpteen times because even though mediocre, all your films, dripping with riches, luxurious mansions, private jets, designer clothes and melodious songs shot at perfect locations are way too entertaining to avoid. This is also coming from somebody who has all these years, listened to you talking about your life, your struggle with depression, your sexuality and your relationships (good & bad) with the stars. For me, you have always been a man of opinions. But it shocked me last evening when you said that Kangana is “playing the victim card or woman card” while lashing out at her nepotism comment.
I agree that Kangana left you shocked and angry and I know why. After all, no actor has ever had the courage to talk to you like this on your own show. The same show where you just don’t talk with certain frivolousness with your star buddies but also push them to talk about controversial topics, often leading them to end up with serious embarrassing situations.
— Star World (@StarWorldIndia) February 19, 2017
But no, Kangana didn’t do any of it. She came out as an outspoken honest woman who didn’t want to mince her own words. She didn’t hold back from calling you an elitist and accusing you of encouraging nepotism. She also reminded you how you made fun of her English and in a way thanked you for inspiring her to improve it. You dug your own grave when you called her to your show and asked her if it bothers her that some of her industry peers still don’t recognise her even after delivering a Rs 150-plus-crore hit in Tanu Weds Manu Returns. To which she replied, “No, I don’t seek it from people like Karan Johar for sure. There are people I look up to and who can make a difference by simply acknowledging and appreciating your work.” She questioned your integrity, Karan and you have all the rights to be angry at her. I mean, after all, who is she? Just an outsider who came and conquered the industry with her talent minus any support.
Look at you, you were so generous that you did not even delete the scene and yet, she did not spare you the embarrassment. But what surprises me is that if you disagreed with her so much why didn’t you say it out and loud on the show itself? Where were your wits then? Or did it take you so long to gather your wits and answer her back when she was not there to defend herself? You said Kangana used the “woman card” but look at it like this, everyone uses their ace cards when & if necessary. Remember when Raj Thackrey used his political card to stall your latest release Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Didn’t that make you angry or let’s say you were just not that powerful to take on him. But with Kangana, well, that was convenient for you!
Also, you said you don’t think she has understood the entire meaning of the term “nepotism”. Well, I don’t think you understand it either. Nepotism is defined as “the practice among the powerful or influentials of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” Let me correct you here, nepotism isn’t just about working with your son, daughter or family. That, of course, is just a part of it but is not entirely about it. And in the context of Bollywood, nepotism is simply when you work with your favourite stars or favour the kids of your own film friends, at the cost of an outside talent. Just like you have been favouring Alia Bhat or might favour Aryan Khan in the coming years, maybe? Now, that is nepotism.
So, I guess when Kangana said that you are the “flag bearer of nepotism”, she was definitely playing a card but not the victim card. That card is called “self-respect card”. A victim card is when you go about telling how victimised you are when you actually aren’t. And guess, who’s using it? Yes, you. You have been playing the “victim card” by going out and cribbing about her “rude remarks”. But privileged people like you won’t get it. So, let’s not even try.