She didn’t attack then. She is not attacking now. What Kangana Ranaut has said in her reply to the Karan Johar’s ‘leave Bollywood’ remark is every inch logical. Karan invited a Bollywood actress on his famous chat show, had coffee with her and played the ever-so-effervescent host. By his own admission, he let his guest, Kangana spoke what she wanted, even if it meant speaking against him because he wanted to be a generous host.
Karan now appreciates the tremendous performer that Kangana is. But, he has a problem with the kind of woman she is. Probably because the women he has interacted with or the women who constitute his friend circle are the ones who have been raised with that silver spoon in the pout they flaunt. Never ever had any woman from the industry called out on the hypocrisy and the elitism that Karan now visibly seems to be implanting, and is quite proud of. So, when a woman, who doesn’t belong to the industry, who has many stories to tell about her struggle, and who is fierce enough to call a spade a spade tells him on his face that he is indeed a ‘flag-bearer of nepotism,’ it hurts Karan. He retaliates and how. He goes to the London School of Economics, forgets what he was there for, speaks about Kangana, days after the episode in question was aired on TV, and says something which appears too vindictive from its core. He says he gave her the ‘platform’ and was ‘gracious enough’ to not ‘cut’ her opinion from ‘his show.’ Don’t his statements reeks of complete insecurity and has an utterly non-required defensive tone? Kangana did not even have to use any arm to defeat Karan. In fact, she was not even fighting. She did what she was supposed to while sitting on that couch — be herself.
Even now when she reverts to Karan’s furious statements, she is confident of what she speaks. And this is because she is rooted to where she has come from. There’s a swaying sense of proud when she says that she belongs to a family which was too poor to offer her a formal training, unlike Karan’s family who has been into the industry since long. She is proud that she has made on her own in the industry, of building the kind of stature she has for herself. Yes, Kangana is an inspiration because she is unlike any woman Karan has portrayed in his films. She is not the one who wants her ‘pehla pyar‘ back. Neither she is any ‘Radha like Shanaya’ who got to study abroad and wore expensive branded clothes. Nor she is the ‘Poo’ jisey koi haq nahi banta ki vo itni khoobsurat lage. Clearly, Karan’s idea of women is starkly different from the woman the world sees in Kangana. And that transcends into the discomfort his words show when he talks about this ‘different’ woman.
Karan apologised to Kangana on Koffee With Karan and said he was wrong in undermining the talent powerhouse she is. He then said he was flabbergasted when he saw her on screen playing the character of Datto in Tanu Weds Manu Returns. Yet what he chose to speak about her at the LSE was how her understanding of the word ‘nepotism’ is not correct. And how if she feels so much disturbed by the way Bollywood functions, she should leave the industry. Why? If something troubles, if something is not the way it should be, are you not supposed to make it better? This takes me to that dialogue in Anil Kapoor’s Nayak when Paresh Rawal tells him that ‘yes politics is a gutter but why can’t people get into it to clean it.’ Here, if a woman is trying to fix this mess, why does Karan seem bothered? Yes, Kangana has that penchant and courage to challenge the way our industry runs. She has and she will. Even if Karan thinks that she is playing the ‘woman card’ or a ‘victim card’ or a ‘celebrity card’ or whatever card he thinks she has in her closet. At least, this woman is aware of the cards she has.
Kangana is that woman who has made saying ‘no’ look acceptable and logical in the industry. She does not accept awards nor does she endorse any fairness product. All this must be tiny things for many but it’s a change. If Karan or any other influential filmmaker, actor, producer have problems with it, be it.
In her reply to the man, she ends by saying ‘I’m definitely not going anywhere, Mr Johar.’
Well, yes Mr Johar, Kangana Ranaut is not leaving Bollywood but she is definitely going places. You please concentrate on your coffee.