Dear Karan Johar, You Did What Many Indian Households Do: Tell Their Women To SHUT UP

Rajashree Rajashree in Bakkar. Chai. Sutta on 8 March, 2017

Dear Karan Johar,

I’m a movie buff, and when I learn that a story is good, I watch the film; if it’s a bad story I ignore it but what if the story is disrespectful? Well, I find this episode of yours very analogous to what happens in many households; so I had to write.

You stated to Kangana, "if you are so terrorized by the industry, leave it." Well doesn't that sound like a harsh warning in a household where a woman is under constant fear to be disowned if she speaks her mind?

Why doesn’t a woman speak up or stand against matters; either related to her or others? It is not always that she doesn’t mind it but it’s the fear that she might lose the compassion of her dearest ones; her friends, her people. So, many choose to remain silent. They fear that someone might tell her to leave! Leave the relationship, leave home, leave the place.

Till date, we have heard your views on many issues and you yourself addressed several concerns. We admire you as a nation and consider you a bright and creative Bollywood personality and a man of man opinions.

We listened to you when you spoke about your lonely life and really appreciated the way you dealt with depression and your relationship with stars. You have often spoken about submitting to demands of the industry at the cost of creativity.

We celebrate you for your stance. But today, when Kangana used the same right and chose freedom of expression on your show Koffee With Karan, which is known for its frivolousness, you called it 'playing a victim card or woman card'.

Well Kangana was on your show and if she said anything defamatory or baseless, why didn’t you interrupt then and clear the confusion? It appears to me that the social platform has become a digital gossip ground and people do the digital back biting. When you are telling her to leave the industry, don’t you really sound like a dictator?


To be frank, the public celebrates rather worships B-town celebrities and you yourself are a youth idol but sorry to say that your words against Kangana have really sent negative vibes. What would the general public learn from this? Wished you could have shown some tolerance towards her words and either taken them lightly or given her a chance to explain herself.

The problem is you didn’t try to reason out with Kangana on why she attached nepotism to your name. Or somewhere you feared she’s right! In that episode, Kangana left you baffled. For the first time, you met a young outspoken woman who was brutally honest and she didn't mince her words. Your pretence clashed with Kangana’s confidence.

And you definitely didn’t like it. But then, is it fair to play the blame game? She spoke her mind and you categorized her. Can't deny the fact but this is the actual scenario. We all confer our support in words but act differently. We say, women must stand for themselves but when they do, many feel the need to play the blame game or name calling.

Well, nepotism by definition means the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. Nepotism isn’t just about working with son, daughter or family. That’s a segment of entire nepotism. Here, nepotism is in context to the biased attitude against an outsider from the film industry.

You speak of having launched a number of directors and a few actors. But the films were produced by you and it starred actors of your choice. To mention a few like Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Dear Zindagi, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Baar Baar Dekho, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and many more. Hope you don’t need any further proof.

We all know how Kangana chooses a brand. She blatantly refused to accept an offer to endorse a fairness cream and set a great example. I personally admire her for that stand!

We talk about a woman of substance and Kangana is that, she's the perfect blend of elegance and strength. The way she is perceived by the other half of the human race will say it all. Really much adorbs for her. I think of her as a character straight out of a Jane Austen novel — a blend of confidence, logic, and yet feminine.

You often mentioned that your show is flippant and is not supposed to be taken seriously. So why have you not taken her words in a lighter way and let it go?

Well, do not think of this letter as me writing from the mind of a woman and standing up for a woman. Writers don’t have biased emotions; a writer is empathetic and finds emotion in every other character.

—an admirer of your creativity.