Film producer and director Karan Johar’s highly lauded talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’ that appears on Star World India successfully draws the attention of many Indian minds. Giving us a closer glimpse into the lives of the Bollywood celebrities, each show comes up with startling personalities with their bag full of revelations, oddities and confessions. With its carefully crafted ‘rapid fire’ and ‘Koffee Quiz’ rounds, Karan Johar as a dexterous host always manages to win the hearts of his audience. If you find someone getting hooked onto the television screen at night and discussing the surprisingly asked nimble questions, wit and sharp humor that the show discloses, then perhaps you can also try watching it with a cup of coffee, with a pinch of zest added to it.
The 12th episode of Season 6 broke the usual trend of having Bollywood stars as their guests and welcomed the eminent young cricketers- KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya. With million eyes glued to this particular show, it, however, did emanate discontent among its viewers. The reason for such a public resentment stemmed from Hardik Pandya’s sexist and inappropriate remarks that were encouraged in the show. His statements were considered to be disrespectful and when the #MeToo Movement had gained enough momentum in the country and granted women with sweeping power, such conduct on an entertaining forum came as a shock to the entire nation.
The sportsman’s outright declaration about his multiple affairs with women and his conversations regarding it with his parents was unfitting for public ears. Even his addressing the subject of losing his virginity was utterly contemptuous. His parents’ remarks of being proud of their son, when he casually pointed towards different women present at a party on being asked about whom was he having an affair with, also went a step ahead in assuring his misogynistic demeanor.
The episode was highly rebuked as Karan Johar and KL Rahul also seemed to be participating in his discriminatory conversation and not raising a question about his prejudiced notions regarding women. On being asked by the host that why he didn’t ask women their names at a nightclub, Pandya briskly replied with an air of assumed chivalry that since he was “little from the black side” he liked “to watch and observe how they (women) move”. This underlines not only his objectification of women but also emphasizes the racist reference.
With equal gusto, Rahul engaged himself in the tete-a-tete and exclaimed that if they happen to like the same girl, then it solely lies on the woman whom she wants to go for. But Pandya had to establish his supremacist tendencies and went on to claim that “it is on talent” of the man and that justifies who should be getting the woman.
Pandya’s performance was dismaying and being slammed on social media for such “misogynist” comments, his own realization led him to post an apology on Twitter for his misconduct. Saying that the “nature” of the show caused him to get “carried away”, he stated that he meant no disrespect and has expressed his contrite for hurting others “sentiments”. However, a much pertinent question lingers beyond the apology distinctly venting and giving us an insight about the unacceptable perception that women in general holds in such eyes and how even today they are subtly being transformed into laughable objects. Such misbehavior rising apparently from the so-called ‘educated’ and ’elite’ tongues of our society should be highly condemned as underneath these lurk the heinous criminalities that might also occur at the spur of getting “carried away”.
By Debashrita Dey