Dear Kangana Ranaut,
Who had thought, that one episode of ‘Koffee With Karan 5’ will become such a rage! Thanks to the tussle of opinions between you and Karan Johar, ‘Nepotism’ promptly became a familiar term.
I will be honest with you. We were looking forward to your presence on Karan’s couch. I, being a free-spirited, independant woman, have had illimitable admiration for you. You’ve knocked down your opponents so many time, just with strokes of razor-sharp words. You were and are unapologetic about having an opinion. You pleased no one and let your work do the talking. You entered the industry from a humble background and with no godfather to back you. You borrowed no superstar’s support to become ‘you’. After all these years, everything that you possess has been earned by you.
And so, that night when you cribbed about Karan Johar being a ‘movie mafia’, it left me disheartened.
I am sure I am not the only one who admires your outspoken, straightforward and courageous approach towards life. We remember how the ugly tiff with Hrithik Roshan left you at the receiving end of the most undesirable expressions; but you still were sticking to your stand. But tell me something. How did it all begin? Because you decided to address your ‘silly ex’ in public during an interview; something that your ‘silly ex’ himself never did. It was followed with a heap of counterattacks, which did nothing but disgrace you. Your personal affairs were dug out in public, because you chose to blame an apparent former lover for rumours spread about you. Not sure who was more silly here.
You’re a woman, upfront about your choice. We heard you rejected ‘The Dirty Picture’, which later went to Vidya Balan and became one of the best films in her career. We also heard you refused a number of films including ‘Sultan’, ‘Airlift’ and more. You refuse films when the female lead is not given an enough meaty role. You refuse films wherein there is no parity in remuneration of the male and the female actor. You were all in for equal treatment of female actors, and we cheered for you. No one called you names for the choices you made. No one called you a snob, a humbug, a charlatan, a pretentious revolutionist. And today, we humbly ask you, does making his own choices make Karan Johar a movie mafia?
True, Karan has set of actors that he really likes. And they would probably keep coming back to his films, whether produced or directed by him. But then, Anurag Basu has made nine films so far and three of them feature you. You have been a part of two most successful films of Aanand L Rai and he apparently is writing another one, keeping you in mind. No one raised a question, because you deserved them. When you claimed Karan Johar was a ‘movie mafia’, you meant he sidelined anybody and everybody who didn’t belong to the league of his favourite actors. May be he simply chose not to work with you, like you don’t want to work with Khans as you want equal mileage?
You said Karan was seasoned at nepotism. Let us accept it straight; every performer he once launched, has gone on to prove themselves. As put by Alia Bhatt, one can only give you the first opportunity. The rest, you earn. Sadly enough, we don’t talk about Sidharth Malhotra’s debut (which also happened through Karan) as much as we discuss Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan’s debut. From a background nowhere related to films, Sidharth today is a prominent actor. We do not discuss how people like Shashank Khaitan and Punit Malhotra got their directorial breaks, thanks to Karan.
Just before ‘Rangoon’ released, we caught you boasting, calling yourself the ‘third hero’ of the film. Is there anything less in being a heroine, Kangana? After making so many conscious choices of films that are carried by the female lead, why do you need a ‘hero’ tag to glorify your contribution to the film? Or deep inside, does a man’s presence in the same film patronise you? Feminism gone wrong?
You know the deal? We all have our moments. We all make choices and they sometimes clash with each other. The day you left home after a face-off with your father (who didn’t encourage your CHOICE of becoming an actress), you surely knew life wasn’t going to be easy. I think the challenge is to ground yourself on moments when your inner self wants to burst out in pride.
We want you away from the face-offs. We want your calmer version, supervised by yourself and not by your ego. Verbal wars will not help you fight the ‘male chauvinism’ you claim to deal with.
P.S. Chauvinism has got no gender. It is very, and very much on one’s perspectives.