Liam Neeson had made an interesting observation in the Oscar-winning masterpiece Schindler’s List, “I see that it had a certain panache, that’s what I am good at. Not the work, not the work, THE PRESENTATION!” One man who took this dialogue way too seriously is probably the reason why Bollywood is a laughing stock for many Indians today. But who destroyed Bollywood? Was it the Urdu loving intelligentsia, with writers like Sahir Ludhianvi, Javed Akhtar to name a few? Was it the influence of underworld kingpins like Haji Mastan and Dawood Ibrahim? Much as we can’t ignore their ‘priceless contribution’ to the ‘Urduisation’ of the Bollywood film industry, the real reason is someone else. Ironically, he shares his birthday today with Ras Behari Bose, who gave it his all to see India free. The man in question is Rahul Kumar Johar, whom we know better as Karan Johar, and who is celebrating his 49th birthday today.
Born to Bollywood producer Yash Johar and Hiroo Johar, Karan Johar has been literally the child born ‘with a silver spoon’. Now favouritism or nepotism is as old to Bollywood as the sunrise in the east or the discovery of fire. However, it is Karan Johar, who made nepotism a word to be looked down upon. It is because of him that mediocrity is the new normal in Bollywood, and creativity and talent have taken a backseat.
Feeling nauseous already? Well, this is just the beginning, for Karan Johar has spent 23 years destroying an otherwise average industry that was beginning to experiment with creativity and innovation in the late 90s. Karan Johar made his cinematic debut with ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ in 1998, the same year when Bollywood was attempting to come out of its mould with movies like ‘Satya’, ‘Zakhm’, and more. Whether or not they were culturally worth it, at least these movies scored full marks when it came to compelling content.
Except for some songs, ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ was not a legendary movie, to be honest. However, Karan Johar presented it in a way and influenced people such that it surprisingly won eight Filmfare Awards, and two National Awards [Yes, even national awards make mistakes]. Karan Johar is now associated with anything and everything that is wrong in Bollywood. If anything is wrong in Bollywood, there are almost cent per cent chances that Karan Johar paved the way for the same.
While it will always be an issue of a dispute as to how much was Karan Johar was involved in the mysterious death of popular actor Sushant Singh Rajput, there is no doubt about how he murdered the quality of music in Bollywood by introducing the horrendous ‘remix culture’. If you look carefully, in 2012, Karan Johar brought forward a forgettable remake of the otherwise peppy number ‘Disco Deewane’ in his average film ‘Student of the Year’.
No matter how much Bollywood can be criticised for their distaste for authentic storytelling, at least they could be praised for some soul-stirring music that they produced every now and then. But thanks to folks like Karan Johar, the Bollywood that once gave music to films like ‘Bombay’, ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, ‘Gadar’, and ‘Border’ is now nothing more than a mere ‘Copy-Paste’ factory.
The trend that had begun with ‘Student of The Year’ only continued with remixes of pop songs in films like ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania’, ‘Kapoor and Sons’, ‘Baar Baar Dekho’, ‘Ok Jaanu’, ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’ as the list goes on. In short, it was Karan Johar who laid the foundation for the destruction of soothing music in Bollywood.
But this is still nothing. It is also Karan Johar who gave a new lease of life to leftist propaganda through his films. Be it justifying terrorism and sowing the seeds of love jihad through ‘Kurbaan’, or promoting the myth of Islamophobia through ‘My Name is Khan’, Karan Johar left no stone unturned in promoting the filth that woke culture is associated with these days. Nobody is unaware of how Karan mocked the pain of the people who lost their beloved in the Uri attacks and justified his association with the Pakistani artists for this then-upcoming film ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. For his Partition mocking and genocide justifying ‘Kalank’, the lesser said the better.
Even in the field of comedy, the filth that we see today has been indirectly promoted by the likes of Karan Johar. Once just restricted to a few elite circles, the overrated comedy roast ‘AIB Knockout’ became a household name, all thanks to Karan Johar. Despite being a homosexual himself [though he won’t admit that openly], the way he mocked the LGBTQ community, normalised rape jokes is something even the most ludicrous and creepy people would think twice before doing so.
But what happened with Sushant Singh Rajput was the final straw. Since then, Karan Johar has hardly garnered fame for the right reasons. Forget apologising for his harsh stance, Karan did not even pay a genuine tribute to the departed actor. While it is disputed about the actual collections of Gunjan Saxena, Karan Johar is now no more the Midas he was once associated with. However, his X factor is his shamelessness to continue with his agenda, and that is not a good sign for Bollywood.