1 Minute View: Shouldn’t Star have deleted the obnoxious Hardik Pandya comment?

10 Jan,2019

1 Minute ViewIt didn’t make us cringe, we were repulsed. It was downright obnoxious. Vulgar. And just for that, we lost all our respect for someone whose skills we admired.

 

We are referring to Hardik Pandya and his utterances on Koffee with Karan, the chat show hosted by director, failed actor and reality show judge Karan Johar. Okay, let our descriptor of the director not give you an impression that we dislike the man. In fact, we think he’s a great entertainer and has given us some good cinema. Some.

 

His chat show is entertaining, even if it is more about the sex lives and relationships of stars. A more appropriate title for the show would’ve been Starry lives or Sex lives of Stars with Karan Johar or whatever.

 

Koffee with Karan is one of Star World’s flagship shows. It’s buzzy, and has made Star World popular and relevant despite being a channel that airs content people prefer to watch first on the internet. Or bingewatch on OTT. Hotstar.

 

Star is a broadcaster we admire. It’s grown hugely over the years. Over the last decade, its ‘Nayi Soch’ campaign has worked well for a channel (Star Plus) that championed the saas-bahu genre on Hindi mass entertainment.

 

In recent years, Star has also spearhead the cause of women. Not just for Star Plus but for the entire network. In 2016, it used the route of the Indian men’s cricket team jersey to “power social change” by each cricketer sporting their mother’s name on their jersey backs.

 

Now how would the mothers, sister, wives, partners, daughters, girlfriends watching the show feel about how a Hardik Pandya would view them if he is ever a few yards away.

 

We are upset with the way Karan Johan and KL Rahul reacted to Hardik’s remark. But we aren’t surprised. We don’t think Rahul could’ve done much and, frankly, we don’t expect the a film-maker who belongs to Bollywood, an arena that has regarded eve-teasing as an art form, to do much either. Though if he cared, he could have.

 

Care is the word.

 

But shouldn’t Star World have deleted the remark? As a network that cares for women, this act shows some chinks in the armour and/or the fact that the earlier “power social change” bit was spoken because it made for good copy.

 

Did the Star standards and compliances fail? It’s now part of Disney which doesn’t look at these things too kindly. We don’t think this Koffee with Karan show will fail the broadcasters’ self-regulation code, if someone complains to it.

 

Our peeve is that it didn’t fail Star’s own self-regulatory standards. For the Purani, Regressive soch, we are disappointed. Very.

 

Update (as at 10.30am, Friday, Jan 11):

Star India’s popular OTT platform Hotstar has taken off the controversial Koffee with Karan episode. But on going to the page that aired the episode, there’s an Error 404 screen. No apology. No terse regret note either. No reason given for the episode. No ‘nayi soch’ again. Sad.

See screenshot:

 

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