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Stop ruining careers and lives of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul!

Unless there is a criminal offence, a public discussion should suffice to confront mindsets of youngsters like Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, says Karan Bhardwaj

Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul with Karan Johar at Koffee With Karan

India is full of either overreaction or complete blindness. And this should be called hypocrisy, as people blatantly choose either trait as per their convenience. Cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul made misogynistic comments during their appearance on Koffee With Karan, a show well-known for insinuating sexism into the public discourse. However, while leading actors have been forgiven for making immoral statements on the show for several seasons, young cricketers are being crucified by the online intellectuals.

Yes, their comments should be condemned, but that has already happened. The cricketers have apologised too. But what is inspiring BCCI to take stringent actions like suspension from the game? Brands too have started cutting off ties with these boys. Really? Unless they have committed criminal offence, I don’t think they deserve such harsh punishments. Especially when they are sorry about themselves.

The young cricketers and the host reflected a mindset, which is prevalent in the Indian media, cinema, businesses, and our homes. Just look around. You all have that friend who wears his machismo on his sleeves. Can you please care to reform him? What should have deserved a public discussion is becoming a criminal tool to ruin lives and careers of Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. And why are we indulging in selective outrage? Is society taking any action against film-maker Karan Johar? Are we not watching his productions on the big screen anymore? Are we not watching Koffee With Karan after this controversy? Is Bollywood calling out KJo? No, none of this is happening, and should not happen either. As Karan too is facing strong criticism and will have to eventually respond. In the past, he has publicly stated that he is embarrassed of item songs like Chikni Chameli, which are accused of objectifying women, and I am sure he will introspect on his conversations on his show too, for better.

There’s no attempt in this piece to defend cringeworthy episode and conversation of the chat show. But I strongly object to the plot led by some people online where there is no chance for people to reform or apologise. Punishment is not a solution in this matter as we all are stakeholders.

I hope the argument is not misunderstood in context of #MeToo campaign.

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