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KARAN JOHAR - From making fun of SIKHS to working with a STAR SIKH in a recent Hindi film. (Articles on Cinema By Bobby Sing)

14 Mar, 2018 | Articles on Cinema

Destiny plays a major role in the world of show business, the world of entertainment, and we have heard numerous stories of lady-luck shining overnight or tables turning over the years, with the supporting actors becoming stars and the stars fading out with the changing times. Equation changes every Friday in this uncertain entertainment industry and its often said that there is no permanent friend or enemy in this world of glamour.
The most recent example of getting ‘unexpected fame’ overnight remains the viral video clip of a young actress Priya Prakash Varrier from a song of her upcoming Malayalam film. And an eye-opener instance of tables turning over the years (rather decades) can be found in the recent release WELCOME TO NEW YORK featuring Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha and Karan Johar in the lead.
Though the film has badly flopped and was nothing more than an immodest brand promotion of IIFA Awards, it still revealed how perceptions change over the years and how life teaches us new enlightening lessons, forcing us to accept and acknowledge the respectable existence of ‘the other’.
The particular instance is related with the renowned writer-actor-director Karan Johar and how life came full circle for him post two decades since his directorial venture back in the year 1998.
Karan made an impressive and successful debut with KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI that not only helped every single person featuring in it in their individual careers, but also proved to be a trend-setter of those times bringing in a fresh vision and style in Hindi cinema. On the other hand, the film did have an ‘irresponsibly immature’ insertion making fun of Sikhs using ‘a particular-time reference’ in a comic manner. And that too involving a 7-8 years old kid presented as a Sikh (innocently played by Parzan Dastur).
Karan-Johar-SikhsIronically KKHH is also widely remembered (and even spoofed) with the famous dialogue of the same kid (in Punjabi) saying, “Tussi Ja Rahey Ho….., Tussi Na Jao”. But the disgraceful comic scene (shot with Johnny Lever), was certainly included without any reason at all, just to bring in a timely laughter in the theater and nothing else.
As a result, the film did face an outrage in Delhi (have a personal experience of the same) and the particular scene was reportedly cut from the prints running at some specific theaters. However that was a selective corrective measure taken to satisfy the community for sure, since the ‘objectionable’ scene can still be seen in the online uploaded version of the film in its second half of the narration (during the summer camp).
Probably being the first director in Hindi cinema to include such ‘foolishly unaware’ sequence using an innocent kid, Karan certainly didn’t have any idea about the actual ‘eye-opener’ history behind the exact time reference wrongly used to insult/poke the Sikhs. But he never cared to research and used it in the film following a pretty casual, lesser-informed and irresponsible approach.
Anyway, life came full circle for him two decades later, when he became a prominent part (or may be the originator) of a project called WELCOME TO NEW YORK which was actually a brand promotion activity, purposefully planned revolving around the famous IIFA Awards. The project had names such as Sonakshi Sinha, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta and Karan Johar himself playing the villain in a double role, along with loads of forced cameos (of many major stars), who were more or less there due to Karan as an influencer and the brand IIFA.
However, none of that was sufficient enough to sell the ‘so called film’ respectfully reaching the theaters. Despite all the cameos and Karan leading the project, it still desperately needed a much bigger name to attract the buyers, a name having a decent fan following within the country as well as abroad becoming its major USP.
And that’s where the present superstar from Punjab, Diljit Dosanjh came into the scene, fulfilling their essential commercial requirement leading from the front. So they roped in Diljit to play the lead, exploiting his abilities of a talented singer too pairing him with Sonakshi Sinha, and thus were able to sell the film in ‘His’ name alone getting some decent screens.
Having said that, as expected the film was nothing more than a torture playing with the viewers’ expectations and even a layman could easily guess how the whole project was cunningly written, conceived and sold simply encashing and exploiting Diljit Dosanjh’s present star-enigma. 
Putting in bluntly, the makers had to bring in Diljit to commercially safeguard their project. And the same Karan Johar who once made fun of Sikhs in his mega debut film, was now playing a villain in a Bollywood Hindi film featuring a ‘turbaned’ Sikh from Punjab as its solo lead hero, entirely relying upon the Singh’s name, fame and screen presence pointing towards a balancing act of ‘Kaal-Chakra’ or the wheel of time.
No doubt life often comes full circle teaching us many valuable lessons at times, making us realize the silly mistakes of the past made unintentionally.
Concluding it on a positive note, hope while making the film Diljit duly informed and explained Karan Johar about the exact relationship of the time reference of 12 o’clock with Sikh warriors and the ‘lesser-known’ chapter of our history of India. But in case he didn’t, then Karan himself can watch a 2016 film titled A FLYING JATT, which thoughtfully and proudly explains it all in a long focused sequence enlightening the unaware viewers. The film was also a dud with its own issues, but it at least had a director having the right vision and information about his fellow citizens of India.

(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in March 2018) 

Tags : KARAN JOHAR From making fun of SIKHS to working with a STAR SIKH - By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Cinema and Religion, Sikhism in Hindi Films by Bobby Sing
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