Filmmaker Karan Johar says he is not scared of anyone and is proud of his opinions and about having a voice, after his remarks on freedom of expression grabbed headlines recently. At the Jaipur Literature Festival, Karan had said freedom of expression and democracy were the biggest jokes in the country. He had said that expressing one’s views could land you in jail.
Asked if he could express his views about the film Aligarh without fear and hesitation after he saw the movie, Karan replied, “Without fear and without any hesitation, I can say anything. My silence has stated everything. I’m not scared of anyone. The thoughts are mine and will always be mine and I’m very proud of my own feelings and thoughts.”
“Unfortunately, some people might agree or disagree but on a film like ‘Aligarh‘, there will be no disagreement. It’s a very special film,” said Karan.
On his controversial remarks, he said: “I have said what I had to and I don’t want to comment any further on what my thoughts were.”
“We are filmmakers, we are entertainers, and that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own thoughts and opinions. Sometimes these things happen and sometimes we make statements at certain platforms. I’m proud to be a filmmaker in India. I’m proud that I have a voice because I’m a filmmaker and I hope I continue to have that voice,” he said.
His comments came under attack from political leaders, while actors Akshay Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha and Anupam Kher said there was no intolerance in the country or in the film industry.
On the criticism that came his way, Karan said: “Just the way our films are, we must take all kinds of opinions, all kinds of feedback, all kinds of criticism in the right way. So if I have an opinion, you could agree with it and you could not agree with it. It is my prerogative to have an opinion, it is your prerogative to agree or disagree, and I firmly believe that.”