By Eshna Gupta
Karan Johar welcomes two new members to his family as he gets blessed with twins through surrogacy.
Karan’s twins, christened Yash and Roohi by him, have been making headlines since the news came out. Though such news always gets attention in Bollywood, Karan Johar and his twins are making news for a lot of other reasons too.
His decision to be a single father has been appreciated by many and there are a lot of trollers too.
Though this silly bunch is generally to be ignored for the good, in this case the words of the trollers reflect all that is wrong with the conceptions of parenting in our society.
By and large, anything against the rigid marital set-up and gender roles would be face problems in our society; one would expect that being a part of a modern society as Bollywood would have huge perks. It doesn’t seem likely here because Karan Johar is being targeted for not just that but much more.
Apparently, patriarchy does not wrong women only—for men are not acknowledged as equal partners in bringing up of children.
Where maa ki mamta is glorified to an excess, a father is supposed to stay stiff and stoic with his children. Patriarchy can’t see him as a father if it is in conflict with ‘The man’.
Providing emotional support to the family falls solely in the mother’s lot because men are not deemed capable of that. Not only is it out of the conventionally established systems, single parenting also suffers prejudices of being incomplete and inadequate.
With a lot of other such good things that our people have in their minds, I wonder if they would consider Karan Johar a good parent—a half and half and a two-in-one—because, hey, doesn’t being gay mean being half woman and… everything else!!!
The way single mothers of the industry like Sushmita Sen, Raveena Tandon, Karishma Kapoor and Pooja Bedi have been accepted and upheld as ‘strong women’ in the past would tempt someone to believe that being a single parent is fine at least for the elitists.
Though when Tusshar Kapoor announced the birth of his baby boy Lakshay in August 2016, tabloids made it the hottest news in town and trollers trolled him in cold blood.
He came to be the first person in Bollywood to become a single father through surrogacy. It was an unusual move but it was deemed unacceptable enough to spark a controversy and even lead to a revision of laws.
A search for rational reasons says : Error 404.
Karan Johar’s twitter account that was showered with warm and welcome tweets by friends and colleagues from the industry (just like Tusshar’s last year) makes it look all so hunky-dory with all the accepting and liberal folks in there.
But isn’t it Bollywood that gives us sick sexist movies and stereotyped characters year after years?
On a closer look, Bollywood’s take on the issues highlighted in these cases aren’t that pleasant either. In Chori Chori Chupk Chupke (2001), the only character that the film-makers could think of to be the surrogate mother was of a prostitute.
Heyy Baby! (2007) comically showed three men failing in taking care of a little girl, which was absurdly comic.
To talk of things off-screen, when Tusshar Kapoor approached Dr. Firuza Parikh, the IVF specialist in his case, she thought it better to first consult her neuro-psychiatrist husband Dr. Rajesh Parikh for certain counselling sessions and decided to dig deeper into the reasons behind this decision before proceeding further. (Though later she was satisfied that Tusshar was firm in his decision and that it was not a bad decision on his part)
Yet, in cases of both Karan Johar and Tusshar Kapoor, the speculated reasons were topped by ‘loneliness after series of failed relationships or being cheated on’ and ‘prolonged lack of success in work’ in the respective cases.
More obvious reasons couldn’t be thought of, like a genuine wish to have kids despite everything good or bad.
Tusshar took a brave step. Karan Johar took a brave step. Being a single parent has its own challenges; being a single father in India is an add-on for them.
Yet, if they have taken the step, it is because the bliss of parenthood can’t be confined to conventions and they know it.
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