It all started when Indian cricketers Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul decided to grace the infamous couch of the talk show Koffee with Karan, hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar. From there, EVERYTHING went downhill when Hardik decided to show some swag which turned out to be nothing but misogynistic, racist, and sexist remarks towards women in general. K.L Rahul was judged guilty by association, although he was much more in control than his team-mate and Karan Johar giggled like a schoolgirl in awe of the bad boys. In all, it can be said that Hardik Pandya deserves the backlash from the masses as well as the BCCI. K.L. Rahul, on the other hand, needs to find some better friends and maintain a healthy distance from toxic teammates and colleagues..
The Couch of Koffee with Karan
Hardik Pandya and K.L. Rahul were the first cricketers to attend the talk show. However, that was the end of everything good that specific episode had to promote. While Rahul kept a level head on his shoulders and answered Karan’s questions carefully, Hardik apparently got “carried away” and spoke at length about the number of women he had hooked up with, his “cool” relationship with his family, and many more controversial topics. Here are some of the most controversial statements made by Hardik Pandya during the hour-long chat show.
When Johar asked Pandya if he asks the names of any women at nightclubs, Pandya admitted he struggles to remember their names. “I like to watch and observe how they move. I’m little from the Black side so I need to see how they move,” Pandya responded. The comment was slammed as both sexist and racist at the same time.
However, this is not the end. Pandya went on to make many more such comments on the talk show.
“When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, Main karke aaya hai aaj (I did it today)”, said Pandya while trying to establish the cool relationship he shares with his family.
The 25-year-old further asserted that he hooked up with multiple women and boasted about it to his parents when they asked him about his girlfriend at a party. “At a party my parents asked me acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai (Which is your woman)? I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women) and they were like waah proud of you beta,” said Pandya.
Last but not the least, when Karan asked how the boys decided when they were all attracted to the same woman, Rahul said that it was “up to the woman” and Hardik said that, “Nahi nahi aisa kuch nahi hai, talent pe hota hai. Jisko mila woh leke jao (Nothing like that, it’s about talent, whoever gets them, takes them)”.
The Aftermath: Criticism, Ban, and More
Since the episode was aired on January 6, the Internet and especially Twitter has wasted no time in calling Hardik Pandya out for his remarks and his general attitude towards women. Here are some of the tweets on the subject:
It might have been fun initially to watch two young sportsmen letting their guards down, but the obnoxious and misogynist attitude of #HardikPandya just was too much to take in. At one time, cricket was called a gentleman’s sport. Where has all the class gone? #KoffeeWithKaran
— Vivek (@Vivek18137144) January 6, 2019
Watching Koffee with Karan (or however you spell it) with Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul and the toxic masculinity and racism egged on by Karan Johar’s giggles are the reason why Indian men are encouraged to unapologetically misogynistic. Unfortunate!
— Sanjana Chowhan (@Sanjanachowhan) January 6, 2019
Hardik Pandya is an obnoxious, sexist asshole, who’s attracted to “black” culture and looks at the opposite sex as one big scoring ground. How does it matter if he picked Sachin over Virat! There are bigger worries, like how the idiot spanks his teammates in the locker room! ??♂️
— Aniruddha Guha (@AniGuha) January 7, 2019
— Tommy!! (@tommy_bytes) January 6, 2019
Hardik Pandya: “When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, “Main karke aya hai aaj”.”
HP: “At a party my parents asked me acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women) and they were like waah proud of u beta.”
The male privilege tho ???
— Sreeparna Mazumder (@Sreeep) January 6, 2019
Imagine going to your mother n talking about losing your virginity saying “aaj mai kar ke aaya”
Like seriously Hardik Pandya chhichhore.. there’s a fine line between cool and creepy! Wish aunty taught him some humility too..
Money can’t buy you manners!sigh
— Prachi Das?? (@PrachiNotDesai) January 6, 2019
“I like to watch & observe how women move. I’m little from the Black side so I need to see how they move,” #HardikPandya
Dude, first of all that’s racist cuz you just threw a shade at my Black brothers & sisters.
Second of all, you are a maha tharki#KoffeeWithKaran
— Shamini.M.R (@Not_A_Shammer) January 7, 2019
Someone please tell Hardik Pandya that what he thinks is a ‘cool-idgaf-badboy’ image comes out as nothing but creepy and gross.
— n. (@FeistyFangirlx) January 6, 2019
Three days after the episode was aired and the Internet slammed Pandya for his comments, the cricketer issued an apology via Twitter and stated that he “got a bit carried away with the nature of the show”.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 9, 2019
However, neither the Twitterati not the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were satisfied with the apology.
“This attempt at an apology does in no way bring the issue to closure,” an unnamed BCCI official was quoted saying to the Hindustan Times. “This merely shows how lightly he takes the gravely serious issue of respecting women.”
“Right now he seems to merely respond to the outrage and not to his own thought process and conduct,” the official further asserted.
Subsequently, within a week, the BCCI decided to suspend both the players, asked them to return to India from Australia where they had been touring, and also issued a show-cause notice for an explanation. Following the suspension from the Indian cricket team, Pandya also lost out on endorsements as Gillette terminated the contract. Shubham Gill and Vijay Shankar will be replacing Pandya and Rahul for the matches in Australia and New Zealand.
“The CoA in accordance with the BCCI has decided to suspend Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul from playing any form of cricket after their comments on a TV show,” read the BCCI statement. Following the suspension, CoA chief Vinod Rai also started an inquiry regarding Pandya and Rahul’s misconduct on the talk show.
The Star Network has pulled down this infamous episode from online viewing platform Hotstar following this massive backlash.
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