Koffee with Karan this season has been pretty dull, but it opened 2019 with a bang. On an episode of Koffee with Karan with Hardik Pandya and K. L. Rahul, Johar did what he normally does. He tittered, he asked silly questions, and giggled when one of the men said something not quite politically correct. What did catch everyone’s attention though, were the ridiculous, downright misogynist statements made by Hardik Pandya.
Hardik Pandya on Koffee with Karan
The entire episode consisted of him bragging about how much sex he has and how many girls he’s been with. He sounded almost like a young boy whose only claim to fame was what a player he was. Clearly, he didn’t get the memo that this Casanova-routine of his would get him no high-five. 2018 was a year when women called out their sexual harassers, but Pandya decided it was important for him to appear on national television and talk about his many sexual exploits and treat the women he was with like objects of no value.
— tOMMY (@tommy_bytes) January 6, 2019
Since the episode aired, Twitter has outraged and called Pandya out for his callous statements. Both cricketers have been given show cause notices asking them to explain their statements, and suspended from matches by the BCCI. Pandya even posted an apology on Twitter, one that looked very obviously PR-driven. It alluded to nothing specific and looked like a blanket statement that would cover everything he said.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) January 9, 2019
Does Pandya deserve his punishment?
After the BCCI stepped in to reprimand the cricketers, many people criticised the move, calling it too tough and unnecessary. They’ve asked for gender sensitisation classes for cricketers, for mentoring sessions for young men—which makes sense. Twitter outrages last for a day or two, till we find someone new to outrage about. And let’s be honest, Twitter outrage isn’t going to change anything. Pandya isn’t magically going to understand that his attitude towards women is wrong, he won’t introspect on his non-apology or his behaviour. Honestly, neither will the people defending him right now. They are products of patriarchy that views women as somebody else’s property—not as somebody in their own right.
However, what BCCI’s tough stance will do, is let men know that their actions have repercussions, that “boys will be boys” will not get them out of anything. Women know this, they’ve known forever—that one careless act can ruin lives, so everything they say or do will need to be carefully considered. Perhaps, it’s time men learnt that too. The suspension will send a message to all the men and young boys who idolised Pandya that this behaviour is simply not okay. It won’t force everyone to change, but if it makes a tiny percentage of the youth of the country think about why this led to such a serious punishment and change their behaviour, we as a generation will have moved towards the future. Condemning this behaviour lets the world know that we’re a more evolved generation, that sexist, regressive, locker room conversation won’t be tolerated anymore, and neither will behaviour like this.