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Hardik Pandya’s Toxic Masculinity On Koffee With Karan Is Proof That ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ Has Ruined Us

  • IWB Post
  •  January 7, 2019

No season of Koffee With Karan is complete without at least one guest saying hugely problematic things. This season, that celebrity is Hardik Pandya.

On the latest KwK episode, Karan Johar invited cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. What started as a fun, banter-filled episode soon turned into what Donald Trump likes to dismiss as ‘locker room talk’. Because two young, single men were on the show, Karan couldn’t help but throw multiple questions at them about their love and sex life. And while Rahul tried to avoid answering directly, Hardik seemed to take pride in his ‘conquests.’

He talked about how he’s been with so many women that when his family asked him at a gathering which one is his (tera wala kaunsa hai were his exact words), he pointed to multiple women and they said they’re very proud of him. When he lost his virginity, he went to his parents and said “aaj main karke aaya hai.” How many parents would have reacted with amazement and laughter, as his did, if their daughter had done this? From what we saw on the show, Hardik seemed to exude toxic masculinity and was doing so unabashedly.

When Karan asked the men who would get the girl if both of them liked the same person, Rahul said it’s up to the girl, but Hardik interjected with some nonsense about “jisko mile woh leke jao,” as if the girl doesn’t get to have a say.

Apart from this raging misogyny, there were also racist bits where Hardik said he’s influenced by the culture of the West Indies and derives his cool attitude from the way black men behave. Which is why, he said, in a nightclub he doesn’t ask women their names. Instead, he watches them move. “I’m a little from (the) black side so I have to see them move so I can imagine the picture.” Even as Rahul looked alarmed at this blatant disrespect of women and black men, Karan just laughed and gave him tacit encouragement, which is how he gets his guests to say most of the trash they say on his show.

This display of creepiness was only part of the one-hour episode, but it was enough to show that the “boys will be boys” mentality of our society is not going away anytime soon. Hardik was unapologetically sexist and neither his friend nor the host of the show called him out on it. This will not have any impact on his popularity and if there are no consequences, will he realise the error in his ways and change? Twitter has tried to school him but how much does that matter to him?

Sanjana Chowhan on Twitter

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!


Male cricketers are, unfortunately, our nation’s heroes. Young men blindly follow everything they do, so they have immense responsibility on their shoulders about how they conduct themselves. In no circumstances should any man get away with saying these things about women, but Hardik Pandya will, and that is one of the many reasons we need to change the way we bring up our sons.

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