Karana Johar was one of those top names from the Hindi film industry who descended on the Rashtrapati Bhawan to attend the swearing-in function of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week. Also joining the celebration of the BJP’s landslide win in the just-concluded Lok Sabha polls was Karan’s bete noire Kangana Ranaut, who has criticised him on a number of occasions in the past for promoting nepotism in Bollywood.
But, Karan appeared to have forgotten his old rivalry and happily posed for camera standing alongside Kagana. In one photo, Kangana posed standing next to Tamil superstar Rajinikanth as Karan clicked the selfie.
Later the famous Bollywood filmmaker took to Instagram to post another group photo of himself with Kangana as he wrote, “Congratulations again, Hon Prime Minister @narendramodi and many thanks for inviting me to be part of this momentous day. It is a time of great consequence for India as you continue to lead her to a position of global power, in all spheres.”
An emotional Karan Johar said, “As a proud Indian, I bask in the accolades that I hear for India in my travels across the globe. I wish you all the best as you begin chapter two of your role in this prestigious office. To those watching India, I would love to add—picture abhi baki hai. #JaiHind.”
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Congratulations again, Hon Prime Minister @narendramodi and many thanks for inviting me to be part of this momentous day. It is a time of great consequence for India as you continue to lead her to a position of global power, in all spheres. As a proud Indian, I bask in the accolades that I hear for India in my travels across the globe. I wish you all the best as you begin chapter two of your role in this prestigious office. To those watching India, I would love to add—picture abhi baki hai. #JaiHind.
However, Karan showering praises on Modi did not go down with his fans, who reacted angrily at the filmmaker’s attempts to glorify the prime minister, who’s widely viewed as a divisive figure. One fan wrote, “One fan wrote, “I love you as a film maker. But do you realise you are spewing nonsense and trying to make Modi sound like he isn’t a dangerous, racist nut-job, once again leading the largest democracy in the world down a racist, sectarian driven agenda. Arnt (sic) you petrified of what this means in India? How does your conscience allow you to talk in such flowery language about this menace? Its awful Karan. Please read up on the horrendous implications of this PM.”
Another fan wrote, “I’m glad you have forgiven the BJP who supported the ban on your film ADHM. I’m also glad that you have forgiven the BJP for supporting the call for BEHEADING of Deepika and ban on Padmaavat. I’m glad you have forgiven the Government led by the Prime Minister who failed to implement the SUPREME COURT orders on the film.
I’m glad you have forgiven the Government led by the Prime Minister who implemented the sin GST on your industry and then 2 months before elections reduced it by calling all of you for a Photo Op. Finally, I’m glad you’ve forgiven the Prime Minister for being a mute spectator at all this.”
“India has become a joke in the international community. Let’s not spread lies, please,” wrote another user.
Modi’s party, the BJP, won a historic second term in office with 303 seats, 21 more than what the party achieved in 2014 last month.
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Powerful and timely conversations can bring about change and this was one of what we hope will become a regular conversation. Meeting the Honorable Prime Minister @narendramodi today was an incredible opportunity. As a community, there is a huge interest to contribute to nation building. There is so much that we want to do. And can do and this dialogue was towards how and what ways we can do that. When the youngest country (in demography) joins hands with the largest movie industry in the world, we hope to be a force to reckon with. Together we would love to inspire and ignite positive changes to a transformative India. The film industry would also like to send a huge thanks for the GST reduction in movie ticket prices that was implemented recently! Thank you so much for your time, Sir!
This is not the first time Karan has faced criticism for glorifying Modi. In January, Karan had posed for a selfie with Modi when he met the prime minister with Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Bhumi Pednekar, Ayushmann Khurrana, Sidharth Malhotra, Ekta Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Varun Dhawan and Rohit Shetty. His fans had called these stars ‘spineless.’