Hardik Pandya, Hook-Up Culture and Political Correctness in Modern Indian Society

Hardik Pandya has been banned from Australian series(Rahul too but everyone agrees that he was innocent), has lost an endorsement deal and has lost honorary membership from Khar gymkhana. Also a poem is out on 'Unerase poetry' schooling Pandya for his sexist comments.

Let's come to the issue directly.

Does Pandya deserve the backlash he is getting in virtual and real life for his comments in Coffee with Karan?

So here is what that happened in the talk-show: He had made consensual sexual relations with a woman and said to his parents that he did sex in a funny way: 'Aaj Mai kar Kay aaya(Today I have done sex)'.  

Further, he pointed to multiple women in club he slept with to his parents and his parents responded in a jestful way that they are proud of their son.

Now that is not very much expected from conservative Indian families but do we agree that the Tinder hook-up culture is prevalent in Indian societies? For knowledge of conservative readers, I would explain that hook-up culture is the one in which if the girl and boy can agree that they want to enter into sexual relations and forget the next day, then they are free to do so. And Tinder is a mobile app which enables them to do so(though some people use it for getting to know people of other-same sex and not for ‘hook-ups’ but that is a discussion for another day).

Further, our Constitution (Article 19 and Article 21) gives us freedom and right to live a life in whatever way we want unless we are harming anyone with our acts. 

Sure, he was immature enough to brag about multiple sexual relations he has made with women on a TV show but does bragging in a TV show which revolves around relationships, sex and all masala content, warrant a ban from BCCI and social boycott from the civil society?

The feminists and liberals who are bragging their 'more than 9th class education (more than Pandya)' have made them ‘civilised’, should consider that a large part of us have been enjoying stand-up comics who talk significantly about sex and toilet humour(potty jokes), consisting of crass language including 'fuck', 'shit', 'orgasm', 'bhenchod'. 'Mai kark aaya' would comfortably fit into scope of the same language. In fact, one can imagine Biswa Kalyan Rath (a very cool guy of stand-ups) saying the same language and audience would burst into laughter.

We should also note that we have been the society who appreciated ‘The Sacred Games’ and ‘AIB Roast’ ( atleast a large part of us who is fine with crass language and use it on day to day basis, were).

Deepika Padukone, a well reputed actress, a national celebrity had said last year in an ad that 'it is her choice to do sex inside and outside of marriage.' It is to be noted that she said it when adultery was a crime in the country. She also said it is her choice to love temporarily or lust forever.  This drew out mixed reactions (yes, some people appreciated her for her 'courage') from the crowd but nobody asked to ban her from movies. People did not resolve to not watch her cinema untill she apologize. She never clarified her statement, let alone apologizing.

But Mr. Pandya apparently does not have choice to make sexual relations with women because they are hurting morality of the nation.

These double standards for the men and women are clearing hurting the society.

In reponse to this, critics argue that Hardik is representing India and hence cannot be compared with Bollywood celebrities. I would ask them two questions:

1. Are your kids influenced more by cricketers and less by actors-actresses only because the former are representing nation in a cricket match?

2. Are individuals not allowed to talk about the hook-up culture which is clearly present in the Indian society just because they are playing cricket for the country?

Bonus Question: What is wrong with your kid that he is taking life lessons from Coffee with Karan?

The interesting thing in the national controversy( it has become one) is I am missing the argument: If you are not happy with the show, don't watch the show. Coffee with Karan is clearly not a national show which needs to be seen by everyone. Just like you don't have to dance to every sexist Honey Singh song or watch a filthy crass language stand-up. India is a free country where you can speak up your mind unless it incites violence or is against the integrity of the state.

Let me analyse the so-called sexism in the interview:
‘Mai Karkey aaya hai( I did sex tonight).’

I am amazed at what is sexist in this statement. There is no mentioning of boy or girl in the sentence. There is nothing about the nature of relationship with the person he has done sex with. There is not even a swear word in the sentence. What are you angry about:

1. Are you angry that he is talking about sex with his parents in a casual and open manner? (Mind your own business, may be?)
2. Or are you assuming that the nature of sexual encounter he had with the woman was not serious? And even if it is causal, does every consensual sexual encounter has to be serious because he is playing cricket for his country ( A video is getting viral: All cricketers should be like Rahul Dravid because he rejected a marriage proposal on a TV show. Much wow for this enforced moral policing).

And for a moment, imagine if a girl would have said the same thing: ‘Aaj Mai karke aayi’(Today I have done sex) and old men bashing her for same. Worse, if she would have been a sportswomen and sent back to her home because she talked about her sex life on similar show. I could imagine the same critics would have gone length and breadth of the language to explain it is her life and she has right to have sex with whosoever she wants.

Let us now analyse Pandya's comment after Rahul said how they both decide on who gets to date a girl when Karan Johar asked them what happens when both of them like a particular person? "Upto the woman," Rahul replied.

But Pandya interrupted and said, "Nahi nahi aisa kuch nahi hai, talent pe hota hai. Jisko mila woh leke jao. It is on talent." (No, not like this. Whoever gets her would take her home. It's on talent).

Now if he was talking about forcefully making sexual relations with the girl here, I would apologize for the entire post and admit my mistake for trying to defend the rapist-mentality-person.

But here me out: they were speaking about a potential date. By 'jisko mila' he was essentially referring to whom the girl gives consent for the date. By 'talent', he meant the 'talent' to get the girl convinced for the date. Not for a moment in the show, he was advocating having sex without consent. 

I would agree that his behaviour in the show was juvenile and immature (in my personal opinion, the entire casual sex culture is juvenile) but it was definitely not criminal(and with the accepted standards of humour and casual sex, not even uncivil). Club and hook-up culture work more or less in the same manner.

The problem is not just Pandya and Rahul's ban from playing few matches because they spoke about their instances of casual sex in a masala talk show. The problem is also how men are isolated and completely refused to be heard of if they are accused of misogyny and god forbid 'sexual assault'. Certainly women suffer a lot due to gender violence in the country and those reprehensible men clearly need to be called out for their mentality and punished for their acts but this case was not even remotely connected to gender violence and misogyny.

I would hereby submit that the juvenile behaviour of Hardik Pandya does not warrant a ban from BCCI and boycott from free civil society.

-Saumitra Shrivastava

I write more here.


  1. I wish People understood this. I had similar thoughts on this issue. Really tired of the conservatives and hypocrites on the social media.


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