Art should not have boundaries: Karan Johar

Bollywood film-maker Karan Johar, who was present at the panel discussion of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on Tuesday, said that art should not have boundaries and one cannot enforce culture to the people.

The ace director shared the stage alongside renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Alice Bah Kuhnke, Minister for Culture and Democracy of Sweden and Arlie Russell Hochschild, Professor of Sociology at the University of California.

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The panel was discussing “Can we avoid the spread of so-called ‘culture wars’?”

Speaking on the matter, Karan said, “You cannot enforce culture or imbibe it. There are immense economic and social problems, but sometimes the main papers and politicians don’t talk about them because they are focused on a film. It’s empowering to the film industry, but it’s ridiculous.”


Recounting a time he was accused of being ‘non-Indian’ for casting a Pakistani actor in one of his films, Karan said, “Art should not have boundaries but then culture and patriotism is thrown at the artists.”

The panel discussed the virtues of tolerance.

While Alice Bah Kunke said that in politics, one needs to be very, very tolerant, Karan mentioned “there is a risk that tolerating intolerance in others can be misconstrued as validation.”

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“As a film-maker, I can only hope that we have a smooth release. Supreme Court judgement went in favour of Padmaavat, it is a matter of happiness that the law has prevailed,” Karan stated.

The annual meeting was graced by some of the iconic Indian personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan who received the Crystal Award that celebrates the achievements of leading artists.

The four-day long annual meeting, taking place at the Davos-Klosters, Switzerland will end on January 26.

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