As the #MeToo movement gathers steam in India, Karan Johar spoke about Consent – a very important aspect in romantic dynamics -on his radio show Calling Karan on Ishq 104.8.
“So how do you get consent? You ask for it! You have to ask, "Are you ok with this? " or "Do you want to do this". It's important for people to understand both, the verbal as well as the non-verbal communication they get from someone they’re with. These are the basics; basics that we often tend to forget. When you come close to someone, when you’re about to get intimate, how can you not ask for consent?”
He also touched upon some of the things people do online that counts as harassment especially when it is unsolicited.
“Sending someone pictures of your private parts is also not cool! Kissing someone or touching them inappropriately while they’re drunk, is not cool. Persisting with flirtatious texts, even after someone has explicitly expressed discomfort, is definitely not cool! You must respect the boundaries that others set for you, and that’s precisely what you ask for consent, and always respect the answer.”
Switching perspectives to the other side, Karan also spoke about how it becomes important to communicate affirmative consent
“While asking for consent is important, it is also important to know how to give consent” he elaborated. “It’s important to say YES clearly if you are okay with it, and more importantly, it’s ok to change your mind at any given point of time without feeling the need to give an explanation. If you feel uncomfortable and you can withdraw your consent and just say 'NO'”
Karan made it really simple for the listeners to understand harrassment in the context of a romantic relationship, “Sex minus consent equals sexual harassment! That’s the math, and it can’t be any simpler. And hence, it’s really important to keep asking the question, and always respect the answer.”
In short Karan’s advice on the show was to do the Ishq, but do it with Consent.