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Jaipur: Karan Johar has joined the bandwagon of celebrities slamming the growing intolerance in the country. The filmmaker said India is a "tough country" to express one's views with a legal sword always hanging over the neck.
In a freewheeling and frank session at the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival here, Karan spoke about homosexuality in films and society, as well as of the stigma attached to it.
Talking about it, he said: "What do I say... Revealing in today's time can land you in jail. We are in a tough country to speak about your personal life and I feel really sad about it because being a public figure you are expected to helm a certain movement, talk about freedom of expression, which is the biggest joke in the world. Democracy is the second biggest joke I think."
The director also opened up about his personal life, saying that he felt "effeminate as a child". He made the revelation while talking about his book "An Unsuitable Boy" at a session with Shobhaa De and his biographer Poonam Saxena.
He added: "I really think how are we democratic, how is there freedom of expression? I'm a filmmaker and I'm bound by everything -- be it what I put out on celluloid or what I say in print.
"I feel I will always get some kind of legal notice awaiting me. Everywhere I go I'm scared. I'm scared that I'm saying something in Jaipur and I don't know who will file a case when I get home. So I have become a FIR king with the things happening around me."
The director, who has perfected the art of helming family entertainers with films like "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...", "My Name Is Khan" and "Student of the Year", was perhaps referring to the infamous AIB Roast episode, for which an FIR was filed against Karan along with other celebrities who were involved in it.
Last year, the intolerance debate was joined by Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan and Anupam Kher among others.
Karan shared that there is a way out - clever use of language.
He said: "We finally won the National Anthem case that was 14 years old. I no longer have to apologize for putting National Anthem in my film in an emotional and proud manner. It's like that. We eventually have to say what we have to say so in a clever way. Language is a great thing. (IANS)