What It Means When Kapil Sharma Says His Fight With Sunil Grover Is A ‘Family Matter’

Posted by Sadaf V in Art, Staff Picks
March 23, 2017

A few days ago, a news report on Kapil Sharma’s drunken behaviour surfaced. He had allegedly assaulted Sunil Grover, verbally and physically.

When Kapil came to know of the report, he said, “Its our family matter”. The implication was that people need not interfere in this matter.

Sunil Grover responded to the whole incident and Kapil Sharma’s ‘family’ comment by stating that Kapil need not behave like a god just because he is lucky and successful. From Sunil’s response and previous news, it is quite clear that this was definitely not the first time that such an incident had happened between them.

However, Kapil Sharma’s comment on the incident being a ‘family matter’ is indeed very disturbing. There are two assumptions here:

1. Misconduct within the family is ‘okay’

2. As soon as you say the word ‘family’, a curtain is drawn around you which people shouldn’t pry into

This kind of thinking makes people turn a blind eye towards all sorts of abusing that happens in their families. They feel it’s a ‘family’ matter and therefore, even the most heinous crime is okay within the ‘family’. This is reflected in our discomfort and reluctance to make laws on marital rape in the country. Is the word ‘family’ a license to abuse?

Psychologically observed, it is obvious that between Kapil Sharma and Sunil Grover, Kapil holds more power because of his greater stardom as the founder and host of a TV show. His conduct in this incident therefore shows that he feels it is okay to be abusive towards others, since he wields considerable social power and wealth. Is this not the same thinking that justifies the perpetration of domestic violence, especially towards the daughters-in-law?

Comedy no more, because it’s ‘family’?

This is also similar to the thought process exhibited by an alcoholic man abusing his wife and children. Why do people with anger issues generally never target someone more powerful than them? Perhaps, somewhere deep down, they feel it’s ‘okay’ to vent out their anger on someone inferior to them – especially on those in social units like families and the ones in certain institutions like jails or mental hospitals.

People often justify this kind of behaviour by citing the law of the ‘survival of the fittest’ whereby animals target and eliminate the weaker ones among their lot. Well, we have been ‘evolving’ for ages now. Even after all this ‘evolution’, if we want to live like animals, then perhaps, we should stop using housing facilities, electricity and mobile phones! After all, we shouldn’t fall back to our ‘animal’ stage, only when it is convenient for us.

More importantly, the social weakness characteristic of most victims/survivors is not ‘natural’. Rather, the weakness has been ‘imposed’ on people by systems of oppression which have been initiated by those higher up in the social hierarchy.

For example, Kapil, with his better connections, is likely to be more successful. And since when has differences in success or social power been a justification for inferior treatment or even abusing?

It is, therefore, an unfair competition. Even if it were a fair one, we need to prove our intelligence (that we boast of) and maturity through our actions. After all, what makes us human is our empathy and respect for each other. On the other hand, fighting and suppressing others have led us nowhere.

However, how can we expect even the most basic respect from a man whose show is full of jokes on people’s looks, gender and weight? Moreover, it is a show where even the host’s ‘family’ member (Sunil Grover) is not spared from being the butt of jokes, for purely arbitrary reasons and because of Kapil’s ego. It’s jarring to think that this is the ‘mainstream comedy’ that the nation is watching and laughing its heart out to.


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