By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | October 11, 2021

Dear Byjus

I think it should be Dear Byju Raveendran and Divya Gokulnath. That is what Wikipedia throws up as owners.

Hope this letter finds you in the pink of health as the same attends me over here. This is how I was taught to write letters during school days. Oh yes, there was this other line that we were taught to throw in: It was not lethargy that kept me from writing for so long.

No, it was not lethargy, but shock. Shock at you stopping all advertisements featuring Brand Ambassador Shah Rukh Khan amid the ongoing investigation against his son Aryan Khan in a drugs case.

It’s surprising that being in the education field you are setting up an example for children as to how to stand by your own. Apparently, you have been cowed down by the storm on Twitter. I’m sure when you signed on SRK in 2017, to be the face of Byjus, you never discussed the same with Twitter users. You very well knew that having SRK as your Brand Ambassador meant a leap in fortunes. You are here today because of your programme no doubt, but don’t forget that SRK got you there with his presence and following and convincing Advertisements.

What has he done to deserve this? Not that those Rs 3-4 crore annually will make a dent in his pocket but this move of yours reveals your standards; your ethics. Being in the education field you will well know that this is all about children. You will also know that children need their space and they will make mistakes however much parents try to infuse a sense of discipline in them. Which child has not erred whilst in their teens or early 20s? Every parent has to correct and convince with love. That is the language a child understands.

You will also know that smoking and drinking whilst growing up are part and parcel of that stage in time. Everyone wants to experiment. Of course, not all want to experiment with drugs. But, apparently, Aryan Khan has. So what? Is he addicted? Is he going ‘cold’ today while in prison for lack of drugs? This is just one phase in his life and I am sure he will grow up.

So why is his father being punished? Isn’t he already suffering enough? And what standards are you setting up for yourself? As educators, we need to be patient and tolerant. And loving and caring. Those are the values we need to give the younger lot. Letting them know that to err is human. That one does not push someone down, who is already in turmoil. Which father will be at peace with his son behind bars?

Mind you, the case against Aryan has not been proved in a court of law. But you have proclaimed your verdict. Distressing to say the least.

Byjus teach children a lesson
The ‘Media Trial’ of Rhea Chakraborty was nauseating, to say the least.

Remember Rhea Chakraborty and the ‘media lynching’ of the helpless girl? What was the case against her? Where is the case against her? Do we even know what she has been through and the trauma she and her family have been through because of ‘pressure’ to prove her guilty?

Exactly a year to this date (October 09, 2020) after Rhea was released after spending a month in jail her mother, Sandhya, opened up saying she contemplated suicide. Yes, that is what trauma like this does to a person. “What she has gone through… how will she heal from this? But she is a fighter and she must be strong. I’ll have to put her on therapy to help her get over this trauma and reclaim her life.”

How will she heal? That is the bottom line. How will SRK heal? Remember, there is no verdict as yet as I write this. Aryan is still in jail. Nothing is proved as yet. But you have proclaimed your verdict, coming under pressure, presumably. 

Again I ask you, ad nauseam, what are you teaching children? You have gained millions with your association with SRK. A Brand Ambassador becomes family. We have been taught to stand by family. You have deserted your family. Not a good characteristic trait.

I hope your stocks don’t plummet. It’s not too late. You can still revoke your decision of getting the Ads with SRK back.

But the question now is; will Shah Rukh Khan want to be associated with you?

All I can say is that this is a lesson well learnt from you from future Brand Ambassadors.

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