Insights on the Nepotism Debate in Bollywood


BY KARNIKA BEHL

I remember that first time ever I heard the word Nepotism, it was quoted by Kangana Ranaut on an episode of  Koffee with Karan. She called him a “flagbearer of nepotism” and accused him of promoting only star kids. Since then the debate on Starkids Vs Outsiders has been a part of almost every interview with a celeb , starkid or non starkid. Some of them play safe by not commenting much on it , thereby avoiding controversy while others end up putting their foot in the mouth. I once came across an interview where Sonam Kapoor said that it is a privilege to be born as  Anil Kapoor’s daughter and that it is the fruit of her good karma ( can someone snatch her mic? ).  

Gone are those days when the Bollywood industry was dominated by the Khans and the Kapoors. In the last 8-10 years , the industry has seen a surge in new talent , most of them coming from non filmi backgrounds. Actors like RajKumar Rao and Aayushmaan Khurrana have carved a niche for themselves with their offbeat but commercial movies and outstanding performances. Despite being successful , these actors have always chosen to keep themselves out of controversies , lest they may irk the Big producers and Directors. On the other hand , the starkids born with silver spoons are very vocal about their opinions, even if it means demeaning a fellow actor , because tu jaanta hai mera baap kaun hai ?

After losing a talented and an extremely lovable actor Sushant Singh Rajput , suspectedly to the same virus called “Nepotism” , it has again brought this debate back in the limelight. While several speculations have been made regarding his death , accusing a girlfriend and her family for driving him mad which prompted him to take this step. It was also reported that several big producers and directors had apparently banned him from getting work in the industry which was also a cause for his depression. It is sad to see such a versatile and extremely down to earth person being bullied to such an extent that he decided to end his life. This shows the ugly side of this industry. Its painful to see that people in the bollywood industry can be this stonehearted and do anything to bring down a fellow actor.

Sushant is not the only person who has fallen prey to these industrywallas. There have been many talented actors in the past whose careers were cut short because they lacked a certain Godfather and refused to do chaaploosi in order to get work. Suhana Khan can be on the cover page of Vogue without having done anything substantial in her life apart from being SRK’s daughter. How often do you see a self-made actor’s face on a hoarding or a magazine ?

I don’t think it’s fair to blame the insiders of the bollywood industry. We as an audience are equally responsible for the failure of small but beautiful films that didn’t get a fair chance because it didn’t star any big names. I remember when Laila Majnu released, I didn’t even care to watch the trailer of the movie because it wasn’t associated with a big star. It was only last month that I came across the trailer and the music of that movie that I decided to give it a watch. It was then that I realized what a gem that movie was and how I ignored it because it didn’t star a certain Khan or Kapoor. We encourage big stars , but look down upon newcomers. We are ready to pay an exorbitant amount to watch bhai ki fillim , but how many of us would actually buy tickets to go watch a movie with completely new faces but insanely talented artists ?

This week I came across many videos on Youtube urging the audience to make Sadak 2 the most disliked trailer. The director , producer and the cast have already recovered their money by selling it to an OTT platform. The point is not to ban A list celebrities from starring in movies, it is , to encourage new talent and appreciate them , support them.

 If we want to watch better content and not crap movies every Eid , Diwali and Christmas , we should be supportive of fresh talent. It’s really heartbreaking  that a talented actor had to give up on his life for everyone to sit up and take notice of the unfair ways the industry has been working in.

Categories: Culture and Society

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