Is Nepotism in Bollywood a genuine problem or a propaganda to hide something?

As soon as the news about untimely demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput broke out, Nepotism once again became a hot topic. No matter which platform I looked at, be it Twitter or Facebook or even mainstream media portals, I can find a lot of anger, hatred directed towards certain celebrities.

Is it justified? Is Nepotism in Bollywood actually a problem of this magnitude or is it just a propaganda?

When you look at SSR’s filmography, you will find that he worked with Aditya Chopra and Yash Raj Films in three of his movies i.e. Shudh Desi Romance, Sonchiriya, Detective Byomkesh Bakshi(co-produced with Dibaker Banerjee Productions). Apart from these he also worked with Karan Johar’s Dharma Production for the movie Drive. Although, drive was distributed by Netflix. So, in four out of ten of his total number of movies, he worked with those who are today held responsible for sidelining him based on video clips from some scripted shows like Big Boss or Koffee with Karan. Moreover, Yash Raj Films in 2012 had started a newcomers talent program and SSR was a part of it till 2016. If you look further, you will find that he worked with other big names too.

It does not look like he was a victim of Nepotism. If he were, he wouldn’t have received those offers in the first place. Would he? In fact it definitely looks like he was in their good books. You could have a look at Intellectual Lynching, frustration and suffocation to know about one of the major reasons that could have been a cause of his troubles.

Even though Nepotism does not look like a primary root cause here in this case but it does prevail in Bollywood. Having said that, how is nepotism in Bollywood a public or a social issue? Do we even need to talk about it or worry about it?

Let me ask you a very simple, straight forward but uncomfortable question. Will you, after working your entire life and building a big business, prefer your own son to take over your business or will you hand it over to a stranger who apparently is more talented according to some people? And at the same time leave your own son unemployed.

If you won’t, why should a film maker? Doesn’t it sound a little hypocritic now? Or are you suggesting that the film celebrities should stop having kids? Because if there are kids there would be nepotism.

Unlike Politics or Government institutes or some other public affairs, the various production houses, distributors etc in Bollywood are private businesses. A film actor or a director or a producer puts his entire life in that business, expands it, builds a wide network, establishes contacts. Why should his children not inherit and enjoy the goodwill garnered by him? Shouldn’t it be their prerogative to pick and choose who they want to do business with? It is their private affair. Isn’t it? Moreover, most of these star kids grew up knowing each other. Isn’t it obvious that they will choose each other when the requirement arises? Plus, the star kids would know exactly where to be and when. Being at the right place at the right time makes a lot of difference even when there is a more talented candidate, although standing in a long queue.

The irony is that people find problems with nepotism in private businesses which don’t affect them at all but they are fine with nepotism in politics and policy making, which directly affects them. Just last year, Mr. Rahul Gandhi the epitome of nepotism, whose only qualification is that he is a part of Gandhi-Nehru family, was contesting for the place of the Prime Minister of India; not just any post but the top most post. Not only did he contest, more than 10 crore people voted for him. He had lost more than 25 different elections by that time but still became the president of India’s oldest political party. I don’t think that Indian National Congress is a private business. Is it?

And if you are thinking that the people are changing, or have changed, please hold on to that thought for just a few more months. Mr. Tejashwi Yadav would pretty soon be contesting for the place of chief minister of Bihar. His only qualification is that he is Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son, otherwise he wasn’t even able to pass high school exactly like the star kids that are being abused today. We’ll see how many people vote for him.

The line that separates public affairs from private affairs is the same line that separates nepotism which is as good as a crime from nepotism which is acceptable. It is very simple, if Karan Johar makes a bad movie with an undeserving, unworthy star kid, only a flop movie is made, it would affect him more than anyone else, its he who will lose money. I am not forced to watch that movie. I have a choice to not watch it and even if I end up watching the movie, I end up wasting a couple of hours of my time and a few hundred rupees that too if I watch it in multiplex. But that’s it, nothing more nothing less. However, on the other hand, if an undeserving and unworthy politician is favored to make government policies, we are in a deep trouble. We have no choice but to follow each and every flawed policy approved by him. Those policies would become some act or law or something of that sort. Flawed policies have made a lot of legal activities illegal overnight in the past.

As an example I can only say that unlike a lot of people today, I don’t believe that Pt. Nehru had bad intentions for the nation or was anti-national. But he simply made mistakes, and not just mistakes but blunders. The country has been suffering since then, be it 370 or 35A or China border issues or various constitutional amendments. Nehru might have been an idealist, but he definitely was incapable of leading the country. If only Mahatma Gandhi had not favored him in 1946 against Sardar Patel (who won 13 votes out of 16, where the other 3 did not vote for anybody), we would have been reading an entire different post independence history. He was an unworthy favored recipient.

The point is fighting Nepotism in private businesses like film making is a futile activity, waste of both time and energy. In fact it happens every where, in each and every private business. You could search India’s biggest businesses, you will find families. Tatas, Birlas, Godrej, Ambanis, they were all family businesses at first, and still are to a great extent. As and when they expended, outsiders came along.

A more meaning question that we should be asking is: why are there such a small number of Production Companies or Distributors in the industry? Film industry is not just limited to actors, actresses and acting. It is way bigger and deeper than that. Right?

One obvious answer to this question is that the people from the outside of the industry are attracted to the glamour associated with the films and film stars, so the supply for actors/actresses is way more than the actual demand. The other skills required for film making are still in a nascent stage.

The other and by far the most critical answer is the Mafia; a deep nexus of criminals, underworld, politicians and powerful people with specific ideologies.

Mafia and Nepotism are two very different things, and should not be mixed up. It is this Mafia that is being concealed in the shadow of Nepotism.

Must read: Intellectual Lynching, frustration and suffocation

People like Karan Johar, Sajid Nadiadwala, Dinesh Vijan, Salman Khan and some star kids are relentlessly being targeted. Are they the only ones who promote Nepotism? Why are they targeted and not others? Who decided their names? Somebody must have carved this campaign, right? Can you find the one thing that is common in all of them? If you can find that common thread that ties them together, you can very clearly see the propaganda and feel the Mafia. You don’t have to go and look in their personal lives, you just have to look at their filmography and the changes in ecosystem around film making.

Thank you for reading! If you liked the article please do share it with your friends, might help in reducing the hate that we see on social media today. And please subscribe to the blog so as to receive a notification as and when I come up with the article that highlights the one thing that ties these celebrities together.

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