‘Nepotism’, has been a topic of discussion in Bollywood ever since its inception. Actually it has not been anything new keeping in mind that even in other professions of profits, the professionals have had a desire that the business should run within the family or the known ones. That is the reason how sons of Doctors have been forced to become Doctors and so on. But these are arena’s where academics or family business come into play. What about industry where Talent should ideally be the base for getting a job or a part, thus this discussion is important…

The Families of Bollywood-

Ever since its inception families have settled themselves in the business of movie making, may it be Prithviraj Kapoor’s clan that has carried on the beacon of cinematic excellence and have continued to give value to the industry.Family is a big thing in the world of entertainment. Just like business, political or sports dynasties film families, too, are a much celebrated and hallowed bunch. The Kapoors, the Chopras, the Bachchans, the Sippys, the Khans to name a few, the progeny often believes itself to be a cut above the rest. Much like Indian political families, show business families have also started operating as personal fiefdoms where the baton is unquestionably passed on to gen-next irrespective of whether they want it or are even talented enough.

The Kapoor Family Tree : Kapoors have ruled the Bollywood Talents for almost 75 years and have given us great artists

The Kapoor Family Tree : Kapoors have ruled the Bollywood Talents for almost 75 years and have given us great artists

But not all have fared this well, there have been some talents from the Industrial clans that haven’t done as good as we had expected.

Kumar Gaurav - One film Wonder

Kumar Gaurav – One film Wonder

Kumar Gaurav for instance, was the perfect chocolate hero of his times, in the 80’s that were brimming with great love-stories, he should have made a mark. After making a smashing debut with ‘Love Story’, Son of Jubilee Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Gaurav was termed as one film wonder. He has not been the only one, many have met with same consequences. Munish Kohli, Harman Baweja, Jackie Bhagnani, Uday Chopra, to name a few are some of those names that have tried and failed in multiple efforts of revival.

Though not all have been failures, there are others who have also proved that inspite that they are from the families in Business, but they deserve to be where they are. Ranbir Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor can be termed as those talents, who have grown through their struggles and their times of thick and thins. After series of unsuccessful films these actors gave some earth shattering performances and proved their worth. Rekha, Sanjay Dutt, Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and many more actors have shone like gems in the industry after proving their mettle.

Ranbir Kapoor in 'Rockstar' and Shahid Kapoor in 'Haider'

Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Rockstar’ and Shahid Kapoor in ‘Haider’

Then there have been those who came with no links with Bollywood whatsoever and made their names into the Bollywood with their consistent efforts to do well. The most famous of which have been Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bacchan, Amithabh Bacchan, Naseer Uddin Shah, Shahrukh Khan, Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit, John Abraham, Kangana Ranaut and Anoushka Sharma.


Kangana and KJo heated up the Nepotism Debate

Kangana and KJo heated up the Nepotism Debate

Recently Kangana on her appearance on Koffee with Karan heated up this debate crying out loud about the hardships that ‘Non Bollywood’ folks face if they have to make their mark in the industry. I am referring to Bollywood as an Industry rather than an art-form keeping in mind that status it has been given by the government itself. Well, we do have to keep in mind that quite a bit that Kangana pointed out was true in many respects. Not only actors but writers, directors and other technicians have to work their way towards success before they become an established name or they get picked up by one of these families in business for their ‘Big breaks’. Its not an easy journey. But is Nepotism the main reason behind this or some other factors also are responsible for this.

Aamir Khan, one of the Industry person, who has also given ‘Chance’ to many ‘Non Bollywood folks’ in addition to some ‘Insiders’ says very apologetically, “It’s normal human nature to try and help people you love and care for. It doesn’t have to be someone from your family. So it’s a very natural emotion. In my work, I strive to not allow that feeling to interfere. I feel that it’s my responsibility as a creative person towards the audience and give them the most importance. I try to not bring in any emotions of that sort in my work.”

Huma Quraishi who is also not from a ‘Bollywood Khaandaan’ says, “Not that star kids are not talented, but the opportunities they get are far easier, projects far bigger and the budget for their films is huge. So it’s not a level plain field.”. Richa Chaddha, who also debuted from a Non Bollywood background, says “People forget to realize that sometimes those not born in the fraternity attract more work from overseas because of their talent. But back home, we are not welcomed or valued the way we should,”

Sonam, however disagrees with claims of Nepotism and went on to say that, the two leading ladies of Bollywood, Priyanka and Deepika are not from Bollywood families and are ruling the face of Cinema, She asks, where is Nepotism in thier case. Alia also defended the assault of the word ‘Nepotism’ made to her claims to fame and said, that no one can plan their birth, its just nurturing that you get makes you take up a certain profession and everyone has to struggle in their own spheres.

Well this is an open debate, but I think that Bollywood should create a system of screening which should be transparent enough so that a word like Nepotism may not malign the image of an Industry as big and relevant as Cinema.

Yohaann Bhaargava
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Yohaann Bhaargava

Head - Business Development at SCRIPTORS
Movie Buff. Yohaann is a film critic with Jagran Prakashan Limited. He has been associated with Print and TV media as a branding professional. Presently he is a screenwriter trying to bring in some good scripts up for Bollywood. At Scriptors he works as a writer and handles business development.
Yohaann Bhaargava
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