Nepotism in Bollywood


Nepotism in Bollywood

Swapnil Bharali | June 20, 2020 23:18 hrs

Any dictionary would give the meaning of the word “Nepotism” as a practice by which people with power or influence show favouritism towards relatives, especially by ensuring them a means of livelihood. While this is a normal human trait – more so in India where it prevails in almost every field of work – the word is never used in a good light and is often associated with inferior people having an advantage over more deserving ones when it comes to situations of gainful employment.

Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide has raked the word up again to the effect that Bollywood has come across as a wheeling-dealing world controlled by powerful families who have been in their dominant positions and keen to retain that control at any cost. Oozing with talent and looks and having tasted a measure of success, it seems Rajput - the “outsider” - had become a perceived threat to star kids and so, a matter of concern to the star parents. Now, there is no denying the fact that Bollywood is an industry with cut throat competition simply because the stakes are huge and so are the spoils. To be successful in Bollywood entails massive hard work coupled with massive compromises. Each successful actor has perhaps been through travails that account for their personal journey up the ladder even as the glamour-struck world only sees the same superficially. 

While Rajput’s death by suicide is a matter of great sadness and regret, targeting nepotism as the cause might not be prudent. After all, every parent has the right and the duty to ensure that his or her children are provided the best life possible. Amitabh Bachchan had famously once said that he would do everything within his ambit to prop up his son Abhishek. This is not something new in Bollywood and star kids have been getting impressive kick-starts to their acting careers for as long as one can remember. 

But nepotism in Bollywood stops at the casting stage. Acceptance of an actor by his or her audience is a totally different ball-game where nepotism doesn’t work at all. Examples are galore that the biggest of launches by powerful dads have actually made the star kid come a cropper at the box office.

Any outsider seeking to make a career in Bollywood needs to be well aware of this. May Rajput’s soul rest in eternal peace...

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