By Seema Wadhwa
Ever since Kangana Ranaut called out at Karan Johar on his show for being the torch bearer of nepotism, it has created quite the buzz in Bollywood.
Vidya Balan: “I personally haven’t experienced that. I have absolutely no one in the film industry but I did have the luxury of choice because I am a Bombay girl. My parents and sister were extremely supportive. I didn’t have to run away from home and survival was never an issue and therefore I am saying that it is a luxury of choice. But having said that, Kangana feels that way. To each his own. Everyone has different experiences. I am no one to comment but my experiences are different. There are camps, but let’s not forget that human beings have favourites.”
Alia Bhatt: “I think a star kid can get that first film due to nepotism. But to constantly get films just because you belong to a filmi family, is not possible. I don’t want to take any names, but there have been many examples of sons and daughters of lineage who have come and gone without achieving anything. What about that? Eventually, people come to see you as an actor and not because your family is famous, and you can’t fool them.”
Taapsee Pannu: ” I am a proud outsider, nobody forced me to come into the industry. I was aware of the nepotism that exists in the industry and even then, I decided to be a part of it. I don’t like playing the victim card.”
Aamir Khan: “I think it’s a normal human tendency to try and help people who you love and care for. It doesn’t have to be someone who is part of your family, it could be someone you care for. It’s a very natural emotion. I try to make sure that in my work, I don’t let it interfere. As a creative person, I am responsible to my audience and I give huge importance to that. I try not to bring in emotions in my work.”
Anushka Sharma: “We all have different journeys and different experiences and I am sure the actors sitting next to me on the stage will agree on this part. Aditya Chopra gave me my launchpad. Yes, I am an outsider and he launched me in a big film. Similarly, he has launched Ranveer Singh and Parineeti Chopra and we three are completely from a non-filmy background. Going by my experience, I have a lot of respect for Aditya Chopra because he gave a platform to the actors and I have personally never experienced it [nepotism].”
Swara Bhaskar: “I think more than nepotistic, Bollywood operates on relationships. It’s not a sarkari organisation holding exams where you get through on the basis of merit. It’s feudal in its nature where certain people have the power to make casting calls hence relationships matter. Of course it matters if you are a star child. But look at Shah Rukh Khan, he is the biggest star and he is an outsider. So is Deepika (Padukone), Priyanka Chopra and Kangana. Talent doesn’t remain hidden in the industry.”
Kanika: What is your take on this issue and the term “Nepotism”? Do share in the comments below.
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