July 16, 2020 8:01:53 pm
The death of Sushant Singh Rajput triggered a debate about nepotism in Bollywood. Many accused big Bollywood celebrities of favouring ‘star kids’, making it difficult for ‘outsiders’ to make a place for themselves in the industry. However, actor Richa Chadha is disheartened that instead of talking about the mental health of a person, Sushant’s death has led to “much chatter about nepotism.”
Sushant and Richa attended acting workshops together in the initial days of their career. For Richa, the late actor was a friend who would come on his bike to pick her up for rehearsals.
Calling the blame game and the social media trolling of Sushant’s friends and girlfriend after his death “pathetic”, Richa shared, “This ‘blaming’ trivialises a situation as grave as this and conveniently ignores the role of mental health. What unfolded post the tragedy is a visual display of what we call ‘chita par roti sekna’. I never thought a metaphor could be used so literally.”
Richa Chadha, in her latest blog post, further talked about the Indian film industry and how it is divided between “kind and unkind people” and not between the “insiders and outsiders”. She believes in this industry which operates as a food chain, “people are scoundrels when they know they can get away with it.”
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Richa wrote, “Those who are anguished today have themselves been cruel to their subordinates. You hate your bully for not being ethical with you, while bullying someone working under you as though it is a rite of passage for them.”
She added, “There are insiders who can be kind and generous, and outsiders who are punitive egomaniacs. In the nascent phase of my career, I was often ‘cut to size’ by outsiders. It took me all my strength to recover from various forms of subtle sabotage.”
In the blog post, the Masaan also shared her opinion on nepotism, “As for nepotism, it just makes me laugh out loud in real life. I don’t hate “star kids”. Why are we expected to? If someone’s father is a star, they are born into that household the same as we are to our folks. Are you ashamed of your parents? Is it right to expect someone else to be ashamed of their parents/families/legacy? This is a hateful and nonsense argument.”
Richa further drew attention on how it is not easy even for ‘star kids’. She wrote, “‘Star-kids’ have to deal with rivalry within their own clans. Often this is an inter-generational, unforgiving and all encompassing contest. There exist hierarchies within the clan too. We may never know what someone else may be dealing with here. I empathise but I won’t know that pain, unless I am standing in their shoes.”
Concluding her blog, the 33-year-old actor suggested a few changes that should be brought in the industry. “We need an eco-system where writers and directors are accorded the most importance. We need gender parity in a real, liveable form. We need robust insurance for stunt artistes and light men,” Richa wrote.
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