It all started with that now-iconic episode of Koffee with Karan when Kangana Ranaut called Karan Johar “the flag-bearer of nepotism”. Soon after, Hindi movie followers started spotting it everywhere in the film industry. Nepotism, by the way, wasn’t born that year. It has, in fact, been a part of the film industry ever since we can remember. But it took a famous actor to bring our kind attention to the subject.
Ananya Panday’s inclusion in the cast of Student of the Year 2 brought back the same debate. If you’re wondering who she is, she is the ‘star kid’ of Chunky Panday because if Aditya Pancholi’s son is called a star kid, Ananya sure has the right to go ahead with the title.
As soon as the announcement was made, Twitter was flooded with opinion because the ‘have smartphone, will type’ syndrome has infected us all. And naturally, they screamed nepotism. The same happened when the debut projects of Janhvi Kapoor, daughter of Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, and Sara Ali Khan, daughter of Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh, were announced.
The anaconda of the nepotism debate had also swallowed those who made their debut much before this was a hot topic for debate. Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, the beast did not leave anyone but what’s the point?
Every single time a famous person’s kid ventures into the film industry, we start tweeting as to how unfair this is and how the good talented actors aren’t getting enough opportunities because of these privileged people. More than talent, this has become a class debate, a case between the haves and the have nots. If it’s Karan Johar who is at the helm of these projects, we find another reason to hate him. But don’t we all know that these tweets are falling on deaf ears?
As moviegoers, we enter the sacred space of cinema for an experience. The director, actors, music, locales, costumes, everything is a part of that experience. If the movie fails to deliver, we decide who to blame and make our next film watching decision on the basis of the same. Over the years, many ‘star kids’ have been ousted from the film industry and who knows how many opportunities were taken away from some talented individuals just so they could get their moment in the sun.
Nepotism is indeed a beast that has become a part of the system, and not just films, but screaming it out on Twitter every single time is indeed a lost cause.
Like good samaritans, we do our part of supporting ‘good talent’ and bashing privilege when another rich and famous teenager is given a big platform and we do so without even seeing their work. But where does that good samaritan culture go when it’s time to watch talented people on the big screen? None of us can answer that with utmost honesty.
No one has yet seen the work of Ananya Panday, Sara Ali Khan or Janhvi Kapoor but no one can deny that opportunities come to them far easier than those who are outsiders. As far as the likes of Karan Johar are concerned, they have a business to run and of course they invest their money expecting some return and we are sure that they don’t consult on Twitter before making their business decisions.
But for us, the nepotism debate has just become a trending topic on Twitter. So let’s wait for another ‘star kid’ to get launched so we have some new content to tweet, shall we?
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines