Celebrity Column: Yeh nepotism, nepotism kya hai? writes Sajid Khan

What is nepotism? I swear to God, a few weeks ago, when this word became popular in Bollywood, I was under the impression it was about hypnotisms in Nepal. Just kidding! The very definition of nepotism is sifaarish pe naukri. Inheritance. The insiders won’t let the outsiders come inside. Chance and opportunity on surname over merit. Bull crap!

For decades, producers, actors, directors, singers, writers have tried unsuccessfully to launch their kids into the glamour world. The audiences reject them. You are only accepted because of what you provide them. It’s true that your accessibility and chance to meet people from the industry become easier. But even then, there is no guarantee of getting work. Neither is there an assurance that you will be accepted by the audience. So many star kids have just come and gone, without any trace. There are barely a few, who make their mark and that’s also not because of their heavyweight lineage. But primarily because of their sheer likeability and connect with the audience.

For example, Varun Dhawan is not a star just because he is David Dhawan’s son. He is a star on merit, not on surname. You ask yourself this. Do you like Alia Bhatt only because she is Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter? Wouldn’t she have been equally successful if her surname was something else? What filmy connections did Akshay Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Irrfan Khan, Sidharth Malhotra, Preity Zinta, Anushka Sharma and Vidya Balan have? Aren’t they super successful?

While discussing about nepotism, we often forget that there’s a huge disadvantage to being a celebrity kid! There are expectations to meet, there are judgments, which are already passed on to you by the audience, even before you can begin your career. Imagine the kind of brunt Abhishek Bachchan had to bear because of being the son of the Superstar of the Millennium! But he still managed to survive 17 years and more, purely on the basis of his own talent. And not because he is also a Bachchan!

People who use nepotism as an excuse, clearly are missing the larger picture. The audience. Just like many outsiders are looking out for opportunities, to get into the film industry, the fraternity is also always looking out for fresher and newer faces. Most successful casting agencies will vouch for this. Today, the opportunities to get in, are far more than just using the ladder of nepotism as an excuse.