I did not want to speak about this nepotism battle that people have been fighting on social media but with so much happening around, even if you don’t want to think about it, you do. Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, like it did many of you, hit me hard too.
The turn the entire case took later and then the debate that followed made me wonder if boycotting a certain section of the entertainment industry solution to this. Firstly, the entire fight, ideally, shouldn’t have been against nepotism. This social media cause’s focus should have been ‘bullying,’ ‘groupism’, ‘workplace harassment,’ and yes, undoubtedly ‘Mental Health.’ When we speak of nepotism, it’s everywhere – from corporate houses to your own family, so fighting against it and asking the industry to stop nepotism is selective outrage. If your boss makes his son the next CEO when you are the most deserving person for the position, will you raise your voice against it? You might or might not. But the business being your boss’, you cannot decide who he gives his chair to. This becomes a problem when his undeserving son after joining starts bullying you as you are more deserving than him.
Nepotism wouldn’t be concerning in this case: if your boss’ son is one of the most deserving candidates for the seat and he would only help flourish the business further. The son being appointed as the new boss would then help every single employee grow, as the business would only be benefitted by his appointment.
Similarly, in the industry, when non-deserving candidates (non-actors) get a chance and then, out of insecurity, they start bullying others, nepotism becomes a problem. Now, speaking of bullying, again, this is a deep-rooted problem. If we want change, we should bring that change within us and fight for bullying to end in society, not just the entertainment industry. What’s happened now is a part of the bigger picture, a reflection of our society, of our own mindsets and behaviours. ‘How?’ you may ask. Since the world is becoming digital, let’s take examples from the digital world. When none of us liked Dhinchak Pooja’s songs, how come they went viral? Didn’t we watch and then showed it to friends and family and laughed together? There are many more online stars who have become famous because we all laugh at their foolishness. There are some clear cases of ‘mentally unstable’ people of whose videos we watch and tell each other that this person belongs to the asylum but whenever they put up a new video, we go and watch it. Laugh at the person again and move on to the next cringe-worthy video. I remember when Pooja Jain was invited to Bigg Boss, she was actually treated as a joke. Many people laughed then as well. Some people took to social media and spoke about how unfair it is to treat someone the way she is being treated. She became famous because we made her famous. She was being invited on Bigg Boss because she would give them TRPs. But then they also made fun of her on a public platform. Whatever she did, she did from the comfort of her home, with her friends. No one had the right to publicly humiliate her.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
ACCEPT THE BEST. DISCARD THE REST.
Most of us didn’t contribute to online bullying consciously. But we can help stop now. How? Firstly, stop the unnecessary noise. Don’t participate. I don’t think that’s helping anyway. Secondly, when you say boycott star kids, you are again taking it all in the wrong direction. Acting, just like any other field, needs people who have honed the skill.
Though products of nepotism, Hrithik Roshan, Konkana Sen Sharma, Abhay Deol, Ranbir Kapoor are still among the finest actors. And then there are actors like Katrina Kaif, Swara Bhaskar, John Abraham who are “outsiders” who I personally don’t believe are good actors, but they are still popular and very much a part of the industry. All I am saying is, give actors a chance, irrespective of whether they are star kids or ‘outsiders.’
Also, when it comes to movies, may it be on an OTT platform or theatres, choose content over actors. We cannot deny the fact that we are the ones who rush to watch a film or take notice of it in the first place when we realise that the lead actor or actress is a famous actor’s son or daughter. Tomorrow when Irrfan Khan’s son, Babil Khan will be launched, we will rush to watch Irrfan Khan’s son’s movie. All we can do here is neither accept him nor judge him because his father was well-known. Accept him only if he turns out to be a good actor like his father was (Irrfan Khan was exceptional though). And if he is, it is his right to be called an actor and being given more opportunities because he is good at his craft.
Having said that, stop rushing to theatres to make Salman Khan film a hit because it’s ‘bhai ka movie.’ He is an entertainer but cannot be called a good actor. No matter who he is in the film, what his character or roles demand from him, he is always Salman Khan in the films. But he is still surviving. Reason? It’s us again. He could make it to the industry because of his filmy background but we made him a star, even when he wasn’t/isn’t a good ‘actor.’
The first thing we need to do now is:
Stop treating actors like GOD. Treat them as humans. Treat this profession as any other profession. They are simply actors. Let them do their job and leave. Don’t burden them with your unnecessary expectations. Let them have a personal life. Tell the papzz that you are not interested in watching Taimur Ali Khan play or take a walk with his parents on Marine Drive. They are selling nepo products because we are buying them. The day you stop buying nepotism is the day they will stop selling it.
Get over selective outrage and make a conscious effort to change what’s wrong. And yes,
CHANGE BEGINS WITH YOU!
P.S: Bring in a permanent change. Don’t fight for a temporary one.