the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.
The unfortunate death of Sushant Singh Rajput has stirred up discussions on the N word in the film industry- ‘Nepotism’. Sushant’s rise from a background dancer to a top Bollywood star is an inspiration for thousands of youngsters from small towns of the nations with a passion for cinema. That should have been his legacy. The circumstances leading to his death are best left to the investigating authorities and court of law to decide. But armed with TikTok, badly shot youtube videos and Twitter an entire nation decided to turn judge, jury and executioner. These are the same people who maintained social distancing from a beautifully made film like Sonchiriya. These are also the people who click on the first notification of ‘Cute Taimur Pics’. The graph of corona positive cases kept inching north, extra judicial deaths happened, line of controls got violated but a nation was busy trolling people from the film fraternity with grammatically incorrect and aesthetically unpleasant comments. Suddenly all reviewers were ‘paid’, producers were ‘criminals’, stars were ‘complicit’. Logic and common sense were avoided like the corona virus and brains were covered with the protective masks of directionless hatred.
Nepotism or favouring one’s son or relative is the fundamental on which the concept of Family is built. Parents take care of their children, ensure their future to the best of their abilities. From a poor farmer to a top industrialist this is what happens. Why do we expect anything different from the film industry? This unrealistic expectation is what leads to such outrage. Of the people trolling the entire cinema industry, how many would forego their inheritance for the person next door? Does your insurance policy have your house help’s name as nominee, even though she might be smarter and more talented than your own daughter? Hypocrisy is the omnipresent vice in a nation where we hold everyone else to a higher standard of behaviour, especially celebrities.
If a star has worked his way to the top, why would he not help his son/daughter? There is no ethical or moral dilemma in this. The ticket to anyone’s success lies with the audience. If the same audience had made Sonchiriya a blockbuster, every other producer would line up outside Sushant’s door. Because like any other industry the thing that matters the most is profit. No producer would put his money on a star son if his movies did not work. There are many examples of celebrity kids not being successful. Then again, we are entering the territory of logic which was long sacrificed at the altar of cacophony.
Cinema is a medium of storytelling, the actor’s job is to convey the written word in the best possible way. We took this medium, threw the story telling out of the way and made STARS out of actors. It turned into a celebrity worshipping platform. The cut-outs of stars, the fights of whose star is better, the people of this country are responsible in creating this Frankenstein monster. But being the hypocrites, we are, we now blame the monster for all its actions. The Kapoors , Bachhans , Daggubatis & Konidellas have thrived in this industry because the audience accepted them and liked their movies.
Many upcoming heroes during the same time did not get the same response from the public. One such person has met with a tragic death, someone who had the talent to make it to a much bigger stage. And what do we do? We play into the hands of this media created ruckus of TV Studio trials, side with mentally off balanced actors who are using this tragedy for their own agendas. #JusticeforSSR has remained as a trend on social media that will fade out without achieving concrete in the real world. Meanwhile #LifeofSSR which would guide generations of ‘outsiders’ in their journey and struggle to stardom remains unlooked at in the background. When we are done retweeting gossip news articles and random rant, maybe we need to look at the simple logic behind Nepotism and stop having unreal expectations. Maybe next time we step out of the digital world and go watch that low budget less marketed Indie with a newcomer.
Captive of the 24 frames and admirer of the written word. If it is not on the silver screen or on the pages of a paperback, it might as well not exist.