I was a fairly good student in school, or so I believed. I was good at academics and used to take part in a few extempore and debate competitions.
However, I never took part in sports or social service activities like NCC, etc. Neither did I go on picnics or stayed late for tournaments or any such stuff.
But still, I and a few other girls like me who used to put all our efforts into studying and keeping our teachers happy were preferred over other students and teachers favourites.
We were chosen for all the activities that could highlight us and bring a good name to the school.
Understandably, I never realized that all was not good. I remember one of the students once blamed our class teacher of favouritism when I was picked for an off-site plantation camp.
I was furious; how could she do that? After all, I was a topper and the teacher’s favourite. But now that I think about it, I realize she was right.
It was a plantation camp and not a science exhibition in the rival school that the school would want my academic expertise. She should have been picked instead, maybe.
Years later, in the wake of outcry around favoritism, I can understand the anger she might have felt and feel really sorry about it.
But what is it really? Take a look around. Before the Indian sub-continent became democratic, lots of kings and queens ruled the country merely on the pretext of their inheritance. Nobody questioned if they were capable to rule an entire kingdom, as it was understood that a prince succeeds a king on the throne and a cobbler’s son succeeds him in a shoe shop. Naturally, nepotism is not new.
However, while today we feel proud to say that India is the biggest democratic country in the world, not much has changed. Though the leaders are elected by the people, a few still enjoy the power of inheritance, taking over the parent’s reign in the party, getting a ticket to ambassadors and bodyguards.
The Gandhi family is a classic example. Unfortunately, it’s not limited to politics. Many other industries too, particularly entertainment, is being defamed of being caught in the trap of favouritism.
Bollywood has never been alien to nepotism, courtesy Karan Johar and Salman Khan who introduced a number of star kids in the industry.
However, it was widely discussed and talked about again after the suicide of talented actor Sushant Singh Rajput. He was one of the most loved young actors in the industry, wooing us with his stellar performance and charming smile.
Therefore, when there was news of him committing suicide as a result of prevailing nepotism in the industry, all hell broke loose.
The audience and his fans went crazy to the extent of filing a case on star kids for existing in Bollywood.
On the top of this, before this fire could die down, senior singers from the music industry also came in support and against the debate.
While these issues are being brought up again to the forefront, the question arises about our role as an audience in this whole scenario. While the stalwarts of the industry are voicing their opinions against favouritism and nepotism, what duties and responsibilities do we have?
Some suggest that we should stop watching movies of star kids and stop listening to artists who have climbed the ladders of success easily owing to their lineage.
However, this does not seem the right approach. From the time the entertainment industry (read soap operas, movies and songs) has been polluted with remakes, nonsensical stories and exaggeration of facts and emotions, the responsibilities of the audience for its survival has been constantly highlighted.
While the onus is on the creators to give us good content, it’s on us to not let them serve us trash. I feel the same goes with nepotism as well. While we can’t stop non-talented star kids from getting a pompous launch, we can surely stop them from wasting our time and money by not watching their movies.
While it’s necessary to tolerate only good content and shun all garbage being conveniently served to us in the form of baseless storylines, skin shows, plastic expressions and painful songs, it’s our duty to appreciate true art.
While you can choose to watch the movies of actors who are from “non-actor” families and are talented, it’s equally justified if you support star kids when they serve you good content. It’s not their mistake that they are privileged, but instead it’s our fault that we give them an undue advantage.
If you’re going to watch Sonchiriya you should give Raazi a chance too.
Let’s respect the art if not the artist. Let’s pave the way for the world of good content irrespective of who it comes through.