Why all this fake outrage over nepotism in Bollywood? Nepotism, sycophancy, politics, conspiracy – these are the bane of the Indian psyche and society. It is the dominant factor in our personal, familial and professional lives. So, is it so surprising that it thrives in the environment that Bollywood provides, with all its insecurities, vanities, jealousies and above all, the high stakes? And all these pious calls for Bollywood to clean up its act? As though Bollywood is some room in a building and you can have at it with duster and mop! I have no doubt that star kids find it easier to get into Bollywood. That’s the easier part. But staying there and becoming a success? No way your connections can help you there. Look at how many have succeeded and how many have fallen by the wayside. The ones who have managed to stay not only have to earn their fans but remember, they have to emerge out of the shadow of their ‘connections’ and the high expectations people have. That doubles the pressure on them to succeed and its often the constant comparison that defeats them. And this is not just applicable to Bollywood. Whether personal, professional or in business, having connections can help you only so much. After that, it’s your talent, your hard work and your luck that will carry you to success or failure. Sometimes, having a enormously successful parent or sibling can be the biggest stumbling block. And tell me, which parent will not want his child to give his child a leg up? Remember, in business, especially in a volatile environment like filmdom, you and your so-called camp can only get you a movie or two. If you don’t succeed, people stop helping. It’s a very high stakes industry, nobody bets on a dying horse for long, not even your own parents. Nobody can afford to. So, think of all this before you start lashing out at so called star kids as the reason for all the evil in Bollywood.
Nepotism is called having ‘contacts’ or ‘connections’ or ‘influence’. The more sophisticated among us call it ‘networking’. On the streets of Bombay, it’s called ‘vashila’ or just ‘contak’. Tell me, which good job in which industry is available without some goddamn ‘vashila’?!
And if the ‘contak’ happens to be your tycoon father, sister or your dear politician brother, wouldn’t you use his or her ‘influence’? Or would you refuse their help and go and live in a slum hut with the leaking roof and starve because of your ‘ideals’?
Of course, I’m sure you would say to your ‘contak’, “I don’t want you to get me the job, just push my resume to the top of the pile” or “just get me the interview, that’s all”, as though that makes it very different. That is called ‘access’! And don’t pretend as if you’ve never ever done it! Come on, folks, get real – don’t be so moralistic and holier than thou – you know that’s just doublespeak for “Just get me that effing job”!Getting a job is tough enough in any field, but in the film industry the stakes are a million stress levels higher, because of the glamour and the fame content. Yeah sure, nepotism is wrong but it’s just not in Bollywood. It’s rich hearing politicians talking about nepotism and gangs. Of all things! That is where it is the dirtiest and most cut-throat. Literally. So if you want to get rid of nepotism, you really need to start there, not Bollywood. And good luck with that, let me know how it works out for you! Zoya is just being honest and frank about it. And if you folks think people like Kangana don’t have their own cliques and cabals and ‘contaks’, it’s time to take that kite out of your brains and go fly it!