‘Nepotism Rocks’: The End of Fair-Play?

At this year’s IIFA Awards held in New Jersey, filmmaker Karan Johar along with notable actors Saif Ali Khan and Varun Dhawan sparked off controversy by jokingly saying nepotism was the reason behind their success in Bollywood. Following the jests, all three chanted in unison: “Nepotism Rocks!”. Unsurprisingly, social media users on outlets like Twitter had a field day, quickly voicing their disgust at the comments. Apparently, this stunt was a jibe aimed at actress Kangana Renaut who was absent from the ceremony. Previously, the Queen star had dubbed Johar the ‘flag bearer of nepotism’ on his popular talk show Koffee with Karan.

The question we must ask ourselves is…

Is nepotism really prevalent everywhere? There are thousands of people who set their sights on making it big in the film industry every day, but how many of them become a Shah Rukh Khan? Instances of nepotism are plenty in Bollywood. Saif Ali Khan, Varun Dhawan, Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor are some names that come to mind. The comments Kangana Renaut made about the subject hit some members of the film fraternity the wrong way. Alia Bhatt, daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, retorted by saying that she wanted to ‘punch all these people who say star kids have it easy.’ While actors belonging to such backgrounds might get an advantage earlier on, it is their performance in subsequent projects that define whether they actually have what it takes to further their careers. In other areas, take sports for instance, nepotism is virtually absent. In modern sport, your talent and ability takes you forward. Let us take the example of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Did you know?

Kasper is the son of legendary Manchester United player Peter Schmeichel who, coincidentally, was also a goalkeeper. Kasper played a fundamental role in aiding the Foxes to their first ever Premier League title in the 2015-16 season. The only assistance he got from his father was his undying support. This exemplifies the point made above: He was the author of his own success.

Even indoor sports like rummy or poker reward hard workers. It takes numerous years of practise to effectively master poker in India. Poker players who perform well in tournaments usually get selected to represent major poker platforms as Team Pros, and subsequently get an opportunity to play in major tournaments worldwide like the World Series of Poker. Most recently in the 2017 edition of the WSOP, notable players including Aditya Agarwal and Sumit Asrani represented their respective brands and performed spectacularly. It is quite clear that these games promote the concept of fair-play.

Nepotism has more prevalence in some sectors rather than others. In this article we’ve seen examples of both. What other instances come to mind when discussing about nepotism? Share them below.