While the debate on nepotism in the film industry, especially Bollywood has blown out into the air with various celebrities and journalists issuing their opinion, National award winning actor Naseeruddin Shah shared his view on the topic.
According to news reports, Shah went on to say that people in other industries do it (nepotism) as well and you don't see people creating a debate when businessmen put their children in charge of their business or when politicians help their kids to enter politics.
Naseeruddin Shah, whose sons Imaad and Vivaan who also happens to be actors, says that it is only natural that actor parents support their kids and singling out people from the entertainment industry cannot be justified.
Naseeruddin Shah, the theatre and film actor, had joined National School of Drama and studied at Film and Television Institute of India despite pressure from his father to not pursue the craft. He started his film career with movies of Shyam Benegal, Saeed Mirza and Sai Paranjpai - eventually becoming the poster boy of parallel cinema movement in the 70s.
A comment trivialising nepotism from an (arguably) self-made and famously outspoken man of his stature, comes as a shock.
The recent debate on nepotism was sparked when actress Kangana Ranaut accused filmmaker Karan Johar of working with star kids and encouraging nepotism. She had called him the 'flag bearer of nepotism'. The issue escalated after Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan and Saif Ali Khan made fun of the issue while doing a skit during the IIFA Awards (15th July 2017) at New York.
Shah's comment brings Kangana Ranaut's reply to Saif Ali Khan back to light.
While Khan had indirectly said that the industry is not nepotistic and gave credit to famous parents giving birth to famous kids, Kangana retaliated that if it was the case she would have become a farmer.
Kangana criticised how by using words like eugenics and genetics in his letter, Saif has justified nepotism and asked how can somebody compare genetically hybrid racehorses to artists.
This excerpt from her reply sums it up all:
"In fact, the subtext of all my talk on this subject has been to encourage outsiders to take the path less travelled. Bullying, jealousy, nepotism and territorial human tendencies are all part of the entertainment industry, much like any other. If you don't find acceptance in the mainstream, go off beat -- there are so many ways of doing the same thing.
I think the privileged are the least to be blamed in this debate, since they are part of the system, which is set around chain reactions. Change can only be caused by those who want it. It is the prerogative of the dreamer who learns to take his or her due, and not ask for it."
Another famously self-made and 'outsider' actor, Shah Rukh Khan had recently said that he didn't have an opinion in the (nepotism) debate because he doesn't 'understand' the discussions surrounding it.
"I don't understand this (nepotism). How can I understand it? I am a Delhi boy, who went to Mumbai at the age of 25. There everybody loved me and accepted me. So, I don't understand this talk," Shah Rukh told IANS.